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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Florida School Shooting Suspect Appears In Court; Seventeen Killed In Florida High School Massacre; Source: FBI Received Two Reports Of Alleged Threats; Florida Shooting Suspect Left Disturbing Online Trail; The Global Reaction To The U.S. School Shooting; Cyril Ramaphosa Takes Power In South Africa; Eight School Shootings in U.S. so far in 2018; Save the Children Releases Latest Report; Aid Groups face Scrutiny amid Oxfam Scandal; Inspiring Stories of Young Innovators. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired February 15, 2018 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:00:00] HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: And we are learning more this hour about the suspect in this horrific case. He appeared in court in
the last few moments. You're seeing the images there. We are live in Florida with the very latest.
Also, this --
GORANI: Dancing, singing and celebration, Cyril Ramaphosa is the new leader of South Africa. We are live in Capetown with that important story
out of Africa.
As shock gives way to grief and grief gives way to anger, Americans are left asking once again how could another school shooting happen. Many
questions about the massacre in Florida still unanswered today, but we're learning a lot more disturbing details about the suspect who killed 17
Nikolas Cruz made his first court appearance last hour and was ordered held without bond. New reports say he had ties to a white supremacist group and
had openly threatened violence on social media multiple times.
What about the political reaction? President Trump didn't make a statement yesterday, but he did become or tried to become the consoler in chief. The
nation listened to a televised address earlier from the president.
He said he was committed to securing American schools and keeping children safe, however, he did not mention gun control. In fact, he didn't mention
the word gun at all. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: It is not enough to simply take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference.
We must actually make that difference. In times of tragedy, the bonds that sustain us are those of family, faith, community and country.
These bonds are stronger than the forces of hatred and evil, and these bonds grow even stronger in the hours of our greatest need. And so always
but especially today let us hold our loved ones close, let us pray for healing and for peace, and let us come together as one nation to wipe away
the tears and strive for a much better tomorrow.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, Democratic lawmakers say prayers and condolences simply aren't enough. One senators calling for an uprising of outrage to demand
stricter gun laws and reign in America's powerful gun lobby. We'll get to CNN political reporter, Rebecca Berg, in Washington in just a moment for
But first, I want to start with Dianne Gallagher in Parkland, Florida. You were at one of the hospitals treating the victims. What are you hearing
from hospital officials there about their conditions?
DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There are still seven victims who were in the hospital, three of those are in critical condition.
I spoke with the doctors and they are kind of describing what those moments were like on Wednesday afternoon.
They had about a 10 to 15-minute heads-up. Now, of course, this is something that unfortunately because there are a lot of mass shootings in
the United States, they train for things like this, they have drills.
They call it code green, a mass casualty event. They say that it worked the way that it was designed. There were nine patients brought to this
hospital, Broward North. One of those was the suspect, Hala.
The doctors said that they made sure that they kept him apart like they would in any sort of crime situation in a separate room with police
officers, that he was agitated when they brought him in and that's why he was brought in, for those types of issues.
They dealt with him in the E.R. and then they send him back with the police. But when it came to those shooting victims, this was an AR-15
style weapon that was used. The doctors said that most of those wounds, the bullet wounds were to the torso area of the victims.
Of course, these are predominantly teenagers we are talking about here, Hala, and that they were large wound with a lot of soft tissue damage. He
described the scene as just sad. In fact, they had to do what they had to do, trained to do, but he said the teenagers were pale and quiet and
And you know, these are doctors who have seen a lot of things, but it was them talking about trying to keep this under control and adhere to what
they had trained, but also deal with something that happened in their small community.
GORANI: Yes, and I mean, these injuries you're describing are consistent obviously with assault rifles, semi-automatic. I wonder have you been able
to speak with any of the friends, family members, people who are traumatized right now clearly because of what's happened in their
community. What are they saying they want done to address this?
GALLAGHER: So, it varies. And you've probably seen a lot of these students while it was happening, they felt kind of helpless. A lot of them
were positing videos online on their social network accounts as it was going on.
And in the hours afterwards, after they were OK, safe, a lot of them have taken to social media to kind of say that they are frustrated, that they're
[15:05:09] After the president spoke, we saw several students tweet out and say that they felt like more needed to be said or done. Some of them used
very graphic images to describe what they saw and what they saw those bullets doing to their friends and their teachers.
A lot of students who have come up with the courage to speak on camera about this so far have focused on these teachers and coaches and janitors
who they say saved their lines, who jumped and shielded --the assistant football coach here who used his body as a human shield for students,
pushing kids out of the way and falling on top of them.
He was taken to this hospital. He did not survive, but they have talked about not just the resilience and the heroism or what happened within the
school that day, but their frustration with the climate and the conversations that have followed.
GORANI: Certainly, there were real heroes that emerged from this sadly, as you mentioned the assistant football coach who lost his life shielding
children. Thanks very much.
We are going to now go to Rebecca Berg there. Rebecca, we heard from the president, not yesterday because the White House put a lid essentially on
the administration meaning the president was not going to appear to make statement after the school shooting, but we heard from him this morning
Eastern Time. He offered his condolences and sympathies but did not mentioned the word gun.
REBECCA BERG, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: That's right. So, a hint or a very clear suggestion rather from the president that he does not want to make
this event into a political discussion, that he doesn't see room for policy changes necessarily or at least at this time doesn't want to be discussing
And, of course, from the Democratic side, we're hearing something very different that they do want this to be a moment where lawmakers come
together in Congress and try to reach consensus on some sort of legislation to reform gun laws in America. But Republicans so far led by the president
not sounding open to that.
GORANI: But of course, when there is a terrorist attack or even the threat of a terrorist attack, we immediately hear from the president, policy,
quote/unquote, "solutions and recommendations."
But in this case, we did not. I wonder, though, this bipartisan approach to trying to find a solution to the gun problem in the United States, there
are political reasons why it doesn't happen, right?
BERG: Absolutely. I mean, for Republicans, it's this idea that guns laws are already strict enough in the United States. Some people would say that
they believe this in part because of the support that the party receives from the National Rifle Association.
They give millions of dollars every election cycle to Republicans. But to just give you a sense of how baked in gun policy is with Republicans and
this idea that there doesn't need to be stricter gun laws in the United States.
Just last year, a group of Republican congressmen were gunned down quite literally on a baseball field. They were practicing for a congressional
baseball game. And one of the top Republicans here in Washington, Steve Scalise, almost died as a result of the wounds he obtained during that
incident and even after that, Republicans did not believe that they needed to change the gun laws in this country.
GORANI: We are going to have a deeper discussion about this later in the program. Rebecca Berg, thanks very much joining us live from Washington.
It's hard to imagine the sheer terror those high school students felt as the gunman walked around firing off a high-powered weapon. Some didn't
know if they'd ever get to see their loved ones again.
There are some images here that are pretty disturbing, by the way, but it gives you a sense of what it's like trying to get away, shield yourself
from the bullets of a madman firing a semiautomatic rifle into a school full of children.
CNN's Rosa Flores has our report.
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Terrifying moments unfolding inside this Florida high school, a gunman brandishing an AF-15 style semi-
automatic weapon opening fire, killing at least 17.
ADAN MINOFF, HIGH SCHOOL FRESHMAN: Some of my classmates did not know if they were leaving the school alive.
BERG: The chaos erupting minutes before the end of the school day when the fire alarm sounded --
SEN. BILL NELSON (D), FLORIDA: The shooter wore a gas mask and he had smoke grenades. He went and set off the fire alarm, so the kids would come
pouring out of the classrooms into the hall. There, the carnage began.
FLORES: Students and teachers confused because only hours earlier they had done a fire drill.
[15:10:05] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It went out as a joke, and then the gunshots came out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I heard screaming. I heard about fiver, six gunshots. We thought they were firecrackers.
FLORES: Faculty quickly alerting the school that an active shooting was underway. Some students running for their lives. Others hiding under
their desks sending frantic text messages to their loved ones.
LISSETTE ROSENBLAT, MOM OF STUDENT IN SCHOOL DURING SHOOTING (via telephone): She said, tell them someone is hurt on the 3rd on the third
floor of the 1,200 building. We can hear him crying and praying.
FLORES: One teacher hiding 19 students inside a closet for nearly an hour.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're just was praying, praying, praying. It was the scariest experience life.
FLORES: Police desperately attempting to locate the shooter. This video shows students huddling on the floor when the SWAT team arrives. Outside
first responders rushing to help the injured while anxious parents waited to be united with their children.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was sobbing. He said, mom, it was real. It was really real.
GORANI: There you have it. Just a matter of minutes but what must have felt like a lifetime for these kids, a day they'll never forget.
U.S. President Donald Trump suggested in a tweet that the shooting could have been prevented. Someone had just reported the suspect to authorities.
Well, it turns out a law enforcement source tells CNN, FBI did receive at least two reports that Cruz may have posted a threat.
Senior law enforcement analyst, Tom Fuentes, joins us from Washington. So, Tom, a vlogger reported the suspect to the FBI saying he had left a comment
in the comment section on YouTube that he wants to become a school shooter or something to that effect or a champion school shooter. Typically, what
happens when the FBI receives these types of reports?
TOM FUENTES, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, Hala, normally, they would first do what they did here is send agents to talk to the
individual that contacted them, that made the complaint about someone named Cruz, and the FBI would look into it.
Then they would go to the company, in this case YouTube, and try to get an identity. But, you know, people can post things anonymously and Cruz may
not be the most common me in the United States, but it's very common in Latin America. I have cousins named Cruz.
So, to look up a name like that, if the company doesn't cooperate to try to help them identify or cannot give them the true identity, you know, that's
about as far as the go. They went back to the individual who madehe complaint to see if there was any information that he could provide, and
they weren't able to get the identity.
I think that, you know, people are going to be looking for fault, OK, the FBI dropped the ball and they didn't. And they maybe did, and that will
come out in the investigation, but you know, being familiar with how these go often, it's not that easy if the company doesn't cooperate.
For example, look at the lack of cooperation in the San Bernardino shooting where 14 people were already dead, including the owner of the phone, and
Apple didn't want to help the FBI crack into that phone to get other numbers that person may have been calling or part of a bigger terrorist
GORANI: But in this case, the FBI would have been told about this Nikolas Cruz, try to identify the guy, wasn't unable to identify the guy because
it's not an uncommon last name and potentially the company didn't provide the --
FUENTES: We don't know yet if the company wouldn't or couldn't provide an identity. We've heard people on the air saying, well, they should have
advised the local authorities. Which local authorities, in Mexico City, Madrid, Spain, you know, in the United States --
GORANI: Because you don't know where he is. That being said, we do understand that this according to reports from the Anti-Defamation League
that the suspect had connections to a white supremacist group in Florida and trained at least once in paramilitary training in Tallahassee with
This is according to the ADL. Is this not something that should be on law enforcement's radar? What are these groups?
FUENTES: Well, those groups are on the FBI's radar in the domestic terrorism program. So, you have (inaudible) hate groups. We don't know
how true this whole allegation, is, but how the affiliation was.
You Know, Dylann Roof, the shooter in the Charleston Church killing a number of black men and won, you know, he had postings with confederate
flags and swastikas and a number of indicators that he was supportive of white hate groups.
In this case, we don't know, and if he was a supporter of a white hate or supported by a white hate group, he didn't go to a black church or school.
He went to -- you know, we see the students pouring out of that school and being interviewed if they're predominantly white.
GORANI: But I do -- I mean, if indeed it is the case that he somehow "trained," quote/unquote, with a paramilitary group, that gives it a whole
other dimension, doesn't it?
[15:15:07] FUENTES: It does if he in fact trained with them, but it depends what the -- they need to investigate exactly what was the
relationship, what was the so-called training, is this just another organization trying to glorify themselves and take credit for someone who
may have been inspired by them or you know, mentally deranged.
We don't know in his case with the various disciplinary problems he had in the school, where they racially oriented, was it something that a white
supremacist group was motivating him to do what he did as opposed to just he was very mentally ill and nobody could really deal with that.
GORANI: Well, I think -- and abroad, you know, obviously people will say, well, if this was an ISIS connection, we wouldn't be, you know, wondering
if he is mentally ill or not. We'd immediately make the connection with any kind of ideological thinking that could have motivated him. That kind
of thing. I mean, I hear that a lot abroad.
FUENTES: No, and that's true. My comments on that in the past have been you can be both and ISIS certainly in their worldwide recruiting is
counting on people at least having some degree of delusion, let's say, to join up and do what they do.
So that's not -- I don't think those terms are mutually exclusive with this guy or anybody else, but it's very early in the investigation to know
exactly. And if in fact, he was, you know, connected to a terrorist group, this is going to be an FBI investigation.
The FBI has primary jurisdiction whether it be an international terrorist group or a domestic terrorist group, and certainly, these white hate groups
in the United States, neo Nazis and white supremacists and the like are on the FBI's domestic terrorism radar.
And right now, we still have Broward County sheriff as leading this investigation and there's been no bonafide, I guess, or verified connection
to a terrorist organization, domestic or international.
GORANI: All right. We'll see what the Anti-Defamation League is saying pans out. Tom Fuentes, thanks very much for joining us. Appreciate your
FUENTES: Thank you, Hala.
GORANI: Well, when shots rang out through that school in Florida, the U.S. secretary of state was focused on violence, but not at home, violence
abroad. Rex Tillerson has been hopping from country to country across the Middle East.
Our Michelle Kosinski has been following his tour. She is in Ankara, Turkey. He was asked a question, Michelle, about this school shooting.
How would you explain this phenomenon abroad? What did he tell you?
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Hala. You know, after these things do happen in the United States, we start to see
reactions from people at home but also from world leaders, and they offer condolences and also shock and disbelief, and usually a combination of the
both of them.
So, during this press conference at that time we were not here in Ankara, Turkey, we were in Beirut, Lebanon, but the question I had for him on this
particular day was, as you're going around to these countries, you're traveling the world and in many of them you're having conversations about
trying to tamp down the violence within them.
So how do you explain, how do you have these kinds of conversations in the light of the fact that the U.S. still has its own problem that it can't
seem to get a handle on of children being shot in schools and other mass shootings. Here he's how he handled it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, first, I want to comment on the horrific school shootings in Florida and I'm not going to answer your
question on the heels of what many people are dealing with.
We have mourning parents. We have people that are in really difficult circumstances dealing with that. So, I think we need to just keep them in
our thoughts and prayers at this time and we can have conversations about other things later.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOSINSKI: Well, at least, he flat said I am not going to answer your question instead of trying to dance around it. But it was clear he wanted
to stick to the administration's stance that we have heard before even as recently as a few months ago after another mass shooting that now is not
the time to have that conversation. In his view, now is the time to offer thoughts and prayers -- Hala.
GORANI: But what about -- I mean, when you travel on these trips, there's foreign journalists, you know, people in different countries. I believe
you were in Jordan. You're now in Turkey. What have you been hearing internationally when this new broke from foreign colleagues and people in
those countries in the Middle East?
KOSINSKI: It's absolutely the same conversation that you have every time when you're traveling abroad and something like this happens. Things sort
of stop for moment. Whatever the big story is that you're talking about somewhere else, it inevitably turns even if for a few moments, about what's
happening in the United States.
The shaking of heads, the expression of horror that this does still happen, and it just keeps happening. I mean, people do get political about it.
They want to talk about why something more isn't done in the United States.
[15:20:08] Everybody, of course, has an opinion on it, but the level of shock at this overseas, you can't really overstate it. I mean, people are
disgusted by this and they feel sorry for Americans that see this happen over and over again -- Hala.
GORANI: Michelle Kosinski, live in Ankara, Turkey, thanks very much.
Still to come, the other major story we are following for you tonight, South Africa's new president vows to govern with, quote, "humility." But
Cyril Ramaphosa bring his fractured party back together. We are live in Capetown.
GORANI: It is a new dawn in South Africa. For the first time in nearly a decade, the country has a new leader, Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in today
after embattled President Jacob Zuma finally resigned. In the National Assembly, they were both cheers and protests. So, is Ramaphosa the man to
bring South Africa together? Here's David McKenzie.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The room packed with parliamentarians with last-minute invites. Cyril Ramaphosa
sworn in as the next president of South Africa after a late-night resignation from his scandal-plagued predecessor.
CYRIL RAMAPHOSA, SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT: I do believe that when one is elected in this Type of position, you basically become a servant of the
people of South Africa.
MCKENZIE: Relief and celebration for many in the ruling party, who say this hastily organized ceremony was, in fact, a long time coming.
JACKSON MTHEMBU, ANC CHIEF WHIP: This man for the entirety of his life has fought for the freedom of this people of this country.
MCKENZIE: A union organizer during apartheid and a protege of Nelson Mandela, he was on the fast track to becoming president. Ramaphosa became
the ANC's chief negotiator with the outgoing racist regime with a reputation as being tough but fair.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The regime is determined to block any advance to democracy.
MCKENZIE: But when it came time to step down, Mandela, pressured by the ANC, chose another successor. Ramaphosa left government for business,
becoming one of the richest men in South Africa. Those business ties came into question in 2012 when police brutally killed scores of striking miners
at a platinum mine near Marikana. He was a board member of the company that owned the mine.
RAMAPHOSA: The responsibility has to be collective and as a nation, we should dip our heads and accept that we did fail the people of Marikana,
particularly the families and the workers and those who died.
[15:25:12] MCKENZIE: He was cleared or wrongdoing. By the time, he reentered politics as deputy president, many hoped he could drive the
country forward. Instead, under the leadership of Jacob Zuma, the country faltered, entering a reception.
And through Zuma's multiple corruption scandals, court challenges and street demonstrations, like many in the ruling ANC, the once vocal
Ramaphosa stayed silent.
RAMAPHOSA: South Africa must come first in everything that we all do.
MCKENZIE: Now, much not just the party leader but the country's new president, Ramaphosa must convince South Africa he is the leader it
GORANI: Well, David McKenzie joins me now live from Capetown. So how will this change things, Cyril Ramaphosa, compared to both Jacob Zuma and the
president before him. Will this bring the party together, the country together?
MCKENZIE: Well, certainly you saw the signs of that perhaps today in parliament, Hala, in that sitting of most of the members of parliament.
You saw Cyril Ramaphosa naming each parliamentarian and the opposition that spoke to his election by name and reaching across the aisle, even hugging
the leader of the opposition after his speech.
So, certainly making the right noises about moving the country forward. But he is tainted by association with ex-President Jacob Zuma. Now, it
depends on how hard the country goes after the graft allegations as to whether Ramaphosa is seen as someone to take the country in a new direction
or just more of the same.
GORANI: And what about the party itself? This is also a blow to the party, Jacob Zuma and having to deal with his indecision and refusal to
leave for a long time and the corruption allegations and accusations against him.
MCKENZIE: That's right, Hala. The ANC is deeply wounded by the tenure of Jacob Zuma and in the past few years especially those corruption
allegations have been damaging to the party. And you didn't really see the party kind of throw their weight with the opposition against Zuma at all
until very recently.
So, their moral standing kind of has come as a recent change. We spoke to the chief whip of the party. One thing he mentioned is that though the ANC
hasn't said publicly why they recalled Zuma, he said there will be a public reckoning at some point.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MTHEMBU: There is no organization that recalls a person for nothing. There is no concession that deploys for a person having done thing. Yes,
there are reasons, but at an opportune time the ANC I believe will be able to put those reasons.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCKENZIE: Well, Hala, there's already a move to take on people accused of corruption. You've seen a real sea change in the way that the prosecuting
authority, the police and the Elite Crimes Unit is operating in this country. Whether it leads to the big fish, potentially Zuma himself being
prosecuted, that we're going to have to wait and see -- Hala.
GORANI: David McKenzie live in Capetown with this significant new chapter for South Africa.
Still to come tonight, tales of survival and anger. Some students who survived the school shooting in Florida predict there will be more to come.
That's how common they've become. We'll hear from them and we will also have a deep discussion on why the U.S. appears powerless to stop these
types of massacres. We'll be right back.
[15:30:18] GORANI: Let's return now to our top story, that school shooting in Florida. Seventeen people killed in a massacre. The suspect, a former
student of the school. He appeared in court just last hour. CNN's Kyung Lah was inside that hearing. Here's some of her reporting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We heard from the top public defender here. He became so emotional, he had to step away from the camera
a couple of different times as he described the young man that his office will be defending. He said that this defendant is on suicide watch, that
this is a deeply troubled young man, that throughout his entire life he has suffered from -- and this a quote, "significant mental illness," that while
they are in the process of gathering all of his mental health history, they say that he suffers from brain development and that -- and he suffers
depression and that all of this came to a head, that one of the moments that really came to a head is the loss of his mother in November of last
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Kyung Lah reporting there. Seventeen people dead at a school. And by the way, some of them are so on very much critical condition in
hospital. Teachers were killed, students were killed. In most countries, the scene is unthinkable, right? Once in a lifetime, once in a generation
atrocity. But in the United States with grim regularity. It happened eight times this year, 48 times last year. Young survivors of Wednesday's
shooting are describing the horror they witnessed. They're also reacting with anger and perhaps unsurprisingly, they're predicting that these
rampages will continue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELSEY FRIEND, SCHOOL SHOOTING WITNESS: People said there's gunshots downstairs. I'm like, I talked to my teacher and I said I am scared, I
don't know what's going on. And then we heard the gunshots.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And then you turned around and you went back to your geography classroom?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And then what happened?
FRIEND: My geography teacher unlocked the door and I had ran in and thinking he was behind me, but he was not.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What happened to your teacher?
FRIEND: He unfortunately passed away in the doorway of our classroom.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you see him get shot?
FRIEND: I did not. I heard the gunshots and I've heard the shooter walk down the hallway shooting more kids. I've heard a young man crying for his
mother dying. And it was just hard, because you don't imagine this happening to you. You see it on the news, you see it everywhere and you
don't think -- this is not -- you think it's not going to happen to you but until it happens. You just like -- this is terrible. We had rumors going
around the school that the police would do a fake code red with fake guns, not actual, but sounding real. And I thought at the beginning that this
was just -- it was all a drill, it's just a drill, until I saw my teacher dead on the floor.
DAVID HOGG, SCHOOL SHOOTING WITNESS: And people are going to keep saying, oh, this is just another shooting, it's never going to happen to me. But
what happens is when you don't take action, things like this eventually will happen to you. And that's not acceptable. And that's why I'm calling
people to stand up. Talk to your congressmen, talk to people and don't stop fighting, because children will continue to die if we don't take a
stand now. What we really need is action. Because we can say, yes, we're going to do all these things, thoughts and prayers, what we need more than
that is action. Please, this is the 18th one this year. That's unacceptable. We're children. You guys are the adults. You need to take
some action and play a role, work together, come over your politics and get something done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[15:35:03] GORANI: And it's interesting that this is really the youngest generation, the ones that will be voting in the future saying, do
something, because clearly politicians have not done enough to prevent these. Now, the young man in the interview said it was the 18th school
shooting. It's not incorrect. But it's the eighth school rampage of the year in the United States, so far. So there have been eight.
To discuss, I'm joined now by two guests, Brian Klaas is a fellow at the London School of Economics. He's with me here in the studio. I'm also
joined by David French. He's a constitutional lawyer and a writer with the National Review. He is in Nashville, Tennessee.
I want to start with you, Brian. So we heard from that young man, do something. Politicians, get over the politics and keep us safe, we're only
kids. Why in America -- this is what many people around the world ask -- do these shootings happen time and time again?
BRIAN KLAAS, FELLOW, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: Well, there's easy access to guns for people who shouldn't have guns in the U.S. And it's the major
outlier where the U.S. is out of step with the rest of the world. You think about this country. We had 26 gun murders in the U.K. last year.
There are 11,000 in the U.S. and there's a five times the population of the U.S., but 423 times the gun murders.
GORANI: So it's not just easy access to guns. You have almost just as many guns in Canada per capita.
KLAAS: Well, there's much more regulation around them. And I think there's also the aspects here where you have a series contagion effect
that's happening where people are copy catting. They're getting more deadly, because also no political will to solve this. It was only 139 days
ago that somebody in Las Vegas shot over people, 58 of them killed, 850 wounded. And that person used a device called a bump stock which turns a
semiautomatic assault into a fully automatic weapon. There was chatter for maybe three or four days about banning that and they did nothing. And
every single time this happens there's discussion and then nothing. And my point of view is simply, we have to stop this. There has to be some way.
It's not good enough to just say this is part of life now.
GORANI: David French in Nashville, what is the right approach in your opinion here, more regulation, more laws?
DAVID FRENCH, WRITER, NATIONAL REVIEW: No, I don't think more regulation, more laws, unless somebody can point to me what additional regulation or
which additional law would have mattered. So for example, if you look at this case, like, many, many cases, what you will have seen is that people
actually did take action as that young man rightly urged and somebody drop the ball. There were reports of at least one report to the FBI about this
individual, perhaps up to two reports to law enforcement about this individual, obviously nothing effective was done. If you look at the
Sutherland Springs shooting, what you have is the circumstance where the actual background check system failed because the military didn't report a
disqualifying conviction for this shooter. And you go through these shootings time and time again and we'll see that there are existing
policies, there are existing laws, and time and time again they fail.
GORANI: But David, there's empirical evidence. You have countries that had their own school massacres, whether it was Britain was done blaming in
Scotland or in Australia where they offered gun amnesties and tightened gun control laws and then you didn't have any more shootings after that. That
can't be a coincidence.
FRENCH: So there's a couple of things in play. Number one, if you're talking about confiscation, which is something that happened in --
GORANI: No, an amnesty, not a confiscation.
FRENCH: What happened in Australia was there was --if you tried do in Australia what you did in the -- if you tried to do in the United States
what you did in Australia, it would break this country, because you would be running straight up against the second amendment of the United States
constitution. You would need to amend the constitution. It would be an unprecedented intrusion of the government into the private sphere in this
country. And there might be parts of America that would be acceptable to that. It would not be acceptable in the large part of the country. And
that's why not even democrats propose this. Not even democrats. So when you're talking about the United States of America, you have to talk about a
public debate that is conducted within the bounds of the second amendment. And you also have to understand that this public debate occurs against the
backdrop of a 25-year long drop in gun violence. The gun violence has dropped significantly over the last 25 years, even as access to guns has
GORANI: I'm not familiar with that particular statistics, but school shootings and mass shootings have increased. That's undeniable, right?
GORANI: Brian Klaas, what is your reaction to that, the fact that known you restricted gun laws and in fact what was done in Australia and in
Britain couldn't be done in America because it would be technically unconstitutional?
KLAAS: So I think that there has been a decline in gun violence, but still to the tune of 11,000 murders a year, which is too high. And in terms of
actual common sense legislation, universal background checks are a no- brainer. They need to be fixed. I mean, the idea that this is just a failure of the system, well, there's no real discussion about how to fix it
even. Right? Universal background checks, 90 percent of Americans support it. They're still not enacted. The idea that we can actually enact other
common sense goals that most people have like assault rifle bans, right? 70 to 80 percent of Americas straight with that. And the AR-15, by the
way, is commonly used in these mass shootings. It can be banned. It was banned until 2004 and that was repealed.
[15:40:13] GORANI: But, David, I want to ask you that, because is it going against the constitution to say these semiautomatic weapons that can kill
20, 30, 40 people in 10 minutes, the constitution was not written when those weapons existed. Why not adapt to the legislation to these new
weapons? How can a boy, 19 years old who can't buy a beer passed a background check to buy this assault rifle? I mean, in the entire world,
people are saying this is nuts.
FRENCH: Well, the entire world's opinion about what is or is not nuts is not terribly relevant to the American debate, to be honest. The fact of
the matter is, what we have seen happen is since 1999 when the Columbine shooting occurred, there has been a very complex, very troubling social
cultural phenomenon where young men have been increasingly likely to engage in these spree killings. Now, the problem is when you talk about common
sense gun restrictions, not one of these common sense gun restrictions has been shown to have any effect or would have any effect on the actual mass
shootings. And why is this? These killers are some of the most pre- carefully premeditating killers alive. They plan for this for months. Sometimes they planned for this for years.
GORANI: I get that. David, I need to pick your brain on this. What then is the particularity of the United States' problem? Why is it -- if you
say there's no law that can prevent -- because this is a premeditated crime, no law could prevent these crime from happening, why then in America
and literally nowhere else? What's the reason?
FRENCH: Well, since Columbine in particular, because if you look before Columbine, these kinds of things -- that's referencing a 1999 school
massacre, it actually created a weird cult following in the United States, a kind of cult following to that to my knowledge doesn't exist elsewhere.
If you look at before Columbine, these kinds of spree shootings were remarkably rare. Post-Columbine, they were more common. And then what
begin to happen is we saw that time and time again existing laws failed to stop the most determined killers. And then when you go into Congress,
these marginal additional changes such as, quote, unquote, "universal background checks" -- I don't think anyone's arguing that universal
background checks would have stopped anyone of these spree killers. Enforcement of existing laws would have stopped a few.
GORANI: I need to get one last, because you've been shaking your head, Brian.
KLAAS: When the idea that the rest of the world thinks that the U.S. is nuts when it comes to guns is relevant. It should be a wakeup call. We
have children in Florida in November who are buying inserts into their backpacks that are bulletproofs so they can survive a massacre like this.
That is not normal. These children had to go to drills to figure out what to do when an active shooter comes in and then they came in yesterday. It
is totally crazy. But are the state of our debate is such for around the edges discussing this when we are the only country that this happens
regularly. And the attitude of politicians that nothing can be done when it's been sold everywhere else is insane.
FRENCH: What's the proposal? What is the proposal?
KLAAS: So the proposal is universal background checks, way less easy access to guns --
FRENCH: The universal background checks wouldn't have stopped one of these things.
KLAAS: 300 million guns in circulation? This 19-year-old kid had a very easy time obtaining a weapon of war legally. That is nuts. Because an AR-
15 can kill dozens of people in a very short amount of time. We cannot solve every problem with every law, but we can make it harder to commit
massacres and we should try to do that. The Republican solution to this has been nothing. And that is --
FRENCH: That's not correct. That's not correct. The Republican response is to enforce existing law. Many legislators say it would be better --
GORANI: We need to end it there. We need to end it there. And some Democratic politicians were also in charge at times when no significant
laws were passed as well. But we want to keep this decision going another time. Thanks to both of you. Brian Klaas and David French in Nashville,
I'll have more news ahead for you. But first, I want to share and because -- just refocusing the issues on the victims. I want to share some of the
names and photographs of some of the people who were killed.
GORANI: Well, I want to give you an update on the Oxfam scandal. We've been reporting this week that the charity is under fire over revelations
that some of its workers hired prostitutes in the aftermath of Haiti's 2010 earthquake. And there are allegations that Oxfam, potentially, knew about
some of the misconduct and covered it up. We're hearing from the man at the center the charity's disgraced former chief of operations in Haiti. He
told the Belgian newspaper, "There are a lot of people that will blush with embarrassment if they hear my version of the facts. Not that I deny
everything, certainly not. And there are things that are being describe correctly. But I'm also reading a lot of lies and exaggerations.
The aid sector is having to face some very tough questions. At the same time, still trying to deal with humanitarian crises the world and raising
money. I want to bring in Michael Klosson, he's the vice president of Policy and Humanitarian Response at Save the Children and he joins me now
live from Washington. Thanks for being with us.
I want to get to a report there from Save the Children in a moment. But first, your reaction to what happened with Oxfam and some aid workers who
say this goes way beyond Oxfam, this is a problem with the international aid system, some misconduct that doesn't always get reported. What do you
say to that?
MICHAEL KLOSSON, VICE PRESIDENT OF POLICY AND HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE, SAVE THE CHILDREN: Well, thanks, Hala. I think the Save the Children certainly
wants to ensure that everyone we work with is safe and protected. Obviously, that means the communities that we're serving and especially the
children that we're serving, but also our staff. We have a policy of zero tolerance, for its any abuse. In fact, we campaign for increased
accountability and increase monitoring. When it comes to child safeguarding, for example, which because of the nature of our mission, we
take that very, very seriously. We've really staffed up over the past year and we've conducted trainings and do a lot more in communities. So I think
our policy is zero tolerance of abuse. It's something that the entire humanitarian and development community, we need to raise the bar on this.
And we're also doing that within children itself.
GORANI: How do you do that?
KLOSSON: Again, our policy is one where we want -- within Save the Children, we want to have an inclusive and a safe environment and we're
having conversations with our staff to say we have this policy of zero tolerance, how do we bring that even more to life, what steps can we take?
How can we ensure safe guarding? How can we improve reporting? We want to have a cultural change.
GORANI: But this is a long-term project, obviously.
KLOSSON: Well, this begins within each organization, but it's not solved within each organization. And clearly Save the Children is talking across
the humanitarian aid sectors with many other organizations. Here in Washington, there's a group called interaction which is the umbrella
organization and the CEO are collectively deciding how do we go about making this a greater priority and raising the bar and what concrete steps
can we learn from each other?
GORANI: I want to talk about your report which has a startling number and in one in six kids live in areas around the world, so we're talking
hundreds of millions potentially, live in areas affected by conflict. So in order to respond to this, you need to raise funds. Are you worried that
these types of scandals are going to affect donations?
KLOSSON: Well, I think the main -- the reason we're bringing this report out is that number -- I don't think has ever been put on the table. And
that number which is 357 million, at least 357 million children should really give the world pause and concentrate the minds of leaders. And so
what we're trying to do is say to everyone, this is an urgent problem that needs to be solved. As you say, one out of six children live in harm's way
and they're being harmed. And the numbers have doubled over the past 20 years.
[15:50:09] GORANI: They've doubled. And when you say areas affected by conflicts, so this would mean obviously warzones, but then also say refugee
camps that are populated by people fleeing war zones, issues in Latin America with paramilitary groups or drug lords, that kind of thing? Is
that how you come to that number?
KLOSSON: The number of children impacted by conflict is much larger. This report really is applies to children who are living very close to violence,
so within 50 kilometers. It's a narrower swath of a much larger problem.
GORANI: No, please finish your thought.
KLOSSON: Well, no. I was going to say, I think that the number is a big number and it's gotten bigger over the last 20 years. I think the
startling fact is that this is not just a case of children that getting caught in the cross fire, this is children getting targeted in the cross
hairs. This is -- it's not a question of children being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Many of these are cases where children are in school,
so in the right place, and yet they're also being killed in schools. And that leads to an answer to your question you just raised. I mean, warfare
is coming into cities, into urban areas. Warfare increasingly is using high explosive weapons. So those are causing much larger casualties, wars
are lasting longer on average. And then finally, there's this deliberate targeting of children with impunity, which must stop.
GORANI: And if people watching tonight think I'm touched and I'm upset by this report, I want to donate but I don't know these big bureaucratic
organizations, where my money goes and then there was this scandal with Oxfam. What do you say to people who are expressing doubts now?
KLOSSON: I would say that choose wisely. But there are a lot of organizations such as Save the Children that are very mindful of ensuring
that the resources get to the people in need. And we put in place on oversee policy but also humanitarian response effort. We have a lot of
things in place to ensure that a very high portion of the money is actually going to the kids and the families that need it. There's a portion that
goes to overhead and so forth, but we're really vigilant on that.
GORANI: Michael Klosson, thanks very much for joining us from Save the Children. We appreciate your time this evening.
KLOSSON: Thank you, Hala. Appreciate it.
GORANI: We're going to take a quick break. We'll be right back. Stay with us.
GORANI: Now, in days like these with heartbreaking stories coming from Florida, it's easy to focus on all that's wrong in the world, but we also
like to share inspiring stories of people who are working to make the world better. They're out there. For the next few weeks CNN's introducing you
to some of the world's top young scientists, entrepreneurs and inventors. We are calling them tomorrow's heroes.
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: More than two billion people lack access to clean drinker water at home. It's a major health
issue responsible for the death of millions of people every year. Tomorrow's hero is working to help people detect the invisible enemy hiding
in the water they drink.
[15:55:02] GITANJALI RAO, 12-YEAR-OLD INNOVATOR: My name is Gitanjali Rao. I am 12 years old. I'm in seventh grade and I go to STEM School Highlands
Ridge. So I developed a device to detect lead in water should the current techniques out say. It uses nanotube-based sensor in order to give you
instantaneous results on your smart phone of safe, slightly contaminated or critical of the lead status in your water.
I was originally introduced to the Flint water crisis through a STEM lab. And it was just appalling to see the number of people who were affected by
lead in water.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look right at me. Look right at me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When her son Gavin started to become ill, it was subtle. So subtle the end waters wouldn't have been blamed for missing it.
RAO: The purpose of scientist is to make a difference. We can have lead contaminated water, but then what are we going to do with it? In the name
of science, we can use it to help prevent anybody else from drinking lead contaminated water. I am very passionate about girls in STEM. Most people
think that science is a boy subject and other subjects can be girl subjects. If you like science, then go for it. I love science. It's one
of my favorite subjects in school. I like innovating and inventing new technologies. So that's what I was passionate about.
It's not just about being who someone tells you to be. It's about what you're passionate about. I partnered with Denver Water and I am working on
performing my tests and doing research there. So at this point, I am working on redesigning the device structure, refining my sensors, adding
various tables and charts for more accurate values.
I want to see this in the market so that it's in everyone's hands in the next year.
GORANI: I'm Hala Gorani. Stay with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next.
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