WASHINGTON WATCH: President Obama Announces Multi-Agency Gun Violence Policy Review (VIDEO)

The President announced this gun review panel. Vice President Biden is going to lead it. Obviously, we have so many other issues on the table.

Again, will the moment go by? And should the President also demand that this conversation be even broader? Because I think if it’s just about guns and laws, that’s one thing; but as we discussed earlier with our experts, this is a gun culture. This is a cultural problem in America, and a lot of folks don’t want to talk about the culture part because, see, now that involves them beyond just laws.

MR. MARTIN:  The President announced this gun review panel.  Vice President Biden is going to lead it.  Obviously, we have so many other issues on the table.

Again, will the moment go by?  And should the President also demand that this conversation be even broader?  Because I think if it’s just about guns and laws, that’s one thing; but as we discussed earlier with our experts, this is a gun culture.  This is a cultural problem in America, and a lot of folks don’t want to talk about the culture part because, see, now that involves them beyond just laws.

MS. BERNARD:  Yeah.  You know, the conversation needs to be as broad as possible; but I want to piggyback on something that Joe mentioned just right before the break, and it relates to this in the sense that let’s assume that none of them have the moral courage to do anything.  If you show those pictures and show the consequences of their actions – not just through the photographs, but through the testimony of the parents, who could only identify their children based on what they wore to school that day – you will have such moral outrage in the country by parents, grandparents and people that have any sense of humanity, that at some point in time, if you have a critical mass, Congress has to do something.  The NRA will be demonized, and Congress will have to do something just because they want to get reelected.  They will have to listen to those parents.

And the President has a moral obligation to broaden the discussion about the gun culture that we live in, about mental illness, and about figuring out why it is we live in a society where, more often than not –

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

MS. BERNARD:  — it is white males of a certain age that basically have lost something in their brain –

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

MS. BERNARD:  — that allows them to engage in mass murders.  The country needs to be engaged, and the country wants this to happen.

MS. MCDOWELL:  We already have police in black and Latino schools –

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

MS. MCDOWELL:  — and it is not a pretty picture in terms of what’s happening to our students.  But that becomes, then, the rationale for that as a solution.

So, unless we go in and say, “Look, we want bans on assault weapons.”  That ban –

MR. MARTIN:  And what – [crosstalk] –

MS. MCDOWELL:  — expired in 2004.

MR. MARTIN:  — that is a start.  See, I think people keep acting as if, “Oh, we[’ve] got to wait for all kind[s] of different things.  No.  I say that’s a start.  You have to start somewhere – some starting point to actually go down this path.

And so, look, we’ll certainly –

MR. SAILOR:  One more point on that – [crosstalk].

MR. MARTIN:  — real quick, because I want to get to the fiscal cliff [and] talk about what the heck happened to Speaker Boehner this week.


MR. MARTIN:  But real quick.

MR. SAILOR:  I think another element that’s critically missing in this debate is just the spirit – the element of the soul.  What do people believe in?  I mean when you start having debates about whether or not, you know, God should be in the platform, or religion should be taught in the schools, and when you start removing that element from our society, slowly but surely, good, bad or indifferent you have unintended consequences.

So, I think another thing that needs to be put in this debate as we start talking about gun control is just the human spirit.  Where are we going as a culture?  What are our beliefs?

MR. MARTIN:  I think Joe wants –

MR. SAILOR:  What are our values?

MR. MARTIN:  — to respond before I go to fiscal cliff.

MS. BERNARD:  [Chuckles.]

Real quick, Joe.

MR. MADISON:  I’ll just say “God and guns.”  Isn’t that what we heard conservatives say?  “God and guns.”  That’s all we heard.  Pennsylvania – “God and guns.”  “God and guns.”

With right-wing conservatives, they don’t separate the two.  So, it’s not that God isn’t in our spirit.  That’s not the issue here.

MR. SAILOR:  Something’s going on with that God.  When –


MR. MADISON:  Once again, you don’t hear liberals –

OFF CAMERA:  The Ku Klux Klan –

MR. MADISON:  — running around –

OFF CAMERA:   — [crosstalk].

MR. MADISON:  — that’s right.


MR. MADISON:  And there’re liberals running around, talking about –

MR. SAILOR:  [Crosstalk] –

MR. MADISON:  — I’m not finished – “God and guns.”  Now, whose quote is that?  Those are right-wing conservatives that push “God and guns”:  “You will not bother my God, and you will not take my gun.”

MR. SAILOR:  When you – [crosstalk] –

MR. MADISON:  So, you’ve got God in –

MR. SAILOR:  — [crosstalk] – society?

MR. MADISON:  — it.

MR. SAILOR:  Clearly, there’s something cultural and spiritual –

MR. MADISON:  Well, you – [crosstalk] –

MR. SAILOR:  — [crosstalk].


MR. MADISON:  No, no, no.  You brought up God.


MR. MARTIN:  But, here’s the deal, though.


MR. MARTIN:  Here’s the deal though.


MR. MARTIN:  Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior.  I fired a gun one time.  I have no desire to own a gun, don’t need one –


MR. MARTIN:  — don’t – and, look.  I grew up in a neighborhood where the crack house – I could stand on my porch and see it being taken down by the DEA.  So, for me, it’s not the question of, you know, the spirit that’s going on.

When I talk about “culture,” I’m talking about the fact that you have people out there who, frankly, put more faith in their guns than in their God.

MR. SAILOR:  Yeah, but my point is when you start removing prayer and spirit and just God and religion away from society, you’re going to get unintended consequences.

MR. MARTIN:  But Elroy, there are people – first of all, we don’t know if this kid came from a religious family.  That’s first.

MR. SAILOR:  Right.

MR. MARTIN:  I mean let’s be clear.  That has nothing to do with it.

MR. SAILOR:  I just think you need –

MR. MARTIN:  [Crosstalk]- —

MR. SAILOR:  — to make sure we have that —


OFF CAMERA:  By the way –


MR. MARTIN:  No, no, no.

OFF CAMERA:  — the Ku Klux Klan does pray –

MR. SAILOR:  — in this debate.

MR. MARTIN:  No, one second.

OFF CAMERA:  — at their

MR. MARTIN:  Now, one second.

OFF CAMERA:  — meetings.

MR. MARTIN:  We have to –

OFF CAMERA:  They’re Christians.

MR. MARTIN:  — we deal with the reality that, look, we can try to say it’s about prayer in school.  Let me be real clear about prayer in school.  Any kid right now can pray five times a day –

MR. SAILOR:  Right.

MR. MARTIN:  — ten times a day in a school.  Maybe part of the problem is that you have two Christian households who aren’t training their kids at school.


MR. MARTIN:  And they aren’t –

MR. SAILOR:  And – well, that could be –

MR. MARTIN:  — and so, again –

MR. SAILOR:  — but let’s have that discussion.

MR. MARTIN:  — so, again, saying a prayer over the speaker phone – that is not actually the issue.

MR. SAILOR:  I’m not talking – [crosstalk] –

MR. MARTIN:  That is – to me –


MR. MARTIN:  — that is not an issue when it comes to this.

MR. SAILOR:  [Crosstalk.]

MR. MARTIN:  At the end of the day, the problem is you’ve got too many people who say they love God in Congress and in statehouses who do not want to remove guns – especially the assault weapons and high-powered magazines from this culture.


MR. MARTIN:  So, maybe go- —


MR. MARTIN:  — so, maybe godly people – the same folks who’re saying, “Pray for the families” – need to show some guts and say, “Remove high-powered magazines and those kind[s] of weapons,” and then we can all pray then.

MR. SAILOR:  Well, we just injected God into this discussion.

MR. MARTIN:  No, no.

MR. SAILOR:  And I –

MR. MARTIN:  First of all – no.

MR. SAILOR:  I did.  I did.

MR. MARTIN:  God –

MR. SAILOR:  And I hope it stays in the discussion.

MR. MARTIN:  — no, no.  Hold on.

MR. SAILOR:  [Crosstalk] – only point.

MR. MARTIN:  God never leaves my conversation, but I’m also willing to call out so-called “godly people” who love to bring that up for being who also – again – are more apt to pray to the NRA –


MR. MARTIN:  — and not to Jesus.

MS. BERNARD:  And I think that was your point.

I think that’s his point.  You know, we saw Paul  Ryan, when he was the vice presidential nominee, we saw the U.S., I think, Conference of Bishops come out and call him out and say he is a Catholic, but what he wants to do in terms of cutting entitlements does not follow the teachings of Jesus.

MR. SAILOR:  That’s where I’m going –

MS. BERNARD:  So, you need –

MR. SAILOR:  — with it.

MS. BERNARD:  — people who are on the right side of Jesus to call out those who say that they follow a glorious God who thinks it’s okay –

MR. MARTIN:  Yeah, but –

MS. BERNARD:  — to have assault weapons that are used –

MR. MARTIN:  — right.

MS. BERNARD:  — to mass-murder children.

MR. MARTIN:  And I’m going to call out all these crazy fools out here who continue to say, “Oh, this happened because we don’t have prayer in school, because we want to take the Christmas – take the Christ out of Christmas.”

No.  The problem is … it’s a number of factors that deals with mental illness, that – yes – deals with videogames, that deals with depression, that deals with parents who have children who’re mentally ill who’re keeping high-powered weapons in the household for them to have access to.  And so all of those things.  And that’s why I’m saying I think part of the problem I have with this conversation [is] it has become solely about gun and a law.  And what I’m saying is the law, to me, is a piece of this issue.

MR. SAILOR:  A small piece.

MR. MARTIN:  Mental illness is another piece, but you’ve got to deal with the culture.  If you don’t confront the culture of this problem –

MS. BERNARD:  It doesn’t stop.

MR. MARTIN:  — it doesn’t stop.


MR. SAILOR:  And if you don’t interject God into dealing with the culture, it definitely won’t stop.

MR. MARTIN:  No, I interject —

MR. SAILOR:  That’s my point.

MR. MARTIN:  — God, but what I also say is –

MR. SAILOR:  [Chuckles.]

MR. MARTIN:  — tell those Republicans and those Democrats, “If you believe in God, put God before the guns.”


MR. MARTIN:  Okay?  ’Cause that G-o-d is more important than your g-u-n.

Michelle –


MR. MARTIN:  — Elroy –

MS. MCDOWELL:  Amen, Roland!

MR. MARTIN:  — Leila, Joe –


MR. MARTIN:  — thanks a bunch.