tv NBC Nightly News NBC December 23, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
on this sunday night you an nbc news exclusive. the head of the nra hits back at his critics. i >> if it's crazy to call for putting police and armed security in our schools, then call me crazy. >> his only interview since tt tragedy in newtown and that defying announcement tuesday. pulling back the curtain, what mir a he is son just revealed about his father's run for the white house that has a lot of people talking tonight. i spy with my little eye. the government issues a warning to parents about who's tracking your kids, their personal information and what they're doing on all those mobile devices. and how does he do it? >> he types is the house number
and then the name appears up on the ipad. >> for the inside scoop on all things santa, we went straight to the experts. >> he showed me where the elves were. good evening. after the his defiant and controversial response on friday to renewed calls for stronger gun laws in the wake of the connecticut school shooting, the head of the nra finally took questions today. wayne lapierre sat down with nbc's david gregory this morning to explain why he opposes an assault weapons ban and why he wants to address gun violence in schools with more guns. it is an emotional debate touching still-tender nerves over the deaths at sandy hook elementary among those who hold dear their constitutional right
to own guns. we have two reports tonight beginning with white house correspondent peter alexander in our washington newsroom tonight. peter, good evening. >> reporter: lester, good evening to you. the head of the nra, wayne lapierre, said guns are not the problem. instead, he took aim what the he called the media machine in this country, a cracked system for dealing with mentally ill, and the federal government, whose enforcement of existing restrictions on guns he called pitiful. facing a barrage of tough questions for the first time since its deadly massacre in newtown, on meet the appreciation the nra's ceo, wayne lapierre, forcefully defended his call for armed officers in every school. >> if it's crazy to call for putting police and armed security in our school to protect our children, then call me crazy. i think the american people think it's crazy not to do it. it's the one thing that will keep americans safe the nra is going to do that. >> reporter: critics point to columbine and virginia tech,
both of which had armed guards, unable to stop the carnage. but the leading voice disagrees for the gun lobby. >> say i'm mom or dad and dropping my child off at school, i feel a whole lot safe we are these great men and women on police forces. >> mr. lapierre, tough concede it may not work. >> nothing's perfect, david. >> reporter: as for possible solutions, like lawmakers' efforts to reinstate an assault weapons ban, lapierre diss thissed -- dismissed that calling it a phony piece of legislation built on lies. >> they say see guns are more powerful, not true, that they leave bigger holes, not true, that they're weapons of war, not true. >> reporter: lapierre says restricting high-capacity clips won't stop attacks, like adam lan zblachlt. >> you think i will. i keep saying it and you jt won't accept it, it's not going to work t hasn't worked. >> reporter: it is lad heated debate in washington as well. >> trying to prevent shootings in schools without talking about
guns is like trying to prevent lung cancer without talking about cigarettes. >> people where i live, i have been christmas shopping, all weekend have come up to me, please don't let the government take my guns away. and i'm gonna stand against another assault ban 'cause it didn't work before and it won't work in the future. >> reporter: across the country this weekend, long lines formed outside gun shows. >> a lot of people are buying it. i think they wanted to. now they think they have to buy it before it gets banned if they have to. >> reporter: meanwhile into newtown, where the word "tragedy" seems painfully inadequate, memorials keep growing, as does frustration. andre, whose son survive you had the shootings, is angry with the nra. >> in my view, what they are doing is just increasing violence in this society. just putting more deadly weapons out there. >> reporter: and as for how the u.s. would pay to put armed officers in every american school, as the nra recommends, lester, lapierre pointed the u.s. is spending billion of
dollars year to train police in iraq and asked why federal dollars can't be used to train school guards here at home. >> peter alexander, thanks. another one of lapierre's claims that producers of movies, tv shows and video games are more responsible for real-life gun violence than guns themselves. from los angeles, nbc's mike taibbi takes a closer look at the issue of violence in our popular culture. >> reporter: it was a week after the explosion of gunfire in newtown that the nra's wayne lapierre called hollywood and the gaming industry enablers and co-conspirators in a culture of gun violence. >> a child growing up in america today witnesses 16,000 murders and 200,000 acts of violence by the time he or she reaches the ripe old age of 18. >> reporter: hollywood knows the poll body count is high and profitable. five of the year's top ten grossing movies involve plenty of graphic violence. the same story in the game
world. top sellers include ultraviolent products like "call of duty, blacks on," "assassin's creed" and "grand theft auto." the small screen, hit shows with abundant violence like showtime's "homeland" and "dexter" get the ink, awards and ratings and a tv writer says that won't range. >> ultimately television will say why should we change in the viewers want this. >> reporter: polls taken after newtown say what happened there was so who are horrific august majority of americans want something to change in our relationship to guns and hollywood with a role in that relationship, has taken notice. showtime added this disclaimer at the top of last week's episodes of "homeland" and "dexter." the sci-fi channel postponed an episode of "haven" because it had a violent scene in a high school setting. the marketplace will determine change, in the end. >> the public has more power in this equation than anyone. a lot of people are looking at hollywood right now saying what are you guys gonna do? >> enough.
>> enough. >> enough. >> reporter: there are been public service announcements by public stars saying something has to change. >> how many more? >> how many more? >> columbine. >> reporter: stars including jamie foxx. but his violent new movie, "django unchained" only had its premiere delayed, as did tom cruise's new movie "jack reacher," delays, postponements, disclaimers, but no change, not yet. mike taibbi you nbc news, los angeles. tonight, folks from the pacific northwest all the way to the great lakes are still digging out from a big winter storm that has made for some treacherous holiday travel. the storm is now moving east, just in time for christmas. meteorologist julie marten is watching it all for us now from weather channel headquarters. julie, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, lester. the storm in california could bring a white christmas to parts of arkansas around oklahoma, places that haven't seen that happen in over 80 years. here's a look then. the system will spill out into the plains by christmas morning, dumping another foot of snow on
the denver metro area by the holiday. now, starting in the predawn hours of christmas, we are looking at possible tornado outbreaks from south texas all the way to southwest georgia. watching that carefully. beyond that the storm moves to the northeast, potentially causing travel woes from nashville to cleveland and d.c. we do expect mostly rain wednesday into thursday as the system moves into new england, with snow on the back end of that. so, while the midweek travel will be tricky across the country, those conditions will improve by the end of the week as millions head home or elsewhere to ring in the new year. lester? >> that is good news. julie, thank you. now to those comments of mitt romney's oldest son that got a lot of people talking today. it has been seven weeks since the election, there has been a steady stream of behind-the-scenes details coming from both campaigns. now comes the revelation from tag romney that his father had no desire to run for president again, at least at first. we get our report from nbc's ron mott in boston.
>> i have just called president obama to congratulate him on his victory. >> reporter: as mitt romney, members of his campaign staff and top gop leaders continue assessing how he lost the election to a vulnerable incumbent president, the oldest son of the former massachusetts governor is raises eyebrows about his dad's initial reluctance to make a second white house run. in a story published in sunday's "boston globe," tag romney says his father "wanted to be president less than anyone i've met in my life. he had no desire to run. if could have found someone else to take his place, we have been ecstatic to step aside" "boston globe" reporter michael krenish interviewed tag romney. >> i know there were serious discussion and concerns at the time before he decided to run and lacked at the field of competition and saw it was pretty weak. his family pushed him to say he would be the best person, gimp the wait field has taken shape. >> reporter: nbc's garrett haake spent a year cover the campaign.
>> in between campaign romney was stunned by the loss but never took his eye off the ball. he wrote a book about his own personal politics and used his pac to fund other republican candidates a and's just the kind of thing you do if you think you might run again, keep your options open. >> the next president of the united states. >> reporter: if he was reluctant run, mr. romney seems to have been under some pressure at home to strongly reconsider. last summer, his wife, ann, told nbc's natalie morales, she urged her husband to enter the 2012 race despise his failed bid in 2008. >> i was the first one to say this time you you have to do this again. yes, it was gonna be painful. yes, it was gonna be hard. yes, we might fail. is but we had to go forward. >> reporter: a discussion of desire and defeat still lingering. ron mott, nbc news, boston. we turn overseas to an awful scene in syria. dozens of people were killed, some of them children and many more hurt in an air strike while they waited to buy bread at a
bakery. it appears to be one of the deadliest aerial attacks in that country's nearly two-year-long civil war. and in india today there were mass protests in new dellism police used tear gas and water cannons on thousands were ho were demanding justice for a young woman who was raped and beaten by a group of men on a bus. the attack took place a week ago and it sparked dives rage across india and demands for authority doors better protect women from these types of frequent attacks. tonight, the pentagon says the commanding officer of s.e.a.l. team 4 has died in afghanistan. navy commander joe w. price died of what they are called a non-combat-related injury. u.s. military officials are telling nbc news they are investigating his death as a possible suicide. he was 42 years old. and in hawaii today, president obama and first lady michelle obama attended a memorial service for one of the president's personal heroes, senator daniel inouye passed
away monday after nearly 50 years in congress and serving our nation in world war ii. still ahead as we continue on nbc nightly news, the new warnings from the feds about who's tracking your kids on all those mobile devices, sometimes collecting personal information without their knowledge. and later, they are on track to make a big difference for a lot of kids this christmas. [ male announcer ] introducing centrum flavor burst adult multivitamins... a delicious new way to get essential vitamins you need. just bite into the tasty shell... to a chewy vitamin core
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sort of mobile device. but the government says most of the mobile apps kids download these days also target them. kids like giovanni gabb. >> i have probably, like, 12, 13 apps on my iphone. >> reporter: he is there a good chance some of his apps are among those the federal government says regularly collect data on kids without disclosing it. and that's not okay with his parents. >> i feel that we should have the information up front. let us know what we're getting into and what our kids are getting into that we could protect them, protect ourselves and know exactly when you apply or buy these applications, you know your kids are going to be safe. >> reporter: but the government says only 20% of the apps reviewed by the ftc do disclose their privacy practices, while nearly 60% are transmitting information about the user's device back to the app developer or an advertiser. the ftc is warning that third parties, including advertisers, could use that information to build a database on children.
>> it could include medical or financial information. . it could include all sorts of personal information that was submitted as part of registration that could all be put together. >> reporter: among the types of information many app goes after, a child's location, phone numbers and stored passwords. and some apps try to connect him or her to social networks and target them with spam or advertising based on their web surfing. >> i think that most parents understand when they are browsing the web that someby is probably watching them but if i said to you someone is watching your kids, these not going to feel right that's spooky. that's wrong. >> reporter: in a statement you can the wireless association tells nbc news it remains dedicated to ensuring user's privacy but families should create appropriate rules for children's use of wireless device and services. but to the gabb family you and giovanni -- >> i was not aware at all. i had no clue. i thought application, you go there whatever the application is you use it and, you know, that's it. >> reporter: the warning is a wireless wakeup call.
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ask your doctor about cialis for daily use and a 30-tablet free trial. fair to say this is going to be a tough christmas for many of those still suffering after hurricane sandy, but some of that pain has been eased by a relief project called train of hope, which has raised more than half a million dollars in donations. nbc's michelle franzen on how they are making a difference. >> reporter: at the amtrak station in new orleans, volunteers from nearby slidell, hard hit by katrina, are on a mission, organizing and packing up palette ettlets of diapers, d blanket, the second donations for hurricane sandy victims. residents send firefighters here, facing forward. >> specifically, we were focused on trying to make it better for the kids up there.
>> reporter: in addition to basic supplies, this so-called train of hope will be filled with holiday toys, all bound for sandy's smallest victims i. 30 hours later, the train rolls into newark, new jersey's penn station. 27 pallets in all, half the toys go to the marine's toys for tots program. the rest end up here at engine 155, ladder 78 in statin eye law and. >> like our own version of the polar express. >> reporter: children of firefighters, kids who lost everything in sandy's wake, get to pick out brand-new gifts. >> we lost a lot. he lost all his toys. so it feels good to be on the receiving end. >> especially during the holidays, we know there's a financial strain for the parents and we wanted to make sure that the children of this storm were still able to celebrate. >> reporter: louisiana organizers partnered with kathleen ryan, a firefighter widow who runs an annual toy drive in her husband, bobby's, name. after sandy, she wasn't sure if they could meet the demand.
>> through their tragedy, they knew what we would need and what would be helpful to us. >> christmas is going to be good this year, right, ryan? >> reporter: need for smiles. and reminders that giving and receiving not only go hand in hand -- >> such an incredible feeling to be on the giving end, you know? we have been on the receiving end before. >> reporter: but can also come full circle. michelle franzen, nbc news, new york. we have reached the end of an era for what was once a must-read. this is a cover of the last-ever print edition of "newsweek," which is switching to an online-only format after 80 years. the final cover features the old "newsweek" building on madison avenue here in midtown manhattan and fittingly, a #signify the transition to digital. it hits newsstands tomorrow. the christmas spirit have alive and well, but what about the airing of the grievances? if you watched a lot of "seinfe "seinfeld" you know what i'm talking b fest views, a holiday,
as george's dad put it for the rest of us, is tonight. it was popularized when frank costanza described his moment of clarity one holiday season. >> many christmases ago, i went to buy a doll for my son. i reached for the last one they had. but so did another man as i rained blows upon him, i realize there had had to be another way. >> what happened to the doll? >> it was destroyed. but out of that, a new holiday was born. a festivus for the rest of us. >> turns out festivus is real, well sort of. it was invented by the father of a "seinfeld" writer. don't forget the aluminum pole and the feats of strength. up next here tonight, some hard-hitting investigative reporting. what we learned about what santa may do to relax before his all-night trip around the world. >> maybe he could put a lounge in his place you have a bunch of hot dogs.
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we are less than 24 hours away from santa claus's schedule deed par chur from the north pole and round the world christmas eve journey and there is late word tonight that final preparations for santa's long flight are under way at this hour. now, as to how he does it all and what he faces on that trip, i recently sat down with some santa experts who shared some intriguing inside details and
advice. char >> what can we do to help santa have an easier time? >> instead of reindeer pulling the sled, you can do dragons. >> one big draining and then a lot of reindeers. >> a dragon and a bunch of reindeers? >> a baby dragon, though. >> a baby dragon? of course a baby dragon. >> maybe he could put a lounge in his place in the north pole. >> what would he do in that lounge? what could he do there? >> get massages, have a punch of hot tubs. >> you think there's anything santa can do differently, 'cause reindeer are very fast. >> faster than a jet plane? >> you think a jet plane could make it around the world all in one night? answer me that question. >> would you want to go along? >> yes. >> the sleigh goes pretty fast. you wouldn't be afraid? >> no. >> how come? >> because i'm not scared of anything. >> how does he keep track of the
names? does he write them down? >> he uses an ipad and he types what house number and then the name appears up on the ipad. >> is there like a special santa app that he uses? >> yes. special santa app. >> what would you tell santa about making sure he has enough things for his trip? what would you tell him to bring with him? >> three lollipops, seven oranges and nine pickles. >> hand motion. > >> extra boots. another jacket. >> oh, that would be good. >> less present. >> no. >> do you think he should maybe take vacation after christmas? >> yes. >> 'cause he needs a break after? >> yeah.
>> he could go to the beach but would wear different clothes because he wouldn't everybody saying, do you want my autograph? can you take my autograph? >> avery, stop playing with the present. you know we're gonna be on the news, right? santa claus is gonna watch this? >> i don't know. does he have cable in the north pole? >> yes. >> then he will definitely see this. well, hey, santa, thanks for watching. our thanks to the kids of the mandell school of new york for sharing their fascinating insight on santa claus. that is "nbc nightly news" for this sunday. up next, sunday night football, the 49ers and the seahawks. i'm lester holt. for all of us here at nbc news, good night.