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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
March for Our Lives Rally; Gun Control Measures; Survivors of Past Shootings; Trump Staff Shake-ups. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired March 24, 2018 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BURNETT: -- special addition of OutFront. Next: thousands marching in cities across the United States and around the world. Massive and unprecedented protests led by high school students. Let's go OutFront. And good evening I'm Erin Burnett. Welcome back to a special edition of OutFront on this Saturday. The rally and cry of an unprecedented student led nationwide movement "Never Again", that's what they were saying. Demanding action on gun violence and an end to the deadly shootings that have terrorized this nation's schools. The scope of today's protests was stunning. It felt unprecedented.
Organizers say there were more than 800 marches in all 50 states. Hundreds of thousands of all ages taking to the streets and we all saw that in cities across this country. Sparked by a movement that sprang from the horror of another school shooting. Seventeen people gunned down at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida just 38 days ago. Surviving students called for a nationwide walk-out and their fellow students followed in huge numbers and then the march. Those students speaking out, angry, impassioned and determined to fight for the change they want.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID HOGG: And to those politicians supported by the NRA that allow the continued slaughter of our children and our future, I say get your resumes ready.
EMMA GONZALEZ: Since the time that I came out here, it has been six minutes and 20 seconds. The shooter had ceased shooting and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape and walk free for an hour before arrest. Fight for your lives before it's someone else's job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Today's demonstrations, massive turnouts in city after city, supporters overseas joining in a - - to join in a distinctly American problem frankly. President Trump meanwhile spent the day in Mar-A- Lago. Trump uncharacteristically silent on Twitter choosing not to engage. The White House issuing a statement instead writing in part quote, "We applaud the many courageous young Americans exercising their 1st Amendment rights today. Keeping our children safe is a top priority (of the President)."
Nearly 12 weeks into 2018 there have already been 17 shootings in American schools. It has been 19 years, 19 years can you imagine this since two shooters killed 13 people at Columbine High School. That shooting is no longer in the top 10 for worst school massacres in the United States of America. That's how things have gone. Ryan Nobles is out front tonight in Washington, D.C. which was the main event for those protests today and Ryan it was an unprecedented turnout where you are.
NOBLES: Yes, no doubt about that Erin. I mean, organizers were hoping that they would see big numbers at these marches, specifically here in Washington, D.C. but all across America. But the turnout today exceeded their wildest expectations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN NOBLES: On a day filled with loud cries, powerful songs and energizing speeches.
DELANEY TARR: We are not here for breadcrumbs. We are here for real change.
NOBLES: It may have been the sound of silence that best captured the moment. Emma Gonzalez, a young woman who has become one of the most recognized faces of the movement born out of the massacre that took place in the halls of her school stood stone faced and silent for six minutes and 20 seconds.
EMMA GONZALEZ: Six minutes and about 20 seconds. In a little over six minutes, 17 of our friends were taken from us.
NOBLES: Gonzalez and a cadre of her fellow Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School students took their pain and turned it into action that culminated today in marches and rallies all over the world. From Boston, to Chicago, Denver, to Los Angeles and back to Parkland, Florida, where the shooting took place. While they may have only had each other when those shots rang out. Today they have the support of hundreds of thousands including celebrities.
PAUL MCCARTNEY: One of my best friends was killed in gun violence right around here. So it's important to me.
NOBLES: Pop stars and even the granddaughter of a civil rights icon.
YOLANDA RENEE KING: I have a dream that enough is enough and that this should be a gun free world period.
NOBLES: Their hope is to do much more than march. They want action specifically stricter gun laws. Something the Federal government has been reluctant to do.
CAMERON KASKEY: Stand for us or beware. The voters are coming.
NOBLES: And the debate over guns remains divisive. Counter rallies were held in cities like Boston and Salt Lake City. But these students are hoping this movement is different that common ground will be reached. And they are warning their leaders they won't be giving up until they get the change they are looking for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBLES: And many of these students said today that they didn't want this rally to be the end of their work. They want to see substitutive change happen but the reality is here in Washington at this Capital behind me there isn't a lot of momentum towards change in gun laws in particular. But many of these students said that they are politically active and they are ready to vote. Many of them said that before this tragedy took place, politics was the last thing that they were thinking about, now it's become one of the most important. Erin.
BURNETT: A horrific event that has mobilized so many. Ryan, thank you. And as Ryan just said it wasn't just students at today's march in Washington. Parents were there too, including Fred Guttenberg. He lost his 14 year old daughter Jaime in the shooting at the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School and you may know him. People around the world know him for standing up to Senator Marco Rubio on the town hall on gun policy in America.
It was an incredible moment and Fred joins me now. Fred it's an emotional day for you. To march, to be there, to honor your daughter, to know the sacrifice that she gave for - - for this mobilization and inspiration that we saw today. What did today mean for you?
GUTTENBERG: Today was inspiring. Before today, I kept referring it to friends of mine. I was calling it a tipping point. I just believed it would be. Being present today, part of the emotion of today but part of the energy of today, it was more than a tipping point. Today set the stage for where we go as a country. These kids, they came out to fight for their rights. They came out to fight to be safe. They fought for my daughter's life. They were with my daughter when she died. They were with their friends when they died.
They don't ever want to see anyone else go through that again. And to watch what they did today, while we grown-ups stood in the background was mesmerizing. They started a movement and we are going to push this movement. They're using their voices while shockingly the leadership that would be the President, that would be our Speaker Paul Ryan. That would be the, you know, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell. They are silent. I have news for everybody and I'm going to say it in two ways.
Number one, step up, stand up, use your voice, be part of the movement or be ready to get fired. We are going to go against you and you will be fired, that's number one. Number two, the traditional donor base is moving against them. Erin you may have already heard that I've been spending some time with Ambassador Al Hoffman. He is - - he is the very traditional Republican donor who has turned against the Republican party. Not because he - - not only against the party but against people who don't stand up for gun safety. How is that?
And he has a whole list of people with him that are ready to only stand up for people who want to stand up for gun safety. He put a big full page out in the Wall Street Journal today. I think everybody who considers themselves an elected official, a legislator ought to look at that ad and say this is the beginning. Businesses have turned against the - - against those who won't stand up for gun safety. BURNETT: Yes. I've seen that.
GUTTENBERG: Yes. Citibank is the latest. You're seeing the traditional donors and next you're going to see mutual funds. This tide is turning.
BURNETT: And, you know, it certainly felt that way today as we were saying - -
GUTTENBERG: Oh yes.
BURNETT: All of us who were on the street, it felt - - I'm in New York. I felt there were more people here, just as a feeling, than there - - that felt during the women's march and that was very impassioned as well. But - - but this is certainly something that - - it doesn't seem we've seen before. And you have turned your incomprehensible loss into inspiration. You - - you have - - here you are, you know, at a moment. The people around the world have seen and this is the moment Fred when you were with Marco Rubio.
BURNETT: You pressed him last month.
GUTTENBERG: And I just want to play it again for anyone who didn't happen to see it. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRED GUTTENBERG: Your comments this week and those of our President have been pathetically weak. Were guns the factor - -
SENATOR MARCO RUBIO: Absolutely.
GUTTENBERG: - - in the punting of our kids?
RUBIO: Of course they were.
GUTTENBERG: It is the weapon of choice. Didn't you say that?
RUBIO: Number one Fred, I absolutely believe that in this country, if you are 18 years of age you should not be able to buy a rifle and I will support a law that takes that right away.
RUBIO: Now I think what you're asking about is the Assault Weapons Ban.
GUTTENBERG: Yes sir.
RUBIO: So let me be honest with you about that one. If I believe that that law would have prevented this from happening I would support it. But I want to explain to you why it would not. (END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: You know, since that moment, Senator Rubio has announced his own gun safety plan and I know Fred you're intimately familiar with it. For our viewers, he says he wants to strengthen school security. Train identity threats, train people in schools for that. He's introduced legislation that would allow states to adopt those red flag gun laws that would allow people to file restraining orders to remove firearms from people more easily than they can now.
BURNETT: Has he done enough? Do you think that he's acted in part because of your interaction or not enough?
GUTTENBERG: Well, so, do I think he's acted in part because of what happened in Parkland? I - - listen, I commend him. He announced something. Is it enough? No. And let's be clear on what is happening here. What he announced is a way to limit the incidents, these events from happening again. And I'm - - and I'm OK with that. The problem is these events do happen and every time they happen there's always an announcement of things that we're going to do to try and prevent them again, to try and close the holes that we discovered in this incident, and then the next incident.
The common theme is always the guns. And when I challenged him on that night is his inability to deal with the reality of guns as the weapon of choice when people want to create mass casualty. So he dealt with the incidents. He didn't deal with the mass casualty part of this which is the same thing that happened at the town hall. He refused to acknowledge the role of guns and he still refused to acknowledge it when he put out that plan.
BURNETT: But I want to ask you, I know now, you know, we - - we can't fully see you. Our views can't fully see you, but you're standing. You're not sitting down, you're standing.
BURNETT: And you have been standing all day, every single second of this day.
BURNETT: Tell our viewers why.
GUTTENBERG: Because - - and I think it really ties into what we just spoke about with Senator Rubio and why what he proposed was a failure. After every one of these incidents, we always have a conversation. We always talked about stuff we're going to do. It's always very comfortable for people and then it always goes away. I don't want to talk about my daughter and make people comfortable. I don't want this to be comfortable for people and I certainly don't want it to go away. I want to be part of this movement towards gun safety.
This orange ribbon that I wear here. That started out of my daughter's dance studio, I want this to be the symbol of a gun safety movement. Every American I think should be behind what we are. We're not behind anything that's against the 2nd Amendment. We are behind steps that we could consider common sense so that the safety of Americans, when they walk out on public streets, into public buildings or into buildings that should be secure like a school.
GUTTENBERG: Where they don't have to fear being shot.
BURNETT: Well Fred, thank you so much for joining us.
GUTTENBERG: Thank you.
BURNETT: And thank you for the incredible thing you did today in honor of your incredible daughter. Thank you.
GUTTENBERG: Thank you for having me. Have a great night.
BURNETT: And next, hundreds of thousands of people who made a statement today. So, will the government get comfortable? Or will there be change and new laws? Plus, a Colorado lawmaker who survived the Columbine shooting. He was there that day, a student. Now he believes that a solution is to put more guns in schools and he's going to tell you why he thinks that. And Trump's staff shake-ups, today's signal he is fighting a war on multiple fronts.
BURNETT: Welcome back to a special edition of Outfront. Thousands of protestors taking to the streets today to call for an end to gun violence. The march is fueled by the mass shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen students and adults were killed. As we come on the air tonight, President Trump has yet to personally comment on today's events. Upfront now Tim Naftali, Former Director of the Nixon Presidential Library, April Ryan is back with us, Mark Preston, our Political Analyst is with us. James Galiano, Retired FBI Supervisory Special Agent joins us along with Symone Sanders, the Former National Press Secretary for Bernie Sanders and Scott Jennings as we said with President George W. Bush formerly.
Alright, let me start with you James. The White House put out a statement saying, look here's what we've done. But right background checks have been improved, they're not perfect but they've been improved. Gun show loophole not closed. They're not talking about that, but they're talking about how they've been improved. Bump stocks are going to be banned. They're moving towards that. But yet, the gun show loophole, as I said, is still open. We have a long way to go on a lot of things. The raising the age hasn't happened. Are these common sense things or not?
GALIANO: Absolutely and from a law enforcement professional and a conservative and a gun owner and, you know, somebody who was an Army vet, I appreciate what these students have done with this movement. I think it is definitely moved legislation forward. I think these things are going to be helpful. They're definitely low hanging fruit. 97 percent of the country believes that there should be universal background checks. How that hasn't been done before is beyond me.
Eleven states Erin, only 11 require legal gun owners who have weapons lost or stolen to report them. Which means 39 states you can have an arsenal and if you lose that arsenal, the weapons are stolen or you lose them, you don't report them. And these - - it makes no sense. I mean, from - - from - - from my position as a - - as a former law enforcement professional, we want officers to be safe. We want people to be safe. That doesn't mean disarming people. We are 2nd Amendment supporters but we understand the 2nd Amendment was written in 1791 and here we are in 2018 and we have to adapt and adjust.
BURNETT: In - - in this you agree Scott.
JENNINGS: Yes, absolutely.
BURNETT: You're a gun owner. And I would imagine you agree with everything he just said?
JENNINGS: Yes. There are a number of things that can be done that actually do not trample on people's rights or property. And raising the age is a simple one, it would have prevented this guy from buying a weapon in Florida. Fixing the background check system would have probably prevented this guy from buying a weapon in Florida. I think there's also human processes that we have to look at here.
There have been failures. The Sheriff's Department failed. The FBI in this case in Florida failed. I go back to the shooting in Texas at the church. That guy had been discharged from the Air Force and should have been on the No Buy Registry. They forgot. That was a human failure. All these things can be fixed and dealt with and not a one of them would trample on anyone's gun rights at all.
BURNETT: And yet, some of it doesn't happen.
SANDERS: It doesn't happen. I mean, I think people have valid points to make about the NRA particularly in the gun lobby and the influence that they have over lawmakers. Or that law makers or potential - - or potential lawmakers are scared if they come out with the position that is what the NRA would consider against them. That the NRA will - - their gun lobby will spend substantial amount of funds against the candidate and support their opponent. So look, I - - I think sometimes it does not happen because folks just truly believe it cannot be done and they're scared of the NRA but I look to Florida.
People said time and time again that you would never see change in Florida. But you know what, these kids, these young people, they not - - they didn't just march on Washington. They marched on their state capital. They called up their elected officials, their state legislators and they demanded that something happened. And they came together in Florida and they raised the age. And so I believe the change, the (inaudible) change can happen. Folks just have to stop being scared. BURNETT: Yes. It - - you know what's interesting though Mark, you know, it's incredible that change can be done. And - - and it's important and I think we had Congressman Mast and you have Scott here and you have James here who are saying, they support 2nd Amendment. They're gun owners, in law enforcement and they support all these things. And yet when I hear - - when you're saying only in 11 states do you even have to announce when your guns are stolen. You know, and you can come up with 10 more things like that.
BURNETT: It - - it doesn't mean that you don't have to start somewhere. But it is pretty terrifying, if you look at it that way, how bad things got.
PRESTON: Well things are terrible right now and - - and I have to say that it's coming from both sides. And I'm not saying that both sides don't have a point that they're - - that they're trying to make. But what you're seeing is, you know, of course we talk about Scott, we talk about James here. The bottom line is they're part of the 97 percent of - - of - - of America. And quite frankly, they're probably 98-99 percent of - - of gun owners of - - of - - of Americans who are - - who are lawful gun owners who believe that there needs to be some regulations put into place.
What's interesting though is what's happening in Congress is that the National Rifle Association has become so powerful and that they put so much money into the system that they have this lock on it. I would argue though that these kids, only because they seem to have lasting power, might be breaking that lock that the NRA has on Congress.
BURNETT: Yes. And which - - you know what April (inaudible) saw a CNBC column today that was going through the funding from the NRA. And they looked at Marco Rubio specifically right? Because people that accusing him of being bought off. And they looked at all of his funding and 3 percent of it comes from the NRA. So, in a sense, it's the - - the perception of the NRA by lawmakers and the President almost seems to be bigger than the reality. Even when it comes to money.
RYAN: I don't know if it's perception. I know the money, if you say it's only 3 percent.
BURNETT: Well that was just Marco Rubio.
RYAN: Right, for Marco Rubio. But the - - the cache that the NRA has. They have touched a large portion of - - of the Republican party. And even if the President says, I don't want this, they have enough power to sway members of the Republican party to go their way. The question is, who is the President listening to? The masses that are out there marching today or the NRA. That's the big question. And when you say 97 percent who are supporting background checks, you have to wonder why? Why? It's not the fact that the majority is supporting in only 3 percent, it's the NRA, the National Rifle Association.
NAFTALI: You know, today was a very, very important moment. It's hard to predict in question points in our politics. But, can - - can any of us really remember the last time that a group of high school students started a movement. Dr. King enlisted young people in Birmingham and they, together created an inflection point in the history of the Civil Rights Movement. But it was Dr. King and - - and in his group that pulled them together, but in this case it was the kids themselves. And they're not part of any political party. They're too young to be true activists. All they are, are kids who decided not to be victims. That's a big deal.
BURNETT: James - - James I just want to get you in here though on this. Why do you think it is that so many people, not just people who don't have guns, people who have guns, gun owners, people who know a lot about guns, people who are trained in using them? People who may have or - - or no how to use assault style weapons.
BURNETT: Most of those people also support gun control.
GALIANO: Reasonable gun reform.
BURNETT: Reasonable gun reform right? You're not going to say oh my gosh, because you want to raise the age, you know, you're going to prevent some kind of a revolution and uprising against our government. But yet that narrative seems to win.
GALIANO: It is - - it is the fear of the slippery slope. And - - and to go back to, why only 11 states require you to report a lost or stolen weapon? People fear that that means you'll have a national gun registry. Now, I argue with a lot of my conservative friends all the time, because they say we need AR-15s. We need weapons that combat potentially a tyrannical government. And I look at them and say, but the government has nukes. You're going to lose that one. That's not the - - that's not the argument to make. What we need to do is do some of the things that have just happened. We need to keep talking.
Now, I was there today on the ground with April and others in D.C. It was for me to stand there on the mall where women's suffrages rights began, where the Civil Rights Movement began. Even as a son of a Vietnam vet, where the anti-war protests began and to see that and be part of that and to know that people come there to get change was the feeling. But, we can't stay intransigently in our camps. And some of the things and of course it starts at the top unfortunately, the coarse language, the calling people names and the demonizing on both sides, it makes people move to opposite ends.
BURNETT: Well let's hope that today is a - - is a moment that that changes because you have so many people who can agree.
BURNETT: And - - and - - and hopefully we'll start to see that, the one place that nobody seems to agree or do anything. We all know why that is. Next, a Columbine massacre survivor, now Colorado lawmaker who's calling for more guns, not fewer, in schools. He's my guest next. Then it's the club that nobody wants to be in, parents marching because their children have been killed. Reflecting on the state of the movement.
BURNETT: Welcome back to a special edition of OutFront. Tonight a country calling for and demanding change. OutFront now, someone with a unique perspective. The Colorado state representative Patrick Neville, he was a sophomore at Columbine High School in 1999. He was there for the massacre. One of his closest friends was killed.
He met with President Trump at the White House after the Parkland shooting and says he believes the only way to prevent school shootings is to allow willing teachers to arm themselves. And - - and - - and there's a lot to talk to you about Patrick. So let me just start with today. It's been about 19 years since that day when you were there and one of your best friends was killed. How did today feel for you?
NEVILLE: Well it's - - it's saddened me that we're going back and we're talking about policies that quite frankly a lot of these policies were in place in 1999, and didn't prevent Columbine from happening. And what we should be talking about it true policies that will actually change this and prevent this from happening. And that's ending the gun free zones in schools.
BURNETT: I want to get to that in a moment. But, you know, the numbers here, more than 187,000 students have been exposed to gun violence at school since Columbine. That was a Washington Post statistic today and we're talked about how there's been 17 shootings in schools just this year alone. How do you wrap your head around those numbers?
NEVILLE: Well it's a tough number to take and when we look at some of these different shootings, and I can look at what happened in Maryland. And what Officer - - Officer Gaskill did is just amazing, and that actually solved the problem. And so we need to get back to solutions that actually solve the problem. Realistic, common sense solutions and that's actually letting good people defend our students.
BURNETT: All right. So let's - -
NEVILLE: Now as a father of two girls myself, I want - - I want to see that happen.
BURNETT: So let me - -
NEVILLE: I don't want to see my kids have to go through what I went through at Columbine.
BURNETT: Let me give you a chance to make your case. Why do you think arming teachers will help stop school shootings?
NEVILLE: Because I absolutely, 100 percent think that putting these gun free zone signs up on school doors invites these kind of mass murderers to come in and do harm to our students. And if we actually end this policy and allow good people to defend their students, one, I think it's going to be a huge deterrent from this happening in the first place.
And then two is, we saw with the Maryland shooting, it's going to end it quickly and fast and these folks aren't going to make national headlines of doing what they came out to accomplish. And that's committing mass murders. They're going to be prevented from doing that and I think the biggest thing that no one wants to talk about is there's going to be a deterrent from them even trying in the first place.
BURNETT: OK. So, look, this is something you feel passionally about. You were elected in 2014. You've introduced a bill that would do this. On limit - - remove limitations on concealed carry in schools, kindergarten through high school, but arming teachers is very controversial as you're well aware. And I just wanted to play for you two teachers from Stoneman Douglas in Florida who think your idea is not a good one. Here they are.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ASHLEY KUSTH: When the SWAT team came in, the first question they asked is anybody injured and the following question is does anybody have a gun? And I wouldn't want to be the person saying, yes, I do.
MELISSA FALKOWSKI: I don't think I know any teachers that would feel comfortable carrying a weapon in their classroom. These are places where students are supposed to come and feel like they're at home when they're outside their home. And how much at home can you feel if you know that your teacher may or may not be carrying a weapon in the classroom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Do they have a point?
NEVILLE: No, I think the first one that you played. No one's saying that we're going to make anyone do this. It's those who would want to - - want to do it, want to volunteer to do it. Go through proper training. Go through proper licensing and actually do it if they choose to. No one's saying that we would want to make anyone do this. The second one I think is false. I've had people reach out to me at my own daughter's school saying that they would be willing to do this.
So there are good teachers out there doing- - willing to do it and quite frankly a lot of them aren't willing to speak out publicly because a lot of the NEA's and CEA here in Colorado have banned together with Michael Bloomberg and the anti-gun crowd. And so they're afraid to speak out for fear of retaliation from the teacher's unions.
BURNETT: I'm just wondering, as a parent, why you would think though fundamentally that having more guns is the solution? Putting more guns in the schools right? Not fewer, you're not trying to take away guns from people who are mentally ill or shouldn't have them. You're trying to say let's add more guns so that we can have a gun battle if they actually end up in the school. I think that's what gives people pause. Does - - does that give you pause ever?
NEVILLE: Quite frankly, when I look at it, I'd rather have a teacher at my own kid's school equipped to defend them than leaving them with the only option of being a body shield in case someone actually tried to attack my own kids. I'd rather have them equipped to be able to actually take down the shooter than leaving them defenseless.
BURNETT: Before we go I want to ask you about the Assault Weapons Ban. You have been opposed to banning assault weapons. You know, earlier tonight Congressman Brian Mast was on from Florida. He supports an assault weapons ban. He is a member of the NRA. He's a vet. He's a Republican. Why do you think that there should be no assault weapons banned?
I know it's a complicated issue but, you know, we do have - - you know, studies that show that - - that cities that have adopted those assault weapons ban did see violence drop by nearly 20 percent. Not perfect, but that's a big drop. That's a lot of lives saved. Why not do it?
NEVILLE: Well I can look at my own situation in Columbine. It was in the middle of an assault weapons ban and didn't stop that shooting. And I think anyone in Congress who's willing to propose that right now is bowing down to the political pressure. And - - and - - and they're afraid of the political pressure that's being forced on them to try to push gun control instead of actually doing what's right. I mean, as veteran I didn't fight to take people's gun rights away. And if an assault weapons ban actually had any sort of ability to stop these from happening, then we could talk about that. But if you look at Columbine specifically, we were in the middle of an assault weapons ban and it didn't stop it one bit. So I think it's just an easy out for them and they're probably bowing down to the political pressure rather than doing what's right.
BURNETT: Well I'd like to see you and he have a - - have a discussion about it. A substantive one, it would be very interesting. Thank you very much. I appreciate your time. Patrick Neville, Colorado State Representative.
NEVILLE: Thank you.
BURNETT: And next, united by tragedy. The growing group of shooting survivors hoping there's strength in numbers. And the President frustrated by leaks. Is he giving his incoming National Security Advisor free reign to fire?
BURNETT: Welcome back to this special edition of OutFront. Among those who traveled to Washington to stand along side the students of Stoneman Douglas High School, survivors from other mass shootings. All of them forever linked by gun violence. Ed Lavandera is out front.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ED LAVANDERA: Moments known by a single headline brought them together. Aurora, Tuscan, Orlando, Las Vegas, (inaudible), Virginia Tech. This group of about 15 people marched in Washington, survivors and victim's relatives of the most horrific mass shootings in U.S. history. They came to embrace the students of Parkland.
PAT MAISCH: I hope that the signs that we're carrying saying we support them, that we're survivors. That they know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
LAVANDERA: Pat Maisch survived the shooting that almost Congresswoman Gabby Giffords seven years ago. Six died that day, 13 wounded. Maisch wrestled away a magazine of bullets as the gunman tried to reload. The moment inspired her to become a gun control advocate. As she listens to the Parkland students on stage, she emboldened to pass the torch to the next generation.
MAISCH: The kids are - - done more than we have in years and years. So let's let them take the lead. Let's stand back and catch them when they fall or ask them what they need and give them what they need.
LAVANDERA: Each year this group grows. The tragedies haven't stopped.
HEATHER GOOZE: As long as their - - (inaudible) to be with you guys.
LAVANDERA: Heather Gooze is new. She survived the Las Vegas ambush. Here she's in a crowd bonded by tragedy.
GOOZE: (inaudible) get to join you by like introduce yourself by name. You just say like, oh you're Columbine? I'm Vegas. Oh, you're Orlando. You're Sandy Hook, it's nice to meet you. Like, nobody understands what we understand. I wish I had never met any of these people. Now I'm so glad that they're a part of my life and part of my family.
LAVANDERA: Jeremy Smith and Sam Felber are the current student body president and vice-president at Virginia Tech. They noticed this group and met Uma Lovanathan (ph).
(UMA LOVANATHAN): My dad and I were both like now.
LAVANDERA: Her father was an engineering professor killed in the Virginia Tech massacre. They had no idea this moment would touch their lives so closely. Did you guys expect to meet someone like her today?
SAM FELBER: It was our shooting incident 11 years now. We walk by the memorial on our way to class everyday of 32 Hokies that died. It's just insane that nothing's been done.
LAVANDERA: Tragedy turned this group into activists. They couldn't sit at home. They mourn by pushing for gun control legislation. But they've experienced disappointment after disappointment.
PAUL KEMP: When I got the call from my sister and we had to tell their son. You can't not do anything.
LAVANDERA: Paul Kemp's brother-in-law was killed in the Plakamiss (ph) Mall shooting just days before Sandy Hook. He's a gun owner who advocates for responsible state gun laws. He spent years lobbying law makers and he's inspired by the Parkland students who haven't shied away from the public stage.
HEMP: They have the benefit of youth and being invincible. And not listening to people that tell them that you can't do that and they've been doing it. And I love it.
LAVANDERA: It's the children they say who are supposed to learn and find inspiration from their elders.
GOOZE: The students have gotten the world to kind of stand up and take notice.
LAVANDERA: But here it's the wise and experienced leaning on the young.
GOOZE: When is this going to stop. This I'm hoping is the beginning. This is going to be the beginning of the end.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAVANDERA: And Erin, one of the lessons that many of the people we spent the day with hope that the Parkland students take away from their own experiences. And many of them had talked about how any kind of change has been slow in coming, is that they hope they take away from this that this isn't going to be a quick fight. But that they hope they just walk away with one word and that word is perseverance. Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much Ed. And next, the White House bracing for more shake-ups. Who's next?
BURNETT: Welcome back to a special edition of OutFront. The President in Mar-A-Lago leaving behind a trail of unanswered questions about the staff who works in the White House. The New York Times reporting the President has told his incoming National Security Advisor John Bolton that he needs to cut down on the leaks like the one, you know, where the President ignored his aides when they told him to not congratulate in all caps Vladimir Putin for winning his election in Russia.
So the question is does that mean Bolton is now going to clean house and fire professional staff members of the National Security Council. Everyone back, also joining me Sam Vinograd, former Senior Advisor to the National Security Advisor under President Obama. So, if the President told John Bolton, I don't want more leaks and that is then a, you know, sort of a carte blanche to go ahead and get rid of a leaker if you find it. What does that mean to the NSC staff?
VINOGRAD: Well first of all Erin, we should get rid of leakers. There's a reason that information is kept private during all of these discussions. It's so that the National Security Council can function without being pushed into a corner. The question is, is Bolton going to go in and say, who's leaking this information? Let's get rid of them and why or is this going to be some kind of purge and we have reporting on this earlier today what they were calling Obama holdovers, which makes no sense. These are civil servants that have served on the National Security Council under various presidents and aren't associated with a political agenda.
BURNETT: Well, I mean, the question is, yes, if you knew who the leaker was you could fire the leaker. But if you don't know who the leaker is and you can't prove it than you're either firing a bunch of people that could be the leaker or your going to let it go.
BURNETT: So what do you do?
VINOGRAD: And then how does the process function. I think what you have to do is you have to go in, you have to say we're stopping this right now. If it happens again, we're going to have to clean house and just lay down the law of the land. But the process has to keep functioning. We have a lot of work to do. We're supposed to be meeting with the North Koreans. We have an Iran Deal recertification coming up. You can't get rid of everybody who's there just to catch a leaker.
BURNETT: Scott, you know, Richard Haass, the - - the career diplomat, obviously we all - - we all know Richard. He tweeted, "The real Donald Trump is now set for war on three fronts. Not a good thing, just to state the obvious OK. Political Bob Mueller, economic China and actual versus Iran and/or North Korea. This is the most perilous moment in modern American history and it is largely been brought about by ourselves not by events." The most perilous moment in history, do you agree?
JENNINGS: I think his tweet was a little breathless. I think there is truth in that the President is facing possible wars, if that's the word you want to use on three fronts, but this is not all the President's making. We've been worried about the North Koreans developing nuclear weapons for 25-50 years. And we've been at economic war with China for a very long time and at war with them for influence in the world, long pre-dating Donald Trump. The Mueller issue, the Russians meddled in our election.
We now know that. The President, we don't have any evidence of invited that, but they did meddle in the election. So, I think that some of these things the President has inherited. He is fighting wars on these fronts. And frankly, I'm glad for some of the staff shake- ups right now because I want this President to have a staff that he can trust who can combat these issues. Because we've got to win on North Korea and we've got to win on China.
BURNETT: We're at 50 percent turnover for this President so far. That doesn't count possibly John Kelly, or Shulkin, or Carson or anybody else that - - that April may have reported. SANDERS: It's not healthy. It's not - - it's not healthy for this
Administration. It's not healthy for America. But to the point of though that Donald Trump might may be inherited some of these things. I - - I think it's a perilous moment and folks are saying that because he has indicated that he has bigger bombs. His button is bigger than North Korea's button. The person he's bringing in to John Bolton. He is in - - he's indicated that (inaudible) North Korea could be a first - - a first option for him not a last option. John Bolton's got some real questionable issues on Iran where he - - I think would suggest war with Iran further - - rather than renegotiating, going the diplomatic route. So that is why some folks are out there trying to check off their bucket list right now when they heard this announcement in John Bolton.
BURNETT: April, where are we on the staff shake-ups? We're at 48 percent according to Brookings of - - of turnover. The next closest was Ronald Reagan at 17 percent over the same time frame and - - and we know we're going higher than 50.
RYAN: You know it. And I've been told by sources who are very close to this President, that this President wants to bring in people who are loyal and think like him versus what's happening now. And then when you look at the leaker situation and that kind of goes into this thing. Those who have their own issues, you know, by traveling overseas when you shouldn't, I'm talking about the VA, head of VA and furniture issues. But then you got people on the - -
BURNETT: Got furniture issues. Carson, Zinke. Yes.
RYAN: Yes. But then you have people on the inside that he's questioning and he knows intrinsically that they may be in the room but he feels they're talking about him outside as soon as they leave. He feels that. He knows that. And when you get to this point where you feel people are talking about you and leaking on you, is it leaking or would you call it something else? Would you call it, they're basically trying to make sure that the American public and the - - the U.S. government are still standing, whistleblowers. Would you call it whistle blowing or leaking?
BURNETT: Well that's the big question. And also, he wants to bring in people who are loyal but then when someone comes in who isn't you're just going to get rid of them and keep trying?
NAFTALI: You know, the President watches the shows right? And so, what have we all been saying for awhile. That he needed adults in the room and he doesn't want that. So, he's brought people in that he knows will not try to make him change because he doesn't want to change. He wants the presidency to change.
VINOGRAD: Well Bolton could actually be an adult. He could just be an adult who prefers military action, regime change in place of diplomacy. So I think he's a grown up. I just don't know I - - that I like where he's going to lead the policy process.
BURNETT: So much more to go. JENNINGS: Look, a lot of focus right now on John Bolton and saying, you know, is he the right person at the right time. How about this? Let us not focus on John Bolton. Let us just put the focus on President Trump. John Bolton, whether you like his policies or not, is competent. He can do the job. Donald Trump, we've just to keep an eye on him because the bottom line is, he just does want to bring loyalists in. And that is a problem.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you all so very much. I appreciate it for this special coverage. And thanks to all of you for joining us. Sex and Love Around the World with Christiane Amanpour is next.