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tv   The 11th Hour With Stephanie Ruhle  MSNBC  May 25, 2022 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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that is tonight's last word, the 11th hour with stephanie ruhle starts now. good evening once again, i'm stephanie ruhle, it's no disguise, you know exactly what we're here to talk about tonight, and it has been nearly 31 hours since this moment on the senate floor, that caught all of our attention. >> i'm here on this floor to beg, to literally get down on my hands and knees and beg my colleagues, find a path forward, here. by doing something, we at least stop sending this quiet message of endorsement, to these
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killers whose brains are breaking, who see the highest levels of government doing nothing. shooting after shooting, what are we doing? why are we here? what are we doing? i yield the floor. >> with us tonight, connecticut senator chris murphy. senator, i turn that question to you. it has been 24 hours, what are we doing? >> i was presiding over the senate last night or yesterday afternoon, when i look down at my phone and saw that another sandy hook had happened, 19 kids in texas. i went straight to my desk, and that was the question that i kept on asking myself. it was the question that i
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spontaneously asked my colleagues. what are we doing? why are we here? why do you care so much about being a united states senator, if in the face of this evil and carnage, with all these parents who are just so frightened for their kids, all these kids so frightened for themselves. what are we doing? nothing cannot be the answer. stephanie, i spent all day today from the minute i woke up, until i literally sat down in this chair, talking to everybody i could in the senate, republicans and democrats asking that question. what are you gonna do? are you prepared to sit down and find a bipartisan path forward. i don't know if you will be able to get their. but i found enough republicans today that were willing to talk, but over the next 7 to 10 days, we will have a discussion. privately, confidentially, behind closed doors as to whether there are 60 votes in the senate to pass something and make sure that less people have less access to dangerous weapons, or less dangerous people have access to dangerous weapons.
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we will see, but i'm a little bit exhausted at the end of the day. and i'm also really hopeful, that we will be able to convene a conversation in the senate over the course of the next week, about bipartisan support for anti gun violence legislation. >> but, where those republicans willing to talk to you today, because 19 precious babies were massacred yesterday. a week, for now two weeks for, now do you think they are going to sit down and more than have a conversation? you've been at this for a decade. >> yes, i've been at this for a, decade but i also understand that great social change moments in this country often take more than a decade to effectuate change. remember, it was more than a decade from the shooting of james brady in 1981, one to the passage of the brady bill, the handgun legislation. it was more than a decade from open casket of emmet till to the voting rights act.
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i understand that sometimes these important movements take a long time. i think the pressure on the republicans will ask themselves over the course of the next few days, is will i pay a price this november, if i sit on my hands again. in 2018, republicans did pay a price for doing nothing. and i think it needs to be voters, citizens, and activists over the next few days, pepper these members officers with calls, emails, tell them that if they don't get down to work with people like me, who are willing to compromise, but they are not going to get reelected. that's the question that our republican colleagues will be asking themselves over the course of the next week. >> let's say they don't budge. what are three things democrats can do tomorrow? the filibuster is not going through. >> so, we need to ultimately have a debate and vote, but senator schumer has said, and i agree with, him is let's give some space for these bipartisan
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talks, but let's put a time limit on that. i think by this time next week, we will have a sense as to whether there is any hope. if we can achieve a bipartisan compromise, and let's have a vote in the senate, let's have a vote on the background checks bill in front of the house. let's have a vote on red flag laws. democrats can put up votes in the senate. force republicans to vote up or down, that's one thing we can. the second thing we can do is continue to build this movement. to work with groups like brady, and -- moms who demand action, at every town. students demand action, and march for our lives. we can work with them to grow our numbers, so they're more powerful in the coming election. you asked for three, things i could give you three, things we can work with the biden administration to make sure they are examining every single executive action possible if congress fails to act, and
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there are things that the administration could do on their own to tighten up the nation's gun laws. >> examining executive actions doesn't do anything. is there one executive action, if you had the presidency, the you'd like him to take tomorrow? >> so, one of the things we're gonna talk about in these bipartisan negotiations, no doubt, is the definition of what it means to be engaged in the sale of firearms. you have to do a background check if you are engaged in the business of selling firearms. the problem is, there are a ton of these online sellers, and people who go to a lot of sellers, who claim that they are not engaged in the business, but they've got another business in this is just their side hustle. many of them are selling dozens of firearms every year, the making lots of money, there should be licensed firearm dealers, they should be conducting background checks. i'm hoping to get legislation that clarifies that. but, the administration could act on. that so, if we fail, i would
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certainly ask the administration to look at regulation, or executive action that makes four than everybody who was legitimately doing business as a firearms dealer in this country, is licensed as a firearms dealer, and is conducting background checks. >> i want to understand, because the nra, ironically, tragically, is having their big event in texas in just a few days. i want to understand the stranglehold they have over the republican party. we hear it every day, polls show most americans want some kind of gun reform, but basically nothing is done. so, can you explain the roadblock? is it when you combine republicans, because there is lots of republicans that are not hard-core nra supporters. you represent connecticut, there's a whole lot of really rich greenwich connecticut republicans who have no affinity for guns, especially not assault rifles. is it the combination of republicans that are beholden to the nra, and republicans who
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are rich and what their taxes really low, or single issue republicans who really just care about limiting a woman's right to choose, is it when you combined that trifecta the nra gets their way, because those other republicans who care about taxes and abortion, they're not paying attention? >> yeah, listen, i'll be honest with you stephanie, i don't know that i completely understand what the answer to that question is. but, i've been engaged in a process of trying to discover that answer for ten years. and i'll share with you two thoughts. one, i think that the nra has been very smart to associate the issue of guns with a broader set of values, right? republicans that want to talk about issues, like freedom, liberty, and abusing the issue of unrestricted gun ownership as the prism through which they talk about their affection for those values.
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it's strange, because there are plenty of other ways to demonstrate that you care about individual liberty, other than the question of firearm ownership. the second issue here, is that the republican party over the course of the last ten years have kind of become devoid of ideas out of and the destruction of government. the republican party used to have big ideas, but now they're one idea is just have less government. no organization stands more solidly against government then the nra. which stands for the right to arm themselves and rubble rebellion against the government. the nra's endorsement, has become sort again we just have to find another way for republicans to be able to translate how much they hate government, other than the endorsement of the gun industry. we've got a solve for these problems, but i think that's part of what's happening here. >> when i'm gonna ask you about
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here is a big gruesome, but you're sort of taking me there. it's not just about a right to bear arms. i want to ask you about assault weapons. you wrote yesterday in a tweet, what it's like for these parents. imagine dropping your third grader off to school, and in order to retrieve them, to identify them, you need a dna test, because when someone is shot by an ar-15 style weapon, their body is essentially destroyed. they are massacred. you've seen these images, explain to us what these parents are going, through what they have to experience, because it's so far beyond a right to bear arms, what happened yesterday. >> so, the bullets coming out of an ar-15 15 style weapon are traveling so fast, that when they enter the flesh they destroy everything in its path. somebody once said to me, it's
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like taking your hand in a sink full of water, and going very very slowly through it, and that's what a bullet from an old school revolver may do to your flash, but then take that same finger and rip it through that sink full of water, and you watch what happens to the surface of that water. it just spills over the side of the bull, it takes 13 minutes before resettles. that's what happens with the bullet from an ar-15 moves through the body of a child. so, it is true, some of these kids are unrecognizable after they've had 14 bullets go through their head, their neck, their torso. it is true that sometimes only dna can identify who these kids are. and i just want people to understand, that. i want people to understand why there are no open caskets after sandy hook.
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think about whether you want another set of families to go through that. i was there that evening in sandy hook, connecticut. i was standing outside that room when governor malloy told 20 sets of parents that kids were lined out on the floor. i don't know why anyone want another family to go through that, and there's something particularly vicious about what an ar-15 does to children's bodies. there's a reason why not a single kid who was shot and sandy hook survived, because those are weapons designed to kill human beings, and as many human beings as quickly as possible. i just don't know why they deserve a place in civilized society. >> what is this community in texas about to go through? the law enforcement, the families, the whole community. you've experienced it in connecticut, what is about to happen in texas? >> it's a community that will never, ever be the same. i don't think you can really understand how deep this trauma
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is going to be. connected to every single kid who lost their life are 20 people who care about them, who are going to go through some diagnose-able trauma. every single kid in the school is going through trauma right now, because they came so close to losing their lives, every single first responder who walked into that school is going to go through something horrific that no one should ever have to experience. and in a small community, that touches nearly everyone. that community never, ever recovers from this, and sandy hook is a wonderful place, and there are plenty of families that are finding ways to heal their. but sandy hook will never, ever be the same. i know there are going to be resources there, for the families in uvalde, but they won't be enough, and i just want people to understand that.
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because, your community could be next. your community could be next, if we do nothing, again. that's why i need people to rise up right now, and get up tomorrow morning and make a call to your senator, make a culture member of congress, tell them that you don't want your school and your community to be next, and you want congress to do something about it. >> senator murphy has agreed to stay with us, please, do because on the other side of the break i want to talk more about your journey, ten years after sandy hook, when you were elected to office i don't think you were going to choose gun reform as your top issue, and it's become your life's work.
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like noah pozner, who was laid to rest this morning, they are a reminder that despite the terrible, awful things that happen, that inside the hearts of all of us is this unbelievable goodness. >> back then, he was congressman chris murphy of connecticut, leading the house in a moment of silence after a shooting at sandy hook elementary killed 20 children and six adults. a full decade later, the senator is still pleading with his colleagues after another massacre at an elementary school. remember when we said never again? well, again happened. again and again. back with us is senator chris murphy. senator, you were elected to the senate one month before the sandy hook shooting. you mentioned in our earlier segment what it was like for you yesterday when you saw the news on your phone. take us back to december 14th, 2012. 26 people were murdered, most of them children. what was that date like for you?
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>> it was a day where i heard things and saw things that i often wished i had not seen or heard. i was on the train platform in bridgeport, connecticut, with my two kids getting ready to go down to see the christmas splendor of new york city. i was going to take the afternoon off. and i got a phone call that something had happened in my congressional district. and at first i thought maybe it was a workplace shooting. but then i quickly heard that kids were involved and i quickly changed my plans. and i made my way up to sandy hook to find out what had happened there. my life -- my life changed that day. i met some of the parents that i am now close friends with that day. i met and talked to many of them later. but all of a sudden, i had found my emotional center as a member of the united states congress. i knew that now i had to devote
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my life to honoring those kids lives with action. and it is kind of unbelievable to me that, ten years later, i have not succeeded. but i don't know that i am going to give up until i have. >> since that day, you have made your way on to the senate floor, pleading with your colleagues after sandy hook, after the pulse nightclub shooting, again and again and again. we are looking at the videos right now. walk us through what this journey has been like, the journey that took you to your knees yesterday. you could not have been -- you had to be devastated. but sadly, you could not have been surprised by the news. >> yeah. i am not surprised by it. let's go back to the beginning. i will be honest with you. i am kind of embarrassed that i did not work on this issue prior to sandy hook. i was a member of congress for six years. there was slaughter happening every weekend in cities in connecticut. i did not work on this issue
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the way that i should have. because this country pays attention to gun violence when it happens in these mass episodes. but it happens every single night in hartford and baltimore and new orleans. i definitely look back with regret on the fact that it took sandy hook to wake me up to this epidemic. i think i am trying to make up for lost time. i go down to the senate floor to talk about this in the wake of the shootings because i just really worry that there is something rotting in the american core making us numb to the slaughter. i think we are on the verge of thinking that this is normal. we're losing our sense of outrage. i want to make sure that people see my outrage, as someone who works on his every single day. and i want to communicate that to people, so that they don't lose their own outrage. how is it to work on this issue? it's exhausting. i have not lost any kids, so i have no right to complain.
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but man, i mean, it is difficult to work on an issue where there is such trauma and grief. but i just feel like, having lived through the sandy hook, feeling an obligation to the parents, i have no choice. >> but that wrought you are concerned about in america's core -- when sandy hook happened, america stopped for a week, for more than a week, it stopped. and as horrible as yesterday was, what was most disturbing for me was that america did not stop. there are a lot of people who did not hear about it. and that's after a week after the shooting in buffalo, where not everyone is buried yet. how concerned are you that we are becoming numb? we are accepting that we are broken and it is what it is? >> yeah. i mean, i am very concerned about it. and you are right. this was the second worst
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school shooting in the history of the country. and yet it seemed like it was business as usual yesterday. your network stopped and other networks cover this extensively. but as i looked at my social media feeds, plenty of other things were still occupying a lot of people's attention. i can only control so much here. so, i try to display my sense of outrage in hope that it channels something in other people. and i continue to spend a lot of time with the -- anti gun laws movement because i do think that the stronger that they get, the more likely we are to have legislation passed. but we are on the verge of just accepting this has the new normal in this country. i don't know how the nation survives if we become this anesthetized to mass violence. >> is one of your challenges
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that not enough voters make gun safety their top issue? they care about it and they want something to change. but sadly, after a shooting if it is not in one zone community, people feel sympathetic but then they go about their daily life and they are thinking about gas prices and school. >> i think there are twin the obligations here. one is on leaders to do the right thing. but the other obligation is on voters to kick out of office folks who over and over again vote against what's 90% of americans want. it is pretty remarkable that people continue to get sent back to congress and back to the united states and, it people who do not support things like universal background checks. so yes, i think we need more voters to decide that this is going to be a litmus test issue. that happened in 2018. it was part of the reason why democrats won control of the house. i am going to give my republican colleagues a chance to do the right thing here.
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i am not ready to put this to the voters. because i want to give republicans the chance to show voters that they are willing to step up. but the second obligation, stephanie, is on democrats. democrats do not run on this issue in the way that we should. they are way too many democrats that are scared and think there is some sort of political risk, some political downside to talking about universal background checks. there is not. this is a political winner everywhere. that's in blue states, red states in purple states. so, democrats need to campaign on this in 2022. because voters often do not know the difference between the two candidates on guns. because democrats don't run ads on this and do not talk about this at the beginning of speeches. we have got to lead on this if we want voters to make decisions based on positions that candidates have on this issue. >> in order to make a difference, though, sir, do you not just need to defeat republicans? don't you also need to defeat the nra?
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i want to pull up on the screen the top ten senators who have taken the most money from the nra over their careers. it's a whole lot of money and it is very, very powerful republicans there. as long as the nra has the stronghold it does, does your battle have any real hope? >> listen, i think we just have to disabuse my colleagues of the notion that the nra matters. it just does not. they lose way more races than they win. joe manchin and pat toomey took on the nra. they wrote a background checks bill in 2013. they're still both in congress. pat toomey didn't lose a primary from the right. joe manchin got reelected -- >> senator, i just have to interrupt. if the nra does not matter, how come an 18 year old man bought two semiautomatic rifles on his
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18th birthday and massacred a bunch of children yesterday? >> now, listen, my point is this -- i agree with you that the nra does matter because it controls a big part of the republican party right now. but they have that control because there is a fear of the gun lobby's electoral power. what i am saying is that we have to explain to people that that power is largely illusory. that if you stand with the 90% of your constituents that believe in things like universal background checks, then the gun lobby cannot beat you. in fact, he will win more supporters and more converts. that is how pat toomey's in congress representing a state that generally votes for democrats. they vote for pat toomey because he supports universal background checks. that is what we have to convince folks of. but you are right, they hold a lot of power now. but they should not hold as much power. because their political
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abilities are more mythology than they are reality. >> senator, thank you so much for giving us all this time tonight. i know how busy you are right now and i appreciate it. senator chris murphy of the state of connecticut. >> thank you, stephanie. >> when we come back, an update from ali velshi on the ground in texas. what we know about the investigation tonight and what led up to the massacre. that's when the 11th hour continues.
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when you need help it's great to be in sync with customer service. a team of reps who can anticipate the next step genesys technology is changing the way customer service teams anticipate what customers need. because happy customers are music to our ears. genesys, we're behind every customer smile. texas governor greg abbott was
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holding a news conference on a school shooting in texas this afternoon, when he was interrupted by his opponent. beto o'rourke was visibly frustrated, as he confronted the governor. it's fair to say, beto was done. no surprise, he used a little profanity. the next two shooting is right now, and you're doing nothing. you said this was unpredictable, this was totally predictable when you choose not to do anything. >> sir, you are out of line. please leave this auditorium. [inaudible] i can't believe you are a sick son of a bitch to do stuff like this to make it a political issue. [inaudible]
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>> i want to bring my partner, and friend ali velshi, who's live in, texas hopefully not bringing any profanities to me tonight. ali, my heart goes out to you, when there's tragedy in crisis in the world, ali velshi is there, and there you are tonight. what is it like? >> well, you've been with me in one of, these you and i have covered a mass shooting, there's too many to count, look this is a small small town. i want to just show you, since i was at the arrow 9:00, this is happened. there is a sort of makeshift memorial there, but look at the crosses. they've just brought those crosses down if you thought this couldn't get sadder, there are 21 crosses now with the names of the 19 children and two teachers who lost their lives yesterday, we've been speaking to a lot of people in this town, and its graduation season here so when you go up and down the main street, there are large posters, graduation in pictures for the high school grads. they're in front of the city council, and all that kind of
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stuff, and all of a sudden two blocks away these kids have their lives snuffed out. this is interesting, because texas is a place where people take their gun laws very seriously. i've not met anybody here who want guns taken away, or doesn't believe in the second amendment. they all think this was too much, this is gone too far, can we do something? that tracks with national polling that you were just talking to the senator about. most people think something like background checks or red flag laws should come into place, but that's not where the governor of texas is going, it's not where the attorney general is going, they are talking about hardening the schools, more security, ways of keeping weaponry out of it. it's a small, small town, they're trying not to be politicized about it. a lot of people in places like this have guns, when you drive up and down main street you see these gunshots quite frequently, but there's a level of frustration with the idea of, why does this continue to happen?
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you cant even finish mourning one mass shooting in this country without going on two more in the next one. it's a very sad night here in texas, but this is a sad night for everyone. reading the names of these children, they are eight, nine, and ten year old children, stephanie. there are little kids who are gathered in a classroom. this was their safe place, this is where the parents and you to go, we are kids are safe. it's the one place in life or you can do. that since sandy hook in parkland, shootings have bothered us even more, and the idea that this is happened again does beg the question, it's not that we can't do anything about it, it's just that we won't do anything about it. >> please tell me that all of the parents at this point, their children have been identified, it was just a few hours ago that there were still some questions, i mean that is just mind-boggling. >> yes, and i think that maybe why there are now 21 crosses their, because there were questions about full identity.
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some of the difficulty there was they had to take dna swabs from the parents to match them up to their children, and you understand the implication of that. that's how bad this was. when you walk around here, you see people weeping, there are people with photographs and they are just weeping. they haven't even fully comprehended this, the healing hasn't begun, we are not even, there were still an-ish state of shock and confusion here. unfortunately, it doesn't matter how many of these we, cover that's how it goes, it will be sometime before you start getting somewhere. a lot of politicians, stephanie, hope that we'll get to that point of thought some pairs, and will move on. i do think that each time this happens, maybe the needle moves just a little bit, and i'm hoping that it will. >> we will certainly express thoughts and prayers, and at the same time, we will demand action. ali velshi, be safe, thank you for being there, i miss you and adore you. when we come back, another big interview, eric holder is here
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to talk about if america has been moving backwards on gun safety, since one of the worst days he experienced serving as attorney general, when the 11th hour continues. nues
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>> the idea that an 18 year old can walk into a store and buy weapons of war designed and marketed to kill is, i think, just wrong.
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it just violates common sense. where is the backbone? where is the courage? the courage to stand up to a very powerful lobby? >> where is the courage? joining us tonight to discuss is former u.s. attorney general eric holder, author of the newly released and very timely book, our unfinished march. the violent past and imperiled future of the -- vote a history, a crisis, a plan. i really appreciate you joining us tonight. certainly, it was not our plan to talk about another school shooting. but ten years ago you called the sandy hook massacre the worst day you had as attorney general. what does that say about the state of america, we are here we are, a decade later, where we let it happen again? >> we have made little or no progress. people ask me, what is the best day i had as ag. and i am hard-pressed to figure out what that was. if you ask me what's the worst day was, it was the day when i
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went to sandy hook with my chief of staff, margaret richardson, and i went with officers to go to the classroom. i saw the carnage that occurred in that classroom. i saw a little tough some carpet picked up. i didn't understand what i was looking at. >> oh! >> they told me that that was where the bullets went through. they painted images for me, of what these little kids looked like, and how they were not identifiable. i thought to myself, if america can see what i am seeing here today, this nation will move. this is not the surgical kind of thing that you see in a movie where a bullet goes in and some blood comes out of a persons wound. people's faces are destroyed. limbs are separated. i thought about mamie till and
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what she did with the body of her son, emmett till. and she displayed it for the nation. it was one of the things that rosa parks want to get up from her seat. it led to the civil rights movement. if america had been with me today and if we could somehow convey the nature of the carnage from these ar-15s and these weapons of war, then we could move this nation. then we also have to do the structural things. gerrymandering is something that is a problem, we are where people can side with the gun lobby, with the special interests against the will of their constituents and not electal consequence. that's because they are in safe seats. it is a combination of, i think, a lack of will and structural problems. and we have to get to a better place. we have 5% of the people in this world and 45% of all the guns owned by private individuals owned by americans. do we need that many guns?
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do we need weapons of war? such that we have to have these outsized clips? why do we not have background checks? there is a whole range of things that the american people agree on. and the leadership of senator murphy, at least for this american citizen, does not go without notice. i thought about a lot what we saw from him, i thought it was presidential from him tonight. >> can you explain to us technically how that works. people are saying walk me through this gerrymandering, people are saying. why is it that the things that i want, when you look at the polling, it does not translate into my lawmakers getting policies passed. explain this to us. >> gerrymander lines in such a way that it is almost impossible for the other party to win. therefore, if you are in a safe republican seat, the only thing you are concerned about is a primary as opposed to a general election. and the way you forestall a
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primary challenger is to make things go further and further to the right and take more extreme positions that you cannot get outflanked from your right side. if you are in the safe republican seat and the democratic challenger comes on and says, hey, i want to fight for gun safety, then you are safe. you could just cater to your base and cater to that extreme part of your base. and not have to deal with or do that what your constituents, by large numbers, want to have happen. the polls are 80% in this country, saying that we should have background checks, before anyone can buy a weapon. you do not see that in law. >> take me to that base. because if all politics is local -- look at texas. it had eight mass shootings in 13 years. but during that same period of time, the republican controlled legislature has expanded where government -- where guns are allowed and who can have a firearm in schools,
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like how open carry laws have expanded. how has that happened in a state that has experienced mass shootings? voters still say, oh, i am down with that? >> no, again, it's among the most gerrymandered states in the country. if you look at what just happened in this last cycle, texas got two additional congressional seats. that was largely because of an increase in the population, 90% of which was hispanic people -- 90% of which was people of color and 50% of which was hispanic people. and yet what they did in the gerrymandered legislature there was to create one more white majority district. so, they maintained their gerrymandered power and frustrated the desire of people in the state to do the kinds of things that might -- might -- over time stop these kinds of shootings from occurring. >> it's an important reminder to voters, when you lineup all your issues, protecting voting rights needs to be paramount. everything else comes second. you give us a lesson tonight.
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please come back. we want to go to school with you any night of the week. eric holder, i appreciate you joining us. >> thank you. >> coming up, their names and their stories, and their memories. that is what we are doing next. we are honoring, tonight, the children and their teachers lost in america's latest school massacre when the 11th hour continues. it's time for our memorial day sale on the sleep number 360 smart bed. it senses your movement and automatically adjusts so you both stay comfortable and can help you get almost 30 minutes more restful sleep per night. save $1,000 on the sleep number 360 special edition smart bed, queen now only $1,999. the last thing before we go
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our students, they're our top priority. and students are job one for our superintendent of public instruction, tony thurmond. recruiting 15,000 new teachers, helping ensure all students can read by third grade. the same tony thurmond committed to hiring 10,000 new mental health counselors. as a respected former social worker, thurmond knows how important those mental health counselors are for our students today. vote for democrat tony thurmond. he's making our public schools work for all of us.
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tonight, remembering the live stolen. 21 lives were senselessly cut short yesterday. teachers and children with bright futures and families and friends who loved them dearly.
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fourth grade teacher eva mireles and her co-teacher irma garcia. they were reportedly killed while physically protecting their students from the gunman. garcia taught at robb elementary school for 23 years and was a finalist for a local excellence in teaching prize back in 2019. she loved to barbecue with her husband and their four children. and eva mireles was a teacher for 17 years. she loved hiking. her family says she was the life of the party. her cousin amber spoke with the today show this morning. >> she was absolutely vivacious. she was definitely an adventurer. her cooking was amazing, her laughter was contagious. and she is going to be missed. >> her daughter posted a tribute to her mother on social media, saying this -- i want everything back. i want you to come back to me mom. i miss you more than words can explain. you are so known by many now and i am so happy that people know your name and that beautiful face of yours.
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and they know what a hero looks like. the rest of those killed were just young children. most of them were only ten years old and in the fourth grade, two days away from the last day of school and summer vacation. xavier lopez was at an awards ceremony hours earlier with his mom. a cousin described him as very bubbly and said he loved to dance with his brothers and his mother. and uziyah garcia would have turned ten years old this summer. his grandfather says he was getting good at passing the football around and that he was the sweetest little boy that he has ever known. and jose flores jr. is remembered by his cousin christopher salazar. he wrote -- i am going to miss you, baby jose. i still can't believe that this happened. my heart is broken just hearing them tell us you are gone. and althia ramirez love to
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draw. one day she wanted to be an artist. she was described as -- described her as a girl who loved to play sports and just being with her family. and tess marie mata went by her and tessie loved ariana grande day, the houston astros and getting her hair curled. and rojelio torres was described by his mother as a very smart, loving child. his aunt says that his family is devastated and heartbroken. eliahana cruz torres was a softball player excited to play in her last game of the season, yesterday, the day of the shooting. there were two families hit especially hard in the community. they each lost a set of cousins. the first family is the family of jailah nicole silguero, and jayce carmelo luevanos. one cousin said that they were, quote, nothing but loving baby angels. the other is the family of
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jackie cazares, who celebrated her first communion just two weeks ago. her father described her as full of life and full of love. her cousin was annabell guadalupe rodriguez, whose sister posted this on facebook. my little sister didn't make it. she is no longer with us. my poor, sweet little girl. why, god? why these sweet babies that did not deserve this, who are all happy for summer vacation? and also gone to soon is young alexandria aniyah "lexi" rubio. and lastly, amerie jo garza, seen here receiving an honor roll certificate yesterday morning, reportedly killed trying to save her classmates by calling 9-1-1. she just got a phone for her tenth birthday. her father was understandably emotional while speaking to cnn
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this evening about his brave, brave daughter. >> she was just trying to do the right thing and she was just trying to call -- she was so sweet. she was the sweetest little girl who did nothing wrong. she listened to her mom and dad. she always brushed her teeth, she was creative. she made things for us. she never got in trouble at school. i just want to know what's she did to be a victim. >> and amerie did not do anything to deserve this. no child, no person, no family deserves this. we may never get a good answer or any answer for why this tragedy happened. but we hope that these families will be able to find some peace in the coming days.
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on that note i wish you a good and safe night. from all our colleagues across the networks of nbc news, thank you all for staying up late with us. i will see at the end of tomorrow. >> tonight on all in -- >> i am sick and tired. i am sick and tired. >> the president announces a visit to texas, as we learn the names and see the faces of the children and adults shot and killed at an elementary school. >> something has to be done. this cannot happen again. >> in a high-profile protest in the face of inaction -- >> this shooting, right, now is -- you are doing nothing. >> tonight, as the nra heads to texas, there's the uniquely american crisis of guns in this country. a former firearms executive on what he calls his battle against the industry that radicalizeam


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