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NRA Spokesperson on Gun Control Debate; NRA Lashes Out Against Media; Steph Curry on Van Jones Show; Teachers Toting Guns. Aired 8:30-9:00a ET

Aired February 23, 2018 - 08:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[08:30:00] DANA LOESCH, NRA SPOKESPERSON: Many in legacy media love mass shootings. You guys love it. Now, I'm not saying that you love the tragedy, but I am saying that you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold to you and many in the legacy media in the back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, here to discuss that and more is Dana Loesch, the NRA's national spokesperson.

Dana, before we start, I just do want to, once again, tell you how much we all appreciated you coming to the CNN town hall. We know you didn't have to do that. And we just appreciate you accepting that invitation and being there for that really important conversation.

DANA LOESCH, NRA SPOKESPERSON: Well, Alisyn, thank you for having me this morning.

And, you know, I went to that -- I went -- I knew it wasn't going to be easy and I went because I wanted to offer solutions. And I'm also outraged about all of this. And I'm also a parent. And I'm very concerned with the way that protocol, when conducting red flag checks and processing all of that, I'm concerned about all of that. And that's why I want to -- I want to get to the bottom of it. I want to offer solutions. And I want to see how we can partner together to stop it.

CAMEROTA: OK.

LOESCH: So that's why I showed up and that's why I wanted to hear.

CAMEROTA: OK, great. So let's get to that.

Let's just start with the sound bite that we just played of you at CPAC. You say many in the media love mass shootings. You guys love it. You love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold to you.

So, Dana, why would you say -- why would you make a statement like that?

LOESCH: Because it's true. Alisyn, because there are many, not all --

CAMEROTA: You think we love mass shootings?

LOESCH: Well, I said many. I said many, not all. But I do think that the way that network and --

CAMEROTA: Who? Who loves mass shootings?

LOESCH: I do think that many in the media do because they like the ratings aspect of it.

CAMEROTA: No.

LOESCH: And it's true because it's wall-to-wall coverage. They put the murder's face up on loop --

CAMEROTA: No.

LOESCH: On televisions all across America more than they discuss even the victims or survivors.

CAMEROTA: Listen --

LOESCH: That individual's name has been mentioned and is still mentioned on your network.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

LOESCH: And, Alisyn, I want to say something to you really quickly.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

LOESCH: I think Jake Tapper did an admirable job. I think that he -- I think ultimately lost control. I have a lot of respect for Jake. I think he -- I think it was a tough spot that he was in also.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

LOESCH: But I do think that maybe perhaps the way that the network was hosting this discussion, it didn't seem that the network perhaps intended for it to be geared towards discussing solutions. Which, I get it, emotions are high. And it's awful.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

LOESCH: I mean it's not even -- barely been a week ago.

CAMEROTA: But let's --

LOESCH: But I really want to have that discussion as to what we can do to stop this in the future.

CAMEROTA: Yes, so do I. Of course. That's why we had the town hall. So, listen, that's why we had lawmakers there, so that the kids could pose questions directly to them.

But, Dana, it's just -- it's just malicious, actually, that you would say that. I don't know anybody in the media who likes mass shootings. You're wrong on every single level. We pray that there's never another one. And the idea of them being ratings gold --

LOESCH: I hope that you do. But, Alisyn, I have to interject here.

CAMEROTA: Hold on, Dana, let me answer this. I have to -- you just made a malicious statement and I have to respond. Guess what, they're not ratings gold because Americans have reached saturation level. They're so sick of it.

LOESCH: I hope they have.

CAMEROTA: It's so heartbreaking that they actually often turn away. And we still have the conversation trying to find solutions.

LOESCH: I need to interject, though, Alisyn. You're saying that though it's malicious.

CAMEROTA: It is.

LOESCH: But let -- you're saying that it's malicious, but yet on your network you've allowed accusations against me and millions of law- abiding Americans as -- and to be indicted as child murders. I've watched you, Alisyn, on your program, at this very time slot, and you -- you've allowed that to stand uncorrected on your network.

CAMEROTA: We've never said that, Dana. We've never said that you were a child murderer. Listen, you've used all of this heated language --

LOESCH: You've allowed it to stand uncorrected on your network.

CAMEROTA: That's not true, Dana.

LOESCH: If you want to have a discussion of maliciousness.

CAMEROTA: It's not true.

LOESCH: But I don't want to get here, Alisyn, let me go back and forth with you.

CAMEROTA: We've never called you a child murderer. Just --

LOESCH: It is true. Your network coverage --

CAMEROTA: We have to be facts-based.

LOESCH: No, you've allowed the accusations to stand, Alisyn. Please follow what I'm saying. You've allowed that (INAUDIBLE) to stand.

CAMEROTA: I don't believe you. I don't believe you and I -- I don't believe you.

LOESCH: You've done nothing to correct it. You've done nothing to correct that. And that is malicious. And then so is your coverage by the network.

CAMEROTA: But, listen, Dana, you know -- Dana, you know --

LOESCH: But, Alisyn, (INAUDIBLE) --

CAMEROTA: Hold on, let me get in -- I will make my statement and then you can respond.

You know that you're using heated rhetoric. You're using inflammatory rhetoric. How is that part of the solution?

LOESCH: Inflammatory rhetoric. Again, you've allowed millions of law- abiding Americans (INAUDIBLE) be impugned and indicted as (INAUDIBLE) murderers.

CAMEROTA: Answer my question. You, at CPAC, used that inflammatory rhetoric.

LOESCH: That's inflammatory.

CAMEROTA: Fine.

Why did you use it at CPAC? Why are you doing that?

LOESCH: Because it's true, Alisyn. And maybe the truth hurts, but it's true, particularly with the way that many in the media have covered this.

CAMEROTA: We love mass shootings? It's not true. You know this. That's just not true.

LOESCH: Alisyn, let me ask you this.

CAMEROTA: How dare you.

LOESCH: Where have been -- where has been the wall to wall coverage about how 7 million prohibited possessors right now can go out and get a firearm? Were you aware of this? Did you know that 7 million prohibited possessors right now can go out and get a firearm, including those who have been adjudicated mentally unfit?

[08:35:05] CAMEROTA: Yes, guess what, there's lots of --

LOESCH: And do you want to know why that is? That's scary. I want to stop that.

CAMEROTA: Good. So do we. So do we.

LOESCH: I want to fix that. You know how to do it right now? Politicians could do it today.

CAMEROTA: Great. That's why we invited --

LOESCH: I hope that CNN joins me in asking for politicians -- let me -- let me finish this. So this is huge, Alisyn. And we can make a huge difference right here right now.

CAMEROTA: Dana, this is why we invited the lawmakers. Go ahead.

LOESCH: Politicians need to right now call for states to fully submit all convictions to the National Crime Information Center. That is when -- when you go to buy -- purchase a firearm, your 4473 runs through the NICS system.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

LOESCH: The NICS system pulls that data from the NCIC.

Alisyn, right now, 38 states submit less than 80 percent of records.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

LOESCH: That means, do the math, there are 7 million prohibited possessors out there right now. We could stop that. We could fix that right now.

CAMEROTA: Fantastic.

LOESCH: We've been calling for it at the NRA for over 25 years.

CAMEROTA: Great. Fantastic.

LOESCH: Politicians can do it.

CAMEROTA: OK. Let me get a word in.

LOESCH: We -- I -- please, I hope your network grills them on that.

CAMEROTA: Listen, we're open to all suggestions, great suggestion. There's lots of blame to go around. But I think you have to take some responsibility that when you go to CPAC and you gin them up against the media by claiming that we love mass shootings and kids being killed --

LOESCH: Alisyn, I --

CAMEROTA: You need to take some responsibility that that's not a helpful conversation.

LOESCH: I didn't do that.

Well, you guys should probably maybe perhaps take some responsibility in the handling and coverage of the matter and don't allow accusations against millions of Americans as child murders to stand uncorrected on your network.

CAMEROTA: You know that -- listen, Dana, you know that that's not true.

LOESCH: That's also inflammatory.

CAMEROTA: It's not true. We don't use that kind of language.

LOESCH: Millions of innocent Americans had nothing to do with this.

CAMEROTA: We just --

LOESCH: But you know who did? My -- my job -- I'm not in the FBI and I'm not in law enforcement --

CAMEROTA: Uh-huh.

LOESCH: But I'm going to tell you, Alisyn, someone's going to look like a school shooter if they tell publicly on social media people that they're going to shoot up a school, if they send their classmates messages that they're going to kill them, that they're going to shoot them --

CAMEROTA: Right. Yes. We've been talking about all of this.

LOESCH: That they're going to make them bleed. Under -- did you know that under Florida state law --

CAMEROTA: We know this.

LOESCH: That's a felony and that that individual could have been taken into custody right then and there?

CAMEROTA: I -- I get it.

LOESCH: Why wasn't that done?

CAMEROTA: We are talking about all of this.

LOESCH: Why did no one -- why did no one ask the sheriff of Broward County that? That's --

CAMEROTA: Yes, I --

LOESCH: That's what I want to know.

CAMEROTA: Listen --

LOESCH: I'm a parent. These agencies that promise to keep our kids safe, and they haven't. That's why I want answers, too. And I hope you join me in questioning them.

CAMEROTA: That's what we're doing. Of course that's what we're doing and there's blame to go around.

I think that it's just -- it does gets upsetting and unsettling when we see you at the town hall and you're expressing sympathy with the kids and you're talking from a position of being a mom --

LOESCH: Yes, of course.

CAMEROTA: And then the next day we hear you saying that we like mass shootings. So let's just remind people -- here was --

LOESCH: Because these are two separate issues. I am frustrated with the media and I'm frustrated with how some at your network have handled this. But these people who have been through hell and back --

CAMEROTA: Dana, you need to either give exact examples without hyperbole or you need to stop staying things like that. LOESCH: I just did. You allowed -- you have allowed repeatedly on your

program, Alisyn --

CAMEROTA: I have not. No, I haven't.

LOESCH: And you can go back and look at the footage you shot no less than two days ago, no fewer than two days ago.

CAMEROTA: And it's just not true. It's not true. And it's not true. And you know what else --

LOESCH: You've allowed accusations that -- that NRA members are somehow complicit in this. You've allowed those accusations on your network.

CAMEROTA: OK. OK, listen, NRA member --

LOESCH: These are parents, too, Alisyn, and they want to keep their kids safe.

CAMEROTA: Hold on. You have to let me get a word in.

The NRA does bear some responsibility in terms of fixing this solution. They do need to come to the table.

LOESCH: No, we absolutely do not.

CAMEROTA: Of course you do.

LOESCH: We're parents, too.

CAMEROTA: The idea -- Dana --

LOESCH: And we want -- we want to be able to make sure that our kids are also kept safe.

CAMEROTA: Of course you do. You have a stake in this and you have to come up with solutions. And you can say it's not our responsibility. You have to look into background checks.

LOESCH: I just proposed a remedy (ph). I have many more if you want to hear them.

CAMEROTA: Fantastic. But you're also saying that you don't -- you know, it's so interesting that you guys want to talk about all sorts of things. You talk about the mistakes at the FBI. You're happy to talk about mental health.

LOESCH: Yes.

CAMEROTA: But when it comes to gun violence --

LOESCH: Yes.

CAMEROTA: You don't want to talk about guns. LOESCH: We always do, in fact. I mean we have Eddie Eagle programs. We

have the School Shield program where in schools have been encouraged to adopt steps to keep them more -- to keep them safer and to make sure that children feel safe. We have -- we've trained law enforcement officers. No other organization has trained more law enforcement officers across the country than the NRA. Thousands across the country.

CAMEROTA: And why --

LOESCH: We have some members in the Broward County Sheriff's Department, by the way.

CAMEROTA: And why in this entire conversation have I never heard you mention the point of purchase, that the seller of the gun should not have allowed this depressed and antisocial 19-year-old to develop an arsenal, to build an arsenal.

LOESCH: Oh, I have (ph).

CAMEROTA: Why don't we talk about the seller?

LOESCH: I -- you know what -- I -- Alisyn, you and I -- you and I agree 100 percent that this murderer should never have been able to purchase a firearm. You and I agree 100 percent. I -- and you are exactly right on that.

CAMEROTA: And can we make -- that's good. And can we make -- and so can we make changes at the point of purchase for the seller?

LOESCH: This is what -- this is what I'm talking about. I want to go back to this again. And I promise you, Alisyn, this is where it starts. Point of purchase. Seven million prohibited possessors right now will pass a background check. If they went out and purchased another firearm or got one today, they'd pass it, because their records are not submitted into the National Crime Information Center. So when you run a NICS check, you can't -- their name won't come up as being a prohibited processor.

[08:40:18] This is why I have been so loudly, particularly this past week, calling on politicians, along with millions of members of the NRA. They have to change this. They could do this tomorrow. That, right there, is a point of sale that you're talking about, Alisyn. That's why it's important. Thirty-eight states submit less than 80 percent of these convictions.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

LOESCH: And there are ten categories of prohibited possessor convictions --

CAMEROTA: Yes.

LOESCH: Adjudicated mentally unfit is one of those.

CAMEROTA: Yes. LOESCH: And we have to -- we have to call for politicians to have states submit those records, all of them.

CAMEROTA: OK. Great. Great point.

Now, I want to ask you about a couple of other points at the NRA.

Is it true that the NRA will not consider raising the minimum age of purchasing a rifle?

LOESCH: Yes, that's true.

CAMEROTA: And why not?

LOESCH: Well, because raising the -- well, first off, let me put it like this. The murderer in Sutherland Springs, who was stopped by an NRA member and an NRA instructor was 27 years old. Raising the age is not going to solve psychosis.

And also -- I also look at it like this. When I lived on my own, Alisyn, I was 20 years old. I was 20 years old and I did not live at home with my parents. I was a young woman. I was at the weird spot for a lot of young adults transitioning from living with their parents and going to college, being on their own.

CAMEROTA: Yes. Of course.

LOESCH: And I don't -- I have had friends who have experienced some pretty horrible things, some pretty brutal things and survived.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

LOESCH: And I know that they and I would never want them to be without the ability to defend themselves. We have a lot of awesome --

CAMEROTA: And did you -- I hear you. I like this. Hold on, I just want to get in because I like this point. I like this point.

LOESCH: Yes.

CAMEROTA: So you want young women to be able to defend themselves. And did you need an AR-15?

LOESCH: Yes, I had -- I had several rifles, in fact. The first that I ever purchased in terms of long guns was a shotgun. And then I ended up getting an AR-15. In fact, that is what women -- that's the most popular home defense rifle for women in the United States of America.

And I don't want anyone to have their right to be able to defend themselves denied when they're adults at 20 years old. I want them to be able to protect themselves.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

LOESCH: And, furthermore, we're asking men and women to go and serve their country, we will give them a firearm when they go to a theater of war but we're not going to let them defend themselves at home?

And one last, quick point on that, Alisyn. There are a lot of, you know, really awesome law abiding young men and women who just enjoy hunting. And that's their grocery store. They like to go and fill their freezer by harvesting in nature and you're also penalizing all of those individuals.

CAMEROTA: Yes, of course. Look, we know that. I mean, look -- well, you know, you know the argument.

LOESCH: Yes, but -- and one caveat. One quick caveat.

CAMEROTA: Hold on. Hold on. Hold on. Hold on. Hold on, Dana, one second.

LOESCH: Law abiding Americans.

CAMEROTA: Yes, of course. There are -- most gun owners, there's something like, I don't know, 270 million guns in this country. Obviously most gun owners are incredibly conscientious people.

LOESCH: Right.

CAMEROTA: But the point is -- I mean we've also heard that no self- respecting hunter needs an AR-15. That's a weapon of war and it's designed for maximum kill of people and other things.

LOESCH: I haven't heard that from anyone who has one though.

CAMEROTA: Well, I mean, and therein lies the problem.

LOESCH: I mean -- and we could have that discussion all day long. But I -- ultimately, I think what a lot of individuals are talking about is banning all semi-automatic rifles. And I think that that ultimately is what the whole point of that conversation is and what the age restriction increase will -- will -- is kind of -- because that seems to be where the discussion was going (INAUDIBLE).

CAMEROTA: Well, see, this -- and this is the problem. I think the is the problem, is that you guys jump right to the slippery slope argument. So instead of just saying, maybe --

LOESCH: But -- but can I explain -- can I explain why that point is?

CAMEROTA: Hold on. Maybe depressed 19-year-old young men shouldn't be able to get an arsenal, including an AR-15. And you guys say, you're going to confiscate everything. You want to do away with the Second Amendment. Also not helpful.

LOESCH: Well, first off, most crimes are actually committed with handguns and you can look at the FBI uniform crime reports on this. It's barely 3 percent of homicides every single year that are committed with long guns, including AR-15s.

CAMEROTA: Understood. But this does seem to be the choice of school shooters, OK? So at the moment we're talking about school shootings. LOESCH: But here's the thing, an AR-15 is just a rifle and the -- what

makes it different is the color of it and what makes it different is the accessories that it has on it. And I think people are talking about (INAUDIBLE).

CAMEROTA: I get it. But somehow it has become the weapon of choice for school shooters.

LOESCH: But it -- but the firearm didn't walk itself into school. I want to go back to that point of prevention. You know, you and I talked, Alisyn, just a moment ago about point of sale. But I think it's important to note, this individual had -- the parents of this individual had made reports to law enforcement saying that he had threatened other people with a gun before.

CAMEROTA: We get it.

LOESCH: And that he had actually held a guns to others' heads.

CAMEROTA: We've been reporting it all day long.

LOESCH: And that he had access to guns. Why was nothing done about that, though, Alisyn? Where -- that's what I want to know. I want to know where those headlines are. Why was nothing done about that?

CAMEROTA: Oh, well, come on. I mean --

LOESCH: Why did he still have access even though law enforcement knew that he had access. He was also sending threatening messages to classmates, which is a felony.

CAMEROTA: Of course. This is what we're looking into. I -- listen, the -- the -- the signals and the red flags were relentless. But I do want to ask a couple of things --

LOESCH: Yes.

[08:45:03] CAMEROTA: Because it does seem that the NRA is not -- if there's a consensus right now and if this is the moment for some change, I just want to ask about a couple of things that the NRA seems to be outside of the mainstream on, bump stocks. Why not ban them?

LOESCH: Well, the NRA actually called, before the president ever said anything, before Attorney General Jeff Sessions was ever called to review it too, they said something that that's -- that's -- they've made the announcement, the NRA came out, Wayne LaPierre said the ATF needs to look at the definition of this. And this is their -- this is their area. This is their wheelhouse. This is why -- one of the reasons why they exist and they have to redefine that.

CAMEROTA: Yes, but you guys could obviously take a position. You could say, we don't need to turn a semi-automatic into an automatic. You could take a position and say, let's ban them.

LOESCH: Well, I mean, if you're talking strictly about bump stocks or anything else, I mean, look, the NRA's made their position on bump stocks incredibly clear. But bump stocks don't have anything to with Parkland.

CAMEROTA: They -- they want them banned? I understand, but do they want them banned?

LOESCH: The NRA's not going to call for anything to be banned. They're calling for the ATF to do their job and be consistent. That's what the ATF's job is.

CAMEROTA: All right.

LOESCH: That's what they're supposed to do. And that's what the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has also called for as well. And, remember, this is something that -- I mean this was immediately right after the Las Vegas tragedy. This is what -- one of the things that the NRA called for.

CAMEROTA: All right, Dana Loesch, we appreciate you being here for this conversation. Obviously everybody has to be at the table, and it is helpful --

LOESCH: I agree.

CAMEROTA: To have a reasonable conversation without heated rhetoric. Thank you.

LOESCH: And I think this was a good conversation right here, Alisyn. Thank you for that.

CAMEROTA: Thank you for being here.

OK. John.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, you know, look, it's very interesting. And in the middle of all of that, you know, in having Dana having the answer for what she said about the media, there was a substantive discussion about that.

Let's talk about some of this more.

Joining us now is CNN political commentator, host of the Van Jones show, Van Jones is here.

CAMEROTA: Nice to have you here.

BERMAN: Look, what did you make of all that?

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, for me it's just -- there's a tribalism that has made it very difficult I think to have these kind of conversations.

You know, the NRA used to be a reasonable organization. They used to really, you know, not have a -- kind of a knee-jerk reaction. She said, we're not going to call for the banning of anything. So you wouldn't call for the banning of bazookas, you know, I mean hand grenades. I mean like -- so they literally have taken the position now of absolutist position that, you know, they're pretty much going to defend all weapons at all costs. That's not the way they used to be.

And so we -- and there used to be a time when Democrats were, you know, mixed enough party that our conversation about guns was more nuanced than it is. And so now you've got this tribalism. And who's paying the cost? Kids who are getting shot, not just in classrooms, but all across this country.

BERMAN: And you have to be able to have the discussion. Look, have the discussion. Defend bump stocks if you want to. Defend AR-15s, if you want to. But you don't have to say that the media loves mass shooting. The fact that that's the NRA position, in addition to the other things, I think just warps the argument.

JONES: You know, CPAC is such an important convention. It's the opportunity for all the conservatives to get together. It's kind of like the revival, that good moment to get folks together. It gives you some insight into the best thinking on the right, but it also gives you some insight into some of the worst tendencies on the right.

And it was so shocking to see her at the town hall meeting, CNN town hall meeting. She was calm. She was measured. She was speaking as a mom. I didn't agree with what she was saying, but her tone seemed responsible.

And then, within 24 hours, she is throwing red meat to this crowd and saying things -- you know, you worry about, you know, irresponsible stuff. You keep telling people that the media likes murder. And, you know, that puts a lot of people at risk. It's irresponsible.

You know, I went to Las Vegas for my show, "The Van Jones Show," which is going to be tomorrow. We've -- I got a chance to talk in Las Vegas, site of the biggest mass shootings. The one -- the biggest mass shooting in the history of the country. I got two survivors of that shooting, one Democrat, one Republican, moms, one pro-gun, one anti- gun, mom survivors in the car with me, in the van with me, with the owner of the gun store who sold the weapons to the sniper. Four of us in the van together talking about this stuff. And the conversation was very deep. It got emotional. But it also got constructive because people are still healing on the ground in these places.

CAMEROTA: Right.

JONES: But what's not happening and what's not good is when these national figures like her go out there and throw out the red meat.

CAMEROTA: Of course.

JONES: That's just not helpful.

CAMEROTA: That's the point, is that the NRA -- it would be helpful, obviously, to have the NRA at the table. I think they have to be for all these conversations in terms of solutions.

JONES: Yes.

CAMEROTA: You heard that she has a solution there. And then they go -- you know, they play to their audience, of course, and they go to CPAC and they say these things about the media that we would love a school shooting.

How dare they? I mean that is -- it's actually sort of sickening. And that's not helpful to the conversation, which was obviously the point that I was making to her.

But if they're going to be involved in the conversation, let's just all take down that rhetoric.

JONES: I think -- I think that's right. And, yes, we sometimes take offense when people do that kind of stuff.

I think it's worse than that. If the only thing that the NRA was doing was saying mean stuff about reporters, that's awful. But the NRA has played such a destructive roll over this whole period of time.

[08:50:08] For instance, I'm not a gun expert. So if I say, look, I want the, you know, the bump stock or whatever, people say, well, how do you know that's going to make a difference? Here's what I say. I don't know and I will never get to know because we don't even get a chance to innovate (ph). We don't get a chance to experiment. We don't get a chance to try this, evaluate after three years, try something else because the NRA has the entire elected officials in our country, all of them, terrorized that they're going to get thrown out of office if they even propose some experimentation.

And so you're now in a situation where you have shooting after shooting after shooting. We've had no federal response. So we don't know what might make a difference. And what -- when you're stopping innovation, stopping experimentation, you're stopping progress. And that's why those young people do not see the NRA as their friend. Across the board, the young people, the kids who are hiding under desks and the cops who go to save them are both saying that the NRA's position is too extreme.

BERMAN: Van, you mentioned your show, "The Van Jones Show," which airs tomorrow night. You talked about a discussion on guns. I often think it's interesting. We can hardly keep track of which shooting we're talking about right now. Las Vegas wasn't so long ago.

JONES: It was October. In October.

BERMAN: If there had been other intervening mass shootings between then.

You also, though, have a chance to talk to Steph Curry, right? You know, one of the great basketball players of all time. But a guy who doesn't care just about basketball.

JONES: Right. Well, I mean, you know, he actually weighed in on the mass shootings. One of the things that's so interesting is, when you see these kind of, you know, shrill debates going on, and everybody's -- oh, I'm always right and I'm the best and I'm the best, and you're terrible, you're terrible. Steph Curry doesn't do any of that on or off the basketball court. His style of leadership is very humble. It's very empowering of other people. And he wins everything.

And so I talked to him about, you know, you guys -- one guy said, you know, I'm going to win all the time. His style is terrible and he hasn't passed that many bills. You, on the other hand, Steph Curry, you know, you win everything. But your style is so empowering. He talks about his wife. He talks about his daughter. He talks about the women in his life. And I just can't help but notice the contrast between a Steph Curry -- and we go into it. We talk about his charitable work. We talk about his family. We talk about politics. And you -- this style, which is so powerful and so effective versus what we're seeing too often in Washington, D.C.

CAMEROTA: Steph Curry for president?

JONES: Hey, listen, Steph Curry for whatever he wants to do. And I -- Steph Curry was built in a lab by dads who want to be able to tell their kids, do your homework, be nice, be polite, work hard and you can make it in America. That's Steph Curry.

BERMAN: I will watch "The Van Jones Show" tomorrow night with my children --

JONES: Yes, you should.

BERMAN: So they can learn how to live, also how to shoot the three. It's at 7:00 Eastern. Van talks with NBA superstar Steph Curry. Be sure to watch.

Thanks, Van.

CAMEROTA: OK, the president says he wants to arm adept teachers and even give them bonuses if they will get gun training. We'll go to one school in Texas that's already arming teachers. What's happening there? That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: President Trump voicing support for arming what he calls adept teachers, even giving them bonuses if they get trained with guns. But would allowing weapons on a campus work?

CNN's Ed Lavandera visited one Texas school that already allows it.

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STEVE CLUGSTON, CALLISBURG SCHOOL DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT: We'll do whatever is necessary to protect our kids. It's sad (ph).

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This is the stark message that greets you when you walk into one of the two school buildings in Callisburg, Texas. Superintendent Steve Clugston oversees what the school district calls The Guardian Program. It's a small force of volunteer school staff allowed to carry a concealed firearm. And Clugston says they're equipped to confront an active shooter.

[08:55:11] CLUGSTON: We don't want to be at the mercy of, you know, somebody that's intent on doing harm. We refuse to be -- to be that person.

LAVANDERA: In the wake of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, the idea of arming teachers has sparked outrage.

ASHLEY KURTH, TEACHER, STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL: Am I supposed to have a Kevlar vest? Am I supposed to strap it to my leg or put it in my desk?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't believe teachers should be armed. I believe teachers should teach.

LAVANDERA: But in some mostly rural communities across the country, the idea of arming teachers is welcomed, even by some students, like this freshman and junior at Callisburg High School, who asked that we not identify them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel protected. I don't feel like they're going to threaten me in any way. I feel like if someone came in, that I know that they're going to handle it. So I feel very protected.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel really safe knowing that I can like come to school, and if there's like an incident that does happen, that they'll be able to like protect us.

LAVANDERA (on camera): Out of the roughly 1,000 school districts across the state of Texas, there are about 170 that have a policy of allowing teachers or administrators to carry a firearm on campus. Here in the small town of Callisburg, their Guardian program was implemented about four years ago, in large part because the city does haven't a local police department. They rely on county sheriffs. And in a county this large, it can take many minutes for those deputies to respond to something like a shooting scene inside a school.

LAVANDERA (voice over): Clugston says the school's Guardian force undergoes active shooter scenario training once a year and routine target practice at gun ranges. But critics say that isn't enough. The school officer at Stoneman Douglas, who was trained far more extensively, waited outside the building as the gunman unleashed a deadly massacre. Steve Clugston is convinced that if his Guardians face the same ordeal, they won't flinch.

CLUGSTON: We're trying to put our teachers in a position to be better equipped to protect their kids. And I have -- I have complete faith in our team that they're willing to stand up and protect our people.

LAVANDERA: The armed teachers here haven't faced the worse case scenario. So the question remains, how will they react if they're forced to face a killer.

Ed Lavandera, CNN, Callisburg, Texas.

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CAMEROTA: Yes, I mean, so that's the problem. A lot of it's hypothetical. We just don't know how this will work in any sort of big numbers until it happens and we don't want it ever to happen again. BERMAN: Will it work? Will teachers want it? Will it prevent

discussions about other things that might work as well?

CAMEROTA: All right, John, great to be with you.

BERMAN: Nice to be here.

CAMEROTA: Have a great weekend.

CNN "NEWSROOM" with Pamela Brown begins after this very quick break. Have a great weekend, everyone.

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[09:00:12] PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, good Friday morning. I'm Pamela Brown.