Monday, July 23, 2012

  • Aurora Shooting Witness Omar Esparza Describes Watching Massacre Unfold & Narrowly Escaping Theater

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    Thousands of people gathered in Aurora, Colorado, on Sunday at a public vigil for the victims of the shooting rampage at a local movie theater. The toll stands at 12 people killed and 58 wounded, nine of them critically. We’re joined by an eyewitness to the shooting, Omar Esparza, who narrowly escaped after the gunman opened fire. "When he came in and started shooting at the audience, we hit the floor and tried to crawl across to the other side," Esparza recalls. "[When] it sounded like the bullets had stopped, and it sounded like he was either switching guns or recharging his rifle ... we realized that that was our only opportunity of getting out or of dying. So, at that split second, we had to react and had to exit as quickly as possible. And we barely made it." [includes rush transcript]

  • Are We Going to Wait for Another Massacre? Rep. Carolyn McCarthy Urges Stricter Gun Control Measures

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    Police say the alleged shooter in the Aurora, Colorado, killings purchased more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition online as well as a high-capacity "drum magazine" large enough to hold 100 rounds and capable of firing 50 or 60 rounds per minute. Such a purchase would have been restricted under proposed legislation that has been stalled in Washington for more than a year. We speak to Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, a leading advocate for gun control in Congress. She ran for office after her husband was killed and son seriously injured in the 1993 Long Island Rail Road shooting that killed six. "Large magazines, assault weapons do not need to be on the streets for the ordinary citizen. They are meant for the military," McCarthy says. "I think that the American people understand that. The problem is, politicians, legislators across this country are intimidated by the NRA and the gun manufacturers who put so much money out there to say that 'we will take you down in an election if you go against us.'" Responding to the Obama administration’s dismissal of calls for new gun control laws, Rep. McCarthy says, "[President Obama] did say that we had to do something, we had to do something to stop this kind of violence in our country. It’s going to be up to me and certainly many members of Congress to convince him. We are willing to lose an election to save people’s lives, and the president should be doing the same thing." [includes rush transcript]

  • Virginia Tech Shooting Survivor Colin Goddard: "The Time Is Now" for Action on Gun Control Laws

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    Colin Goddard was shot four times during 2007 Virginia Tech massacre that left 32 people dead. He now works with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "It is beyond time to talk about solutions," Goddard says. "This conversation should have happened before this shooting in the first place. ... The missing piece [is] in place in this, which is the public outrage. And it has to be focused directly to your representatives, because they are the ones, literally, with bills at their fingertips right now." [includes rush transcript]

  • Bud Welch, Father of Oklahoma City Victim, on Rejecting the Death Penalty & Healing After a Tragedy

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    James Holmes, the suspected shooter behind Friday’s massacre at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, is scheduled to appear in court for the first time today. He may face the death penalty. We’re joined by Bud Welch, who lost his 23-year-old daughter Julie in the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building on April 19, 1995, which killed 168 people. After initially supporting capital punishment for his daughter’s killing, Welch has become a vocal opponent of the death penalty. [includes rush transcript]