Return to Transcripts main page


Obama Calls For Scaled-Down Cliff Deal; NRA Calls For Guns In Schools; Holiday Travel Headaches

Aired December 21, 2012 - 19:00   ET


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, as we quickly approach the fiscal cliff, President Obama issues a new proposal to Congress.

Plus, one week after the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, communities across the nation and around the world pay tribute to the victims.

And the National Rifle Association speaks out for the first time since the attack. It proposes a controversial plan to prevent similar mass shootings. Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening, everybody. I'm Soledad O'BRIEN in for Erin Burnett tonight. OUTFRONT this evening, lowering expectations, just 10 days before we fall off the fiscal cliff, and there is still no deal in sight. Tonight, President Obama urged Congress to broker a scaled- down deal.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I just spoke to Speaker Boehner and I also met with Senator Reid. In the next few days, I've asked leaders of Congress to work toward a package that prevents a tax hike on middle-class Americans, protects unemployment insurance for 2 million Americans, and lays the groundwork for further work on both growth and deficit reduction. That's an achievable goal. That can get done in ten days.


O'BRIEN: Yesterday, the House Speaker John Boehner failed to garner enough support from his own party to even hold a vote on his plan to raise taxes for those with an income over $1 million.


REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: While we may have not been able to get the votes last night to avert 99.81 percent of the tax increases, I don't think -- they weren't taking that out on me. They were dealing with the perception somebody might accuse them of raising taxes.

(END VIDEO CLIP) O'BRIEN: So OUTFRONT tonight, chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin, senior congressional correspondent Dana Bash, ladies, nice to see both of you. Jessica, let's start with you. The president's message was very short and sweet and kind of basic. What do you think is different this time around in what he's saying?

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, what's different is it's less than two weeks until the New Year, the president's about to leave for Hawaii in less than 15 minutes he leaves the White House, Soledad.

And Congress is going to be gone for Christmas too. And you know, there is no more effective motivator for Capitol Hill than pressure and they have it right now. So what the president has done today is he's laid out a scaled-down version of a fiscal cliff deal.

You know, keeping tax cuts in place for 98 percent of Americans, extending unemployment insurance, and laying out a plan, a down payment on a promise to do entitlement reform. And then he also made a pitch to the American people to only blame Republicans if there is no deal.

So it's a two-pronged attack that he makes right before taking off on vacation. So right now, you know, the plan is basically to keep the pressure on. And we know both sides are planning to come back at some point after Christmas and try to get something worked out, but no overt optimism coming really from the aides on either side right now.

And we'll see, Soledad. I'll tell you, folks right now are planning to make New Year's Eve plans here -- here in Washington, D.C. We're not so sure we're getting out of town in the end.

O'BRIEN: Yes, they should be plans you can be cancel in case you have to go right back to work. Let me ask you a question, Dana, you know, Jessica says pressure is a great motivator. Talk about pressure last night on Speaker Boehner, couldn't get enough support from his own party for his plan. What does that mean for any kind of bipartisan plan that they might be working out?

DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It really does illustrate how difficult it is going to be for Democrats to even achieve what the president laid out, a detailed-down version. Why? The speaker himself said a couple of times today that he believes that the reason why he didn't get even the majority of his caucus to support him was because of a lot of difficulty voting to raise taxes.

Voting for anything that can be perceived as a tax increase, well, what the president is talking about, even a scaled-down version, is definitely raising taxes and raising taxes on people making $250,000 or more at least household.

So that's going to be difficult to do and that's why reality check here, talking to Democrats and Republicans, it seems they're going through the motions, that they're going to talk about talking when they get back. They'll get back from the holiday, and at this point, both sides are saying that they are pretty confident we're going to go over the fiscal cliff.

O'BRIEN: The president I thought had a weird moment, Jessica, in his remarks where he started talking about everyone should go and have eggnog, have some Christmas cookies, and then think about what they're going to do before they think about coming back to doing some kind of a deal before we go over that cliff. We're talking about ten days there. Do you really think there's time for all that?

YELLIN: There's time to get a deal done. There's always time in Washington because if they want to -- in they want to get it resolved, they will. That's what we've learned. There's not a whole lot of it.

But the expectation is on, say, maybe the 27th, they will have -- if they have a negotiated deal quickly, they can ram it through the Senate, if it can be done, turn it over to the House, try to resolve something by the 31st.

It could be right down to the wire. You and I could be on-air with Dana at 11:00 on December 31st unfortunately.

O'BRIEN: Jessica Yellin and Dana Bash, this evening. Ladies, nice to have you with me tonight. Appreciate it.

Want to get right to our political panel. Tim Carney is a senior political columnist for "the Washington Examiner." Matt Lewis is a senior contributor for It's nice to see both of you, gentlemen. Appreciate your time.

Let's start with you, Tim. The Speaker Boehner couldn't even get enough of his own party's support for what he was proposing. So strategically, I'd like to know what was the entire point of that? And since he couldn't do that, what does that mean for any future maneuver he's going to try?

TIM CARNEY, COLUMNIST, "WASHINGTON EXAMINER": Well, I spent today talking to some Republican members and Republican staffers and they did question his strategy. They said why are we trying to pass a bill that has what they consider to be an implicit tax hike?

In other words, let the top tax rates expire and go up to Bill Clinton's 39.6 percent? Why would we pass that when we know that Harry Reid will kill it in the Senate or Obama will veto it?

So why go out on a limb and sort of abandon the idea that Republicans never allow a tax hike for something that's just going to be an attempt at a strategic thing? The reason they thought it would fail was because it would involve trying to blame Obama if we went over the fiscal cliff.

And Republicans don't think the media would accept that narrative. I don't know. You would know better than I would, Soledad, about how the media would react, but that was the feeling on the Republicans' part, they couldn't successfully pin Obama with going over the cliff.

O'BRIEN: I never speak for the media, I speak only for myself, and I don't know. It's going to really depend, don't you think? Matt, you have a column back in December that said, John Boehner, cat herder.

And I was thinking last night the cats got the better of the speaker. What do you think that means for his future? I mean, does he remain as speaker? Does someone else come in and take over because it's an indication he can't control his own group?

MATT LEWIS, COLUMNIST, DAILYCALLER.COM: Well, it certainly wasn't a vote of confidence. I think, look, John Boehner was right. He gave that press conference today, he said, you know, people like me, something to that effect. It's true.

I talk to, you know, congressmen and they like Boehner, the problem is they don't respect him enough to listen to him, they don't fear him. And it's kind of sad, if you think about it. There's a structural problem that I think is sort of implicit here.

But the conservative base doesn't trust the Republican leadership. Therefore, the Republican leadership is never given the leverage to compromise. Therefore the American public sees Republicans as sort of stubborn. It's horrible PR.

But just imagine being John Boehner. You're the son of a barkeeper, of a bar owner, you want to be speaker of the House your entire career. You want to be like Sam Rayburn and Tip O'Neill, and have all that power.

Then you become the speaker and your own team doesn't even pass the bill that you want to pass. It's got to be horrible for him.

CARNEY: Well, but I heard criticism from Republican members that maybe they could have played it better. Even after he made the decision to pass plan "B," there wasn't a lot of outreach to say, what can we do, what are your concerns?

There were conservative Republicans who wanted some amendments to be voted on the floor, they were told no. You're not getting these amendments. This is the way it is, you follow me.

And that wasn't the kind of way that Tom Delay, back last time Republicans had a majority, when they wanted to win a vote, they would start two, three weeks out trying to say, what do we need to do, working with every member.

If you're there late at night on votes, Delay's serving you pizza. Also he had some, you know, harder measures to win over votes. But there's a lot of idea that the current whip operation, the leadership, doesn't have the skill to win over wavering votes.

O'BRIEN: We'll see what happens, 10 days and counting. Gentlemen, thanks for being with me, Tim Carney and Matt Lewis. Appreciate your time. OUTFRONT next, the NRA speaks out for the first time since the Sandy Hook shootings. It proposes adding armed guards to school. Does it all add up? We'll take a look.

Plus, a long-time Newtown resident comes OUTFRONT to reflect on the tragedy and tell us how the town is mourning.

And we're heading into one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. We'll tell you how the extreme weather we're experiencing could delay your trip even more. That's ahead.


O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody. Our second story, OUTFRONT tonight, armed security guards in schools. One week after the Sandy Hook massacre left 20 children dead. The National Rifle Association is speaking out for the very first time.

The organization's executive vice president called today for a multi-faceted safety program to keep America's schools safe from gun violence. And it's not a plan surprisingly that involves guns.


WAYNE LAPIERRE, NRA EXECUTIVE V.P.: What if, when Adam Lanza started shooting his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday, he'd been confronted by qualified armed security?


O'BRIEN: OUTFRONT tonight, Mark Glaze is the director of the group "Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Steve Dulan of the "Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners." You see there he's having technical problems. We're going to bring up his shot again in just a moment.

But Mark, I'm going to start with you. You heard from the NRA a real focus not so much even on guns, really talking about mental illness. They talked about tracking people who are mentally ill. They talked about pretty much everything, you know, not about taking away guns, but adding more guns. What did you make of their news conference today?

MARG GLAZE, DIRECTOR, MAYORS AGAINST ILLEGAL GUNS: You know, as somebody who's watched the organization for a while, my dad was a licensed gun dealer in Colorado, I know a lot of NRA members, it was a really surprising performance.

The NRA is usually quite smart. Then again, they've never been under pressure like this. The truth is it struck me as incoherent and bordering on detached from reality.

Talking about things that Wayne Lapierre gets paid a lot of money to talk about on a regular basis. It was not the time to say things that even most NRA members don't believe. I think it's important as we have this debate to remember that NRA members are not the NRA's Washington leadership. They're two very different things. NRA members want commonsense gun laws. The Washington leadership fights very hard against them. You're going to see that rift widening I think after today's weird performance.

O'BRIEN: Here's a little bit of what he said from his news conference today, Wayne Lapierre that is. He said, I called on Congress today to act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation, to do it now to make sure that blanket safety is in place when our kids return to school in January.

Is there any research or evidence that in fact arming security guards, arming teachers, arming administrators, would be an effective solution here?

GLAZE: No. There's no research that says that putting more firearms in the hands of trained or untrained professionals in a shoot-out is going to make anybody who's sitting around safer, but there's lots of evidence that it won't.

Let me tell you a couple things. First of all, in my home state of Colorado, at Columbine High School, there actually was a deputy sheriff there and there was another security guard nearby, they were not able to stop what happened.

I can also tell you the International Association of Chiefs of Police said earlier today that they thought it was about impossible as a budgetary matter and also unwise as a public safety matter to think the way you're going to stop the epidemic of gun violence that is killing children my son's age is to put more guns into the situation.

O'BRIEN: Let's get to Steve Dulan from the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners. He's joining us by phone now. Steve, you heard what Wayne Lapierre had to say. I was surprised. I've got to be honest with you. That he didn't tackle any of the things that have been pitched over the last week, really, about controlling guns, changing gun laws, in any way, shape or form.

STEVE DULAN, MICHIGAN COALITION FOR RESPONSIBLE GUN OWNERS (via telephone): Well, I have to say when I heard Wayne's proposal, and I watched it on television like everyone else, and I don't speak for the NRA, I thought, how can anyone disagree with the idea of putting an armed police officer in every school? It seems to make perfect sense to me. It seems plainly logical.

O'BRIEN: One of the things he also said was there should be some kind of a database of people who are mentally ill, which I find it interesting, because certainly as you know, folks really don't want to keep a data base of people who are buying weapons or even track those guns in general. That seemed to be completely contradictory, Steve.

DULAN: Well, we do have the national background check system in place now. The states report correctly those folks who have been adjudicated to be a danger to themselves or others. It seems to work pretty well. So I understand there's a terminology issue.

One of the things I do is teach a class called gun control seminar. And my law students write papers every term. Many of those papers over the years have been about the fact that the category of mental illness is very poorly defined, but generally there's agreement, I'm not a mental health professional.

But the research says there's general agreement mentally ill people as a group aren't necessarily dangerous, it's a subset of folks who actually have been found to be dangerous.

And the way the system works right now is if a court determines that an individual is a danger to him or herself or others, then that person is disqualified from purchasing a firearm.

O'BRIEN: As you know, there are tremendous loopholes in those background checks. There are plenty of people who are able to buy guns and don't have to go through a background check.

Mark, let's go back to you. What do you make of this proposal that Wayne Lapierre put on the table about folks, and I agree with Steve, I'm not sure how he was defining mental illness and how you'd even know who was mentally ill, how you'd keep a database, if that would violate anybody's right to privacy, what do you think of that proposal?

GLAZE: Well, it was an odd one that we'd not heard before, so we haven't had a chance to analyze it, but a couple things are important I think. The first is that we already effectively have, as the other guest from Michigan said, the national instant criminal background check database, which includes the names of people who are so mentally ill they have been declared a danger to themselves or others or involuntarily committed to treatment.

Those are the people, not people with run of the mill depression, or other kinds of mental illnesses, that many of us suffer at one point or other during our lives. Those are the people that we want to stop from getting guns. But the second thing is, you know, to suggest that, you know, in a state like Michigan which almost, within a hair's breath.

Just implemented a law that would have eradicated that state's reasonable system for background checks for people wanting to buy guns online that passed and got to the governor's desk for signature before he vetoed it a bill that would have allowed people to carry concealed weapons in day carries and schools like the one my kids attend, places of worship.

I mean, it's astonishing what the NRA thinks it can get away with and the way it bends over backwards to become more and more extreme so that it has a reason to continue raising $240 million a year, paying Wayne's $1.4 million salary, propping up the gun industry.

O'BRIEN: Well, I would guess that both Steve and Wayne Lapierre -- go ahead, Steve. I would say Wayne Lapierre's point was sort of that, I don't think he would think it was astonishing at all. DULAN: No, it's really important things going on here. The bill that passed in Michigan, SB-59, which was sponsored by one of my fellow board members on the NCRGO, would have allowed those of us with concealed licenses to carry in the list of places that are currently off-limits to us legally.

They're called pistol-free zones in the current law. But we know that's not true. The other thing that's really important to note is that this is -- at Michigan level and most states, this is a grassroots effort. We are volunteers.

I get paid nothing for doing what I do. We have two part-timers who do full-time work and get paid a small amount. We don't make money off of this. We sincerely believe that the way to increase safety is to allow responsible people to defend themselves and defend others.

O'BRIEN: But when you look, Steve, at a case like the shooting of Gabby Giffords, right, that was not a gun-free zone? There were people who were armed. Something like 34 seconds a shooter was able to kill a lot of people.

And people ran over, some of them armed eventually, and came in. In fact, one case, one of the guys who was able to later apprehend the shooter almost shot the wrong guy and he talked about how he was waved off and almost shot another person.

Then he helped tackle the shooter. It seems to me this could be not only fraught with problems, that kind of strategy, arming everybody, but also you could see killing innocent bystanders.

DULAN: Well, I don't think anybody's proposing arming everybody. We're at just over 4 percent to 5 percent of the non-institutionalized population in Michigan has concealed licenses. That seems to be holding relatively steady the last couple of years. We have 10 years of history --

GLAZE: But that's not the whole picture.

DULAN: -- showing exemplary record. We are very law-abiding. We've got ten years of reports from the Michigan State Police showing that very responsible people. We are not the ones to worry about, obviously because we are the law-abiding folks.

GLAZE: Soledad, if I can break in.

O'BRIEN: I'm going to let you hop in, Mark. Go ahead, Mark, I'm going to give you the final word tonight.

GLAZE: Here's what the National Rifle Association is doing. We're in fact not worried about people like Steve. But please understand that in a number of states in this country, you don't have to have -- you don't have to pass any test, you don't have to know anything about a gun, you don't have to have a background check to carry a concealed weapon. If the NRA got its way, it would pass its top federal priority, which would allow people who could get a permit from any state in the country or didn't have to have a permit, or happen to live in states that hand them out like candy, and they would be able to use that permit to carry a concealed weapon in any city, in any community, in any place in the United States, including New York City and Times Square, where we actually have very strong laws.

So we're not worried about, you know, people carrying concealed weapons where the state has made a decision that some people can do that. That's not what the NRA is doing. They want almost everybody to be able to carry almost anywhere and the disasters that are ensuing from that kind of approach are adding up. They end up in things like Connecticut.

O'BRIEN: Mark Glaze and Steve Dulan who is joining us by phone tonight. Gentlemen, thanks to both of you. Appreciate your time tonight.

Still OUTFRONT, extreme weather is causing huge delays as we head into the busiest travel weekend of the year. We'll tell you what that's going to mean for holiday travel plans.

One week after the deadly mass shooting at Sandy Hook, communities across this country are honoring the victims.


O'BRIEN: Our third story OUTFRONT tonight, a blizzard that hammered the Midwest this week might be winding down this evening. But it's causing holiday travel headaches to ramp up. CNN meteorologist Alexandra Steele has more on just how rough travel could get this evening and over the weekend.

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good evening, Soledad. Well, it has been incredibly rough travel the last few days and tonight's really no exception. But you are looking at the 6,000 aircraft that are currently in the sky above us trying to get home for the holidays.

A lot better than the over 500 airport delays and cancellations we had yesterday so things are moving tonight, although we have had delays, especially in the northeast. LaGuardia and Newark and Post have been two of the big areas, delays between 1 to 3 hours for some.

So long delays tonight continue in the northeast, a lot of that is wind-related. Most of the rain has left, even as far northeast as Boston, but those winds have been gusting between 30 to 40 miles per hour.

San Francisco, it's been a tough go for you. If you're watching from the airports, we've had between 3 to 4-hour delays, the rain, low visibility, fog and that will continue in San Francisco, the hardest- hit areas, tomorrow and Sunday.

All right, for the northeast for tomorrow, windy and much cooler, temperatures precipitously drop, 50 tonight in Boston, dropping down into the 30s, but it will feel colder than that.

Quiet though in the northeast and the Midwest for Sunday, the biggest stormy spot will be on Sunday, will be the west coast and along the west coast. So here's a look at the weekend travel picture.

Here's the storm exiting the country, exiting the northeast. Tomorrow, clearer skies but cooler conditions, the winds hold on tomorrow though, temperatures dropping into the 30s and 40s. You're looking for snow.

Western Great Lakes, it's actually lake-effect snow. That will move down. Buffalo, Rochester, Erie, between 6 and 12 inches of snow. That's the story in the northeast. But to the west will be the big travel troubles on Sunday.

Again, from Seattle all the way to San Francisco, the rain and the wind will slow things up, not only today, tomorrow, but for Sunday in the west as well -- Soledad.

O'BRIEN: Alexandra Steele tonight. Ahead, one week after the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, communities across the country gather for a moment of silence. Tonight, we'll talk to a long time Newtown resident about how the community is coping.

And four students who survived a similar school shooting in Minnesota drive to Connecticut to be with the residents of Newtown. We'll have that story, too.


O'BRIEN: Welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT.

We start the second half hour of our show with some other key stories we're watching tonight. President Obama officially named Senator John Kerry as his nominee for secretary of state to succeed Hillary Clinton. Kerry became a front-runner for the job after the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, withdrew her name from consideration last week. During the announcement, the president indicated that Kerry's Senate career makes him more than capable for the job.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In an extraordinarily distinguished Senate career and as chairman of the foreign relations committee, John's played a central role in every major foreign policy debate for nearly 30 years. As we turn the page on a decade of war, he understands that we've got to harness all elements of American power and ensure that they're working together.


O'BRIEN: Secretary Clinton wasn't present for the announcement. She's still recovering from a concussion. But in a statement she said that Kerry is an excellent choice. North Korean state media is reporting a U.S. citizen has been arrested in North Korea for committing an unspecified crime. They say a tour guide entered North Korea more than a month ago, was eventually detained after evidence was uncovered of some sort of crime. This comes 10 days after a U.S. official said an American with a similar name was detained in the country. Washington has not confirmed if it's actually the same man.

An OUTFRONT update to a story we brought you last night, Russia's lower house of parliament has adopted a bill that bans Americans from adopting Russian children. Pretty important when you consider that 45,000 U.S. adoptions came from Russia over the last 12 years. The bill now goes to the upper house of Russia's parliament for a vote next week. If it passes there, President Vladimir Putin will ultimately either pass or veto that legislation.

It's now been 505 days since the U.S. lost its top credit rating. So, what are we doing to get it back?

The stock market doesn't like Washington's fiscal cliff fight. All three of the major indices closed lower today by nearly 1 percent.

And our fourth story OUTFRONT tonight: a day of mourning.

One week after 27 people were shot and killed in Newtown, Connecticut, communities across the nation paid tribute with a moment of silence. The tributes began at 9:30 this morning, the same time those first 911 calls came in to report the shooting last Friday.

Firefighters stood solemnly in the rain as they paused to remember the 20 children and six adults who were gunned down at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. More than two dozen states held a moment of silence and lowered their flags to half staff. Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange stopped work for a minute before the opening bell. And President Obama paused to reflect in the Oval Office.


O'BRIEN: From Washington, D.C. to Miami to California, bells rang for each life lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School. At the Episcopal Church in Newtown, Connecticut, the bell tolled 28 times. One time for each life lost, including the shooter's.

As the people of Newtown cope with how this tragedy took place, investigators continue to search for the why. What motivated 20-year- old Adam Lanza to go on a mass killing spree?

CNN's Susan Candiotti joins me now with the very latest.

Nice to see you and have you with us this morning.


O'BRIEN: Is there any better sense on the part of investigators about what was Adam Lanza thinking? What was going through his mind? CANDIOTTI: That's what we would all, of course, like to know. And, of course, investigators have been working very hard on all of this nonstop. So far, there is very little indication that he had much of an online presence.

For example, did he flag his intentions to anyone online? Did he play any online games with anyone? Did he tell anyone what he was thinking about? These are the things they're trying to figure out.

And remember, they're still trying to work very hard to retrieve evidence from that hard drive. FBI working hard at Quantico to try to piece that smashed computer back together again, to try to retrieve as much information to learn what Web sites for example, he might have visited.

What about toxicology tests? What about friends that he may have spoken, to given a sense of what he was thinking, his intentions or his plan?

CANDIOTTI: You know, as you know since the beginning, we've tried to find anyone who would call themselves a friend of his, certainly in recent years. And we just haven't found any.

Now, they, of course -- authorities have been interviewing family, relatives and friends of Nancy Lanza, the mother, to see what information they have. Certainly, they must have talked by now to a doctor, if there was a family doctor involved, to find out was Nancy Lanza, the mother getting any help? Was she trying to take care of her son on her own? Was he in fact getting any counseling for anything? Was he on medications? And if so, was he taking them?

Of course that very thing in the end there was what we hoped to find out when those toxicology reports come out in a few weeks?

O'BRIEN: Lots of focus on the mother. And, obviously, she's deceased. So that's part of it. Not as much on the father.

Are they interviewing him as well?

CANDIOTTI: Yes, they have from the start. He put out a statement saying he was fully cooperating. We presume as well the older brother, Ryan, also is cooperating with authorities. And certainly there are relatives in other states to give some insight.

But we have no indication about how recently the father had been in touch with him, or even his brother.

O'BRIEN: Susan Candiotti, thanks for this investigation. You've been on it since the very beginning. Appreciate that.

CANDIOTTI: Newtown said good-bye to five more people today, five more loved ones. Funerals were held for Sandy Hook Elementary School psychologist Mary Sherlach and also teachers' aide Rachel Davino. There were also services for three children, including 7-year-old Grace McDonnell and two 6-year-olds, Olivia Engel and Dylan Hockley.

As the town mourns the loss of so many innocent, young lives, any residents are coping with the tragedy in their own way.

"Reuters Breakingviews" editor Robert Cox is a father of two. He's lived in that town for most of his life. He's in Newton tonight on this one-week anniversary.

It's nice to have to have you with us, we certainly appreciate it.

The moment of silence I thought was very beautiful and it was very powerful. Sometimes I wonder when people have been through a tragedy, is it helpful to folks who are mourning, or is it just another moment that brings it all back?

ROBERT COX, EDITOR, REUTERS BREAKINGVIEWS: I mean, everyone celebrated that moment around the country. But we have been celebrating or having those moments of silence -- I mean, celebrating is the wrong word. I mean, we've been through so many moments of silence in our churches, our synagogues. I've been to countless funerals this week of people who I knew well, people I grew up with. People, my children knew.

And there is -- the moments of silence are -- they're deafening. I can't tell you how many we've had. At 9:30, of course, today, there was a moment where we could all connect, and all breathe deeply. And also realize it's only been a week. It's felt like a year, frankly.

So few of us have had any sleep, have eaten properly, have been able to focus on the sort of good things in life. Prepare for Christmas. It's been like nothing I've ever reported on or lived.

O'BRIEN: I can imagine it's going to be like that for quite a while. How did the kids respond to the moment of silence?

I mean, they are back in school. I know that's been really rough for a lot of the kids. So, what was that like?

COX: Yes. So many of the teachers have been so incredibly great, the way they've just put a brave face on everything. My 12- year-old Ethan has gone back to the middle school, you know, after being in lockdown on Friday, being out on Monday. And then hearing all the information and finding out about all his peers, his peers who have lost children, or loved ones, siblings.

You know, they -- this week, they just -- I'm just so amazed by the dedication of the teachers. And I know friends of mine who are teachers who come home and they just cry, because they've been in it during the school day, been trying to put on a brave face, just as they did when they had these kids on lockout on Friday. Today, a lot of them broke down. I mean, this was a moment where they had to connect at 9:30 through all the schools.

It was hard. And even for the kids as well. I mean, they've been going -- the town has been great. The teachers have been great.

But you know, they have to connect and realize the pain and suffering that so many of the people that they go to school with and live with are going through.

O'BRIEN: You know, it's interesting. I was so impressed by how gracious and generous people in town were to media. And, you know, and honestly, we're camped out on lawns and backyards and we have cable everywhere.

And people are constantly asking us how we were doing, were we OK, which I really appreciated. What do you think is the healing process going to be for Newtown?

COX: It's going to be a long one, Soledad. It's great that the people -- I think people realize that you and -- body, I'm in the media and I'm a Newtowner. You know, they realize this is a human issue. This isn't partisan. This isn't politics. This isn't media.

This is -- we all felt something here. Something totally changed across the country and we happen to be at the epicenter of it. I think there's going to be a really -- it's going to be tough for the town. The families, you know -- I can't even begin to understand what it's going to be like.

But the town is rallying. This community, I moved here when I was 2, in 1969. Moved back, left when I went to college, moved back here a few years ago to raise my children.

And I can tell you, the community is rallying. Those of us who were fortunate enough not to lose people close, close, close to us have been putting together -- just trying to feed people, trying to just make sure that there's some sort of infrastructure for when -- in particular, I'm involved with Newtown United, which is a group that is trying to put together essentially an advocacy infrastructure for when they want to talk. They want to move the conversation. The national conversation to where I think a majority of people in America want it to go, on all matters related to gun violence.

It's going to be there for them. And there are so many things like that that are happening, whether it's a memorial for the children and the educators, all that's going to happen. This community is going to rally around and support these people in any direction that they want us to go.

O'BRIEN: And outside the community too. Lots of support.

Robert Cox writes for "Reuters Breakingviews," and he's also a Newtowner, as he said.

OUTFRONT next: student hot survived a mass shooting in Minnesota seven years ago drive to Newtown, Connecticut, to be with the Sandy Hook survivors. We'll tell you what they presented to the staff and students to help them cope.

And we remember the victims of Sandy Hook who lost their lives a week ago.


O'BRIEN: Our fifth story OUTFRONT tonight: Minnesota's Red Lake High School knows the horrors of violence all too well.

Just seven years ago, a shooting at the Red Lake Reservation School claimed the lives of five students, a teacher, and a security officer. Well, this week, four students from Red Lake drove 32 hours from Minnesota to Connecticut to show the community of Newtown that they're not alone.

Poppy Harlow spoke to the students.


POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They're calling it a trip of healing.

CALEB SMITH, 8 YRS OLD, BLOOMINGTON, MINNESOTA: I'm sad for the ones that lost their children.

HARLOW: Minnesota's Red Lake High School knows the horror Newtown, Connecticut, is feeling all too well. It was only ago when a school shooting on the Red Lake Reservation took the lives of five students, a teacher, and a security officer.

FLOYD JOURDAIN, RED LAKE TRIBAL CHIEF: We have never seen anything like this in the history of our tribe, and without doubt, this is the darkest days in the history of our people.

HARLOW: Wounded in the shooting, Lance Crow feared the worse.

LANCE CROW, RED LAKE STUDENT: Because it might happen again.

HARLOW: And it did. So they came. Survivors from Red Lake and others supporting them, to let Newtown know it's not alone.

JUSTIN JOURDAIN, FMR. RED LAKE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: We went through the same thing. We know what everybody around here is going through.

HARLOW: Whitney, Justin, Lea, and Ashley all survived the Red Lake shooting but lost their friends. They drove 32 hours straight to get here, to give this to Newtown.

J. JOURDAIN: This is a dream catcher. It has feathers around it. It was passed on to us from Columbine High.

HARLOW: From one tragic school shooting to the next, and then here.

ASHLEY LAJEUNESSE, FMR. RED LAKE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: It just shows that we care about them just like Columbine cared about us when they showed up and showed us that there's hope at the end of everything.

DR. TONY SALVATORE, ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL NEWTOWN MIDDLE SCHOOL: It's hard to describe in words the efforts they made to come so far. They didn't Skype their message. They came in person. And that personal contact that makes the difference. HARLOW: The little thunderbirds told us about spending the day with Newtown students. Singing for them --


JUSTYN OAKGROVE, 11 YRS OLD, RED LAKE RESERVATION: I want to support the family so they won't feel like get mad or sad. I want them to be happy.

HARLOW (on camera): Courtny, why are you here?

COURTNY OAKGROVE, 10 YRS OLD, RED LAKE RESERVATION: To support them and the kids and their families.

LOGAN OAKGROVE, 8 YRS OLD, RED LAKE RESERVATION: It means a lot because I feel bad for the people who lost their kids.

HARLOW (voice-over): Their message simple and clear.

JOHN OAKGROVE, RED LAKE RESERVATION: Our hearts are with you. We carry a message that our families are as one.

HARLOW: Their hope, that this never happens again.

(on camera): What do you guys want to say to this community?

SMITH: I love you guys.

HARLOW: I love you guys?

SMITH: We just want to be together, and we don't -- at one point, we'll probably all see each other again.

HARLOW: I think you're right.

C. OAKGROVE: In a different world.

HARLOW: In a different world.

(voice-over): Poppy Harlow, CNN, Newtown, Connecticut.


O'BRIEN: It's been exactly one week since the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. And tonight, we'll remember the people who lost their lives. That's OUTFRONT, up next.


O'BRIEN: One week ago today, 27 people were killed in Newtown, Connecticut. They were parents, teaches, sons, daughters. And anytime anything happens like this, it's very easy to get all caught up in the policy and the politics of all the issues that surround the tragedy.

And while those discussions will no doubt continue for many weeks to come, for tonight, we thought it was important to honor those who were lost.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dawn Hochsprung, principal.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mary Sherlach, school psychologist.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Victoria Soto, teacher.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anne Marie Murphy, special education teacher.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lauren Rousseau, teacher.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Rachel Davino, behavioral therapist.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Charlotte Bacon, 6 years old.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Daniel Barden, age 7.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Olivia Engel, age 6.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Josephine Gay, age 7.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ana Marquez-Greene, age 6.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dylan Hockley, age 6.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Madeline Hsu, age 6.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Catherine Hubbard, age 6.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Chase Kowalski, age 7.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jesse Lewis, age 6.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: James Mattioli, age 6.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Grace McDonnell, age 7.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Emilie Parker, age 6.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Noah Pozner, age 6.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Caroline Previdi, age 6.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jessica Rekos, also age 6.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Avielle Richman, age 6.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Benjamin Wheeler, age 6.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And Allison Wyatt, age 6.