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The Van Jones Show
Women's March Unleashed Has Helped To Fuel The Me Too Movement; One-On-One Interview With Golden State Warrior Point Guard Steph Curry; Revisiting The Las Vegas Mass Shooting Victims. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired February 24, 2018 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:42] VAN JONES, CNN HOST: Good evening. I'm Van Jones. This is VAN JONES SHOW. I want to welcome you. We have so much to talk about tonight, including unfortunately, guns in America.
You know, the nation is still just reeling from this senseless massacre, 17 people high school students, teachers, in Florida. Our hearts were shattered by the students who died. But luckily we still have some hope coming from the students who lived and that's so important.
You know, these shootings have just become all too common. On this show later, we are going to hear from some of the survivors of the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas. I'm going to get back in my van, you know, I do van in the van. We have two mothers who lived through that massacre. Plus in the same van, the owner of the gun store who sold the weapons to the very sniper who almost killed those women. So it's a very powerful conversation.
And honestly we need some hope and inspiration. Tonight we are going to get a voice of hope. A guy I call a super dad, a super human being, NBA superstar, Stef Curry. We got to hear it from Stef Curry here tonight. And we need to hear from him and need that kind of inspiration. Because even while we are mourning the victims of the gun violence, we have to remember something.
Break downs, you know, even terrible break downs can lead to break throughs. And you know that just looking at your own life, you know. We take the bad and we just try to find some way to make something good at it because that is what we do. And that's what those students who live through that horror are trying to do by standing up for their rights. And I'm just do proud of them.
Unfortunately, I have to say this and I don't want to say it but I got to say this. Our President is not fully been able to rise to the occasion. You know, he did meet with the students, I love that. He says he is willing to raise the age for some gun purchases. I love that.
But before he did that, he just went on this fully pledge twitter tirade, you know, even writing that the kids might not have died if the FBI was not investigating him. Now that's just ridiculous. First of all, the FBI has thousands and
thousands of people working. So this one investigation had nothing to do with that mistake that they made. But more importantly, you know, trying to score political points against his own enemies and then making the tragedy all about his own problems, while he is basically standing over the bodies of dead children. That's just beneath contempt. You know, I wish he would stop doing stuff like that.
This week actually the resilient and eloquent you would expect from a President actually came from high school students, you know. Because they are not just fighting for their future, they are fighting for their right to remain alive to even have a future. And I'm betting on them. Because young people have changed America in the past and won.
February 1st, 1960, you had a very small handful of black students who conducted single sit in and broke the color barrier and launched a movement that changed America and ended segregation.
And my uncle, Chester Art Kirk Kendal, hello, hello sir, still alive in Memphis, was a college student at that time, and he got arrested in those protests. My godmothers, (INAUDIBLE), helped to lead that movement. And here we are every color in the rainbow, in many ways we are living in la world that young students dreamed of and fought for. So that's the hope we have. And now no young person has fought by themselves. They might think they are by themselves, the grown folks always helping.
And today's students are the same way, they have got the aid and the support of the organizers of the women's march, which was one of the biggest demonstrations in U.S. history, maybe a world history.
And the energy that women's march unleashed actually has helped to fuel the Me Too movement, time's up movement, it is still changing America today. So if anybody knows how to take a moment and turn it into a movement, it's the women who led that march. So guess what, they are here tonight. I want you to welcome two of the cofounders of the women's march, Tamika Mallony and Bob Bland.
Welcome to the VAN JONES SHOW in the house.
[19:05:14] JONES: We have two women in the house. I am so glad to know that the young people are going to have the support of folks like you. Why do you think it's important as leaders of a women's movement to help this youth movement against gun violence?
BOB BLAND, CO-CHAIR OF THE WOMEN'S MARCH: We have seen the type of support that is needed to create a mass mobilization. And also all of the challenges like can come along the way. And we remember what it was like to be questioned as women why you, why should you be leading this. And so we want to say to the youth of America that are rising up in numbers too big to ignore, we are with you, we support you, and we stand with you in this movement.
JONES: That's beautiful. You know, what did you guys learn? I mean, you guys came out of no
where. You weren't the established women's organization. You were just some people who found each other and you made this massive thing. What did you learn that you think the young people should keep in mind?
TAMIKA D. MALLONY, CO-CHAIR OF THE WOMEN'S MARCH: I think that it is important what Bob said, that first of all, there is a continuation of movement. That, you know, that young people are not out there alone. That we are there to support them. Because there will be some tough moments. And of course it's exciting that they are going to do a walk out but then what do you after the walk out to keep this moment going.
JONES: So something about that walk out. You may not know all the detail about --.
MALLONY: And so our young people women's march in power are leading a walk out for 17 minutes on March 14th. Really to signify the 17 lives that were lost in Parkland, Florida. And they are going to be walking out of school with administrators, their principals, and others supporting them, parents meeting them walking out of schools saying they want to see Congress do something about gun control. And there is particular list of demands that people can find on the women's march website.
JONES: That's great.
In building your movement, you had to figure out how to work across all kinds of different lines of race and class and religion, et cetera. These young people, they are going to win they are going to be able to do the same thing. What did you learn about working across lines of difference that the young people should keep in mind?
MALLONY: Well, I mean, I would just say I think I'm so glad you asked that. You know, it has been a little frustrating watching this storyline of sort of white kids leading this conversation around gun violence. Of course we want all kids to be protected and I'm so happy to see those young people. But 17 children in Florida cannot erase 17 children in Chicago or in New Orleans or in Brooklyn.
There has to be a conversation happening at the same time about gun violence and all of its forms. And urban communities have been suffering with this issue for a long time. So what we did with the women's march, into (INAUDIBLE) was clearly important, working together with all types of people, and looking at issues from several prisms, and we hope that this gun violence movement does the same thing. Examines all the issues, mass shootings and street shootings.
JONES: You know, the movement that you are a part of and helped to start, you know, I have known you for most of the 20 years you have been organizing.
MALLONY: That's right.
JONES: And now you have had enough success there is actually push back, some blow back. You even had the President of the United States out there concerned about the accused abuser that was on his staff sticking up for due process rights all of a sudden. Did you take President Trump seriously when raising those due process concerns? And is he the right messenger for due process concerns in the Me Too movement?
MALLONY: Due process, right. That's the joke. And you know, he also supported Ray Moore in Alabama, right. So we know that the history of Donald Trump is supporting the wrong side of issues. And I think for us to focus on Donald Trump is for us to miss the mark.
We have to educate our youth as we are doing with this gun violence prevention movement on what this Me Too movement is and how they can better arm themselves to deal with respecting all people and particularly women. We don't have time to focus on Donald Trump. We want to out organize Donald Trump and move him out of office and out of the public discourse. I think the media focuses on him too much. And he is just really not healthy for us to digest on a consistent basis.
JONES: You mentioned, you know, out of organizing that kind of thing. I was, you know, pleasantly, you know, surprising. You know, you guys are way ahead of the curve. When the anniversary time came for the march, I'm expecting to get a ticket to go to Washington D.C. We are about to do the replay. And you all pulled a fast one. You curved on us. Where did you go for the anniversary of the march? It wasn't D.C. at all.
BLAND: We are not interested in rehashing the past. We are constantly moving forward. Ad we went to Las Vegas to launch power to the polls which is our 2018 initiative around the midterm elections. And in the similar way to all of our organizing, it's not enough to just show up for a march. We have to take the collective power that we have on the streets and transform it into collective political power. And have our voices heard at the polls.
[19:10:05] JONES: You know, talking about the election, you know, we are going to have left versus right, Republican versus Democrat, some conservative women say we don't have a place in the women's march movement. What do you say to them?
MALLONY: Yes. I mean, I think that - it depends on how you feel. It is all about you because women's march is open for everyone. And trust me, as a black women within this space, I know how it feels not to be included. But we don't take that for an answer. We show up and say we are going to be included. Our issues are going to be part of the platform. And I think it's all about people really working with us.
But it's all - it basically what folks want is for us to change our platform of being pro choice, of being really intentional about diversity and inclusion. They want us to change that in order to make them feel comfortable. If you know us, that's not going to happen.
JONES: Not likely to happen.
MALLONY: No. JONES: Well, look -
JONES: You know, we appreciate you guys for being on the front lines. It's tough being on the front lines. So innovative, so empathetic and also now helping this new movement to grow. I want to thank you guys both for being here.
When we get back, I'm talking to that NBA chef, Stef Curry. We are going to get into his twitter feud with Trump. We are also going to get his perspective on the latest school shooting.
Everybody has got a lot of opinions about that topic.
As we go to this break, here are some of you had to say about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not assault weapons and bomb stocks are the problem in America. We don't have a gun problem in America. We have a hatred problem in America.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To know that there are people who still defend (INAUDIBLE), any are tearing our country apart because they love a gun more than a life is disgraceful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:15:03] JONES: Welcome back to the VAN JONES SHOW.
Next week, NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors, are headed to Washington D.C. But they are skipping the ceremonial visit to the White House. Again, technically they just got disinvited. You may remember at the height of the hurricane crisis in Puerto Rico, President Trump picked a twitter fight with warriors star Steph Curry. Somebody I said at the time was not the best target.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Apparently he didn't get the memo that dad's in America created Steph Curry in a lab. So our kids would have somebody to look up to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: And listen. Steph Curry is such an inspiration, using his money and his fame for good. I had a chance to sit down and talk with him about his family, about politics, and of course about basketball. Take a look.
JONES: Well, first of all, I'm so glad that you are here. I'm especially glad because now my sons might actually watch my show.
STEPHEN CURRY, POINT GUARD, GOLDEN STATE WARRIOR: Whatever it takes, right.
JONES: I can't tell you how much I admire you, you know. You are somebody who was able to hold on to your dream, to be great, when not everybody believed in that dream. And then also as a dad, as a father, you are like at a different level, you know. And I think you just represent a lot of hope. And right now people don't have a lot of hope.
Just have this shooting recently. How does it strike you. You come in television. You are trying to live a good life and you see this kind of tragedy of people being shot, you know. How did that land for you when you saw that?
CURRY: It's tough to kind of digest on. Obviously, as a parent, I'm thinking about the world as you want your kids to grow up in and you try to protect them at all costs that hits home. And obviously feel for the families affected. And I think there a lot that has been about change that needs to happen. And hopefully that conversation actually goes somewhere. And we actually make an impact for that next generation to hopefully, you know, have a better world to live in. But for me, like you said, my job as a parent with my wife, hopefully we have that presence with our daughters, to lay that foundation they can spread positivity and love in the world as they grow older.
JONES: Well, (INAUDIBLE) is doing that already. She's almost as famous as you are.
CURRY: She is. She's just like my wife. She knows how to fill a room. Just something about her. Because when you see walks in, like everybody just smiles and having a good time. And it feels that connection with her.
JONES: You have two kids. You are almost evenly matched. And you have a third baby coming. You'll be out numbered. Talk about this in new baby on the way, this new curry.
CURRY: It's exciting. Like you said a 5-year-old and two-and-a-half year old and hopefully a healthy baby coming in July.
JONES: It's going to be rough.
CURRY: Me and my wife are talking about playing, the (INAUDIBLE) zone defense, talking about that.
JONES: Can't go man-to-man anymore.
You know, in this sort of Me Too movement, you know, you are surrounded. I mean, you have two daughters, and your wife is dope. She's like an actor, cover model. She is entrepreneur. What do men need to learn now to be able to be the kind of husband's, kind of partners, the kind of dad's of these amazing women today?
CURRY: I think just the appreciation of their value across the board. My wife is amazingly talented. She is smart. She is confident. She keeps me in check. She makes me better every single day.
CURRY: She gives me the right perspective about life and she challenges me. I have a lot of potential to have a lot of yes people around, and to, you know, kind of float through life with nobody really, you know, giving me that those words of wisdom that I need to hear.
JONES: How does she bring it to you?
CURRY: Straight up.
CURRY: Yes. She is and I appreciate that about her for sure.
JONES: That's great.
You said you are on this platform for a reason. Talk more about that. You have a deep faith. What is your faith tell you about why you have this platform?
CURRY: It's not about me. It's not about, you know, shining, you know, the light on myself and saying look at me. Look, how great I am, and whatnot. There is something bigger. And as long as I keep that as my motivation, that's why I work so hard and do what I do. I feel like, you know, I can actually make some change, I guess, and leave the people that laid eyes on me in the court, in the locker room, in daily life at a better place, because of what I'm able to do.
JONES: This is weird though, man. I mean, you are in a league that is famous for trash talking, for the braggadocios stand. For I am the -- you know.
[19:20:01] JONES: And frankly, we have some of that in the White House. I mean, there is a leadership model in the White House that's very braggadocios, that is very put down the other person. You are a world class leader. Why does your leadership model work?
CURRY: I think it's just being authentic. Like, you are able to relate to a lot of different people because you appreciate what they bring to the table. For me, you know, there is 15 other guys on my team. And we all come from different backgrounds. We all have different stories or how we got to the NBA. But for me as a leader I value what each person is and what each person brings to the table. And I think that's something that the White House could maybe, you know, I think change a little bit and kind of adopt is just everybody has a reason that they are here, has a value, has a worth, and to celebrate that. I think that is important. And that's what we do in our team. And I think that's why we bonded and connected. And I think that's why we will continue to grow.
JONES: It's obviously when you are out there, you are making everybody around you better, you are excited about other people's success. It's a really beautiful thing. And yet you got in this conflict with the President, the President of the United States tweeted about you. How does that feel?
CURRY: It was surreal at the beginning for a lot of different reasons. I think going into that particular day, and right before our training camp started, and obviously there is a lot of talk about after we won the championship last year if we go to the White House or not. And us as a team we had a process how we come to that decision, obviously guys had different ideas or beliefs, and going to have a meeting that day to talk about it as a group. Because it's not just about Steph Curry going to the White House or the Warriors going. And we want today make the decision as a group because we won the championship as a group. And we know what the honor is of going, you know, to the White House. And so before we had the opportunity, obviously, I voiced my side of the argument.
Because I don't think -- I don't want to go. That's funny.
He kind of took that power away from us and didn't allow us to have that process to come to decision as a group.
JONES: And the President after he suggested you might want to go. He said invitation withdrawn on a tweet.
CURRY: Yes. And obviously I think that was a rallying point not just for our team but for the entire NBA and entire sports world in general, I think. There was so much support from all types of NBA players, from fans, you know, kind of just backing us and understanding that, yes, going to the White House is definitely huge honor, we've been before when President Obama was there. But you know, it's more if you are not going to celebrate, you know, the collective and, you know, the majority of Americans that live in this country and that watch us play and the fact that sports rallies, you know, all these different types of people, these different types of backgrounds together to celebrate a game, and that's why we are going to go to the White House to celebrate the accomplishment, then I didn't want to go. And I think we could definitely use our time better when we go to D.C. during the season.
JONES: So you are going to D.C., not going to the White House. What are you going to do when you go to D.C.?
CURRY: We are going to reach out to the youth there in the community and celebrate, you know, black history.
CURRY: Because obviously it's if February. And so that's what this month is about. And to hopefully present a new experience for some youth that are in D.C. area that might not, you know, have that opportunity otherwise. And so, we are going to have a direct impact on hopefully the next generation while we are there.
JONES: You know, that's really positive. I think people forget D.C. is just not senators and stuff, you guys have communities that there for decades, or struggling that need help and need inspiration.
You know, one of the things that happened in that whole, you know, conflict, you know, you are not the trash talker, whether they said the guy from under armor said Trump is an asset, and you said, yes, if you drop off the ET. For a non-trash talker that was trash talking.
CURRY: Yes, that was a good one. But it was more so just, you know, opportunity to have a little wittiness with it, but hopefully drop the message we aren't rolling with it.
JONES: You are not rolling with that. But now your mama, she says that's a little too close to cussing, son.
CURRY: Yes. The thing of it, I guess you call it a little out of character, but she was quick to call me out on it. And I guess I got strong women around me all the way around, so I can't stray too far.
JONES: Is there a danger, I mean, because it wasn't just you. You know, Lebron James called the President a bum, I mean. That it was a pile on. But is there a danger that his rhetoric starts to pull all of us down?
CURRY: I think that's what we are trying guarding again. I think that's what - I think the positive that came out of that was, you know, the words that he was using and that kind of rhetoric that he was using was trying to divide and be divisive and create tension in the society. I think it's done the opposite. I think it's revealed a lot of things that have been kind of laying in the weeds for a long time and expose them. But I think also it's rallied, you know, change and more so for us as athletes to have our platform, it's about anyway that we can continue that conversation. Obviously, I don't have all the answers, but as long as these conversations are staying front in center, we are doing our job. And that's what I feel most proud about.
[19:25:35] JONES: Not bad. That's a brother. Safe to say Steph Curry probably is not going to be golfing with President Trump any time soon, but he does hang out with President Obama. Details on that relationship and so much more with Steph Curry when we get back.
[19:29:35] JONES: Welcome back to the VAN JONES SHOW. Check out some more of my interview with Steph Curry.
JONES: I don't think people really know all the stuff that you are doing. If all you did was go out it on the basketball court with the character that you have and inspire the world with the excellence that you show, that would be enough. And you can could just do that. You decided to work with another President, President Obama on the My Brother's Keepers.
Now first of all, you are friends with President Obama. First of all, you have two of the most beloved beautiful brothers in the world and you are buddies. Just that makes it by itself makes a sign of a little bit higher.
How do you guy - I mean, what do you do? Do you play one on one basketball?
[19:30:17] CURRY: Yes. I have always seen him at the White House a couple of times. We have played golf a couple of times and then he made a swing through the bay area so we just got to sit down and have dinner and talk about what he is doing with the foundation, kind of his post presidency life and whatnot. So getting a glimpse what that means for him. But that is still surreal thinking about that. It was pretty cool.
JONES: What is that connection?
CURRY: It's empowering. He has an inside look at all the deep rooted problems in our country and kind of some of the issues that he personally wants to take on, specifically around education. And the work he's doing with his foundation. I think just the plan that he has had, he laid that out for me, and for me to find ways to kind of get involved, you know, the campuses that he is doing and the different groups that he is connected with and all that. And so, just to know that our President that did so much great work for eight years is continuing that, you know, and is dedicating his life to that, you know, post presidency that is for me to get an inside look at what that means and how I can support it anyway that I can, it means a lot.
JONES: And I would say, my brothers keeper about young, mostly men of color, trying to help them to rise with. You don't just draw yourself up there. Every time you make a three-pointer is happy - we are in California. There are people in Africa. They are happy about your three-pointers. Tell CNN audience about Nothing But Nets.
CURRY: It is a great initiative that is, you know, been formed to eradicate malaria in continent in Africa. So, been to northwest (INAUDIBLE), refugee camp where there is about 10,000 refugees there. I saw it firsthand. How parents there can't protect their kids from several things as mosquito bite and how many kids been affected by malaria. And really, how easy it is to prevent it. Ii was able to personally had delivered 20,000 bed nets there. And we have continued to raise awareness and raise money to send to that to Africa.
JONES: Why do you do stuff like that, though? I mean, honestly, I know you are a global star. I mean, do you feel a global responsibility?
CURRY: Obviously, life is way bigger than basketball. It is way bigger than how many points I can score on the court. And how many championships I can win. If I can have something that paid off the court as well and change at least one person's life, and I think that's a success.
JONES: You are in the bay area. Silicon Valley is literally a stone's throw from Oakland. And you are going into Silicon Valley trying to change the game there. Why is that important to you? These player tech summits and all this stuff. Help me understand. That's a different level of the game?
CURRY: It is. And you know, I said last year we had players technology summit where we invited NBA players come to the bay area and try to, you know, bridge the gap between NBA and Silicon Valley.
JONES: You know, I think when it comes to role models especially for African-American kid, Latino kids, Latina kids, we don't have that many role models, either the street hustler or maybe a rap or maybe a great athlete, maybe Barack Obama, that's it. It is like a four models. And if you can't be Barack Obama, Stef Curry or (INAUDIBLE), you are kind out of luck.
Is technology, can that be like a fifth door where our young people could get excited, get involved, find success? I mean, is that part of why you are interested in opening that up? Because Silicon Valley, we have digital divide for a long time. It hasn't been easy for us.
CURRY: It is. I think just the awareness what opportunities are in tech, you know, and our youth don't really know how powerful it is and skills as they have, they might get a passion for it. And that is something that you can kind of get in early. So that's powerful just to create that access because even five, ten years ago that wasn't a thought that many people had.
JONES: Obviously, you are not a politician. You don't know all the answers but you are asking the right questions. How can we be better? You don't have to do that. You are doing that. Athletes haven't always thought comfortable doing this. It was get the big salary, get the sneaker deal, be quiet. Why are you going beyond that?
CURRY: I think we control our own voice a lot more than we ever could. We can talk about social media, the world is a lot smaller, the power in your words, and your actions, they go a lot further. I think just the athlete in general is less afraid of what the consequences might mean or the ramifications of taking a stand or having a voice.
JONES: Why? You don't like money? You don't like meals? I mean, what changed?
CURRY: I don't know what changed. I mean, that's obviously a thought. You see what happened with Kaepernick and whatnot. And NFL guy and their protests and things like that which I applaud. But I don't know.
[19:35:04] JONES: You struck up for Kaepernick. It is one thing to stand with Obama. But Colin Kaepernick went out there to do positive (INAUDIBLE) stuff. Some people stood back from him. You stood with Kaepernick when he was doing --.
CURRY: I aligned with him.
CURRY: Because he is putting his money where his mouth is. And he actually - like I don't understand how you can fault a guy, taking a peaceful protest, but on the back end the million dollars that he had, putting his money where the mouth was, going to communities, making an impact, making a difference. I think, you know, for me to be able to bring some of that money back into the bay area meant a lot. I think we are doing some good in San Francisco with the united players initiative that we supported.
JONES: (INAUDIBLE) to Ruddy? I love my boy ruddy?
CURRY: That was a new brainer to me to see a guy who has dedicated his like to making a difference whether it is accepted or not, I'm with it.
JONES: You know, I have to ask you some basketball questions otherwise my son is going to kill me. So we are in California. We are happy. Everything is great. What if Lebron James came to L.A.? Would you be able to sleep at night?
CURRY: I would be sleeping (INAUDIBLE). Obviously, our team is team to beat. We got some work to do, but I'm pretty confident in ourselves. So he has I guess the NBA world is his oyster. He can figure out what he wants to do next year. But right now we are trying to win a championship. And it's fun right now.
JONES: You got some feedback around your draft picks for the all- stars.
CURRY: I did.
JONES: All sorts of stuff. If you had the chance to draft anybody in NBA history, at their height, you know, one, two, three, who would you draft? You are Stef Curry. You look at the game slightly differently. Michael with the marquise, you might or somebody nobody heard of. I don't know. Who would you pick?
CURRY: I would pick Shaq first.
CURRY: I would love to see just that physical specimen out there.
CURRY: Just dominate. Like I have seen it on TV. Seen highlights. And even seen him play against my dad. But to be out on the floor and see it in person that would be unbelievable. Obviously, I have to throw Michael Jordan in there.
JONES: Got to. CURRY: That's a no brainer. And then I would probably throw Wilt
Chamberland in there. If I can somehow bring in his prime to today's game to see how that translated that would be awesome.
JONES: Some surprises some not surprises I think. One not surprise. Two surprises.
You said something that touched me. You said in all this noise and chaos and confusion you wrote it's important for us to be louder than the silence.
CURRY: But quieter than the noise. Yes.
JONES: What did you mean by that?
CURRY: There is obviously our world is chaotic. There is problems everywhere. There is just negativity and hate. For us, if we can want to stand for something, be consistent with that message, raise awareness to the things that need change. And as you talk about all the time and what this show is about, spreading love and positivity, and trying to just make a difference, I think that's what we are all on this earth for. And so that's my job as a basketball player and I'm trying to do it.
JONES: Well, you are doing a good job.
On behalf of every dad on earth, thank you, brother for being the kind of role model we can point our kids to.
CURRY: Thank you very much.
JONES: And thank you for doing your homework every night.
CURRY: Homework, the dishes, all that stuff.
JONES: All that stuff. Steph Curry. Appreciate you brother.
CURRY: Thanks very much, man.
JONES: I want to thanks Steph Curry. I love that brother. Just so amazing guy.
Up next, we are going to continue the heated conversation around gun control, this time in Las Vegas. The scene of one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history. I'm getting back in my van. I'm driving around the city with two survivors of that massacre, plus the man who sold the shooter some of his weapons. I'm going to take you there when we get back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [19:42:54] JONES: This week, you know, our hearts and our heads have really been in Parkland, Florida. But less than six months ago our country witnessed the deadliest single day mass shooting in our modern history, 58 people killed. More than 500 injured when a gunman opened fire on thousands of concert goers in Las Vegas.
So I got in my van to talk to the people who were directly impacted by the shooting just to try to learn how is the city healing and getting their thoughts on this whole political gun fight that is now consuming the country.
JONES: All right. Las Vegas. Let's see what we can do here. Here we go.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi.
JONES: Welcome, welcome.
Yes, roll that thing back. That's a classic mini van. Old school.
How are you doing, man?
JONES: I feel like mom.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have that, so.
JONES: One of the most grizzly awful shootings in American history happened right here in this otherwise beautiful city.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This was the dirt lot we were at this dirt lot.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That was the fence we knocked down.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
JONES: So both of you were actually there the night of the shooting. Is that right?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was unimaginable. I was watching people just dive over the bars and just the fear in their eyes as they are just hiding.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I remember sitting there going when is this going to stop? Because I mean, just the agony when you realize like it's not stopping. It's not stopping. It is not stopping. And this is real now. And now I'm part of a mass shooting. Like I'm not just someone I see on TV anymore. This is like my reality now.
JONES: Now, you weren't at the venue, you were in town though?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
JONES: You actually you sell guns. You sell ammunition. And then later on it turns out that the shooter actually bought a couple of his guns from your shop. How did you feel when you learned that?
[19:45:11] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You get a little angry. You do the best you can. You do due diligence and follow every law we can follow. Definitely not condoning that whacko, but at the same time, it is a tool, it is a totality, chose to use that day instead of a bomb.
JONES: You were lawfully selling weapons in a lawful way to someone who then unlawfully shot this whole place up. I mean, you were here. You saw the bullets flying?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I definitely feel like -- I can't blame him or (INAUDIBLE). I have no place in my life for guns. And I don't want to see a gun. I don't want to be in front of a gun. I don't want to be around a gun. That's just me. Like I didn't grow up that way.
JONES: How old are your kids?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Three and five.
JONES: Three and five.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My 3-year-old actually the other day, my husband and I were talking about going to a concert that we re going go. And he goes, mommy, are you going to a shooting concert? And for that to be like an adjective in his vocabulary, I don't know, it just - it hits you pretty hard as a mom. I think, you know, that he is three and that's his world now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm obviously a gun enthusiast and sport shooter and a hunter and everything else. And I have a reason why I have what I have. And I also believe I don't need a reason to have what I have. But what I do believe is the system is broke.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm all about our second amendment. And -- but I do think that we have laws in place already that aren't being used. And why aren't we actually enforcing those laws that we already have in place? Instead of just trying to get rid of guns?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We could be strict with which we aren't doing. We don't treat it like an epidemic that it is. We are not allowed to.
JONES: David, do you agree that there is an epidemic of gun violence?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no less guns. No more guns. We all had guns. I had guns in my truck when I was a kid in high school all the time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody shot up the schools, right. So I think we have to look at what the real problem is and I don't think it's the guns. I think we have to look at maybe some parenting.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know. I think at a certain point when it seems like your right to a gun trumps my right of keeping my children alive, there is a problem.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you understand that if you ban guns tomorrow or the sell of guns or took my guns away, that it doesn't help your child's safety at all? Because the guns that are in the hands of the wrong people are still out there?
JONES: So for people who are concerned about gun safety, you have to be able to say we are going to pass a law and tomorrow it will nothing bad will ever happen again. What causes everybody held to that standard? I never heard that (INAUDIBLE) anything else.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's understandable but nobody has come up with something and said, this will actually help.
JONES: Can you understand why people feel, you know, differently about, say, a gun than they might feel about a knife or pair of scissors?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I understand it. But I also, same thing, not to sound insensitive, I find it a little bit ignorant. You can take this van and drive it through --
JONES: I'm sorry.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You just said you could drive this van through something. Well, guess what, that happened on the strip here. And guess what we have up now, all are barricading, we have barricades to protect the people from being run over by a car.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You didn't stop the car. You didn't make the cars go any slower. You changed something here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, we changed something. We made a change. I mean, I just think that's --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But not to the car. Nobody blamed the car, not once.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We looked, we had a problem, one time problem. Same with the shoe bomb in the airport. We had one-time thing happen. And we did something about it. We have had bagilian (ph) time travel with this gun thing and we can't even enforce the laws we have. Why is that not the biggest problem in America?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody can really sit down and tell me something that this will stop this because of this.
JONES: So from your point of view, bomb stocks are OK, silencers are OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bomb stocks have nothing to do with it. Bomb stock that's making you fire a rifle faster, right, it's almost silly, you lose accuracy, right, because you are bouncing all over the place and going crazy. You are not sitting there actually aiming shots. A silencer does not make a gun silent. One thousand percent, it makes it OK for your hearing. It lowers the decibels.
JONES: At the end of the day, I look around. And when I get finish being hypnotized by like the people who are smart on guns, I still say but other countries don't have this problem?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe because they are more in tune with each other.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think their societies are better. I have lived in Europe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it comes down to parenting. I think it comes down like kids bullying.
JONES: Only Americans have horrible parents?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. You look at so many kids that are bullied that do these violent acts where they kill themselves or they kill other people.
JONES: There are no bullies in other countries.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, there are bullies or maybe they teach their kids resilient. Maybe we are a country that is too soft. We want everything perfect.
[19:50:06] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have to say that guns are bit of the problem, that is a part of it. We were shot but against.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody will agree that a gun used in a crime are gun in the wrong hands is part of the problem, 100 percent.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. This is a healing remembrance garden for the victims.
JONES: People talk about Vegas strong. You are somebody, you know, that sold weapons. You guys are on the other side of the (INAUDIBLE), but you are still here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because people still deserve to be here.
JONES: Gun control is one of those issues where it is just difficult to find agreement. But one thing all three of those people in that van have in common, they are parents of young kids and they are all doing what they think is right to keep their kids safe.
Up next, my own messy truth about guns. But first here is more of what you have to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need change. We need amendments. We need some action right now that lets people know that their lives are worth more than anything in our age.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think people are naive to think that those regulation wills s will be followed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:55:06] JONES: As we close, these are photos of the lives that had within cut short in school shootings. Now this doesn't include people killed in movie theaters, nightclubs, concerts or on the streets. These are just some of the teachers, the students that have been killed on our campuses since the 1999 massacre in Columbine. And each photo represents a family that has got a permanent hole in it forever.
Now look, I get both sides. My dad was a former cop in the military. He always had guns in the house. I was always too scared to touch them, but they were there and he was responsible. At the same time, I have been to too many funerals of gunshot victims. I know that we need change in America. And we should be able to hunt and defend our homes without this level of carnage.
All sides need to listen better. And for the people trying to discredit these students, who are just rising up in their own grief, let me quote David Bowie from his classic song "Changes." "These children that you spit on as they try to change their world are immune to your consultations. They are quite aware of what they are going through. Never underestimate the young people in this country."
I'm Van Jones. I will see you next time. Peace and love for one another.