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San Bernardino Rampage Reignites Gun Debate; 14 Killed, 17 Wounded in California Massacre; How to Deal with Mass Shooting Fears. Aired 8:30-9a ET
Aired December 3, 2015 - 08:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:30:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Find two attackers and concerned there could be more people involved. We do know this, 14 people were murdered, 17 injured and the perpetrators are dead. The suspects are a man and a woman were said to be married, and they were killed in a very dramatic shootout with police. We do know where this started, but we still don't know why. The male suspect was at a holiday party right up the street from us at the conference center and we are told he left after a disagreement. The shooters then returned with weapon, tactical gears and an explosives. They also left their six month old child with their grandmother saying that they had a doctor's appointment.
We've also learned explosives we found at the shooting scene. They were rigged to a remote control car, a toy, and the remote was in the car, the SUV, where the suspects were tracked down. These attackers came prepared, again, that's what authorities say. They had assault rifles. They had semi-automatic handguns. They were ready and equipped for a rampage. There's no question about that. The question is why they did it. Was it just spontaneous or was it planned as it appears?
Take a look at this. The cover of "The New York Daily News" calling out lawmakers who express sympathy but don't act on that empathy according to that outlet. And certainly, Alisyn, that's part of the debate we have in every one of these is, how do you stop the next one?
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Absolutely. And we're going to talk about that more right now because this mass shooting in California reigniting again the debate over gun control in this country. Joining us now is a father at the forefront of that debate. We all remember the story of his daughter, Allison Parker. She was the Virginia reporter gunned down on live television, along with her camera man, Adam Ward. Her dad, Andy Parker, has since made it his mission to try to stop gun violence and he joins us now.
Mr. Parker, thank you for being here. It's so terrible to have to talk to you about yet another sickening shooting, particularly given how fresh and raw your daughter's death was to all of us still. I mean we all still remember, of course, those horrifying and haunting images. But, obviously, it's more painful - the most painful for you when you hear of another story like this. Can you tell us how you are processing it?
ANDY PARKER, FATHER OF KILLED JOURNALIST ALLISON PARKER: Well, Alisyn, I wish that we were meeting under - or seeing each other again under different circumstances, but I'm afraid that, you know, we're going to have to be welcoming new members of a club that no one wants to join. And, you know, I know exactly what these families are going through. I know the devastation that you feel and the anguish. You know, your life will never be the same again.
CAMEROTA: When your daughter was killed, you vowed to make preventing gun violence, as best you could, your life's mission. So in the three- plus month since that horrible episode, what have you learned about how to stop this?
PARKER: Well, you know, people say well it's, you know, a lot of - a lot of politicians merely suggest that it's a mental health issue, which certainly it can be. But, you know, the commonality is that there are, you know, too many dangerous people and people that shouldn't have guns have access to them. But, you know, we have the ability to make change. In Virginia we just came through an election that I was involved with and we - we elected a sensible gun legislation political leader to the Virginia senate. So it can be done. But it's - you know, it's going to take people around this country to just say, you know, we've had enough. Thoughts and prayers, you know, that's great, but that's not going to bring the victims that - in San Bernardino back. It's not going to bring Allison back. We have to have action. And I think we are moving the needle, if the election in Virginia is any different, but it's going to have to come from people exerting pressure on the politicians to do something, to take action.
CAMEROTA: But, Mr. Parker, I mean here's the vexing part, California has the strictest gun control laws in the nation. These laws - these guns in the San Bernardino case appear to have been bought legally. They may have been two of them, may have been transferred illegally, we just don't know yet, but they were bought legally. If this can happen in California, I mean what do you say to the people who say, the madmen will always be able to get their hands on a gun?
PARKER: Well, listen, your - it's like wearing a seat belt. You know, a seat belt is not going to save your life in a horrific accident, but it's going to give you a better chance. So, you know, doing nothing is - you know, we're going to keep - we're going to continue to see this regardless of where, you know, what state has the tougher gun laws. But if we can do something and toughen gun - the ability - just, you know, universal background checks, closing gun show loopholes, those are - those are steps that are - that are proven to work. Again, it's not going to save everybody, but it - it is - it's going to save some lives. And that's - you know, that's the most important thing and that's what we're trying to achieve. And we will achieve it.
[08:35:17] CAMEROTA: You know, on Black Friday, there was this record that was broken for the most background checks for firearm purchases, ever.
CAMEROTA: In other words, people are scared. People are scared.
PARKER: Yes. CAMEROTA: They want - they believe they need to own a gun. It feels like the world has gone mad. You know, what's - what's your answer to those people?
PARKER: Well, the answer is - is - it's not more guns. I mean the NRA and the gun lobby would have you believe that, you know, let's have everybody walking around and be engaged in a shootout. Let's have teachers and let's have open carry on campuses. And I can't imagine a world, if that's the world that we're - that we're coming to? You know, ISIS - and we don't know whether this is a terrorism attack or not. But, you know, if I'm ISIS and I'm looking at this and I'm saying, we don't need to be going to America because they're self- destructing on their own. That's not the kind of world that I want to live in. Most people in this country, even the majority of NRA owners - or members, they agree with sensible gun legislation to try and at least stop some of this from happening.
CAMEROTA: Andy Parker, take care of yourself. We're thinking about you and your family today. Thanks so much for being with us on NEW DAY.
PARKER: Thank - thank you, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Let's get to Michaela.
MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: We'll have much more on our top story in a moment, but we want to give you a look at other stories that we are following.
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivering his state of the nation speech, calling for international cooperation to defeat terrorism and warning Turkey's leaders that it will regret downing that Russian bomber. All of this as ISIS blasts Russia in its latest video which shows the gruesome beheading of a man they claim was a Russian spy.
CAMEROTA: Breaking news, Britain launching its first air strikes against ISIS in Syria. Officials say four U.K. fighter jets conducted several strikes on an oil field in the east. The action happening hours after parliament voted in favor of bombing ISIS strongholds there. The spotlight now on the German parliament, which is on track to step up its military offensive against ISIS.
PEREIRA: Increased confidence that doomed Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 will be found according to a new report from Australian officials. They are narrowing their search, expressing optimism that they're looking in the right place based on the results of two new independent studies. They've now prioritized an area at the southern end of the Indian Ocean search zone. Officials say now they may finish that search in six months.
CAMEROTA: An update now to a story we brought you yesterday. Pittsburgh police have arrested a man they say shot a Muslim cab driver. Police say Anthony Mohamed is seen on video at the driver's window with a rifle and multiple shots are heard. The driver said the passenger asked him if he was from Pakistan and talked about ISIS killing people. It is unclear if this will be considered a hate crime. The FBI is investigating. PEREIRA: It's the question on everybody's mind, what would lead a
young married couple with a baby to go on a shooting rampage? We're going to hear from a community leader who spoke with the shooter's family, ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They rushed in my - my front door seeking shelter, saying they're - they're shooting. They're shooting everybody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[08:42:41] CUOMO: We're live here in San Bernardino and there's a lot of information flying around about what happened here. But here's what we know. Investigators are not ruling out terrorism, but they're not ready to say that that's what it is here as well. So, why is there suspicion? Well, the names of the two suspects wound up indicating that they are Muslims. So they then went to the shooter's family and the shooter's family had absolutely no sense of what was going on.
How do we know this? Well, CNN's John Vause talked with Hussam Ayloush. He's the executive director of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations. He had a take on what this means for Muslims and what we understand about this shooters in particular. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (ph): Clearly right now everybody is searching for a motive in all of this. I know that you have come out and condemned the attack, but clearly you've spoken to the family. We've heard from Syed Farook's brother-in-law. What more can you tell us?
HUSSAM AYLOUSH, EXEC. DIR., COUNCIL ON AMERICAN-ISLAMIC RELATIONS: Well, I mean, of course, we don't know the motives. And then the family is devastated, like all Americans today, filled with sorrow and mourning. And we express on their behalf their heartfelt condolences to all the families who - of the victims injured and killed and just pray for whoever is responsible to pay the price for it. The family is devastated, like all people, and this is the time for us to express solidarity among all of us Americans in rejecting whatever the motives might have been. You know, there's absolutely no justification for such horrendous behavior.
VAUSE: Have you had a chance to speak at any length with the family of Syed Farook and if there was any indication - I mean we heard from the brother-in-law saying, no one expected this. He had just spoken to him a week ago. What else have the family been saying to you?
AYLOUSH: I spoke with them. They're as shocked as anybody else. They had no - no clue that this could happen. They - you know, this is a - (INAUDIBLE) suspect is - is married, has a six month old baby. You wouldn't expect - you know, they have no reason what made him snap. It's just - is it workforce, workplace related, is it mental illness, is it some twisted ideology? It's really unknown to us. All they can do now is just share with everybody's sorrow and then prayers that this is over quickly and the pain and that suffering of all these families is eased.
[08:45:13] VAUSE: You were very quick to come out and hold a news conference. Even had Syed Farook's brother-in-law there to talk about this. Explain to me why you took that action.
AYLOUSH: Well, because we are living in a very difficult time. There is a lot of Islamophobia there. There is a lot of anti-Muslim sentiment fueled by pundits here and there trying to blame a whole community for the acts of a few. Again, we're still mourning as a nation after what happened in Colorado Springs by someone who is also responsible for his act. Not the Christian community. Not the American community.
Same thing, we felt there was a need for our fellow Americans to know that all American-Muslims share with the rest of the country our sorrow today, our shock and our agony for what happened. It was important for the family. They wanted to make sure that people know how they felt, how devastated they are. And they insisted to being here, although they are going through their sorrow as we speak now. But they drove all the way to be at the office and speak to fellow Americans and say we are - today we are all victims today. We stand united in our sorrow and the only way we can come through this is through our solidarity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Boy, there is so many things, Michaela, that make this tough to categorize into a neat box. A multiple shooters. We haven't seen that obviously since Columbine. Husband and wife team. The fact that nobody describes him as an extremist or having muttered anything sort of extreme. The family is shocked. This is a very tough one for investigators.
PEREIRA: And the fact that the wound, Chris, is still open from Colorado Springs. The wound is still open from Paris. The wound is still open from seeing that reporter shot down on the air. I've heard from so many of my friends in southern California enough is enough. When are we going to see this kind of stop? Again? That is the refrain we're hearing.
CUOMO: Look, and the Muslim thing matters too. Just does. Are all Muslims bad when Muslims do something bad? No. But at the same time when you analogize it to, you know, a guy who might be a Christian and does something, you don't see Christians killing in the name of Christianity the way you do with Muslims right now and it feeds a lot of the phobia and it's something that requires discussion and time and context and that is in short supply when people are angry.
PEREIRA: Sure does. All right, Chris. Well we know it certainly seems every time we turn on the news these days it seems we're talking about a mass terror attack or a shooting. What can be done to ease our fears, to calm our fears? We're going to talk to a psychologist, next.
[08:51:16] PEREIRA: With 14 fatalities, the San Bernardino shooting is the worst mass shooting in the U.S. since Sandy Hook in 2012. It happened less than a week after a deadly shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado. Less than a month after the terror attacks in Paris. How do we deal with the increased anxiety that we or someone we love might be a victim of a shooting or of an act of terror?
We bring in a good doctor. Dr. Jodi Gold. She's a psychiatrist and author of "Screen-Smart Parenting."
I want to talk to you about the anxiety because it is -- There is grief right now for all of us that have connections to San Bernardino, to any of us that have connections to somebody that has lost their lives or been injured in a shooting. It is understandable to be anxious. How do we be realistic, yet live within this new world order?
DR. JODI GOLD, PSYCHIATRIST: It is really challenging. I think it depends on who we are talking to, right, because people are affected by this violence in different ways.
PEREIRA: Yeah. We don't all handle things the same way.
GOLD: And even in terms of now that we're seeing domestics shootings on almost a daily basis, we're seeing more and more people being directed affected. So whenever there is an attack, there's the survivors, the people we are seeing in San Bernardino.
PEREIRA: And we'll talk about that in a second.
GOLD: Right. And they clearly are going to have a different type of reaction. And then there's now thousands of the bystanders, people that were connected, people that had family members or that visited this residential center.
PEREIRA: And then there is all of us that watched this coverage on our screen that is going to have an effect on us.
GOLD: Yes. So the effect is different based on where you are. But those of us who watched it on TV vicariously are also going to have an effect.
PEREIRA: OK. So here's the thing. None of us want to let fear win. How do we stay informed, yet find a way turn off and live life? Because there is great beauty in the world.
GOLD: Oh, yes. There's lots of great beauty in the world. So we need to remember that. We have to understand why this type of anxiety is so insidious. Terrorism, whether it's domestic or international, is sort of unprovoked, we're unprepared for it, we have a hard time.
PEREIRA: Our guards are down. GOLD: Our guards are down, right? In general when we're anxious, the way we handle it, especially in America where we are a sort of can-do nation, we handle it by trying to take control. You are afraid of getting in a car wreck, you drive more slowly. You're afraid of failing a test, you study more. So that begs the question of how do we handle this? So what makes it so anxiety-provoking is that it kind of brings up the fear of the unknown. We don't have control over it. So the question is what can we do to reign in our anxiety and try to take control of the situation.
PEREIRA: What is the answer?
GOLD: There is no simple answer. One thing we can do is reassure ourselves that we are taking all the steps to be careful. I've noticed with adults recently, that what adults try to do, especially with the international terrorism, is they try to learn about the situation.
PEREIRA: Stay informed.
GOLD: Yes. So the idea is that if you are knowledgeable -- and truly it is distorted sense of security, right, because you can't protect yourself -- but I find that we are all trying to become very knowledgeable of the situation.
PEREIRA: Well measure the fear. Is it something I realistically need to be afraid of in my life here now? Is it a - Right? I guess that's the equation, right?
GOLD: No, we don't need to be afraid of it in our daily lives. The truth is that it is not preventable and we need to go on living our lives. That is the key.
PEREIRA: One of the things that I found really interesting, so many people in this anxiety culture that we're in right now taking it to social media. It is almost as though it is a confessional. It is a way of finding solace. Is that a healthy place? Is that a healthy way to do it?
GOLD: I think it depends on who you are and how you use social media. I do think if you are anxious and you're especially anxious about world events, you want to acknowledge it. Hiding it and hiding in your house and not going to public events is not the way to solve it. I think we have to be careful about the inundation of information. I find - Go ahead.
PEREIRA: No, I was going to say, the final thought that I want to ask you about is (inaudible). A lot of our staff have children. And when these images are up, they are going to have questions. It is going to be everywhere. How do we deal with it?
GOLD: So first of all, you need to know your kids. Most parents know their kids better than we do. So you can make decisions. With the young kids, I want to protect them. I don't think kids 6 and under need to be watching -
[08:55:04] PEREIRA: It's not age appropriate.
GOLD: It's not age appropriate. I think with middle schoolers and elementary schoolers, you take their lead. I feel very strongly, though, that parents, when it is appropriate, parents should be talking to their kids about this. It is better to hear it from your parents. I don't think kids need to know about every daily shooting, unfortunately. They do need to know about the Paris attacks and they need to hear it from their parents. But parents need to manage their own anxiety.
PEREIRA: Watch their own cues.
GOLD: Yes. Don't overshare. If your kids want to know a little bit, it's good and bad, fine. If they want to know more, that's fine. Parents' anxiety sort of overflows and we give them too much information and we scare them.
PEREIRA: Yeah. We can't - We have to own our own stuff and then handle things with our children in a way that is appropriate for them at that age.
GOLD: Model it for them.
PEREIRA: Model it for them. Jodi, we rely on you so much for these kind of situations. I regret we're going to be talking to you more, I'm sure.
GOLD: I know. Unfortunately.
PEREIRA: Thank you so much for being here for us and for our viewers.
GOLD: Thank you.
PEREIRA: Obviously we're going to have more of our breaking coverage from San Bernardino ahead. Stay with CNN. "NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello picks up after a quick break
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning. I'm Carol Costello reporting live from San Bernardino, California. Thank you so much for joining me this morning.