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CONNECT THE WORLD
Rallies For And Against Independence; Demonstrators Wave Catalan And Spanish Flags; Scotland's First Minister Defends Catalan Vote; Turkey Announces Military Operation In Idlib; Erdogan Four Border Provinces Are Under Threat; Free Syrian Army Gets Turkish Backing For Operation; Nate Hit U.S. Gulf Coast As A Hurricane; Storm Slams Biloxi With Strong Winds; Is The Writing On The Wall For Theresa May; Trump Sends Cryptic Tweet On North Korea; President Denies Rift With Tillerson and Kelly; Latest Nuclear Test Leaves Chinese City Shaken; Leaves Changing Colors In The Autumn Light; Rains Continue As India's Monsoon Ends; Temperatures Starts To Drop In Moscow; USNS Comfort Medical Ship Arrives In Port; Storms Brings Gale Winds To Germany's Capital; Perfect Sunset On The Mediterranean Sea; Las Vegas Massacre Renews Bitter Gun Control Debate; NRA Wields Major Influence In Washington; U.S. Constitution Protects Right To Bear Arms; Some Republicans Open To Banning Bump Stocks; Puerto Ricans Losing Hope Weeks After Monster Storm; Aldean Pays Tribute To Las Vegas Victims. Aired 11a-12n ET
Aired October 8, 2017 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:15] AMANDA DAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Amanda Davis in Monaco and this is CNN. Rallying against independence as uncertainty in Catalonia
grows one week after tensed and controversial referendum. We're live in Barcelona for a full update in just a moment. Also ahead, hundreds of
thousands of Americans are without power in three southern states after what is now Tropical Storm Nate made its landfall. We're in Mississippi
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president is a strong supporter of this second amendment, that hasn't changed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DAVIS: And in the U.S. and another national conversation we hear from both sides of the gun control debate this hour.
ROBYN KRIEL, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD, I Angela Merkel Robyn Kriel in Atlanta filling in for Becky Anderson. We begin with
a major political storm in Europe, hugely, divisive issue of Catalonia's push for independence. Hundreds of thousands were on the streets of
Barcelona today saying they don't want to leave Spain. And on Saturday, tens of thousands of people also came out calling at least for dialogue
this as the Spanish prime minister says, he's not ruling out -- removing Catalonia's regional government if it claims independence. It's a fast-
moving story, but we've got someone on the ground for you today, Atika Shubert is standing by live for us in Barcelona. Atika, what are you
hearing from people on the ground where you are?
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the protest is over, but we were able to speak to people and listen to this very impassioned emotional
speeches by the organizers, it was a sea of red and orange, people carrying the Spanish flag, but also the Catalan flag. What many people told us was
that they did not want to have to choose between being Spanish and being Catalan. They felt that they were both, you know, some people in the crowd
supported Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and his tough stand.
One man, I spoke to said, that if independence was declared here, that the National Government should send in the police and the army. Another woman
said to me, no, that's not what she wanted, and she does not support the prime minister, but at the same time, she did not want to see Catalonia
breakaway from Spain. So the ones red they all had in common was that people wanted to see Catalonia remain united with Spain. Now, it was a
huge crowd, several hundred thousand, according to organizers, nearly a million people came, I'm not sure it was quite that big, according to the
city police. You could see a lot of fashion still on the streets here today, according to city police, more than 350,000. Either way, it was a
very loud crowd that was determined to show support for unity with Spain.
KRIEL: Atika, there is a possibility of massive economic fallout, if indeed Catalonia were to gain its independence with some business already
taking precautionary measures, can you take us through what this could potentially mean?
SHUBERT: Oh, absolutely. I mean, the Catalonia Region and Barcelona, in particular, sort of -- these are huge sum of Spain's wealth, it's about 20
percent, and so you've got -- and in measuring a business interest here who were very worried about what will happen next, so we've seen two of the
biggest banks in the region already changed their legal home, and a national utility, Gas Natural, for example, has done the same.
And the big concern for businesses is that if Catalan declares its independence, then it would not necessarily be part of the E.U., which
means all of those business will suddenly find themselves frozen out of the E.U. economy, and that is why you've seen business saying, listen, we've
got to find some way to protect ourselves from this political uncertainty.
KRIEL: All right. Thank you so much, Atika Shubert, live for us there, we do appreciate it. But what happens in Spain doesn't just stay in Spain, so
leaders in Europe are watching closely, remember Scotland, the government there carried out a referendum back in 2014 on breaking away from the U.K.,
voters said, no, but only just. And now, Scotland's first minister is defending Catalonia's referendum on Sunday, she told the BBC, if Spain's
position is that there wasn't a legal referendum, surely the question is how can there be a legal referendum. Adding, you can't simply say that
there is no legal way for people to decide their own future.
[11:05:00] Well, nobody knows what will happen next, some believed Catalonia's president could declare independence within days. We're set to
update the Catalonian Parliament on the situation on Tuesday, CNN's Erin McLaughlin has more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLES PUIGDEMONT, PRESIDENT, GENERALITAT OF CATALONIA (through translator): I'm going to address the King directly in the language that I
know he understands and speech.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He's either the freedom fighter, the defender of the Catalan voice, or the disloyal nationalist risking it all
to break up Spain? It all depends on how you view the crisis that spilled onto the streets of Barcelona. Those who know the 54-year-old best say one
thing is certain about Catalan President Carles Puigdemont he's always believed in independence.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN (through translator): Carles Puigdemont has independence at his core, this is not something he's improvised, it's something he knows
very well, it's a part of who he is.
MCLAUGHLIN: Part of who is or a reflection of where he was born, a remote Catalan village about an hour and a half outside Barcelona. A mayor has
always been a stronghold for impendence, a village so tiny we've bumped into his cousin in the main square, he tells us what it means to be
JOAN MOLINS, COUSIN, CARLES PUIGDEMONT: It can only be felt as -- it's really hard to express fighting words because we're different from Spanish
people, we respect them, but we have a lot of relations out of culture and that's why we feel so proud of.
MCLAUGHLIN: And you think that Carles Puigdemont reflect that?
MOLINS: Yes, absolutely.
MCLAUGHLIN: Not far away, his family's bakery known for mouthwatering pastries and sweets. This is where Puigdemont grew up, his family still
lives above their bakery, his friends tell me he was loyal, intelligent, and outward looking. At 18, he moved to the nearby town of Gerona where he
was a journalist and businessman. He eventually became the mayor. Then, Catalan president. Antoni Puigverd has known him for over 30 years, he
says Puigdemont is an unusual politician.
ANTONI PUIGVERD, ANALYST, LA VANGUARDIA (through translator): He doesn't have any problem to sacrifice, to risk his own political biography because
he doesn't have political ambition. But what he has is national ambition.
MCLAUGHLIN: Puigverd insists his national ambitions stops at bloodshed and economic hardship, he believes Puigdemont will try to de-escalate the
PUIGVERD: It's an open wound, and we need to get the inflation down, and I know Puigdemont will try to treat the wound with anti-inflammatories.
MCLAUGHLIN: Even if that means giving up independence?
PUIGVERD: To the declaration, yes. To the long-term project, no. But to the declaration, yes, for now.
MCLAUGHLIN: Sunset over Gerona, not far from where Puigdemont lives with his wife and two children, it looks serene, but things here are tensed.
Local police moved us on, the man they're here to protect is vulnerable, in a matter of days, he could declare this independent and no one knows what
might happen next. Erin McLaughlin, CNN, Gerona.
KRIEL: We turn now to Syria and a show of force from Turkey as it prepares for a military operation in the north of the country. It's backing the
rebel groups of three Syrian Army trying to drive and al Qaeda splinter group out of Idlib province. It's a -- it's a situation with many players,
and Idlib is a significant battleground for a number of reasons, it's one of the de-escalation zones, Turkey negotiating with Iran and Russia, it's
the last area in Northern Syria where anti-Assad Rebel Groups have a foothold and it's ruled by a variety of mainly Islamist parties including
that al Qaeda offshoots.
So this latest move hits rebel groups against rebel group while the big powers aligned themselves together. And a few hours ago, Turkey's
President, Erdogan said that if he hadn't acted, bombs would fall on our cities. To help make sense of all of this, let's bring in CNN Producer Gul
Tuysuz. Gul, thank you for joining us. She's joining us from Istanbul. It seems, Gul, that Turkey is waiting into what is an already an extremely
complicated situation in Idlib. Take us through what this move by Turkey means?
GUL TUYSUZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Robyn, this move is about establishing that de-escalation zone in Idlib province, that is very
strategically important for Turkey, there it is right on Turkey's border with Syria and anything that happens there really has impact on what
happens in Syria, I mean, in Turkey's border provinces, and that's what Turkey's President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan was referring to when he said that
bombs will fall on our cities.
[11:10:00] Basically saying if they do nothing then there is spillover that could come into Turkey and impact its national security. But specifically
about the de-escalation zone, this is one of four that Iran, Russia, and Turkey have agreed to set up in Syria, but it's also expected to be one of
the harder ones, because while Iran and Russia control the regime forces belonging to Bashar al Assad and Turkey has influence over the SSA, Idlib
is predominantly controlled now by the HTS, that Hayat Tahrir al-Cham better known by its former name the Nusra Front. They were an al Qaeda
affiliate and they have increasingly over the last couple of months really taken over control of parts of Idlib. So they will be definitely a very
difficult, hard of establishing this de-escalation zone. Robyn.
KRIEL: And involved with that, Gul, there is a huge civilian population in Idlib, how will all of these counties involve in this fight ensure that
those of the lands are taking care of?
TUYSUZ: Idlib is one of the most populated areas remaining in Northern Syria after the intense clashes that happened in Aleppo last year, those
people came to Idlib to try to find some security, of course security in any part of Syria is a -- is a difficult question. But to -- so there --
yes, there is a lot of civilians that are in this region now. But increasingly, regime airstrikes have been targeting civilians and the
Turkish foreign minister came out and said today explaining about the de- escalation zones and talking about the operation Turkey is about to take part.
And said that when they were talking to their Russian counterparts, they said stop indiscriminately or stop what seems to us, like, is
indiscriminant airstrikes in Idlib, instead, let's establish this de- escalation zone so that the extremist element in Idlib province can be taken care of one-by-one without inflicting injury and terrorizing the
civilian population further. But of course, we haven't seen troops on the ground yet, in this -- in this Idlib operation yet, and how they will
ensure the security of civilians is just something we're going to have to wait and see.
KRIEL: All right. Thank you so much, Gul Tuysuz, and we do appreciate it. Live from Istanbul. More than one hundred thousand people are without
electricity right now after Hurricane Nate hit the U.S. Gulf Coast with high winds and heavy rain. Nate made landfall overnight and soon weakened
into a tropical storm, the storm surge flooded roads and homes throughout the region, but there's no further on the reports of any injuries. Alabama
was hammered with rain and wind and power outages, CNN's Ryan Young has a look at the situation in Mobile, Alabama.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So right behind me, you can see the convention center here in Mobile, they built that a little higher, but you
can see the water that's in the street, and let me tell you something, they've already had to make several sort of rescue here because the cars
that had gotten stuck in the intersection. Just on this side, there is actually a car that's still sitting in that intersection with its light
flashing, the firefighters just went and did another check to make sure that no one was in that car.
Overnight, they've done some other rescues at homes where they had to go in, and they -- two to three people from different homes because of this
localized (INAUDIBLE) now as we go through the area, the good news is the flooding is near where the water is, so that's where it was expected to be,
and of course, this is some of the storm surge that is coming to this area. But throughout the areas that are a little higher, we haven't seen
significant flooding or trees down, but it did make some rescue on people who decide to go out and kind of tour and see what was going.
And in fact, we had firefighters and rescue workers trying to stop cars that were trying to drive through this, and you could tell that the water -
- once it ticked over that car, it's just too late to get someone to stop driving through it. So, obviously, they wanted people to stay inside
during this time. And you can see how high the water is in this part and if we walk all the way out that way, it would be waist high. But the good
news here, no, in terms of significant damage, no serious injuries, none of that happened. So, overnight really a sigh of relief.
KRIEL: Well, Nate was the first hurricane to make landfall in Mississippi since Katrina, devastated parts of that state back in 2005. Our Martin
Savidge had this report from Biloxi.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The surge that we had has definitely subsided, I don't know if you can see it behind me, that's Highway 90. At
one point, the water was almost up to where I am standing here in the front of the Tourist Bureau, so that's how as water came out of the Gulf of
Mexico, came pouring out of land here, it had literally blocked that major highway, that was the big concern especially for first responders, because
that's the main East-West Road along the coast here. There is flooding and there is going to be a problem with that flooding, you already saw some of
the casinos have suffered.
[11:15:04] It didn't get into any of the gaming areas we're being told, but it did get into some of the public spaces, definitely got into the garages,
and got into some other areas, and no doubt as the day wears on, and we begin to hear from more outlined areas flooding is going to be a real, real
The good news is they are starting to have a traffic go on this roadway. We're still under curfew here, going to be until at least 9:00 Local Time,
and then you talked about the power outages, those were also adding up. So, it's (INAUDIBLE) like the storm came and went without any problems.
It's clear there are going to be problems, it just wasn't as bad as perhaps they feared, but they're still adding things up.
KRIEL: That was Martin Savidge reporting from Biloxi, Mississippi. CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam joins us live with the latest. Derek, we've
talked storm surge and we've talked wind gusts, but what's next as this tropical storm moves up into the rest of the United States?
DEREK VAN DAM, METEOROLOGIST, CNN: Well, Robyn, I mean, obviously, the storm is decapitating quickly as it loses its moisture source from the Gulf
of Mexico. That's the good news, but I want to show you a really interesting perspective of the damage that was done along the Mississippi
Coast. We are driving along kind of an infamous road down here. This is Highway 90, and this road was completely inundated with water from
In fact, 34 feet some estimates at that stage was the water level above the main sea level pressure, but now we're in a similar boat with this highway
last night, we had storm surge that was about five to seven feet, it completely covered the road and it left a lot of debris. And now, the
Mississippi Department of Transportation is busy cleaning up this road, so the visitors and the residents across this area can quickly get their lives
back to normal.
Much of the water disappeared now, but it left sand, it left downed trees, it left homes, and that's currently being cleaned up by the state. And
some of the bulldozers, here you see to my right, some of the team members here, they're using these bulldozers to shovel this large loads of sand
into big trucks just so they can get the roads clear as quickly as possible. They're manually digging out some of the sewage drains so the
roads can be emptied from some of the floodwater.
And they're also out manually dam -- fixing some of the damaged road signs around here as well. Robyn, there was flooding at some of the casinos
here, in fact, the Golden Nugget, the Hard Rock Cafe, and the Imperial, it's good that Mississippi Gaming Commission evacuated those hotels because
the floodwaters came in. And across their entrance areas and the garages mainly, but that area saw this worst of the storm surge flooding just in
and around the Biloxi Region where several of these casinos exists.
Over a hundred thousand people without power from Alabama to Mississippi, as well as the Florida Panhandle. And there were some emergency swift
water rescues that took place overnight, but everyone is safe, there's no report of injuries or deaths. Again, driving along Highway 90 going
eastbound towards Biloxi, you're seeing some of the damage here on the roadways. Robyn, back to you in the studio.
KRIEL: All right. Thank you so much, Derek Van Dam, live for us there. We told you earlier about Nicola Sturgeon's remarks on Catalonia which as
you know voted to break away from Spain exactly one week ago. Well, the Scottish leaders also weighed in on the leadership of Theresa May earlier
today, calling it a massive challenge for the United Kingdom. The British Prime Minister is currently facing calls from within her own party to step
down just as the latest round of Brexit negotiations kick off on Monday. CNN's Nina dos Santos has more.
THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER, U.K.: Our economy is back on track, you know, why we were met -- excuse me.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This flattering performance of the British Prime Minister, the Conservative Party conference is viewed by many
as a symptom of a deeper (INAUDIBLE) a crisis of confidence in the British Government triggered by disaster selection which caused the Conservative
Party its majority and left some to suggests Theresa May is in office but not in power. Now, words that 30 of her own M.P.s would back out call for
her to stand down, that claim coming from the former co-chairman of the Conservative Party Grant Shapps. The public face of this rebellion, 48
M.P.s are needed to trigger her removal. Today, Theresa May moved to steady the shift.
MAY: What I think is necessary for the country now, what the country needs is calm leadership as exactly what I'm providing, and I'm providing that
with a full support of my Cabinet. Thank you.
DOS SANTOS: But this call for calm like the falling letter behind her conference backdrop as she delivered her speech is not a good look for the
prime minister and the timing is terrible. With Brexit negotiation set to continue on Monday, the prime minister's weakness cannot escape the notice
of E.U. negotiators. All of the markets with the pound having its worst week in a year, the prime minister had hoped that a Mea Culpa of her
decision to call a snap election would have turned the tide on her fortunes. But to no avail.
[11:20:18] MAY: I hold my hands up for that. I take responsibility, I led the campaign, and I am sorry.
DOS SANTOS: There is one saving grace for Theresa May and that's the fact that's based for the resurgent labor and opposition, her party will do all
it can to avoid triggering a general election. So until its members could fix on a suitable successor, it's likely that she may live on a little
while longer. Nina dos Santos, CNN at Westminster in London.
KRIEL: Still to come, U.S. President Donald Trump sends cryptic tweets about North Korea and refuses to clarify it. We'll explore his latest
warnings to Pyongyang next.
KRIEL: Welcome back. U.S. President Donald Trump is denying reports of rift between him and two of his top aides. He prays both Secretary of
State Rex Tillerson and Chief of Staff John Kelly on Saturday just after Tillerson reportedly called the president a moron and Kelly is said to be
increasingly frustrated with conflicts inside the White House. But according to Mr. Trump, all is well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: John Kelly is one of the best people I've ever worked with, he's doing an incredible job, and he told me
for the last two months he loves it more than anything he's ever done, he's military man, but he loves doing this, once he's chief of staff, more than
anything he's ever done, he's doing a great job. He will be here in my opinion for the entire seven remaining years. No, no, he likes -- he like
Secretary Tillerson, so do I. We have a very good relationship. We disagree on a couple of things, sometimes I'd like him to be a little bit
tougher, but other than that, we have a very good relationship.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KRIEL: Meanwhile, the U.S. President is raising more questions than answers with his new warning on North Korea, firing off a series tweets,
suggesting the U.S. has wasted time talking with Pyongyang. He concluded that, "Only one thing will work," but Mr. Trump refuses to say what he
meant by this cryptic tweet or his other one this week, about being calm before the storm.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clarify your calm before the storm comment?
TRUMP: Noting, nothing to clarify.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How about -- how about this, what's the one thing that'll work with North Korea?
[11:25:00] TRUMP: Well, you'll figure that out pretty soon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KRIEL: It's been five weeks since North Korea detonated a nuclear device so big that people in a nearby Chinese city felt the blast and thought it
was an earthquake, now many of them are worried about what might come next. Our Matt Rivers reports.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Nuclear test on September 3rd was North Korea's largest to date they triggered an earthquake and
international reaction swift. The U.N. Security Council passed new sanctions, Donald Trump threatened to completely destroy North Korea and
Kim Jong-un on his next test would be over the Pacific Ocean. But at the exact moment of this latest test, the people in the Chinese city of Yanji
just 120 miles from the test site didn't know about the nuclear blast or the international outcry that would follow. All they knew was that the
earth was shaking.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): What the [bleep] is this an earthquake in apartment?
RIVERS: Hundreds of thousands of people felt the physical repercussions of a nuclear test without knowing it first what it was. Many rushed outside
to safety. So this is where you were when the earthquake happened? This man, a butcher was asleep in his bed. So were you scared?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): All of a sudden, everything began shaking back and forth, so I ran outside and everyone was saying it was an
earthquake. I had no idea what was going on.
RIVERS: An entire city thinking the same thing, though, collectively about to connect the nuclear dots.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Everybody came in and said it was an earthquake, a bit later we realized it was from the North Koreans.
Wang Xiu Chiu runs a restaurant in town where conversations have lately focused on Kim Jong-un's nuclear program and what it could mean for them.
WANG XIU CHIU, RESTAURANT OWNER (through translation): I'm worried about the radiation, it could really hurt us.
RIVERS: Concerns of a radiation is escaping from the tests site have increased with each explosion. Some experts have suggested that the
mountain at the site could even collapse (INAUDIBLE) deadly radiation into the air and quickly across the Chinese border. China says it has not
detected anything of the sort, and then its military keeps a vigilant watch over air quality levels. But in Yanji, for some parents, it's of little
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I have a four-year-old daughter, these tests could make building collapse, and there could be radiation.
I'd like to move to Beijing or Shanghai, but I don't have the money.
RIVERS: So, it's fair to say that people are more nervous about the constant nuclear activity going on not that far away from here, but there's
also this kind of pervasive sense that -- well, there's not much we can do about it and we still got to pay the bills, we still got to take the kids
to school, so life goes on, right? So the restaurants are still open, they're still outdoor recess, and new buildings are going up, even if they
might be shaken by another nuclear test soon. A concerted effort to look past a problem has becoming increasingly hard to ignore. Matt Rivers, CNN,
KRIEL: Coming up on CONNECT THE WORLD, in the wake of the massacre in Las Vegas, we asked, what can be done to prevent such senseless violence in the
future? We will attempt to answer that next.
[11:30:56] KRIEL: Welcome back to CONNECT THE WORLD, it's been one week since the Las Vegas massacre. Gunman Steven Paddock unleashed a hail of
bullets on a country music festival from his 32nd-floor hotel room. These 58 people were killed, murdered in cold blood and nearly 500 people were
wounded. It's the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. And many people around the world are asking why, why?
Despite the deaths of thousands of innocent men, women, and children, are there not tougher gun laws? Why is it that in Washington where regardless
of who is in power, politicians are incapable or unwilling to pass meaningful gun control legislation? And the fact is, many lawmakers don't
take action because of the National Rifle Association, the NRA pours millions of dollars into campaigns and as more than five million members.
Lindsay Kinkade has the details.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LINDSAY KINKADE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Mass shootings in the U.S. have become all too common. The brutal attack in Vegas was the 273rd mass shooting out
of 275 days so far this year. According to gun violence archive, an independent group which defines such incidents as, four or more people shot
or killed, not including the shooter. There's no one definition of mass shootings in the U.S. an estimates vary widely.
But that group reports that more than 11,000 people in the U.S. have died from gun violence so far this year. You know, the U.S. is actually
considering measures that ease gun restrictions. The gun lobby, the National Rifle Association is considered so powerful, many politicians are
reluctant to challenge them. The NRA spends more than $30 million to support Donald Trump during the 2016 Presidential Race.
TRUMP: You have true friend and champion in the White House.
KINKADE: This made Trump became the first sitting president since 1983 to address the NRA.
TRUMP: My friends at the NRA, you are my friends, believe me.
KINKADE: Two months after that speech, U.S. Congressman Steve Scalise was shot and wounded at a Republican baseball game. That same day his
colleagues were meant to hold a hearing on a bill to make it easier for Americans to buy gun silencers. That hearing was postponed. There were
more public mass shootings in America than any other country in the world. According to University of Alabama report, the U.S. makes up less than five
percent of the world's population, but accounts to 31 percent of the world's mass shootings. Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan says mental
health should be the focus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: As we see the dust settle, and we see what was behind
some of these tragedies, that mental health reform is a critical ingredient to making sure that we can try and prevent some of these things from
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: Yet about a month after entering office, U.S President Trump signed a measure that scrapped an Obama regulation aimed at keeping guns
out of the hands of severely mentally ill people. People who can't work or can't manage their own social security benefits, when asked about that,
Paul Ryan claims there were people whose right who were being infringed. Lindsay Kinkade, CNN.
KRIEL: The Las Vegas massacre is far from the first tragedy to spark a gun control debate in the United States last June, a shooter opened fire in the
Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, 49 people were killed making it the second deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history. In the spring of 2007, a
student at the Virginia Tech went on a shooting spree at the university, 32 people were killed there. The fourth deadliest shooting in modern U.S.
history was December 12th, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, 26 people were killed at the school, 20 of them were
[11:35:07] The shooter also killed his mother. And after every deadly shooting, those national conversation about how to prevent senseless
deaths, but yet, here we are again to talk about what can be done I'm joined now by Kris Brown in Washington, she's the co-President of the Brady
Campaign to prevent gun violence. And Richard Feldman is the President of the Independent Firearm Owners Association, he joins us from Boynton Beach,
Florida. Thank you, both for your time. To each of you, what needs to be done and what can be done to stop these tragedies? Richard, I'd like to
start with you.
RICHARD FELDMAN, PRESIDENT, INDEPENDENT FIREARM OWNERS ASSOCIATION: Well, the first thing we ought to be doing in this country is the stop
foolishness of focusing on the particular gun or the ammunition. Clearly there are problems in this country and clearly, we should have an adult
conversation about free aspects of this issue. The intentional criminal misuse of guns, the negligent misuse of guns, and the deranged shooter
who's just shooting guns to kill as many people as possible. Three separate and distinct issues with different policy ramifications.
KRIEL: What needs to be done though? I mean, once you have those conversations, what are some of the measures that can be put in place to
stop deaths like these?
FELDMAN: Sure. You know, what we also failed to do frequently in America is talk about the lowest hanging fruit first, what is it that we could do?
Because we often have these debates without asking the right question, the right question is always in whose hands were the guns and how did they get
there? And when we start from that presumption, we would find a tremendous amount of agreement between gun owners, and non-gun owners alike, no one
wants those people obtaining guns. Now, that cuts up against sometimes aspects of the second amendment, one of our fundamental rights in this
society. But there's much we could do within that space to protect Americans and make this a safer place to live.
KRIEL: Kris, I'd like to get your response and your answer really, what can be done? And what needs to be done? In your opinion, your
KRIS BROWN, CO-PRESIDENT, BRADY CAMPAIGN: Well, I think the answers are right before us and obvious, you know, I just came back from Las Vegas and
talked to many of the survivors and victims of this horrible incident. And they asked the same question of me, many of them, gun owners, why aren't we
doing more in this country to protect innocent citizens from these kinds of mass attacks and why is it that 93 people are shot every day in this
country, and we don't do more?
And I agree with Richard, we can do more and it's entirely consistent with the second amendment. We can start with looking at the types of devices
that were added to this gun to make it much more deadly and effectively turn it from a semi-automatic weapon to effectively a machinegun, we should
seriously look at that, because it's not just that he had a gun, it's also that that gun was effectively rendered into a machinegun, injuring 500 and
killing 58 more than has happened in the most recent deadly urban attack, urban violence in Fallujah with combat soldiers, where fewer people were
injured in 10 days than we saw in 10 hours.
And the other thing that we need to do is expand our nation's background check system, we need to ensure that the loopholes that allow one and five
people today to buy a gun without a background check are closed, we could do it, and we should have done it yesterday, but now in the wake of Las
Vegas and the 273rd mass shooting this year, we need to close those loopholes.
KRIEL: And we first mentioned the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution, it protects Americans right to have guns, and it reads, a
well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, the
amendment staunchly defended by gun rights advocates in the United States, but 58 people dead after attending a concert is surely not what those
founders envisioned, don't they need to be some limitations on this? Kris, let's start with you and then we'll go to Richard.
BROWN: Well, we support at Brady the second amendment, but we also support the rights of people to live feasibly and we don't think that restrictions
that keep criminals away from guns are inappropriate, in fact we know because they've been upheld, that they're entirely consistent with the
second amendment. I think what we need to have in place are reasonable restrictions that actually fully protect our American citizens and I said
again, I can't repeat it enough.
[11:40:03] Today one in five people can buy a gun without a background check because of loopholes that exist that allow private sellers to conduct
sales without background check. Some states held effectively closed those loopholes. We need legislation now to ensure that all states actually
Congress pass this legislation to ensure all states close this loopholes.
KRIEL: Richard, I'd like to move on, you both also mentioned bump stocks, Kris, it seems that there may have been some middle ground breach on those
which is the apparatus that the Las Vegas shooter use that effectively a rendered his gun able to shoot a lot more rapidly, it seems to be making
them operate like fully automatic weapons. If Congress moves legislation to ban these accessories such as silencers, perhaps trace around, what
should they look at doing next? What can be done from a policy Sandpoint, Richard? And what more middle ground can be reached?
FELDMAN: Well, I'd like to say something to Kris, when I use to run the firearm industries training association in the 1990s, we enthusiastically
supported mandatory background checks before the transfer of a firearm in commercial transactions that include gun shows, that one include flea
markets, that would include online sales. I think that's something that gun owners don't have a problem with as long as they are four very limited
exceptions to that, interfamilial transfers, transfers amongst friends who've known each other for more than a year, and to law enforcement
officials. But if that goes a long way and I think it would of preventing criminals at least from obtaining guns, let's do it, its long past due, it
makes sense, it protects all of us. There's an issue that we can forward on.
KRIEL: Well, back on that issue of bump stocks which is as I said the apparatus of Las Vegas shooter did have in his possession, not banned on
the federal law which allows a weapon to fire. Kris, I'd like to ask you, is there -- can your organization further capitalize on the fact that bump
stocks receiving all of these attention, and that there has been some middle ground reach, perhaps that the NRA has agreed on this?
BROWN: Well, I wouldn't yet be overly optimistic that an agreement has been reached, I think what we have to do is make sure that the NRA is not
being just ingenious on this, and ensure that actually, we do have a reasonable restrictions of banned on bump stocks going forward, but that's
just the tip of the iceberg, and I want to harken back a bit to what Richard said, and I appreciate his comments, I wish that the NRA was with
him, with respect to the expansion of background checks, you know, Wayne Lapierre had an opportunity after Sandy Hook to come out and support
expanded background checks.
His answer to that was not to support expanded background checks, but to say that the answer was for teachers to actually arm themselves in schools.
We think that as an entirely inappropriate, the NRA should follow the lead of 93 percent of Americans, gun owners at 80 percent and actually support
expansions of background checks and also support measures that allow easy circumvention of law from turning a semi-automatic weapon into effectively
a machinegun. And that would be the kinds of steps we think are appropriate.
FELDMAN: Well, I got to tell you that up until Monday morning, I never heard of bump stocks, but this is really the minutia within the issue, the
big issue is are really the ones about keeping guns out of the hands of crazy people, unsupervised juveniles, an intentional criminals. There are,
six, seven hundred thousand firearms in this country stolen every year, there's all sorts of things we could to make it harder or less attractive
for criminals to steal those guns, but we refuse to have a conversation about many of those issues.
And of course, Kris, maybe aware back after the shooting in Colorado in 1999, the NRA was fully in support of mandatory background checks at gun
shows. That policy has change, so does the policies of all countries from time to time. But I don't represent the National Rifle Association, so I
can't certainly speak for them, sometimes they do things that many of us do in politics, we're driven by doing and having political thoughts and they
will control policy decisions, whether it's from the organizations or on Capitol Hill. Our job is lobbyist who care about this issue should be
defined ways to align a politics with the policy, then we will be able to move this issue forward to a successful conclusion.
[11:45:05] KRIEL: I'd like to jump in there and Kris, what can your organization do? It's obviously a massively emotive and political issue,
but what more can your organization do in terms of gun education? So with all of those 600,000 guns that out there, obviously they're not going to
get rounded up anytime soon, what can you do to educate those who own guns?
BROWN: That's a great question, and we have three campaigns at Brady's that I just touch on very briefly. One is expand background checks, the
other gets to Richard's point, we have bad apple gun dealers in this country, five percent of them are responsible for the sale of 90 percent of
crime guns. We have to have more enforcements in those -- this country to stop those bad apples and shut them down. And the third thing we need to
do is truly educate the public, and invest in education for the public about the dangers of guns in a home.
Forty-seven percent of Americans a decade ago thought that they were more safe with a gun in their home, today it's 63 percent. They need to
understand that the presence of that gun in the home makes it 22 percent more likely they will be injured with that gun. And Brady had the full
campaign to ensure that they take their proper steps to protect themselves if they are going to have a gun in their home, that is critically important
because we had 310 million guns in America today. More guns than people.
KRIEL: We do really appreciate both of your time, Richard Feldman, and Kris Brown lies for us there on that emotive issue. You're watching
CONNECT THE WORLD. Still, to come, people in Puerto Rico are still desperately waiting for help across the Hurricane Maria ravaged the island.
Let's take a look at the daily struggle of residents there. Coming up next.
KRIEL: You are watching CNN and this is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Robyn Kriel. Welcome back. As we continue to track Tropical Storm Nate, we
haven't forgotten the desperation in Puerto Rico, the island was pummeled by Hurricane Maria more than two weeks ago. Almost 90 percent of the U.S.
territory is still without power and millions lack basic necessities like food and water. Many residents are no losing hope. Our Nick Valencia has
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The day starts early if you want to get basic goods in Arecibo. More than two weeks after Hurricane Maria hit,
life here comprises of waiting in line for one service for another. By 8:00 a.m. the line for ice is more than two blocks long. And I've been
talking to this family, and they've been telling me that they've been here since 1:00 in the morning, we're coming up on 9:00 a.m.
The local plant officials are supposed to open up at 7:00 a.m. but that has yet to happen. And also what we're told from these residents who have been
standing in line for hours upon hours that there's been a 20 percent increase in the price for the bags of ice.
[11:50:01] Kelly Lopez came to get some extra bags for her epileptic sister who's bedridden, she's already been turned away once because her sister
wasn't with her. Today, she's back to try again.
KELLY LOPEZ (through translator): It's very difficult for everyone here in Puerto Rico.
VALENCIA: And then just minutes after our cameras were on, the doors open. We asked the local plant official why cost for ice have gone up? She says,
because prices for plastic and diesel have increased. And so the government or nobody's helping you to supplement that? She says, not at
all, they're having it come totally out of pocket for it. Well, in Arecibo, locals begged us to check out the regional hospital, there are
rumors of people dying in horrible conditions. This is what we arrived to. A hospital back on normal power ahead of schedule, those critical patients
being housed outside in the temporary wards are now being moved back inside. The hospital official tells us there hasn't been any storm-related
deaths. Mark Thorpe is the commander of the Federal Disaster Relief Team assisting the hospital.
MARK THORPE, COMMANDER, FEDERAL DISASTER RELIEF TEAM: When we have this in the continental United States, we can get help there quicker. The
challenge here is getting everything here.
VALENCIA: Thorpe knows there were rumors about a lack of urgency in the relief efforts. And it's taken a toll on them.
THORPE: When hurricane came over, we were here.
VALENCIA: I know it's hard, man.
VALENCIA: Across the street from the hospital, there's a different problem, another long line, this time at a local bank. Just before we got
here, we're told the bank's system collapsed, and now those who have been staying in line, there's no guarantee that they're going to get any money.
(INAUDIBLE) drove 30 minutes from the neighboring town just to stand in line five hours, he says he has no other choice. Yes, everything is money
here, everything is money.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, everything is money here.
VALENCIA: In Arecibo, locals say they are living each day as it's the first day after the storm. Desperate for help, but now, they've lost hope.
Nick Valencia, CNN, Arecibo, Puerto Rico.
KRIEL: If you want to help hurricane victims in Puerto Rico and around the Caribbean, find out how by going to cnn.com/impact. Still to come, a
moment when time stood still for many as bullets rained down at them at a country music festival in Las Vegas last week to honor the victims of that
horrific event, Jason Aldean who was performing on stage at the time put tribute by playing a song from the rock legend, Tom Petty, I Won't Back
KRIEL: This hour, we've been debating, discussing, and dissecting guns in America, but in tonight, parting shots, we're remembering the victims of
the country's deadliest mass shooting in modern times. The Las Vegas massacre on Saturday Night Live, a somewhat tribute took the place of the
usual satire, the show opened with singer Jason Aldean, the artist who was on stage when the gunman opened fire on those 22,000 concertgoers. The
singer opened with a message to the victims and their families, here's part of what he said.
JASON ALDEAN, COUNTRY SINGER: This week we witnessed one of the worst tragedies in American history. Like everyone, I'm struggling to understand
what happened that night.
[11:55:01] And how to pick up the pieces and start to heal. But you can be sure that we're going to walk through these tough times together, every
step of the way because when America is at its best, our bond, and our spirit, it's unbreakable.
KRIEL: Aldean had then went on to send a defiant message playing I Won't Back Down by Tom Petty.
ALDEAN: In a world that keeps on pushing me around. But I'll stand my ground. And I won't back down. I won't back down. Hey, baby --
KRIEL: I'm Robyn Kriel and that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you so much for it.
ALDEAN: Hey, I will stand my ground. And I won't back down.