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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript

Interview

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Let`s turn to Virginia Congressman Jim Moran.
Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. Appreciate your time.
Always good to have you with us, Jim, on this program. Thank you.
REP. JIM MORAN (D), VIRGINIA: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: What is -- what do you make of today`s press conference, the
reaction of the national rifle association?
MORAN: Well, Wayne LaPierre works for the gun manufacturers. He
really doesn`t represent the majority of the members who are far more sane
and responsible than the leadership is.
You know, if you -- there is 125,000 public schools in the country. A
security guard, $50,000 with benefits for a year, that`s $6.25 billion. Do
you think the NRA would be willing to tax its guns and ammunition in order
to pay that? I doubt it.
But more importantly, Ed, do we really want our children to grow up
into a world where the first thing they see when they cross the school
threshold is a military-style assault weapon carried by somebody with a
weapon, a vest and dressed in a SWAT uniform? I mean, it seems to me -- I
know that`s the world the NRA envisions. But it seems to me we`re so much
better than that.
SCHULTZ: Sure.
MORAN: That`s not the world we want our children to grow up into.
And it`s time for this country to say no the NRA. The fact that you have
19 times greater likelihood of being killed by a firearm in the United
States than any other industrialized nation in the world.
SCHULTZ: Yes.
MORAN: We know there is something wrong, and it`s time to fix it.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, the NRA isn`t coming out of left field with
this idea of police at schools. Polling shows that this idea resonates
with the majority of Americans. What do you have to say about that?
MORAN: You know, it`s up to leadership to explain some of the facts,
Ed. To suggest that the American people really envision what that means,
we can`t give in to the gun lobby and try to, you know, make things OK when
they`re not.
We have too many guns in this country. There is no question about
that. You know, 5 percent of the world`s population, 50 percent of the
world`s guns.
So it`s up to leaders in the Congress. And I think it`s up to each
individual member of the Congress to ask themselves is my political career
more of greater value than the lives of those children? Because that`s
what it comes down to.
SCHULTZ: Well --
MORAN: We all have to stand up to the NRA.
SCHULTZ: Let me answer that. Congressman, I don`t think you`re going
to get one Republican vote on the assault weapons ban. I don`t think
you`re going to get one Republican vote on limiting the number of bullets
that can go into a magazine.
I think that the Republican Party across the board is intimidated by
the National Rifle Association. And until that culture in congress
changes, how are we going the change the gun culture in America? Your
thoughts.
MORAN: Well, you`re absolutely right, Ed. There isn`t one Republican
that has co-sponsored one genuine effort at restricting gun violence. But
our only hope is their constituents pressuring them, calling them, writing
them.
SCHULTZ: Sure.
MORAN: I mean, this is a democracy. You know, I think most people
agree that you shouldn`t be selling weapons to mentally ill people.
SCHULTZ: Yes.
MORAN: But the only way to do that is to have a background check.
And they oppose that. And, in fact, after Virginia Tech, we authorized an
expansion of the national criminal background check.
And then the NRA behind the scenes worked with the appropriation
members to make sure it didn`t get funded. So, in most states, you don`t
know who is mentally incompetent to be given a firearm.
SCHULTZ: Yes.
MORAN: That`s what --
SCHULTZ: That is a big one.
MORAN: -- they do and it`s got to stop.
SCHULTZ: Congressman Jim Moran, great to have you with us tonight.

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