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CNN "Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees" Transcript: Newtown Tragedy One Month Later


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COOPER: More now on the effort to reshape public policy in the wake of all this.

In the state of the state address last week, Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy rejected calls to arm teachers saying that more guns are not the answer.

Governor Malloy is with us now.

Governor, I appreciate you being with us. First of all, how do you think this community is doing one month on?

GOV. DAN MALLOY (D), CONNECTICUT: Well, it's a remarkable community. Great strength.

Honestly, the father and mother that you just spoke to are emblematic of the community and their strength will persevere, which is another thing I said during the address.

But so we move on, and the community is having discussions about what they want to do as a permanent memorial and what they want to do with the school, and we're here to help them make those decisions and make sure those decisions are acted on.

COOPER: You wrote a letter to Vice President Biden, in which you said while Connecticut may have some of the strongest gun control laws in the country, it's not enough, that gun control has to be addressed nationally.

What specific points would you like to see included in federal gun legislation?

MALLOY: Well, it's pretty straightforward. Number one, no one should be able to buy a gun in the country without a background check. It's computerized. I can't get on an airplane, you can't get on an airplane without somebody checking to see whether we're on a list that says we shouldn't be on there. Why should somebody be able to by such a destructive, a potentially destructive instrument such as a gun without a background check?

That includes -- and we have to be very clear -- closing all loopholes? This gun show loophole is actually what leads to a lot of the guns coming into Connecticut cities from gun shows in Florida and Virginia and elsewhere where there's no background check. You can't do that in the state of Connecticut. It shouldn't be allowed.

COOPER: The president of the NRA yesterday said -- sorry, go ahead.


MALLOY: The whole thing with the magazines, you know, that carry 30 bullets is crazy.

First of all, an assault weapon, and that's what we're talking about, becomes an assault weapon in most cases once you connect it to that magazine. So a lot of these guns are sold as single-shot guns, but all you have to do is connect it with that 30-round magazine and all of a sudden you have a very destructive instrument, which, by the way, has really been designed in essence to kill people.

People don't go hunting with 30-magazine clip semiautomatic weapons. They don't protect their homes with those kinds of instruments. These instruments are for killing. That's what they're for. And we have to limit that. And then third -- we talked about the magazines, we talked about permitting. And then, thirdly, we have to have an assault weapons ban that works, and has a broad definition so manufacturers don't sneak things by them.

COOPER: As you know, the president of the NRA yesterday said a ban won't be able to get through Congress. To that, you say what?

MALLOY: Well, if it doesn't, it's because the NRA won't let it happen. And there unfortunately will be other instances where these weapons are used in the way that they were used in Columbine or Aurora or Newtown.

This is a movement and an awakening, I think, that started in Newtown when 20 children could be lost in an instant because we don't have a weapons ban and a magazine ban that we once had in this nation going back to 2004. This is a wakeup call about who we are and what we are and how we want to be perceived and whether we want our children to be safe.

And I think, you know, round one, round two, round three in some senses may go the wrong way, but I don't think the people of Newtown or the people of Aurora or the people of Columbine are ever going to forget what happened in their communities, and quite frankly, I think things are changing now. Let's get the things that there are common agreement on. Almost everybody in their right mind agrees that you should have a background check to buy a firearm. Almost everybody in this country within their right minds agrees that we shouldn't have 30-magazine clips. Let's get the things done that we know that there's broad agreement on.

We can argue about the other things. We can have that fight. But I predict there are going to be other mass murders and each time the NRA is going to have to come forward and defend the position, it's going to get harder and harder and harder to do.

COOPER: Governor Malloy, I appreciate your time tonight.

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