CNN "State of the Union with Candy Crowley" - Transcript

Interview

By:  Dan Malloy
Date: Dec. 16, 2012
Location: Unknown

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CROWLEY: Governor, thank you for joining us here. Let me just first ask you about the state of the investigation. What do we now know and where are we in the investigation?

MALLOY: Well, you know, first and foremost, that's the state police handling that investigation. I think we know everything that is most important. We know that there was a single shooter, that that shooter is dead. We know that he was a troubled individual and that he went to the school with a number of weapons, which he used on his victims and ultimately used on himself.

You know, some of this other stuff will play out over a period of time. I'm sure we'll come to know more about him, his problems and his family. And but you know, these things move on. This investigation will tell us those things, but, you know, I don't have a whole lot more than that.

CROWLEY: So tell me, let me go back to a couple things you just said. The first is the weaponry. So far as you know, were these weapons legally obtained by the mother, which we're led to believe they were her weapons?

MALLOY: Well, the mother purchased them. They have the patina of legal purchases. I mean, there's always a question was she purchasing them for herself, which in that case it was legal. If she was purchasing them for another individual, her son, then there's a question about that purchase.

CROWLEY: Do we know anything that indicates that?

MALLOY: The other thing is this assault weapon.

Connecticut has a pretty aggressive law, probably of the 50 states I think we're ranked fourth most aggressive in trying to limit access to these kinds of weapons.

But what happens in the absence of a Brady Bill, in the absence of federal legislation, people use descriptive terms to try to get around the limitations that are built into our statutes here in Connecticut or might otherwise not happen if we had federal legislation on this issue.

These are assault weapons. You don't hunt deer with these things. And I think that's the question that a lot of people are going to have to resolve their own minds. Where should this line get drawn?

CROWLEY: So as I understand what you're saying is, there was a semi assault weapon here, but not necessarily one banned by Connecticut, which does have a state law banning certain kinds of assault weapons?

MALLOY: Well, that then begs the question, was this a weapon that should have been banned, and because of how the manufacturer decided to describe it got around that law?

CROWLEY: So let me go back to a couple things that you said. The first is, is there anything that leads you to believe she might have purchased them for her son, or is that just here are the possibilities?

MALLOY: Here are the possibilities. They're living together. They're in the home. And he ends up with the guns, so there may be an explanation.

CROWLEY: They're looking into that.

The other issue described his as troubled, which we know from what he did. But is there other evidence as they've gone in about troubled how?

MALLOY: You know, clearly, he was troubled. You have to be deranged to carry out this kind of crime. You know, I'm not in a position that I should be talking about someone else's family. That information will come out in due course, but this was clearly a troubled person.

CROWLEY: Is there evidence that he was mentally disabled in some way?

MALLOY: There's evidence that he was mentally disabled by the acts that he committed. One doesn't shoot their mother...

CROWLEY: Sure, but nothing behind that that you finding in the investigation thus far?

MALLOY: There are -- as has been attested to already by family members and others in the newspapers, this was a troubled individual.

CROWLEY: OK.

And as far as the guns are concerned, do they come out of the home? Is that where they -- were they secured in the home?

MALLOY: Yes, that's our belief.

CROWLEY: OK.

So, let me move you on to your role now. There always comes this point where the investigation is ongoing. This incredible grief these families must be and are suffering is going on. What do you do now?

MALLOY: You know, Candy, I was with the vast majority of the families Friday morning, and ultimately I had to break it to all of the folks who were assembled at the firehouse that their children or loved one in the case of the adults were not coming home. And that's an exercise that I will live with for the rest of my life. It's not something you're prepared for, and you go on.

But, you know, listen, I'm the governor of the state of Connecticut. We have a job to do. We have to picture people and help people recover and move on and get children back to school as quickly as possible in the broader system and hopefully these children at this school back to school -- a school as quickly as possible.

CROWLEY: OK. To make sure I understood you correctly, you're the one that initially had to tell the families gathered in that room what many feared or since some of them might have already known at a gut level, you were the one that finalized it for them?

MALLOY: Yes.

CROWLEY: Tell me about that moment.

MALLOY: It's a very difficult thing to do.

You know, these parents had been gathered for a number of hours clinging to hope. News reports were swirling around them outside the building. Someone had to decide how to handle that situation. Ultimately it fell upon me to do that.

You know, you can never be prepared for that, to tell 18 or 20 folks or actually families that their loved one would not be returning to them that day or in the future it is a tough assignment.

CROWLEY: OK.

Let me ask you about the school itself. We know that there was a buzz-in system. As you look at that as a governor, knowing the times we live in, the sorts of things that happen, as far as I know, correct me if I'm wrong, we've yet to turn up a history of mental health problems in terms of going to a psychiatrist or showing any signs of, you know, I'm going to go do a horrible thing.

CROWLEY: So -- and we've had a couple of these where there's no kind of history to it. So we know that if someone is determined and it's a first-time thing that these kinds of things can happen. Do you look at schools in Connecticut now and think, we have to do better in security, or we need a security personnel at these schools? I mean, where do the times take us in terms of protecting what we always assumed were sacred ground, which is schools?

MALLOY: What we know is he shot his way into the building, so he penetrated the building -- he wasn't buzzed in. He penetrated the building by literally shooting an entrance into the building. That's what an assault weapon can do for you. And you know, we are unfortunately a violent society, 32,000-plus deaths as a result of guns being used, 18,000 of those were self-inflicted.

This is a violent world. We are a particularly violent country within that world, and if someone wants to do an act like this, they're going to find a way to do it if it's not in a building, it could be outside a building.

CROWLEY: Sure.

But then do you look at security in that building and say, then we have to have whatever it costs, security guards or something, at the doors of schools?

MALLOY: I read a quote the other day, you know, schools are not vaults. They're not banks. People have to come and go. You build the best system that you can understanding what the challenges are. And some buildings because of the size of the student body are even more difficult to lock down. All of that will be taken a look at, just as we did in the wake of Columbine.

And I've been in public service for a long time. I was a mayor through the attack on the World Trade Center in a nearby city where we lost a number of our citizens and have been in office through a number of these types of events.

You attempt to learn every lesson you can from each one of these, and it's a little early to say what we can take away from this. But this is a little bit different in the sense that to the best of my knowledge in school shootings we haven't had people shoot their way into a building.

CROWLEY: Right. And governor, let me ask you just extrapolating for what you're saying, you want stricter federal gun laws because no matter how strict your state law is, you feel you need an overlay of a federal law, is that right? MALLOY: I think when we talk about the assault weapons ban that was in place in the United States, to have allowed that to go away or dissipate, it's the state's ability to enforce that, because guns move across state lines. In fact, a lot of guns used in crimes in Connecticut were purchased at -- we know because we can track them -- were purchased at gun shows in other states particularly down in the southern portion of the United States. They work up coast and they get here. That was not the case in this situation.

The Brady Bill was a piece of legislation that made a lot of sense, still does. And one can only hope that we'll find a way to limit these weapons that really only have one purpose.

CROWLEY: Governor I want to thank you for your time this morning.

MALLOY: Thank you.

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