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Don Lemon Tonight

Mass Shooting At Texas Elementary School; Other Countries Report Decline In Violence After Changing Gun Laws; Some NBA And MLB Teams Take Time Away From Sports To Talk Shootings. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired May 26, 2022 - 23:00   ET



KIM HAMMOND, UVALDE RESIDENT: I wouldn't want all this up in my face. I would just like to get my baby buried and grieve so that these guys can start the grieving process.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Is the world different?

HAMMOND: Absolutely.

LEMON: How so?

HAMMOND: It's just as disgusting as it was but worse. Honestly. I am -- I'm like that basketball player, NBA coach. I am over it. I'm over this. We have got to do something. If we don't stay angry about this, if we forget about this in 30 days because all the media is gone and it's not breaking news, we're failing. We are failing these kids. We are failing as a society.

American values and morals are better than this. They are really better than this. And I know I got really passionate in my interview with you, but I stand by that. I stand by that because I had no problems with AR-15s, whatever you want to do. I don't care that the Sandy Hook happened, and then I cared, because that -- you know, high school was bad enough.

LEMON: Now this.

HAMMOND: But then when students are shooting students, you know, that's not understandable, it's not forgivable. But how can somebody look at a nine-year-old and shoot them in the face? How can somebody do that? How can somebody have the capability to do that?

It angers me beyond comprehension. And I have a lot of displaced anger right now, Don, I really do. It's just displaced, so I should shut up. But it's just going to keep happening unless we do something. And I mean we, because the guys and women that we have elected aren't getting anywhere. We, as a people, have got to stand up and say, okay, son, okay, daughter, you're not okay.

LEMON: Yeah.

HAMMOND: You are not okay.

LEMON: Thank you.

HAMMOND: Thank you.

LEMON: Are you okay?

HAMMOND: I will be. You know, better than these parents. That's for damn sure. Thank you.

LEMON: Thank you.


LEMON: Thanks, Kim. Appreciate that.

So, there are major questions tonight about the police response to the elementary school shooting here in Uvalde, Texas that took the lives of 19 children and two teachers. We are learning that the gunman was able to get inside the school without any resistance and was inside for about an hour before he was killed. Parents frantically waiting outside, pleading with police to go in.

CNN's Jason Carroll is with us here. Jason, there are so many major questions about the timeline of this horrific shooting. What are you learning tonight?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, we're definitely getting more clarity, more details about what happened before the shooter got to school, between the critical moments, between 11:28 a.m. and 11:44 a.m. But what still is not clear to many of the people out here who are on the ground, many of the parents that we have spoken to, is why it took more than an hour to take the gunman down.


CARROLL (voice-over): 11:21 a.m. Tuesday, I just shot my grandma in her head, the gunman wrote to a girl he met online. It was the start of a shooting spree that would leave 19 students and two teachers dead. Seconds later, he wrote, I'm going to go shoot up an elementary school right now. The gunman took off in his 66-year-old grandmother's truck, leaving her fighting for her life.

UNKNOWN: She was able to run across the street to a neighbor and get help.

CARROLL (voice-over): The shooter drove less than a mile, crashing into a ditch at 8:28 a.m. Two minutes later, investigators say a 911 call reported the wreck and the gunman walking toward Robb Elementary School with a long rifle.

His weapons legally purchased just days before. May 17th, he bought a rifle at a sporting goods store. The next day, 375 rounds of ammunition. And on May 20th, another rifle from the same store. It was those guns he had with him on Tuesday.

VICTOR ESCALON, SOUTH TEXAS REGIONAL DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY: He jumps out the passenger side of the truck. He faces two witnesses at the funeral home across the street from where he wrecked. He engages and fires towards them.

UNKNOWN: Like came to the --

UNKNOWN: Yeah. He was like hitting the dirt on the floor.

CARROLL (on camera): The bullets were hitting close. Bullets from where?

UNKNOWN: I guess he was -- I guess he was coming from the school district.

CARROLL (voice-over): The gunman climbed the fence of the school and started shooting at the building, according to Texas investigators. They now say earlier information that a school resource officer engaged the shooter outside is wrong.

At 11:40 a.m., the gunman walked in unlocked door, firing.

ESCALON: He walks at approximately 20 feet, 30 feet. He makes a right. He walks into the hallway. He makes a right. He walks another 20 feet.


Turns left into a school room, into a classroom that has doors open in the middle.

CARROLL (voice-over): There in those connected classrooms, authorities say the gunman barricaded himself and killed the students and the teachers, and wounded 17 people.

One of the victims, 10-year-old Amerie Jo Garza, tried to call police on her cellphone, a birthday present two weeks ago.

ANGEL GARZA, FATHER: They had confirmation from two of the students in her classroom that she was just trying to call authorities. And I guess he just shot her.

CARROLL (voice-over): As the gunman sporadically shot through the wall, police wait for reinforcement and evacuate other students.

ESCALON: Officers were there. The initial officers, they received gunfire. They don't make entry initially because of the gunfire they're receiving.

CARROLL (voice-over): Parents outside the school are distraught, demanding police immediately storm the building or let them.

VICTOR LUNA, FATHER AND GRANDFATHER: I told one of the officers myself, if they don't want to go in there, let me borrow a gun and a vest and I'll go in myself to handle it up. And they told me, nope.

CARROLL (voice-over): Around 1:00 p.m., one hour and 20 minutes after the gunman went inside, law enforcement forced their way into the classroom and Customs and Border Protection agent killed the gunman.

RAUL ORTIZ, CHIEF, UNITED STATES BORDER PATROL: They came up with a plan, they entered the classroom, and they took care of the situation as quickly as they possibly could.

CARROLL (voice-over): But it was still too late for so many.



CARROLL: And those that we've spoken to as we've been out there, whether it be those two men that you saw from the tire shop who had to deal with the bullets coming at them when they were at the funeral home or Victor Luna who was arguing with first responders, trying to get them to move into the school sooner, these people, Don, were angry even before the disastrous press conference today where they were trying to clean up some of that misinformation that had been given out.

And so, those people were angry. They were frustrated before. When that information comes out, it just compounds the anger, it just compounds the frustration that these people are already dealing with.

LEMON: It does not help. Jason, thank you. Appreciate your reporting. I want you to stay around because I need you to help me with some of the questions and to get some of the answers that everyone is seeking out.

I also want to bring in now CNN counterterrorism analyst Philip Mudd. Hello to you, sir. One hour. Is there any explanation for why it took an hour before law enforcement was able to get into that classroom?

PHILIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: I'm sure there is, but I'm not surprised that we don't have the explanation yet. For example, you're talking about the one-hour gap. I want to be absolutely certain, if I were the police, that that gap -- the reporting on that gap is accurate before I ever spoke to the media again.

Let me give you a snapshot of what is happening. You're talking about interviews with more than a hundred security personnel from different departments. Those departments have different training. Those departments have different communications. You have to review. You have to match that up with witnesses, including family witnesses that are highly emotional. Those family witnesses, presumably, some of them have cellphone video that you have to review.

And let me conclude with saying that every one of those witnesses is a human being. Time and time again, we learn that human witnesses are incredibly flawed when they remember an emotional incident. So, you've got hundreds and hundreds of people with video, with their recollections, with police reports putting that together and saying, what exactly happened when they all contradict each other? Boy, I'm not surprised that we don't know exactly what happened with the timeline yet, Don.

LEMON: Phil, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety was asked why officers didn't immediately try to neutralize the shooter. This is how he responded, and then we will talk about it.


CHRIS OLIVAREZ, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY SPOKESMAN: Of course, the American people need to understand that officers are making entry into this building. They do not know where the gunman is. They are hearing gunshots. They are receiving gunshots.

At that point, if they proceeded any further not knowing where the suspect was at, they could have been shot, they could have been killed. At that point, that gunman would have had opportunity to kill other people inside that school.


LEMON: So, Phil, our colleague, Andrew McCabe, noted earlier tonight that he sounds defensive. But -- I mean, what is really needed right now? What we need are the facts.

MUDD: That is correct. What he is saying -- I don't want to be critical but what he is saying is not a fact.

If you're going to make a statement about what happened there and the potential that individuals on scene were concerned that they don't know where the shooting was coming from, let's not speculate, let's tell the media the truth: We don't know yet, there are many people to interview, and we will not speak until that timeline is clear and inconsistencies among witnesses are resolved.


Now, if you're speaking about that, you might offer a timeline for when you can give those answers. Is it two days? Is it three days? Obviously, if you're in the system, you don't want to suggest before you know that somebody made a mistake, maybe because they were fearful, about entering the location too late and potentially saving kids' lives.

Look, there is a lot of pressure on the people who are speaking. I don't think they know the facts yet. I'm uncomfortable that they are talking about what happened without knowing the facts yet.

LEMON: Phil, I want to play this video again. It's showing parents screaming, knowing that their children are inside the school with a gunman and then police, you know, are standing outside. Is that protocol?

MUDD: The protocol is going to be, especially since Columbine, that you approach the shooter as quickly as possible to neutralize the threat. You remember a few days ago, there was the shooting in Broward County, Florida at Marjory Stoneham Douglas and it turns out -- and this took really months to respond. Some of the response was not what it should have been. The people didn't -- people in a position of power with weapons, that is law enforcement, didn't run as quickly as they should have toward the threat.

Maybe, maybe that's what has happened here. But I am, again, just not surprised that a few days after, we don't know yet because I'm sure that some of the recollections of those law enforcement officers who may be remembering things that didn't happen, that some of those recollections are turning out to be maybe inaccurate.

LEMON: Some of the things that they said happened, we're now learning, didn't happen. At least, that's what they're saying now.

Jason Carroll, first, official said that officer -- an officer engaged the shooter before he entered the school. Now, they're saying that that did not happen. So, what is the explanation here?

CARROLL: Well, right now, there is no explanation.

MUDD: Well, the explanation --

CARROLL: I mean, that is just the short answer. I mean, when he was giving a briefing a little earlier today, it was coming from the Texas Department of Public Safety. Basically, you remember they initially had said that a resource officer at the school had -- quote, unquote -- "engaged with the shooter."

And so, at that point, we in the press were simply waiting to hear what the terms of that engagement was. And then, of course, today, we find out that there was no resource officer at the school and that they're still trying to get the facts together, saying that what they want to do is just that they need more time to get the proper facts out.

LEMON: Why would they come out and say something in the beginning?

CARROLL: That is a question many of us have been asking. It's a question -- something that they can only --

LEMON: Yeah, at this point. Phil, we're learning that the FBI and Homeland Security hosted a call with law enforcement nationwide today. What should have been and part of this briefing to keep all Americans safe?

MUDD: Look, behind the scene, the FBI and law enforcement are going to know more than we know. For example, what triggered the individual? I'm going to guess that the FBI knows some of that already. How this individual entered the building? There are reports early on or questions early on about whether the building was locked or not.

If you are in any law enforcement jurisdiction across the country right now, the thing you have to worry about is some other individual, 17, 18, 19 years old who looks at what happened and is triggered. That is to say, this person did it, I haven't had the courage to do it myself, and I'm going to act now. There is a combination of telling people to be careful obviously about copycats. Potentially, I could see offering law enforcement across the country some initial views about what has happened here and what has happened in other recent shootings, for example, Buffalo recently, to make sure people are potentially prepared for copycatters that would be triggered by this event.

LEMON: Most important question you need answered by authorities tonight, Phil?

MUDD: There are just a couple and that is -- look, people are talking about motive. I would not be concerned -- not concerned -- I would not be focused on motive right now because I want to know how to prevent another one. So, therefore, did the individual say something that could help us understand how other people might speak when they're going to commit an act like this?

What was the internet behavior? For example, Google searches, that might help us understand how other people are searching Google or participating in things like chat rooms.

And finally, let me give you one other quick one. In terms of gun acquisition, what happened? Who gave him the money? Should he have been delayed in terms of acquiring those guns immediately after his birthday? I want to prevent the next one, and I think understanding motive is going to happen, but that's the last one, Don. I want to know what happened in terms of preventing the next one.

LEMON: All right. Phil, Jason, thank you both very much. I appreciate that. I want to let you guys know that before the show, I really had the honor of attending the service at the first Baptist church here in Uvalde.


And I'm joined now by Pastor Carlos Contreras, and he led the services tonight.

I should tell you that two of the young victims, Lexi Rubio and Ellie Garcia, were part of his congregation. And pastor, thank you so much for joining.


LEMON: Thank you for inviting us --

CONTRERAS: You're very welcome.

LEMON: -- to your church to worship and to mourn and to honor those. What do you -- what do you want people to know about the children and their families?

CONTRERAS: We want people to know that we love them very much, we love the families very much, and that we are here for them in any way possible that we can be. We appreciate everyone that has poured out their love to the families and not just here in Uvalde but across the world. We are very thankful for that.

LEMON: How are Lexi and Ellie's family doing tonight? Did you have the chance, the opportunity to speak to them?

CONTRERAS: Well, I had the opportunity speaking with Lexi's parents earlier today this morning. They are very brokenhearted to say the least. They are very shaken up. It is very hard to speak with them. The parents of Lexi, I have not spoken with them, but the aunt and uncle are members of our church's congregation.

LEMON: You know, I was there tonight and I was just struck about how similarly -- you know, we maybe all from different religions but have similar -- the worship is -- listen, I grew up in Louisiana with the southern Baptist church. We are seeing how great they are. Here is a Latino population, you are seeing how they are. I was just struck by -- you said that -- I think you said that we sing because we don't want the enemy to steal our joy. Am I correct?

CONTRERAS: That is correct, yes.

LEMON: Yeah. Talk to me about that.

CONTRERAS: We have a joy that nothing, regardless of what it is, regardless of what a tragedy is, regardless of how severe it is, there is nothing that can take away our joy. Now, our happiness is a different story. We are not going to feel happy right now.

But inside, we have this joy because we know our faith compels us to believe that that these children, not only Lexi and Ellie, but all of the children and the two teachers, are with the Lord now. That is what gives us joy. That is one of the things that fills our hearts with joy.

And then, of course, our faith and what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for each of us so that this is possible, we have joy knowing that we are going to be seeing them again.

LEMON: Listen, I am not doubting what you are saying, but in these moments of crisis, sometimes, you can have a crisis of faith. You can question God, question why this happened. I had a tragic, sudden loss of my sister a couple of years ago, and I wonder, God, why has this happened? My mother wondered, who lost a child, it was the worst tragedy for a parent, why has this happened? Why God forsaken me?

You say we have joy in our hearts but it is really hard for people to have joy in their hearts at this moment when there is such -- when they're suffering such tragic grief and anguish. Do you understand what I am saying?

CONTRERAS: Absolutely. Absolutely. The reason that we have joy is because we know we are going to see these children and all of our loved ones again, and that takes faith.

But at the same time, we are not going to be expressing happiness. In fact, if there is one thing that I could say to our community, to our town, is that -- the fact that the matter is that we are all in pain. I say we, but more so obviously the families. They are hurting. And when I was in the military, we understood what pain was, and we accepted it. We didn't lie to ourselves saying that we have no pain. No, we accepted it. Excuse me. And in a way, accepting the pain and realizing and understanding and even somewhat owning it, it made us feel better and we heal faster.

As compared to somebody telling us it is going to be all right, no, it's not going to be all right. Not anytime soon. Perhaps not even in a lifetime. But we have this hope and we have this assurance that one day, we will see the children again, we will see all of our loved ones. You will see your loved-one one day because of what was done on the cross.


LEMON: I hope that you are right. Look, I'm going to say something that is unpopular. But after that happened, I questioned, questioned, questioned a lot. There are times that I wake up in the middle of the night in tears. It has been since 2018 that that happened. For no reason, it just -- the grief overwhelmed you.

Just thinking about what these -- these families are at the beginning of something that I suffered four years ago. And I cannot tell, convey how painful that is. And I wish I had the words to help them to be able to get through this and tell them that it's going to be okay. But I don't even know if it's going to be okay. I'm not even okay four years later.

I hope that you're right. I know that you're right. But I'm just saying it's hard. It's hard. Thank you.

CONTRERAS: You're very welcome. God bless you. Thank you.

LEMON: We'll be right back.




LEMON: Back now live in Uvalde, Texas where residents are mourning tonight as they try to process the horrific mass shooting at an elementary school that left 19 children and two teachers dead.

Earlier today, we learned more about the detailed security plan the district had in place at the time of this tragedy. Safety measures included its own police force, social media monitoring, a threat reporting system, and outside door buzz-in systems.

Joining me now to discuss all of this, to talk to us about this is CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem. Juliette, hello to you. I'm glad to have you on, to talk to about this. Obviously, it is horrible that speaking about it under the circumstances.

The school district had an elaborate security plan in place yet this tragedy still happened. What does this say about the limits of stopping a heavily armed gunman intent on causing destruction?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST, FORMER DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY OFFICIAL: I think it says a lot at this stage. I'm here to just reflect for the audience just sort of what's different about this and what we can learn about it, not to place blame yet because, of course, there is still considerable confusion.

Here you have a school, relatively small school, with almost every piece of instrument and planning that you would want before the event occurs. You have the locking system, the surveillance, you have police, you have training, you have active shooter training. Then when the moment occurs, it seems like everything falls apart. And that's what we're trying to find out so that any premature praise for law enforcement or any premature condemnation really has to wait.

The story has been confusing. What we do know is that everyone is trained under what's called the immediate action, a rapid deployment. You'll hear it a million times in the next couple weeks. This is the post-Columbine training. It is basically you're judging everything on speed. No negotiation, no talking, no wondering what this guy wants. He has a gun and he's in a soft target, and everyone rushes in to take him out.

This timeline is confusing in that regard, that there is hour-long wait. There was talk today in the press conference about negotiation. We're not quite sure what that is. And, of course, there is that 15 or 16 minutes between when the gunman gets out of the car and before he enters the school building where you're wondering, why isn't anything being activated?

And so, that's essentially the timeframe that we're trying to pierce, that 16 minutes, then 4 minutes, he enters, and then 4 minutes later, we're told law enforcement enters, and then an hour. That just doesn't make sense in terms of training and where and when in that timeframe were the children killed. I can't answer that question for you yet and it's three days later.

LEMON: Listen, specific times, the shooter went into the school at 11:40, right? Wasn't killed by the tactical team, as you said, until one hour later. I want to play what Governor Greg Abbott said yesterday about law enforcement's response. Here it is.



GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): They showed amazing courage by running toward gunfire for the singular purpose of trying to save lives. And it is a fact that because of their quick response, getting on the scene, being able to respond to the gunman and eliminate the gunman, they were able to save lives.



LEMON: So, knowing what we know now, Juliette, do you think their response was quick enough?

KAYYEM: It's hard for me to say yes and it's premature for me to say no. All I know is I've got a four-minute gap in between when the gunman enters and when, I'm told, at least by police account, that the law enforcement enters, and then I've got an hour. And as I've said, they have not disclosed when exactly the children were killed.

And then you have -- let me go back a little bit on our timeframe, 11:28 is when he crashes the car. So, you have between 11:28 and 11:40. I know people who aren't in law enforcement and public safety will say, well, that may not be that much time, it actually is a lot of time. Twelve minutes is a lot of time to get information out, to lock the doors in the school, to get the kids protected.


I want to say something about the governor's standard because I don't want this to be beating up on people who may not need to be beaten up on right now. The governor opened that press conference. The governor sort of has put himself out in front of this, which is very unique for a disaster like this, and he said it could have been worse.

And I think, as a society, we have to ask ourselves, but could it have been better? I mean, in other words, yes, we know bad things happen and we're going to try to solve guns and violence and protect our kids, but the question is, could it have been better, could the response have been better based on the training, based on what we know, and I can't answer that now. I think most of your experts on over the day feel the same way. It's utter confusion about this timeline.

LEMON: Yeah. Our national security analyst, Juliette Kayyem. Juliette, thank you very much. And speaking of the governor --

KAYYEM: Thank you.

LEMON: -- I have an important update on NRA convention tomorrow in Houston. Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who was scheduled to speak, is now cancelling his in-person appearance to attend the press conference on the elementary school shooting in Uvalde. It said Abbott will speak to the convention through a pre-recorded video. That is according to the Dallas Morning News. And that is just in.

Also tonight, I have to update you on something else. Daniel Defense, that is the company that manufactured the gun used in the Uvalde elementary school shooting, well, it is saying that they will not be attending the NRA meeting in Houston this weekend in light of the shooting. They are also calling the school shooting an evil act.

This is the statement on their website from Daniel Defense. I quote here. "We are deeply saddened by the tragic events in Texas this week. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and community devastated by this evil act."

Now, it was just last week, okay, that the company posted this week. It is a take on Proverbs 22:6 from the bible. And it says, train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. It included a photo of a small child holding an AR-15-style assault rifle and an adult pointing at him. The company's Twitter has since been made private.

In a small town in Uvalde, nearly everyone has been impacted by the school shooting. We're going to have some of their stories. That's next.




LEMON: So, ask anyone here in Uvalde and they will say that the small town is like one extended family. Everybody knows somebody who has been impacted by this senseless violence. So many lives in this community forever changed.

My colleague, Rosa Flores, is here and she has been speaking with people who are filled with pain. Rosa, they've been telling you some stories, I'm sure.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, ever since I got here, Don, I've been talking to a lot of people who have been leaving some of the flowers that you see in this memorial behind you. There's another memorial that is growing in the city square. I hear it over and over, that everyone knows someone impacted by this tragedy.

And they're trying to grapple with the idea that this time, it's their small town. Usually, they watch it on the news, they see reporters and anchors like yourself in other places, and this time it's their town and they're trying to understand why.


FLORES (voice-over): In the small town of Uvalde, Texas, hearts are heavy.

DENISE LONG, UVALDE RESIDENT: I lost family and friends to this, and I can't bear it.

FLORES (voice-over): And the pain is palpable.

LIZA CAZARES, UVALDE RESIDENT: My heart aches. I couldn't imagine my life without my daughter.

FLORES (voice-over): As the community grapples with the unthinkable: Nineteen elementary school children and two teachers murdered in the classroom.

The quaint town square turned into a memorial.

LONG: I just can't. I have no more tears after crying all day yesterday. I can't.

FLORES (voice-over): With crosses bearing the names of every victim.

(On camera): How are you doing?


UNKNOWN: Especially the parents.

MARTINEZ: Yeah, the parents. It's like, oh, my gosh.

FLORES (voice-over): Emotions are high at the nearby Mexican restaurant, a local staple for a town that is overwhelmingly Hispanic. Deli Martinez was born and raised here. She attended Robb Elementary.

MARTINEZ: We are like a big family here. We really are. And it's unfortunate what happened here. It really is.

FLORES (voice-over): In Uvalde, it seems like everyone knows someone who was impacted by this tragedy. Victor Rivera moved here recently and says even he knows multiple people who lost children.

VICTOR RIVERA, UVALDE RESIDENT: I pray that the families are okay and pray that the kids rest in peace.


FLORES (voice-over): The pain spurring the gun debate with some residents pushing for upping the minimum age to purchase guns.

MARTINEZ: Let anybody use a gun that's 20 years -- 21 years and older. We need guns. We need to protect ourselves.

FLORES (voice-over): And for the arming of teachers.

CAZARES: Teachers should be able to carry, definitely. That's one of them, like, how are you supposed to protect the kids behind a closed door when a gun can definitely go through it?

FLORES (voice-over): One by one, members of the community have been delivering flowers to another growing memorial. This one is also a crime scene.

LONG: I went to school here and my niece lives down the street. My family lives not even -- just right behind the school. This is my home.

FLORES (voice-over): For many members of this community, the pain is overwhelming, like for this grandmother who was overcome with emotion. Her words are etched on the cross of one of the victims. She wrote, I will always love you, my beautiful granddaughter.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Only God can bring healing, definitely. God will heal Uvalde.


FLORES: A lot of the people that I've talked to have not wanted to go on camera. Some of them just too filled with emotion not wanting to really share their story publicly, Don, because they say they don't want to say anything that might hurt some of the families that are grieving. And they also say they don't want to bring more attention to a lot of the pain. They want this community to start healing.

I talked to one man who actually lives just like a block from here, who said that in the aftermath, he saw some of the parents carrying their children out in front of the street filled with blood. And he just cannot take that image out of his mind. He knows the pain that they're feeling right now.

LEMON: Ah, Rosa, Rosa, how many more of these do we have to cover? How many more families have to -- I mean, it's unbearable. It is unbearable and this should not happen. Thank you. Thank you for your very sensitive reporting, Rosa Flores.

Countries around the world have found a way to cut gun violence. They have found a way. Should we take a lesson from that here at home? That's the question.




LEMON: Are mass shootings a uniquely American problem? A lot of people have been talking about that. We're going to show you the fact now because Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, they have all tightened gun laws after mass shootings in their countries, and they saw a drop in violent crime.

CNN's Tom Foreman has more now.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When five people were gunned down in the United Kingdom last summer, the nation was shocked. It had some of the world's toughest gun laws ever since a mass school shooting in 1996. Gun deaths fell by half, mass shootings became extremely rare.

So, in the wake of the new attack, the government announced even tighter restrictions, including mandatory medical test for mental illness or instability in would be gun owners.

BORIS JOHNSON, PRIME MINISTER OF UNITED KINGDOM: My thought is very much with the families of those who tragically lost their lives. It was absolutely a pooling incident (ph).

FOREMAN (voice-over): Large-scale shootings have triggered new limits on gun ownership and access in numerous countries, and advocates for gun control pointed them as proof that mass shooting incidents can be dramatically reduced.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): A gunman killed more than two dozen people and injured several others. FOREMAN (voice-over): Thirty-five people were killed during an Australian shooting spree in 1996. Despite a strong gun culture and stiff political resistance, the government launched a massive gun buyback program, banning automatic and semiauto weapons. Murders and suicides with firearms plummeted and there has been only one mass shooting since.

JUSTIN TRUDEAU, PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA: There is no need in Canada for guns designed to kill.

FOREMAN (voice-over): Canada has enacted tough gun education, qualification and registration requirements in response to mass shootings there. A slaughter in Nova Scotia in 2020 spurred opponents to say those laws don't work. But gain, gun control advocates note an overall downward trend in gun deaths over the past 20 years.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We know that other countries in response to one mass shooting have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings.

FOREMAN (voice-over): After 51 people were killed in New Zealand in 2019 by an Australian gunman who targeted mosques, the government in six days went after military-style semiautomatic weapons, high- capacity magazines and more.

JACINDA ARDERN, PRIME MINISTER, NEW ZEALAND: Every semiautomatic weapon used in the terrorist attack on Friday will be banned in this country.

FOREMAN (voice-over): And the prime minister said just this week they are not done.


ARDERN: There are still obviously guns that are misused in New Zealand, so I won't sit here and say that our system is perfect, but we saw something that wasn't right and we acted on it, and I can only speak to that experience.

FOREMAN (on camera): Gun rights supporters insist you can prove these regulations reduce mass shootings or that they would work in America. But these countries believe they have found a way to reduce gun violence and it starts with the guns. Don?


LEMON: Right on, Tom Foreman. Thank you so much. Appreciate that.

Professional sports teams taking time away from sports today to focus on mass shootings. How they're reacting, next.



(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: The sports world sending out calls to action after the terrible tragedy here in Uvalde, Texas. The Lakers putting out a statement -- and I quote here -- "This is not a political issue. It is a moral imperative." Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr speaking out yet again tonight.


STEVE KERR, COACH, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: For whatever reason, it's a political issue, but it's really a public health issue. So, as soon as we can just shift the dynamic to this being a public health issue, then you get momentum. There's lots of amazing gun safety, gun prevention groups out there. Call your senators. Call your representatives. It's all very helpful.


LEMON: The New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays using their Twitter feeds tonight not to cover the game but to highlight the dangers of gun violence, tweeting out stats like, firearms were the leading cause of death for American children and teens in 2020.

It used to be swimming pools and vehicle accidents. Now, it's firearms. More and more people are using their platforms to call for change. The people who need to use it are our lawmakers. They need to use their platform to call for change. The people who create laws and can make a real difference. Whether that's going to come remains to be seen, and it's in your hands.

Thanks for watching, everyone. Our coverage continues.