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After 22 Dead In El Paso, Walmart Urged End to All Firearm's Sales; Classmates Say Gunman Had A Hit List in High School; Ohio Officials Say Shooter's Magazine Could Have Had 250 Rounds If Filled; 8chan Goes Dark Amid Outcry. Aired 3:30-4p ET
Aired August 5, 2019 - 15:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:30:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All right, Walmart is one of the biggest sellers of legal firearms in the United States. So should this be a responsibility that is in the private sector and business as well as just government? If for no other reason government is not getting us anywhere. What do we think of that in wake of the massacre here in El Paso? So now what you'll see is this community is making demands. It's happened at a Walmart. Walmart should act and stop selling weapons.
Well, they already did stop selling the what we call, assault-style weapons. Is that enough? Well, these are tough questions and they are the questions that were faced by our next guest, his name is Edward Stack, the CEO of Dick's Sporting Goods. You know the story, Dick. So let me remind you. In March Dick's stopped selling guns, all guns in 125 stores where the guns were already slow. After this weekend now what will happen?
We'll remember he was one of the first to reach out in his stores and say I'm not selling the assault-style weapons anymore. Is it still true, Dick, that that affected your bottom line negatively?
EDWARD STACK, CEO DICK'S SPORTING GOODS: It definitely did, Chris. It had a real impact on our business but we thought it was the right thing to do and our team did a great job managing through that and if we had a chance to do it all over again, we'd do it all over again exactly the same way.
CUOMO: So the argument always becomes, but you have a responsibility to your shareholders and these are legal things, these are things people want so everything you do is OK. How do you define it to them and to yourself?
STACK: Well, we feel we have to do what we think is right for the -- not only our shareholders, our employees but also the country as a whole and when we see what's happening with the assault-style weapons in the loss of life we felt it was the right thing to do. We called for the ban of the assault-style rifle, we took them out of our stores, we called for a ban of high capacity magazines, we'll no longer sell a firearm to anyone under 21 years old, and we called for universal background checks which I have no idea how somebody cannot be positive on universal background checks.
The last I looked roughly 90 percent of the country endorses the idea of universal background checks.
CUOMO: It all depends on how it's questioned, how it's worded to them. How it's sold? If it's seen as a steppingstone to a slippery slope, you're going to see huge partisan division. Now, one step back from that is how we define what the menace is here. One of the problems with the gun community as you know is that they say, well, how do you define it? Assault style could mean anything. Everything' semi- automatic these days.
You know, 223 isn't even that powerful of a weapon. People say the number like it's so big. It's actually not one of the bigger caliber long guns so what do you say to those types of arguments about it never ends? You can't define the problem with the weapon.
STACK: I think you can define the weapon. The AR-15, AK-47. That type of rifle, you know, it could accommodate a 100-clip magazine which the shooters had this weekend and it's just a gun that is a derivative of a gun the military uses for one reason and one reason only and that is to kill. And we just don't think that gun -- it definitely doesn't have a place in Dick's Sporting Goods or Field and Stream and we don't think it has a place in the country.
It was banned as you know from 1994 to 2004 and we at Dick's Sporting Goods and a number of other retailers think it should be banned again.
CUOMO: What do you think Walmart should do? Look, this isn't about Walmart. The guy was looking for a place that could hold a lot of people but have them trapped in and must have passed a dozen on his way driving here from where he lived. What do you think their responsibility is and what do you think would be the right thing for them to do?
STACK: I think the question is more what is the right thing for the country to do and what's the right thing to do out of Washington? And with something like this we need to have both sides come together and have a conversation about this and find a reasonable solution to these killings. And if you do some of the things we've talked about or that Walmart has done will it eliminate all of these shootings? No but I've always felt if we do these things and we save one life it's all worth it.
We need to get Congress to come together and talk to each other as opposed to about each other. And I signed on to a letter endorsing HR- 8 that the House passed and is sitting on Mitch McConnell's desk and we'd implore Mitch McConnell to bring the Senate back and take a vote on that bill right now. We think -- that's what the country wants and we're supposed to do what the country wants and what the country needs.
[15:35:00] CUOMO: Maybe if you pledged to donate to Mitch McConnell and have all your friends do it maybe that little bit of political motivation would help him. O course you'd be balancing out his concerns of what the President wants and that's why people were hoping that he would be so much more-full throated about it today. Listen Ed, your perspective coming from the private sector is really important.
You have such an effect on so many communities across this country. Thank you for speaking out. I appreciate it.
STACK: Thanks, Chris.
CUOMO: Now, Brooke, you know, I've been to so many of these over the years that I'm very slow to have any type of optimism or something that controls even cynicism but I have hope here and I'll tell you why, this one is different in that there's something so obvious here that would be so easy as a remedy, this guy is a terrorist. He's a white nationalist, white supremacist, white whatever you want to call him.
He did this as violence in the furtherance of a political agenda. He's a terrorist. We could include these people under those laws in this country, when they kill us here at home, our own people killing us, they were treated the way we treat ISIS or Al Qaeda, you'd root them out and you'd stop them in a way we're not doing right now. That gives me hope. It's easy.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: I'm glad you're hopeful. I want to be hopeful too, Chris Cuomo. You're standing by in El Paso. We are covering, of course, the story in Dayton, Ohio, but I want to talk economy with you right now. There's breaking news in the financial markets as we've been watching the Dow down 800 points here about half an hour to go in the trading day.
This is basically the biggest one-day drop over the course of the year, of course, this is about China escalating concerns over a trade war. So for the very latest let's go straight to Alison Kosik live on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. What's up?
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Brooke. So an escalation in the trade war is pushing investors to sell. The latest salvo coming from China which devalued its currency overnight. That's the yuan, devaluing it against the dollar. Many think this was intentional. That China did this because President Trump has promised to slap a 10 percent tariff on the remaining $300 billion in Chinese goods.
That tariff expected to take effect on September 1st. Here's the thing, though, what's worrying Wall Street that could affect corporate America directly. That could affect the American consumer directly because that $300 billion in goods, that includes products that consumers use, that includes clothing and, guess what, September 1st, yes, that is back to school shopping so that could really hurt the American consumer, hurt corporate America.
We've got about a half hour to go before the closing bell, we're seeing the Dow come back a little but that's saying it lightly because we're still seeing the Dow down over 750 points, Brooke.
BALDWIN: We're watching it, Alison, right along with you, thank you very much. Again, we are here live in Dayton, Ohio.
Disturbing new details about the gunman here who murdered nine people just outside this bar across the street from me. Former classmates say this guy had some sort of hit list in high school, a kill list, a rape list. More on his troubling back story and where we are in this investigation and of course highlighting the lives lost. We are live in Dayton, back in a moment.
[15:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BALDWIN: Welcome back. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. This mass shooting here in Dayton, Ohio, underscores how quickly such a horrific incident can unfold. Police say they were here and took the suspect down in just 30 seconds. But that 30 seconds was sadly long enough for this gunman to kill nine people and leave 37 injured and his arsenal designed to maximize harm. Take a look at these photos. This 223-caliber weapon.
[15:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BALDWIN: All right. We are back. I'm Brooke Baldwin in Dayton. A little power failure. We're back in business. With me uber patient Montgomery County Commissioner Judy Dodge and the Dayton Fire Chief, Jeffrey Payne.
Thank you so much for your patience for everything. And for standing here with me and Chief, actually I wanted to start with -- Chief, I want to start with you because, you know, whenever sadly I've covered mass shootings, when you think beyond the survivors and the victims and the families I instantly think of police, fire and EMS. Because they run towards the danger. They see the unthinkable and it's -- how are your guys and gals doing?
CHIEF JEFFREY PAYNE, DAYTON FIRE DEPARTMENT: Well, so far, they're doing OK but really tomorrow is the first day back since the incident so we're going to have a better idea. We're setting up some after actions bringing in crisis teams. We're going to be proactive and work with them. We know what can happen after they've had a few days to digest what's happening and we want to be proactive and get ahead of this.
BALDWIN: Can't even begin to imagine and this town and community is so grateful to them. To you. You were up out of bed at 3:00 something in the morning.
JUDY DODGE, MONTGOMERY COUNTY COMMISSIONER: I think it was 3:15 as I recall.
BALDWIN: 3:15 in the morning, Judy. The Family Reunification Centers, you were basically at ground zero. Tell me about some of the families.
DODGE: We were asked by the Dayton Police Department, The Fire Department, Montgomery County Police put together did something, we did the Family Assistance Center, it's a unification program because think of this, the families are just now finding out that either their kids were injured or killed. And so we brought them to the Dayton Convention Center. Had some peaceful places that they could just relax until they got the news and I --
[15:50:00] BALDWIN: Try to relax.
DODGE: Yes. Right, exactly. I saw several of them come out of the Convention Center, they could barely walk.
BALDWIN: Can you tell me a story or two?
DODGE: That is what I saw. And everybody was hugging them. And they were just slowly walking across the street and they could -- you could just tell that their tears were coming down their face. They were absolutely just destroyed. Because here their kids were out having a good time, Saturday night and this happened to them.
So we were so thankful to be able to pull together this reunification program. Because we have mental health people that's there to help them and we have financial means through the Dayton Foundation to be able to perhaps pay the hospital bills or the funeral bills. So we're very, very appreciative of the Dayton Foundation doing this.
BALDWIN: Give a quick -- if people need help, is there a phone number or website?
DODGE: Just look up -- first of all just call, starting tomorrow at 8:00 a.m., you could call 211 in our area. It is just 211. And they will direct you to the Red Cross, the mental health places you need to go or the Dayton Foundation Group to be able to get money.
BALDWIN: Chief, you were saying to me this is something no one ever fully prepares for. Obviously, you run drills and try to fathom the unthinkable but I -- I don't want to put words in your mouth that you thought this would happen here. Did you?
PAYNE: No, we've been around for about 31 years now and you know you see a lot of trauma and death, a lot of people having bad days. But that is one and two here and there. But for nine senseless -- it is hard to get your head wrapped around it and we're talking about firefighters and police officers that have just gone through a massive tornado and we saw a lot of death -- not death, I'm sorry, a lot of destruction --
BALDWIN: Memorial Day weekend. Around that time.
PAYNE: Yes. Memorial Day weekend. So we're just kind of recovering from that a little bit. And now this. And so it just is -- it just shifts to a whole new dynamic.
BALDWIN: What do you want people to know about this city?
PAYNE: I want to say we're resilient. People in the country need to know we're resilient. We're going to bounce back and we always have. Whether it be violence, whether it be economics, we've always come back and we're going to do this again, we're Dayton strong and we're going to be here to stay.
DODGE: Absolutely. I was just going to say, Dayton is known for the flood in 1913. And basically the city was decimated. The city built itself back up again. We know how to do this and we're all working on this together. It has nothing to do with politics. We love each other. We get along and our main thing is to get this community back on its feet again. BALDWIN: It is a pleasure to meet you. I'm sorry about your
circumstances and I'll see you at your firehouse first thing in the morning it sounds like. Thank you so very much.
Staying on all of the stories here, 8chan went dark today, that is the network provider that they actually pulled the plug at midnight amid an outcry that the online chat site promotes violence and hate. The 8chan founder actually found another provider, just pulled the plug too. This is part of the issue. The shooting in El Paso Saturday is the third atrocity this year where a suspect posted on 8chan in advance of the attack.
The other two, Christchurch, New Zealand mosque shooting and the mass shooting at the San Diego synagogue. So let me discuss this with Nicky Woolf. He is the editor of The New Statesman. And you've written extensively about 8chan. Can you could explain for people who aren't as familiar with what it is and what kind of conversations are had there?
NICKY WOOLF, EDITOR, THE NEW STATESMAN AMERICA: So, I mean, it is probably the worst place on the internet currently. But it is worth saying that it's not really about one site in particular. 8chan has been at the forefront of these but sites like these, they're called chan sites, they have three major factors that make them dangerous for things like this.
First is anonymity. You don't know who is saying what posts, they could come from anywhere. Impossible to track. That means in order to create a sense of community you have to get a set of shibboleths, sort of shared ways of talking in these communities that is every racial slur on the planet because if your offended that denotes you as part of the outgroup.
And so in order for a sense of belonging to be formed you kind of get this offensive kind of language baked into the discourse. The second thing is ephemerality. Things don't last very long on their posts. So 4chan is more ephemeral than 8chan. But 8chan is theoretically infinitely recursive but.
[15:55:00] And then the third thing is the critical massive users, 4chan in their tens of millions of users, certainly 8chan almost in the millions if not in the millions before it got dumped by the provider. I'm not sure whether that is live right now. But these create the environments where you have this -- people who are just messing with people, trolling is very key. Very active, making somebody -- tricking them into doing something.
And then you have these young and it is almost always mad and kind of lonely in their lives and they find this sense of community and they don't necessarily know how much they're being messed with and they get told who their enemy is. It is -- and there are 3 shooting where the --
BALDWIN: But isn't it, Nicky, let just me jump in. Because, Nicky, isn't it -- I was reading this Washington Post piece on the plane out here yesterday, and it's really convenient for the founder of 8chan to say, take it down, but look what it's done already.
WOOLF: I think what is interesting that you said there, when you said look what it's done, and the way I come to think about these kind of sites and these communities is less like a collection of individuals or a group with a leader, but more kind of a consciousness in their own right. It becomes greater than the sum of its parts because everyone is egging each other on.
The most kind of naive, the people who are maybe not as able to -- to sense these distinctions are the people who end up going and doing this. But this isn't the act of an organization. This is an organic structure. And so if it wasn't 4chan, it would be somewhere else. They would have found a place to go.
I'm sorry, yes, it could be almost anywhere. And if you shut the site down, they'll just go somewhere else. The people aren't going anywhere.
BALDWIN: Exactly. Exactly. Nicky Woolf, thank you very much.
WOOLF: Thanks for having me.
BALDWIN: We're following other breaking news this afternoon. The Dow falling hard. Nearly 800 points right now. We'll be right back.
BALDWIN: Just into CNN, the man who mailed those pipe bombs last October to people in organizations who he saw as critical of President Trump just got sentenced to 20 years in prison and five years of supervised release. This happening in the Southern District of New York. Cesar Sayoc pleaded guilty to mailing 16 crudely improvised explosive packages to the Clintons, the Obamas and several members of Congress.
He also sent devices to CNN offices in Atlanta and in New York. Law enforcement intercepted the packages and no one was injured. Attorneys for Sayoc told a judge quote, we believe that the President's rhetoric contributed to Mr. Sayoc's actions in this offense, end quote, and then he quote, that he found light in Donald J. Trump.
Prosecutors for SDNY refuting that line of defense and that is the latest in the case. We're back out here in Dayton for a special three- hour edition tomorrow. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being with me. "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts right now.
[16:00:00] JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome to "THE LEAD." I'm Jake Tapper. We begin with breaking news in the money lead. A huge loss on Wall Street today. The Dow closing in just a moment, down -- you hear the bell there, down around 750 points amid an escalation in the U.S./China trade war. CNN's Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange. Alison, why? What prompted this big drop?
KOSIK: Because of an escalation in the tit-for-tat trade war.