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CNN "The Situation Room" Trancript: Gun Control and the NRA

Interview

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BLITZER: Thanks very much for that, Dana. We will stay on top of this story. The huge ramifications remain.

The Democratic National Committee chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, she is about to join us live here in THE SITUATION ROOM. We're going to get her reaction to the NRA's call for armed every security guards at every school in the United States. And later, a new possible clue about the mind-set of the Newtown, Connecticut, killer.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Well, there's been no shortage of criticism over the National Rifle Association's call for armed security guards in every school in the United States.

A new Gallup poll shows a majority of Americans actually like the idea of increasing police presence at our schools. In fact, that option got a little bit more support than increased funding for mental health care, cutting down on violence in entertainment or banning the sale of assault weapons.

Joining us now in THE SITUATION ROOM is the chair of the Democratic National Committee, the Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Thanks very much for coming in.

REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D), FLORIDA: Thank you.

BLITZER: And just so you know these numbers, how effective -- this is the Gallup poll.

How effective would these approaches be in preventing mass school shootings? Increased police presence, 53 percent said very effective, more government funding for mental health, 50 percent, less gun violence in entertainment, 47 percent, banning sales of assault weapons, 42 percent.

You heard what Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association said to do, bring in more armed guards, security guards, police officers, if you will, in every school in the country, including -- there's a lot of schools in your district.

What do you think? Is that a good idea?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: I mean, my reaction as I watched the press conference today was that the NRA, I would say that they were tone- deaf, but it's beyond that. They are just deaf.

I mean, they have completely ignored, don't understand, don't grasp how deeply wounded this nation was over the Newtown tragedy, over the tragedies that have collectively built up in our consciousness and across the spectrum of how people feel about gun rights. That all across that spectrum, people in America want us to come together and solve this problem and make sure that we can, in a rational, commonsense way get weapons of war out of the hands of the average every-day person who can come into a school and blow away 26 people.

BLITZER: But, Wayne LaPierre's argument is that if there's a police officer outside, visible police or security presence, armed presence, that potentially could deter killers from going into an elementary school and killing kids.


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