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tv   This Week With Christiane Amanpour  ABC  January 16, 2011 8:00am-9:00am PST

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this morning on "this week" we're in tucson for a very special town hall meeting. they were united by tragedy. [ sirens ] >> they have heard the president's call. >> i want our democracy to be as good as christina imagined it. >> now they are coming together, a week after that terrible day, the heros. >> my arm was hit with a bullet. >> the wounded. >> she took a little neighbor's girl away that morning and was unable to bring her home. >> those who lost loved ones. >> if i'm a hero, he's a superhero. [ laughter ] >> and those who saved others, the people of tucson who search for answers "after the tragedy: an american conversation continued" right now. good morning. we're here in the st. oodilia
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catholic church in tucson, arizona, so close to the scene of last week's tragic events that you could actually hear the shots ring out from this hall. a week ago a group of people gathered in a supermarket parking lot to do the most american of things, to meet with their elected representative, to share what was on their minds. that parking lot was until this morning a crime scene. the meeting precisely one week ago was brutally cut short. and so i'm here along with my colleague david muir to gather together for the first time since that day so many of the people who were there on the scene at the hospital to talk and to make sense of what they've lived through to continue finally that very american conversation they set out to have that morning. it was a typical sun-soaked morning in tucson, arizona. >> good morning. it's 10:00 a.m. on saturday, january 8th, 2011. >> representative gabrielle
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giffords tweets from her ipad. "my first congress on your corner starts now." >> gabby is very popular. people want to see her. >> 20 or so are in the crowd. among them, retired army colonel bill badger. >> i got a lot of respect for her because of her willingness to meet with the people. >> it was to be just that, a simple meet and greet with constituents in a parking lot at a local supermarket. no one really thought it would draw a big crowd, but somehow it did get the attention of a 9-year-old girl willing to forfeit saturday morning cartoons. >> she was jumping up and down and she kept saying, i'm next, i'm next. >> and a 20-year-old intern who'd only be on giffords' staff for five days. >> lots of people who had shown up were pretty excited to get a chance to speak with their congresswoman. there were people there to thank her for the work that she had
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done. >> congress shall make no law -- >> ironically, two days earlier in washington with the new congress sworn in, gabby giffords was asked to recite part of the first amendment, the one guaranteeing all americans the right to assemble peaceably. her congress on the corner was to be a rational exchange among reasonable people like supporter patricia maisch. >> that was one of the things i wanted to talk to gabby about, it's a very sad time in our country. >> but that saturday morning last week, a taxicab pulled into this safeway parking lot carrying a man with a twisted view. >> a kind of shady-looking gentleman came up and before i knew, he was barging through the tables in front of the congresswoman. >> a man who seemed to be at war with normal. >> i looked over, and it was just bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. >> the guy had a semiautomatic
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pistol. he just went in and started firing and then ran. >> we heard people yelling, get the gun. there he is. >> is anybody injured? did you say gabrielle giffords was hit? >> she's hit. >> i was about three feet from her. i was lucky enough not to be in the line of fire. i was shaken to my core. >> we need more than one ambulance. there's more than one person down. >> i saw a man with a gun shoot her in the head and then ntinueiring point blank at everybody who was in the area and there was really nowhere to run. >> my husband just called me and told me he was shot. he went to the gabrielle giffords -- >> your husband was shot? >> that's what he said and then the phone went dead. >> he was pulling a magazine out of his pants pocket with his left hand, and i was able to grab the magazine. >> and when we pushed him, he just went right to the ground. i had to do something. i just couldn't sit there and let this guy go on. >> the loss of these wonderful people should make every one of us strive to be better, to be
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better in our private lives. their death helps usher in more civility in our public discourse. >> by midweek president obama came here to tucson to try to heal the fresh wounds of the grieving and confused community, to honor the fallen and to try to unify the country. >> let us remember it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy, it did not, but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to the challenges of our nation in a way that would make them proud. >> and so saturday morning as the scene of the crime became just the safeway parking lot once again and tucson observed a moment of silence a week to the minute the shootings took place, we brought together the community of people most closely affected by this terrible crime
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for a special town meeting, "after the tragedy: an american conversation continues." we hope to begin the honest discourse the president asked for in his speech. we thank the congregation of st. odilia for hosting us, the home parish of two of those who were killed in the shooting. 9-year-old christina taylor green had her first communion here, and judge john roll grew up in this parish, as well. what i want to ask all of you first is by a show of hands to tell me how many of you were either involved at that fateful place at the safeway or whether you were involved at the hospital afterwards or in the immediate aftermath or whether you know anybody who was involved in that tragic shooting. show me by a show of hands. so practically the whole room. this whole community has been so
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touched, and i think i want to ask you, bill heilman, what is the lasting impression that you will take away from that day? your wife had brought 9-year-old christina taylor green. >> indeed, she had. she wanted to -- to show a little girl something that she felt had not been possible in her generation by introducing her to gabby and let her know that that opportunity was there for her too, and it was just a perfect event for that to do that. >> and how is your wife coping? >> the emotional side of what's occurred is still sinking in. the extent of the tragedy only really seems to get addressed in very quiet moments when there aren't audiences around. we had our first psych consult yesterday to start dealing with the ramifications of this, and we feel very well supported and appreciative of the hug that
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america is giving my wife. >> daniel hernandez, you rushed to congresswoman giffords as she was lying bleeding, and by all accounts you really set the stage for saving her life, and a week later do you think about what it took for you to run towards her even as there was gunfire? >> no, because i think really had it been someone else, i would have done the same thing. although gabby is someone who i've admired for years and i consider a friend, i think at this point anyone would have done the same thing for her. anyone, because it's a human being, and you need to make sure that you help those in need. >> patricia maisch, you knocked the magazine out of the gunman's hand, out of jared lee loughner's hand. >> it's a little bit of misinformation. >> you prevented him from reloading. >> i managed to grab the magazine. >> what do you remember? what is your lasting memory?
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>> that first shot, and i knew -- i'm not a gun person, but i knew it was a gunshot, and then just that tiny, tiny space between the first shot and the rest of the shots, just in my head and then deciding to drop to the ground instead of running expecting to be shot because the woman next to me was the last one to get shot, and instead having bill and roger, my guardian angels, knock the guy down right in front of me. you know, i owe them my life. >> colonel badger. >> yes. >> you've got your arm around patricia. you did something amazing that day, leaping and tackling him and i'm getting him down so that he couldn't get up again. >> well, you know, the thing that i get out of this is the fact that how quick everybody
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bonded, and just like patricia and myself bonded as a result of this, but it'll be something that will haunt me the rest of my life. >> i'd like to go to mrs. bowman and dr. bowman in the front row here. you were just in the area. you were in the safeway, and you heard the shots. and your reaction was to rush out to them instead of stay hidden. what did you do, and what will you remember? >> we had just passed congresswoman giffords and gone into the produce aisle, which is not my favorite section but -- [ laughter ] and had not been in more than two to three minutes when the shots rang out very, very quickly. all of them was over with in probably less than three, four seconds, just done, it seemed. as i got to the front door a
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couple people ran in, one gal screaming they've shot her. they shot congresswoman giffords and she had blood on herself running in the store. so i stepped through and stopped behind a pillar and there were no more gunshots. colonel badger had already done his thing by the time i looked around the corner and first thing i saw was daniel with congresswoman giffords and that is sort of where you go into automatic mode started, and i looked back after just two or three minutes and realized i'd left my wing man. she wasn't there. she hadn't heard me, and they sort of swept her to the back of the store, and she came out very quickly. i looked back, and she was working with judge roll, and that was the first time i felt calm maybe because somebody showed up and was helping, and the more i looked, everyone was helping everyone. >> and you were barking out orders, weren't you? you came and really got into the
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first aid, the triage and were giving orders to somebody who you didn't even know who is not even a medical professional. >> well, he was the one barking out most of the orders. he went from the very beginning of the line all the way to the end assessing everybody one by one, those that he felt could be saved and had to come to terms with those that couldn't be saved. i came out and immediately started cpr on judge roll, and as i was doing cpr, a bystander, a stranger to me, steps up and says, i can help. tell me what to do, and i guess that's when the barking started. i told her to start to take over the chest compressions that i was doing. i started mouth to mouth on judge roll, and then david came back to us after he had made his initial assessment of everyone and said, nancy, you need to stop. you can't -- there's nothing that can be done, so i just
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looked at judge roll, and i said, i'm so, so sorry. and david said, you need to go over and take care of this woman over here, she's awake, she's conscious. she's breathing. she needs your help. >> when we return, we'll hear from the woman at gabby giffords' bedside when she opened her eyes and a husband who became a human shield to protect his wife from a hail of bullets. amazing stories of survival and hope as our "american conversation continues." [ male announcer ] how can rice production in india,
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affect wheat output in the u.s., the shipping industry in norway, and the rubber industry, in south america? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex global economy. it's just one reason over 80% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment objectives, risks, fees, expenses, and other information to read and consider carefully before investing. congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz, you are a good friend of gabby giffords. in fact, you were down here this week.
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you came when the president came. what is your lasting impression of what happened? >> my lasting impression is that out of an evil act, we have had an opportunity to see the overwhelming goodness that exists in this country, and as horrific as this act and tragedy has been, the opportunity that we have had this week to see how many incredible people there are in our country and having been here a number of times to campaign for gabby and having talked to gabby about the pride that she has in representing tucson and the eighth congressional district, every ounce of that pride was evident and warranted this week. >> how is she doing? you're going to see her again. you've seen her once. >> yes, yes, you know, she's doing better every day.
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wednesday was just a miracle to witness that myself and our good friend, senator kirsten gillibrand and leader nancy pelosi were able to be by her side with mark and her parents and have her open our eyes just in our -- as a result of our we hope, us urging to come back to us and rejoin the activities that girlfriends do together. >> some of these incredible people here saved not only other people's lives but your friend's life, as well. and we've heard a lot from them, that they feel they were doing what they had to do as people and they don't feel that they were heroes. do you think they're heroes? >> there's no question that they are heroes and -- [ applause ] >> there's just no question. there's no question.
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i mean, i think every one of us hopes that our immediate reaction would be the selfless response would be to to spring into action to help someone else. but i guess you really never know unless you're faced with that opportunity. >> dr. bowman, i know that you're not comfortable with the idea of being called a hero. >> that's correct, and i don't think any of us are including daniel. >> i agree. >> i think that there were maybe heroic things done by normal people that means we're human beings, and i think that's to me one of the most last iing impressions is to see what people were doing for someone else, injured people helping someone else more injured, not concerned about themselves and not screaming and not yelling medic, medic, helping the person next to them. it gives you a lot of hope that we're doing it the right way somehow.
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>> but nonetheless, if i might, i've covered a lot of war, a lot of tragedy, and certainly i know that one tries to hide and tries to get out of a bombing situation or a shooting situation and you did run towards it. you did. patricia, you did what you had to do in that circumstance, and yet you're uncomfortable with the idea of having the hero label attached to you. >> i am. this is the hero. if i'm a hero, he's a superhero. [ laughter ] my son says that i should just say thank you, that the community needs heroes right now, but it's still hard to do. >> i did what anybody else would do, and i'm just so glad that i had the opportunity to do what i did because after seeing the people killed, you know, right
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there beside me, if he'd have got another clip in that gun, why, it would have been disastrous. at the time i did not know that he was reloading his gun when he went by right in front of me. but when i responded, why, there was an opportunity there because somebody picked up a folding chair and came down on the back of the gunman's head and that gave me the opportunity to grab his arm, you know, come up like this and push him down. i had a choke hold on him. roger had his knee on the back of his neck, and every time he would move, i would tighten my grip, and roger would push down more on his face. he was laying like this, you know, and -- >> you gave the shooter a black eye, didn't you? >> well, when he hit the pavement, why, we were holding him down, and he was -- he was saying, ow, ow, ow, ow, and of course, i didn't know roger before this happened, but i
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said, roger, let up a little bit [ laughter ] and roger says, i don't care. and he put more pressure on him. >> you yourself were grazed by a bullet. >> i heard, you know, the first shot and i looked but then i could see the people falling, you know or sitting in chairs but they were just slumping forward then everybody was trying to get out of the way and get to the ground and i did the same thing. i felt the bullet hit the back of my head and it was just a stinging, burning sensation. when the shooting stopped, i stood up, and when i stood up, i did not know that that was the gunman right in front of me, and it's -- it's just instinct reaction is what it amounts to but when i saw the chair hit him, i knew that must be the man and that's when i -- i had an opportunity and that's what i did, what i think anybody under the circumstances would have done the same thing. >> just go to my colleague david muir.
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you have people who you want to talk to there. tell us their stories. >> well, christiane, we hear about these ordinary people doing extraordinary things, the first responders at the scene and i wanted to bring in doctor bellal joseph, if you could stand. i'm curious what you learned as someone trained in this by the so-called ordinary people who really did the groundwork for you. >> you know, we do this every day, and that morning when i walked into the emergency room and saw so many people, the same echoes that come from the first responders at the scene was echoed in the hospital. and i can tell you, people were coming in who didn't need to be there. i think that it was a controlled chaos that just became harmony. >> christiane? >> i just want to go to ken dorushka, who was there that day and tell me what happened, because you really saved your wife's life, and she's sitting right next to you, and certainly to her you are a hero. >> well, i'm not sure about that, but when we came to visit
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with the congresswoman, signed in with daniel on the clipboard, we were eighth in line. as i turned to walk back towards her and now i'm only a few feet from my wife, what i thought were firecrackers went off, and i turned over my shoulder, and i saw it wasn't firecrackers, he was there with a gun and just coming towards me and firing, randomly, it looked like. i immediately got to her, i took her and threw her down rather forcefully. i'm kind of a big guy and i think i injured her pretty hard, but i threw her down on the ground and got over -- and put my arm over her head and just as he walked up at this point in time he was firing and we were at the feet of some people that were in chairs that were hit and my arm was hit with a bullet and i felt that pain but i kept her down and i just waited for the next one because i really thought that was going to be it, that i was on my way out. >> you thought you were going to die. >> i thought that was it, yeah, because after the first shot, i
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thought the second one was going to be the final one, because as i looked up, i saw a sight that i see every night and it was a lot of blood, a lot of -- i mean carol was just covered with blood from head to foot from the people that were sitting in chairs. >> you say you see it every night. do you have flashbacks? >> oh, yeah. yeah, that's -- the physical healing, you know, will take a little time but it'll be fine. it's the emotional healing that's going to take time. that's going to be the hard part. >> i'd like to ask anna ballis, you were also there that day, that moment. how are you coping with it after what you did? tell me a little about what you did that day and how you're coping? >> well, i never quite made it into safeway. it was quite the different trip going to a grocery store. i had shown up at the -- i did not go there for the event.
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when i got out of my vehicle, i was actually going to go into the other entrance to the store but saw that there was a crowd gathering and thought i would go over and check it out, see what was going on, so as i was walking into the store, i did not know it at the time, but ron barber had reached his hand out to me and said, please come back and see us, he says, i would love to have you meet her. >> this was -- come back and meet the congresswoman. >> yes. >> i do remember looking over and seeing christina, and she was quite excited about meeting the congresswoman, jumping up and down, and unfortunately she never made it. >> did you try to help? >> i was not close enough to her.
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when the gunfire started, i leaned up against the concrete pillar to basically save my own life, went to the ground and got under a table and just covered up my head. i looked up, and the first person closest to me was ron, and i had noticed that he had been shot twice, and he -- when i did crawl out from underneath the table and got over to him, he was more concerned about everybody else. he didn't care about himself. i do not truly believe he knew the extent of his injuries at that time. and like others have said, you don't think about what you're going to do. you just do it.
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so i was able to pretty much apply pressure to the wound that he had in his groin area and just stayed there with him and told him he'd be okay. >> bill, christina taylor green is such an elemental part of this story. you say you're looking forward to having a private meeting with her parents to grieve together. what will that conversation be like? >> the conversations that i've had with john on the telephone, i've only spoken with john, we basically barely get started, and we both devolve into tears, excuse me. we're very fond of one another. roxana, the morning after this event, despite having to be at the lowest depths that a human could experience in this life
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took time to e-mail suzie and assure her of their love for our family, of their appreciation for the relationship that suzie and christina had forged and that we had all their best wishes for suzie's full recovery. they have demonstrated gracefulness that is extraordinary under the circumstances. we'll be bonded forever by this tragedy. i just feel the need to share with them. i can't imagine what they're going through, and i don't begin to predict what it's going to be like to get together. i feel the need to share grief with them. >> and does suzie talk about christina even though she's trying to heal physically? does she talk about her? >> suzie has had christina on her mind from the moment she
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woke up. i sensed that once she did finally lose consciousness, she had described right before that their hands still being held, being on the ground absolutely eyeball to eyeball with christina, and that is the image that was in her head until she woke up after her surgery. we haven't wanted to initiate conversation on the topic, but much has come forth from her in bits and pieces. she has initially demonstrated a good deal of anger over the fact of what's happened. that kind of i mean obviously is more than justified, it's almost helpful to hear. all she wanted to do was to give a little girl a chance to see what she herself could become someday in a way that suzie and her generation felt she never could, and so that's driving the anger.
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she's a strong woman, and she knows rationally that there's no blame to be apportioned, but the fact of the matter is she took a little neighbor's girl away that morning and was unable to bring her home. >> and when we return, mad man in our midst. how can we stop someone with violent tendencies before they strike? "the conversation continues." ♪ [ male announcer ] from jet engines that have fewer emissions, to new ways to charge electric cars, to renewable sources of clean energy, ecomagination from ge is advanced technology that's good for both the economy and the environment. ♪ it's technology that makes the world work. [ squawking ] ♪
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chief rick kastigar, can you tell us where the investigation is right now? is the shooter cooperating? >> he did not. he immediately the day we took custody of him invoked his rights, and we kept him in custody, spoke to him no further other than to deal with his personal needs, but from an investigative standpoint and i have to be very honest with you, our interaction was only a matter of seven, eight, nine hours, and he was turned over to the fbi, but he has not spoken to our organization. >> do you know whether he's spoken to theirs? >> to my knowledge he has not really given the fbi much information at all. >> campus police at the community college that jared lee
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loughner attended were going out to say that he looked a little bit like he needed some help. there were worries on campus about his demeanor. why is it that it did not trigger further investigation? >> well, and that has been a very controversial issue this past week, and a lot of folks have suggested that there were clues to his mental stability. but we're governed by laws, and the laws allow us to do certain things and restrict us from doing other things, and i don't necessarily as a police professional question those. as a person i might, but we're bound by those laws. those contacts that jared loughner had over the past couple of years were actually -- there were several, but each one was relatively benign. in their totality as viewed by law enforcement, they would not rise to the level of causing us
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to be necessarily concerned about him committing a violent act because none of the acts were necessarily violent. he was disruptive in a pima college classroom, and i personally don't want a police state where anybody who is perhaps has an opinion or stands out in their classroom or does something goofy in their classroom gets arrested and then put in some kind of a mental rehab system. i'm not necessarily a proponent of that, but i'm a little bit defensive -- perhaps you can tell that by my tone -- that there are others out there, there are criticisms that says why didn't cops arrest this guy before? again, we're bound by the law, and the totality of those issues didn't rise to the level that would allow law enforcement to take action. >> let me go to david, who is there with a friend of jared lee loughner. >> steven, if i could ask you to stand up, that would be great. i know that you were in a poetry class with him, and we've heard
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a little bit about that. the trademark pink hair this week but you've been such a valued voice because you were in the same classroom with him. were there warning signs that were missed? >> warning signs for violence, no. you know, in the class that i had with him, he made people uncomfortable. the way he carried himself, people felt eerie around that but didn't behave aggressively. even his poems were far from aggressive, so it's hard to draw a line by someone being weird and standing out, you know and -- [ laughter ] >> tucson loves you, as we've learned from this event. >> and if you're going to try to police that somehow. again, as the sheriff said, he didn't do anything that would merit police action or any kind of institutional intervention. >> seemed like he was a very troubled young man and that there were people -- even his math professor who said, this is a troubled student of mine. did you see that trouble?
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>> you could see a lack of stability. trouble is -- that's perspective and so that's hard to really gauge when you're not in their head. but, again, that's not something that can be measured. it's all perspective and it's all from whoever is looking at it, and you can't draw lines around something that's built on perspective. >> thank you for your honest voice this week. i wanted to go back to lynn who lives across the street from the loughner family. i know it's been a very difficult week for you and this is the first time you're talking and we do appreciate it. i wonder living across the street and with that vantage point if you look back and say, there were signs? >> i wish that i would have had more courage to have said more to his parents to help him better because he did kind of walk around our neighborhood without acknowledging anyone. >> one of the things that struck me, you spoke of the music. you said there was once beautiful music coming from that house. >> yes, there was. about four years ago and a
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couple of years before that jared played in a jazz band, and i just loved sitting in my house listening to that music come out of the house, and something changed. >> and there was a change, you said. the family stopped talking to the neighbors, and you tried to find out if it was something you or the neighbors had done, and when you asked the family, what was the answer? >> there was no answer. i was just glared at and turned back on. >> dr. laura nelson is with you, david. >> and i suppose the next question would be is how easy is it to pick up that phone and is this a lesson for us all to take take advantage of one of the safeguards that we've learned now is in place? >> yes, it's absolutely a lesson for all of us. you talked about you wish you had the courage. you recognized years ago something had changed and i think that's what we need to be focusing on now as a state and really as a country that there are opportunities to recognize signs and symptoms much earlier to the extent that you don't need to pull in law enforcement
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or necessarily call out a crisis team. if we can engage the community into recognizing that mental illness is just like any other chronic physical condition like diabetes or emphysema, it doesn't happen overnight, it is a gradual, progressive process and the earlier we identify those signs and symptoms, we engage the individual in communication and discuss what the options are, the better opportunities we have to get them into treatment voluntarily to get assistance and get help that they need. >> christiane? >> let me turn to you, congresswoman wasserman schultz. is there something, state leadership, national leadership can do about this mental health issue? >> there is, absolutely. this is not a gap in law enforcement. we have a tremendous gap in coverage for mental health care and, you know, as we turn in the next week back to the debate over health care reform, tuesday and wednesday there will be a debate in the house over the
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proposal to repeal health care reform, and one of the things that we have an opportunity to discuss and debate, which has been highlighted as a result of this tragedy, is that in the health care reform law, there is a provision that would develop a mental health basic benefit as part of the minimum benefits that everyone would have covered in their health care insurance plan. involuntary commitment in my state is called the baker act. i don't know what the involuntary commitment law is in arizona, but it only allows for involuntary commitment for three days. you can involuntarily commit someone for three days, have them evaluated. they can be held, and then they have to be released, and it is only the system that will -- that exists or lack thereof that we have to rely on in terms of when they're released whether they're going to get the kind of follow-up treatment that they need. >> when we return, the difficult question of keeping guns out of
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one of the thorniest, most difficult issues to raise is the issue of guns. how did somebody like jared lee loughner, how was he able to buy a gun? interestingly, the people who sold mr. loughner the gun have told in interviews that they knew he was a little bit strange, but by law they said they felt that they could not refuse to sell him that glock pistol. so the question is, chief
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kastigar, how did that happen? how was he able to buy a gun? should the gun shop owners have called law enforcement? should they have tried to delay even though they were legally able and obligated to sell a gun to him? >> we are governed by those laws that those in our legislature and the state deem appropriate for the citizens of this state and this country. i don't like the fact that, and, again, i'm giving you a personal opinion, but i don't like the fact that very soon we may allow teachers and students to carry guns in schools, and that's concerning to me because i think people who aren't mature enough to own a weapon and deal with it are the ones that are likely to cause the greatest problem in this society. we saw that happen just a week ago by some guy who got a gun within the confines of the law.
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>> well, let me ask all of you. everybody knows that there's a second amendment in this country, there is the right to bear arms, and, of course, arizona is a state which is very fond of their guns. how many of you here actually own guns? by a show of hands. it's not even half, maybe a quarter of this room. let me go to david muir because this issue is obviously one that is very controversial, and what we're trying to figure out is not whether guns should be allowed, but whether in certain instances there are real grounds for controlling them. >> and we could point out that the congresswoman herself, congresswoman giffords, was a proud gun owner and talked openly about it while campaigning and as the congresswoman here in this district. i wanted to bring in gerri hills. you're a gun control advocate and i know it's dear to your heart. you lost someone yourself in a very similar situation.
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>> yes, standing here today brings me back to my beginning of this journey 16 years ago when my younger brother, officer adam hills was shot and killed in similar circumstances. he was off duty, and the shooter involved had a long history of mental health. he also used semiautomatic weapon with an expanded clip and now we're here 16 years later and we're still talking about, you know, expanded clips and mental health issues and the right to bear arms, and i just wonder how many more of these do i have to attend? you asked what our takeaway is. my takeaway is i pray i never have to come to another meeting like this again. i have sat over the last 15 years, my own experience, i have sat with families from columbine and virginia tech and otis and lori smith here in arizona who lost their beautiful daughter shannon who we passed shannon's law in memory of and it's time for this country to have a serious conversation and forget about being a democrat or a republican or a gun owner or a nongun owner as the president
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called us to on wednesday, we need to do better. we can do better and we can find common ground to stop this from happening. [ applause ] >> let me ask you, colonel badger, you tackled the gunman. you also own a gun yourself. >> my wife, who is sitting right over here, when our son is now 21 was born, she made me get rid of my .38, but i do have a shotgun, and i do support, you know, that we need to have guns. >> you say we need to have guns. that's the right, but what i want to know is have you changed your opinion in terms of who should be able to have them and whether there should be more rigorous control over who is able to get them in the wake of this incident that you are so -- >> yes, i definitely have because i was one that said, you know, i don't understand how an individual like this who applies to get in the military and is turned down from getting in the military can go purchase a gun. i mean there's something wrong
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with our laws, and i think that's where we need to look, at the laws. >> congressman, the lady back there told david muir that it's time to have an honest debate in this community and perhaps in the country about this. is that possible on this issue? >> i think we have to have that debate, and it should be possible. as painful as that debate might be to some, it is essential. we have to talk about the issue of access, and that's not undercutting the second amendment at all but who and then we have to talk about i think munitions, the magazines, the caliber, these are all fair discussions to have now. >> christiane humphries is a tea party member. and i'm curious if you could stand for just a moment. the congresswoman supported the second amendment. she had a gun and i'm curious when you hear this that there needs to be debate from democrats and republicans in the room where you see this headed for. >> we talk about other things too as they talk about how come
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nobody could be aware this man had a medical history of that but hipaa laws would prevent that. it's not just gun laws that's standing in the way of this happening but there are all kinds of laws congress needs to look at and i think there is a time for this debate but from what we saw and felt right now i'm not sure that applause and things going on are appropriate right now until we've had actually maybe had the funerals finished for the people that suffered and died. my neighbor is one of those people, and i loved that man, and i want to see -- i want to see some introspection maybe from the people before the national debate happens, you know, and it's very well to have those things, but some things have to happen with everybody, and i just -- i mean it's something that as a country we talk about political discourse and what's appropriate and what's not. i think that applies to everybody including the media
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who -- and not -- this has been a very cathartic thing for everybody, but immediately after the shooting to see people jump to the political angles, i just don't want to see that right now and i'm a very political person so i would ask that maybe we have that discussion, and it's a larger discussion and that we have that just a little bit later. >> up next, a time for healing. how tucson and the country can learn from the tragedy as our "american conversation continues."
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unitedhealthcare. i would like to ask some of the political leaders who we've invited, representative kolbe, congresswoman giffords ran for your seat when you retired in 2006, and she won. you are a republican representative. what can tucson and this community learn from what happened? >> one hopes that from all of this there will come a more sensible, rational discourse on the topics, the subjects that face this country. i personally don't think that was responsible for this lone act of this very deranged young man, but i hope that out of it something good can come, and that would be if we can have a more civil, reasonable discourse on some of the subjects, topics that we face, but gabby giffords
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was doing what all of us who have been in congress or in public office have done, that is get out there and meet with our constituents, and i don't think that that's going to change. i think that members of congress are going to continue to want to do that, and it's one of the risks we face. >> mayor walkup, you've been a longtime friend of gabby giffords. you are a republican. she's a democrat. do you think that the whole public politicking can continue, the congress on your corners, showing the kind of connection between elected representatives and their constituents? >> well, we have to. i don't know that gabby and i ever talked about that she's a democrat and i'm a republican. we always talked about what is the right thing for our people, what's the right thing for this community. and that drove her, and, frankly, she brought all of us into that, that feeling. it makes this job a great job. >> my colleague david muir there
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in the audience, and you have also some people who want to talk about the political situation here. >> yes, i wanted to bring in jason rose, longtime arizona political consultant. and i'm curious where you see this headed, the discourse and this talk of greater civility. >> well, it's a challenge to talk politics at a time like this, but my observation would be this, there was a tragic shooting elsewhere in southern arizona a year ago, and it created a wilder west. i think the effect of this is going to be this tragedy in tucson, a milder west, so i think the effect is going to be to have a moderating effect on the cauldron that has been arizona. >> congresswoman? >> it is absolutely critical that we lead by example, that we take this opportunity to going forward not shrink from vigorously advocating our views but stop treating our opponents
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like the enemy and try to push the reset button on a more civil discourse because that's what gabby was the leader on. that's what her hopes were for the future. [ applause ] >> daniel? >> i think what we've seen is this big sense of the community coming together, the national community and utilize it to have a more constructive instead of destructive political discourse in the future. gabby's always been a proponent of getting work done by working constructively instead of attacking the other side for the beliefs that they hold, so i think that's a takeaway. [ applause ] >> i totally support what daniel just said, but i think when you have an event as tragic as this, why, something good has to come out of it, and what i've seen so far, you know, is we forget about politics and everybody in tucson and the people who are
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closely involved in this just want to pull together and make sure that we do whatever is necessary so this never happens again. >> when we come back, a final note and an unexpected ending to our town hall meeting. back in the 80's, it was really tough for me and my family.
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i was living on welfare and supporting a family of four. after i got the job at walmart, things started changing immediately. then i wrote a letter to the food stamp office. "thank you very much, i don't need your help any more." you know now, i can actually say i bought my home. i knew that the more i dedicated... the harder i worked, the more it was going to benefit my family. this my son, mario and he now works at walmart. i believe mario is following in my footsteps. my name is noemi, and i work at walmart. ♪
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i just want to say that it is amazing that we've been here, we've heard you grieve. we've heard you offer solutions and we've even heard you laugh and that is something very, very important, because it means that i think the human spirit remains alive even through tragedy. so i thank you all for joining us today from david muir and from me, christiane amanpour and all of us here in tucson, thank you for sharing part of your sunday with us, and we will see you next week. [ applause ] as our town hall concluded, one
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of the victims of the shooting in our audience became agitated and was detained by security. james eric fuller who was shot twice last saturday appeared to direct a threat towards a member of the tea party in our audience when he spoke. fuller was charged with a misdemeanor and involuntarily committed according to the pima county sheriff's office. to share your thoughts and comments on what you've seen this morning, join us at "this week's" page on facebook where we'll keep this conversation going.
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in the news this sunday morning, january 16th, san jose authorities are investigating an apparent murder-suicide that started inside a coffee shop. we'll tell you about bay area events honoring dr. martin luther king. medicare. it doesn't cover everything. and what it doesn't cover can cost you some money. that's why you should consider an aarp...