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At least 58 Dead, 500+ Injured in Las Vegas Massacre; U.S. Politics and Mass Shootings; Spain in Political Chaos After Catalonia Referendum; Catalan Independence; Interview With Las Vegas Shooting Witness Brian Claypool; Trump goes to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria; Gun Control. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired October 2, 2017 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:25] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Tonight, a special report. Breaking news on the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
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AMANPOUR: And the fallout as more than 50 people are dead, more than 500 are injured and in the hospitals after a gunman unload automatic weapons
firearm on constant goers in Las Vegas. The latest on the horror.
And after another senseless act of violence, we ask will anything ever change?
Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
The automatic fire was fast and furious and interminable. An eyewitness tells CNN that it lasted for 10 to 15 minutes.
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AMANPOUR: Sunday night in Las Vegas, what started as an open air country music concert turned into carnage and became the deadliest mass shooting in
modern American history. Nearly 60 people are dead, more than 500 had been taken to hospital.
The shooter, a 64-year-old white male Stephen Paddock from Mesquite, Nevada on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel sprayed hundreds of rounds of
the crowd around 22,000 people below.
They duck for cover and run for their lives every time there was a burst of fire.
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TAYLOR BENGE, LAS VEGAS SHOOTING WITNESS: My sister kept herself on top of me each time that happened and was just telling how much he loves me and
just, you know, doing something very noble to make sure I was OK.
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AMANPOUR: And the police reach the killer within 20 minutes. They found him dead inside the hotel room with a stockpile of more than 10 rifles.
They believe he was working alone, but they don't yet know his motive.
President Trump called the attack an act of pure evil and he called for unity.
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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our unity cannot be shattered by evil. Our bonds cannot be broken by violence. And though we
feel such great anger at the senseless murder of our fellow citizens, it is our love that defines us today and always will forever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Trump also said that he and the first lady will visit the victim's families and first responders in Las Vegas on Wednesday.
Unfortunately, mass shootings in the United States have become common place, but surely the most shocking came in 2012 when a 20-year-old
mentally disturbed white man massacred 20 children between the ages of six and seven and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in
The governor Dannel Malloy was in office at the time and he joins me now.
Governor Malloy, you know, it's really hard to talk in moments like these. I don't even know what went through your head when you woke up to this news
DANNEL MALLOY, CONNECTICUT GOVERNOR: Yes, well, you know, my heart goes out to the people in Las Vegas, in the state. And quite frankly this is a
much larger audience of people representing many states in some countries.
So, you know, what we have to do is learn from these mistakes and this is - - this is a mistake. We shouldn't have people with stockpiles of 10 of these types of weapons. They are -- they are in essence weapons of mass
destruction. And in Connecticut when we moved to change our laws with respect to making a gun -- gun safer and eliminating certain types of guns
from being owned on a new acquisition basis, what we've seen as a dramatic decline in this kind of -- well, in violent crime rate, in fact over the
last four years Connecticut had the largest decline in violent crime of any state in the nation and part of that was our reckoning back in December 5
AMANPOUR: Governor, you know, you state the blindingly obvious. We know here in Great Britain after the Dunblane massacre in the 90s; when 16
children were killed in Scotland; after the massacre in Tasmania, Australia, when 35 people were killed, the leadership of this country
instituted the same kinds of laws that you have done in Connecticut and there have not been the same attacks.
[14:05:00] What is it about the United States that doesn't allow the country to actually impose sensible gun control? How many times do we have
to ask this question?
MALLOY: You know I have said that these kinds of shootings are coming to your home town in the United States, because much of our country will not
take the steps on a national basis to make the country safe. And we still have guns being sold -- 40 percent of guns being sold without a background
We still have guns being sold in Internet sales subject to no background checks. We still have gun shows in some states, where guns are changing
hands with no background check. A disturbed individual can get guns in America and we can't change the laws on a national basis.
We can do it on a state-by-state basis. Quite frankly I don't think the people serving in the Congress and the Senate have the guts to have a frank
conversation with the American people that this type of crime is not simply a Las Vegas or New York or Chicago or an L.A. kind of thing. This is
coming to your hometown.
I had that experience in my state. The Sandy Hook School and that beautiful town, a new town is, you know, bucolic, wonderful places. No one
would have ever thought that, you know, a sick person would take those kinds of weapons into a school and murder those kinds of folks. But we at
least are -- we are confronting that issue. We are confronting who we are and what our values are. And we need to have that national discussion.
Do you really want this to happen in your hometown, in your school, in your movie theater? It doesn't make any sense. We could take commonsense steps
to make America safer.
AMANPOUR: Yes, you could.
MALLOY: Background checks being the first one.
AMANPOUR: You absolutely could.
AMANPOUR: And frankly governor, the people of the United States are on the side of that. Every single pole says that a majority of the people, even
though they want their guns are for sensible gun control. Whether it's background checks, whether it's ammunition, whether it's automatic machine
guns like military.
But here's the thing, you know people are saying and have written that the Republicans are allied with the NRA, the National Rifle Association, and
the Democrats are intimidated, you may not be in your state and you've taken action because of the terrible thing that happen, but that's the
What is going to change, the fear of the majority of the population in the United States, politicians, and cause them to actually confront this
MALLOY: Well, the NRA does on a big chunk of the Republican Party that is a fact, and those Republicans, many of them know that this is not the right
thing, but they are intimidated themselves. And quite frankly, I think so there are some Democrats again intimidated by the NRA. I'm certainly not
one of those individuals because I will say this that if you -- if you survey Americans, most people think every gun purchase is subject to a
The NRA has done a good enough job to confuse this issue in the Americans mind that they think that people are having those background checks, that
individuals who have mental challenges can't get a gun or that felons can't get a gun. But in America, you could be on the no-fly list and get a gun.
And that's the insanity of the whole situation. I just wish we could have an honest discussion about this. I don't want to take anyone's gone away.
I just don't want felons and folks with mental conditions that have guns to kill all my children or your children or anyone. It just doesn't make any
And there is another test coming up. Your own Senator Chris Murphy from Connecticut said it's time for Congress to get off its ass and do
something. He said that today after this.
And something surely, governor, is this idea of silencers coming up. You know, people run when they heard the gunshot. What would have happen if
they didn't hear these gunshots?
Are the politicians going to stop the silencers?
MALLOY: Yes, this could go on for quite a while. I mean, silencers, there is no constitutional protection of silencers. This is -- this is a crazy
discussion to have.
The idea that somebody could enter a school and kill everyone in a classroom and no one might know about it makes no sense at all. Please
America, wake up and smell the coffee. Our children are dying because we won't take common sense steps to protect them. Shame on us as Americans.
We're not showing the strength and the fortitude that we pretend to have when we lecture other countries about their difficulties, about their
terrorism or about their domestic problems.
AMANPOUR: Honestly, governor, I can assure you that people around the world will identify very, very strongly with what you just said.
Governor Malloy, thank you for joining us from Connecticut.
MALLOY: Thank you.
[14:10:00] AMANPOUR: And now, Cori Langdon, she has worked as a taxi driver in Las Vegas for 12 years. She was an eyewitness last night.
She filmed people fleeing from the scene of the shooting on that Las Vegas strip. Eventually they jumped into her car for safety.
Take a look and a listen to this.
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(PEOPLE SCREAMING AND PANICKING)
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AMANPOUR: So they were chaotic scenes inside Cori Langdon's taxi as she drove people away from the scene of the shooting, and she joins me now on
Cori, thank you. You were one of the many good Samaritans last night. How did you get involved? Where were you when this all happened?
CORI LANGDON, WITNESS TO LAS VEGAS SHOOTING (via telephone): Yes. Well, actually I was staging at the Mandalay Bay a few minutes before the gunmen
started shooting. It was very quiet at Mandalay Bay.
I was staging in the taxi line. And I heard a couple pops and I -- we -- I just thought it was the firecrackers, or you know, fireworks going off
across at the venue, across from the Mandalay Bay.
And -- so actually on the video that you didn't -- the part that you didn't show, I actually -- you can hear all the shooting, and I finally realized,
oh my God, somebody is shooting. So I left Mandalay Bay, came around and then I started to go towards the venue where they -- the hardest test was.
And as I turned the corner and saw all these people jumping over the fence from the festival and running through the streets, it's weird because some
people were just walking very casually. So I still was unsure what was going on. Even there were cop cars and sirens and, you know, flashing
lights and everything.
I had a man and a woman come towards my taxi and they said, she got a broken leg, broken leg and said, OK, get in. And they got in. And then
all of a sudden, all these other people started trying to get into my car, my taxi. And I can only take -- go ahead.
AMANPOUR: Yes. We heard, we heard the broken leg. The person calling about that.
AMANPOUR: And were there lots of civilians like yourself, helping to rush people to the hospital. I mean, the first responders must have been
overwhelmed. We understand that more than 500 people had to be taken to the hospitals.
LANGDON: Yes. You know I saw a few taxis there. To be honest with you, I got the people in there. I told them to close the doors. And I just
wanted to get them out and I wanted to get myself out to be honest with you.
So all these people were in front of my car. I had other people begging me to let them in into my cab, and I couldn't. I felt so bad about that. And
we just kept an eye -- I just started going and there was people in front. I was honking and telling people to get out of the way, and then the people
in my car were screaming and they said, oh my God, we're covered with blood.
And they are saying that there were hundreds of people dead. And there was blood everywhere and there is an active shooter. And it was just very,
very surreal to me.
LANGDON: So I took them like -- I just, you know, got as far away from the strip as I could. They wanted to go to the hotel and I said no.
AMANPOUR: You did a great service for those people. Cori Langdon, thank you so much.
And as we've been heard, President Trump is coming to Las Vegas on Wednesday with the first lady. He's been speaking about this incident
today. The White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders is speaking out. We'll of course continue to monitor that. If there is any news from that
briefing, we will give it you when we come back.
And then we've been asked also why America is the only country where mass shootings occur on an ongoing basis. I'll talk to two long time observers
of the country's political dysfunction, next.
[14:15:47] AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.
Sitting here in London, we outside observers are frankly baffled by the Deja vu quality of these events as Las Vegas joins the hall of shame along
with Orlando, Sandy Hook, Aurora and many other places. It keeps getting worse, not better. But why does it keep happening at all? Why does
America seem paralyzed in the face of ongoing gun violence?
My next guest will try to explain.
EJ Dionne is a long time observer of the American political scene for "The Washington Post" and Norman Ornstein is resident scholar at the American
Enterprise Institute focusing on Congress and political reform.
Their new book, "One Nation After Trump" is the definitive guide to the dysfunction that has come to play American politics.
Gentleman, thank you both very much indeed for joining us.
Am I right? Am I over doing it? Is it dysfunction?
NORMAN ORNSTEIN, RESIDENT SCHOLAR, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: It's certainly dysfunction.
E.J. DIONNE, THE WASHINGTON POST: Christiane, you're absolutely right that it is dysfunction. As you said in the opener, there is an organic deep
connection between the National Rifle Association and the Republican Party.
Democrats in rural states are intimidated by the National Rifle Association. And we have as we argued in the book, a kind of non-
If you look at our Senate, rural states are vastly overrepresented in the United States Senate. When President Obama tried to push through
background checks, senators representing the vast majority of the people in the country voted for background checks and other reforms. But because of
the Senate's filibuster rule and because of the power of the smaller states that failed, and again and again efforts to pass national gun-control
founder because of the combined combination of the power of the NRA and the overrepresentation of interest, who want to oppose all gun regulation.
AMANPOUR: Then let me turn to Norman, you also agreed that this is dysfunction on the political scale. You know, you heard President Trump
today call for unity.
Is that -- what is that going to amount to? I mean, all candidates talk about the right of Americans to bear guns, but they just never able to get
there with anything, anything resembling a kind of a unified stance against this violence.
ORNSTEIN: So, you know, every time this happens, I think about a headline in the satirical newspaper "The Onion," "'No Way to Prevent This,' Says
Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens."
And we know that other countries have been able to deal with this issue and we know that because of the distortions in our political system and frankly
a Supreme Court that misread the Second Amendment a few years back, and said it had nothing to do with the militia, and politicians all across the
country who exploit this at the behest of the NRA.
Governor Bevin of Kentucky today said the political opportunists are suggesting this has something to do with guns. There is no way to regulate
evil. And apparently we are able to elect evil and we are unable to deal with this set of issues.
And as long as we have the distortions in the system, it's the nature of the Senate. It's also the gerrymandering in the House. The Supreme Court
may have something to say about that starting tomorrow, but probably not. And the big-money system that we have, it keeps us from doing anything.
You know, in Las Vegas, he apparently had machine guns. Not just assault weapons or a semi-automatic set, where you have to pull the trigger for
The idea that you can have those kinds of weapons designed only for mass killing in the United States is appalling.
AMANPOUR: And it's not the first time and apparently in Nevada, you can have as many as you want.
But, again, you know, your book "One Nation After Trump," where is this heading next, E.J.?
Where does it go from here? You've spoken about the divisiveness, even though he called for unity today.
What happens when a dose of Trump is poured onto this already, you know, explosive situation of mass gun violence?
[14:20:15] DIONNE: Well, I think you have two options before you.
One is that everything simply melts down and the other is that there are some antibodies in the system that says we've had enough of this. Our book
is by no means naively hopeful, but we do point to some heartening developments in terms of mass political activism, on a level we haven't
People actually getting into politics to make change and oppose Trump. What you really need is a kind of reformation on the conservative side.
And you rightly referenced what happened in Australia after a mass shooting.
Prime Minister John Howard who was from the conservative coalition, whose party -- the parties in it as Prime Minister Howard or former Prime
Minister Howard said represented almost every world constituency in Australia got up and said we can't have this anymore.
And they passed a comprehensive set of gun laws that have done an awful lot of good. And you really have to have -- some people in conservative
politics look at their hearts and say conservatism should not represent the interests of the National Rifle Association. There is nothing conservative
about mass shootings.
AMANPOUR: Right. And finally to, Norman, again it goes to the heart of your book.
You basically said the election of Donald Trump could be one of the best things that ever happened to American democracy.
"We say this even though we believe that Trump poses a genuine danger to our Republican institutions and has done enormous damage to our country.
He's violated political norms, weakened our standing in the world and deepened the divisions of an already sharply torn country."
So how then to these two sort of reconcile themselves. On the one hand, all those things you said. On the other hand, it may end up strengthening
democracy and actually making it more democratic.
ORNSTEIN: So we're hoping and there's some evidence as EJ suggested to believe that Trump could be our Dunkirk. Giving us a jolt and recognizing
that we got to have our civil society and many of the groups that are a part of it stepping up to the plate to try and do something about this.
The election of Trump was a jolt. That's something we talk about in great detail in the book. Maybe this massacre will be another jolt. We're going
to get a very quick sign with not just the bill that you referenced earlier for allowing silencers, but also a bill to allow concealed weapons to be
taken across state lines.
We're going to see right now whether it's going to take a little bit more time and a little bit of additional effort to bring us back to some level
Norman Ornstein and E.J. Dionne, thank you so much, indeed.
DIONNE: Our pleasure.
AMANPOUR: We turn to one of the big stories in Europe.
Spain on the brink of a constitutional crisis. The Spanish foreign minister joins me next.
[14:25:30] AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.
Now political chaos and uncertainty are gripping Spain right now after the Catalonia region voted on Sunday to split from Madrid in a hotly contested
Spain's central government says the vote was illegal and tried to shut it down by force in some instances.
I spoke with the Spanish foreign minister to get his reaction to the violence and to ask what happens next.
AMANPOUR: Foreign Minister Dastis, welcome to the program.
ALFONSO DASTIS, SPANISH FOREIGN MINISTER: Thank you for having me.
AMANPOUR: Foreign minister, you were good enough to join me just before the referendum and you said to me then we hope that everything will be
calm, that there will be no violence.
Are you shocked by the level of violence and by the scenes that we have seen coming out of Spain. Hundreds of people injured by your police.
DASTIS: Look, if there was use of force by police in anyway, it was because they were prevented from doing what they were asked to do by the
They were prevented from discharging their duties so it was no deliberate use of force. It was no excessive use of force. And we have acted -- as
we have always acted, you know, proportionately and with as much care as we possibly could.
AMANPOUR: Mr. Foreign Minister, it's really hard to hear you say that. We're talking about Spain, a strong European democracy, a free country
sending its riot police against men, women and children who just wants to cast a vote.
I understand that the vote may be, you know, politically and constitutionally improper. But was that really the way to react?
DASTIS: Well, look, it was -- I mean, it was not riot police. It was the normal police that was sent by the junctures to follow their orders, which
was to remove ballot boxes and ballot papers. And no way harm any people. And if there was, again, any harm, it was not deliberate and I don't think
it was excessive.
AMANPOUR: OK. So are you going to hold them accountable, because we have pictures of them holding their batons and getting ready and beating people?
I mean, I'm looking at it now as I'm talking to you.
Kicking, beating, and as you know, hundreds of people have been injured and many have had to go to the hospital.
I mean, I guess the question is, you know, didn't you just play right into the hands of the secessionists, the Catalonians who you are trying to hope
that they wouldn't vote for independence. You play it right into their hands.
DASTIS: Look -- I mean, as I said, it's the courts that made the orders. I think the police complied with their orders as best they possibly could.
I know that there may be pictures that suggest otherwise. There was also suffered by the police forces. And, you know, you said that there are many
people in hospitals. As far as I know, they were two and they, you know, say that there were 800 or more injured.
I'm not sure you can, you know, take face value any number of figure that some -- that they generally is offering because we have seen what they have
been doing the past.
AMANPOUR: Obviously, you have your narrative. They have their narrative. The pictures tell a certain story. But here's the issue now.
Are you in an unprecedented constitutional crisis? I mean, this is really the first time in 40 years of your democracy that this has come to this
kind of boiling point.
And as you know, the president of the region has said that within 48 hours of a yes vote, which they got, they will declare independence.
What will you do about it? What is the way forward?
DASTIS: Well, we'll see whether they finally declare independence. And if they do, we will have to take care that the democratic order is being
followed in Spain.
The Prime Minister Rajoy has already announced that he will appear in parliament. That he will be talking to the leader of all political groups
and that is what he is doing.
I think he is following what is foreseen in our constitutional rules and all democratic rules.
AMANPOUR: Do you believe that he still has his political authority intact and has he made the situation worst? Have you just fuelled the cause of
Catalan's desire for independence?
ALFONSO DASTIS, MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF SPAIN: I don't think Prime Minister (Joan Lluhi I Vallesca) any activity or has made the situation
worse. And he has offered again and again to hold the dialog; he's doing that this afternoon with the leader of the socialist party and the leader
of (inaudible). He has offered to do so with all other parties and movements represented in the Spanish congress.
AMANPOUR: Alright well we will keep an eye on it, it's obviously very, very fraud and it just seems to come at a moment when this is the last
thing that Europe needs.
DASTIS: We certainly do not need a crisis in any of the member states of the European Union but these will not prevent us from working hard with our
partners towards having a stronger and more integrated Europe.
AMANPOUR: On that note Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis, thank you for joining us from Rome today.
DASTIS: Thank you, thank you, it was a pleasure.
AMANPOUR: Still ahead, a witness to the violence in Las Vegas tells us how he survived. We'll bring you the latest on the deadliest mass shooting
in modern U.S. history after our break.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program as we continue CNN's breaking news coverage of the worst mass shooting in recent American history. And here is
what we know; at least 58 people are dead, more than 500 have been injured and taken to hospitals after a gunman sprayed hundreds of rounds at a crowd
of about 22,000 people. They were attending an open air country music concert in the Las Vegas strip Sunday night.
The shooter is a 64 year old, his name is Stephen Paddock, he's from Mesquite, Nevada. He fired from the 32nd floor of his room of the Mandalay
Bay hotel. Police reached the killer within about 20 minutes. They found him dead inside his hotel room with a stock pile of more than 10 rifles.
They believe he was working alone but they don't know his motive yet. Now, (Sunny Melton) is among those who were shot and killed Sunday night, he
worked as a nurse at the Henry County Medical Center in Tennessee where his wife also works as an orthopedic surgeon.
The White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked if it was time now for serious policy change on gun control and here's what she said.
SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Today is more again, like I said, a day of reflection, a day of mourning, a day of gratefulness for
those that were saved and I think that there will certainly be time for that policy discussion to take place but that's not the place that we're in
at this moment. But certainly I think that there's a time for that to happen.
AMANPOUR: Well we will certainly keep and eye on that because so far after each and every massacre, nothing much has changed in American. Brian
Claypool was sitting near the stage when the shots rang out last night and he ran and he managed to help others escape. He joins us over the phone now
from Las Vegas.
Brian, thank you for being with us. It must have been a really traumatizing experience for you last night.
BRIAN CLAYPOOL: Yes, for sure. I mean I just finally made it back to my room. I was staying on the 24th floor of the Mandalay Bay, so as you're
speaking to me, I'm finally back in my room to gather my belongings, and I have the same view that the killer had of the entire arena, where the
concert took place, and I can tell you it's a wreck.
I'm looking at it. I mean, in the back bleachers, for example, it looks like people just left clothing - it looks like clothing was just left
everywhere in the back bleachers. There looks like - it looks - the area - the infield area - it's just - it's disheveled. There's items all over the
infield, and it looks like there might even be some blood stains on the cement next to the infield.
And I'm looking at the area where I was sitting now, for the first time - I was in the area called the Neon Lounge area, the VIP section to the left of
the stage - but I was in the front row. So I'm now looking at the front row from my window and I clearly was exposed. Like, if he's shooting from
my window, I was exposed, so it's even more traumatic for me now to look at this.
AMANPOUR: Brian, I can hear it in your voice, and particularly as you look out and you survey it, and you can see potentially it may have been even
worse. Can you sort of tell from where you are where the majority of the chaos was, or where the majority of the shooting was - closer to the stage,
or further back?
CLAYPOOL: Yeah, it looks - that's - that's a good question (ph). It looks like it's center stage, to the right. So if Jason Aldeen - he was
performing the last act - so if Jason's on the stage, and he's looking straight out, a little bit to his right, and in the center of the infield
area looks like the hardest hit.
AMANPOUR: And, just --
CLAYPOOL: It's terrifying to look at it, I mean right now, after the fact, that --
AMANPOUR: --and you've had time for it to settle in, so the adrenaline is obviously going down, and you're really reacting to it now in a different
way than you did last night.
CLAYPOOL: -- yes (INAUDIBLE) -- AMANPOUR: --how were the people around you last night?
CLAYPOOL: -- yes, well another point I wanted to make, too - it's interesting you said that - because I'm looking at every move I made now
from down there after the shooting started. So I heard the first - the first round of shots lasted forever. It just was never-ending. It felt
like World War III. It just went on, and on, it must have been for like 30 seconds - so I was laying down in the aisle, at that point.
Then I ran down the steps during a short gap - he must have been reloading - and I'm now looking at the area where - it's pretty eerie - I'm looking
at the area where I was running with some people, and there was a very heroic man. I can see the door from my window. There's a door that goes
under the bleachers, and he summoned about 15 of us into that door, so thank goodness he did that, because as I'm looking - where we were going
was north of where the shooting was started, but we were wide open - we were in the open area then for the shooter.
Had we not gone into that little room and waited for the next round of shots to go, and happen (ph) - and then, a very (ph) brave police officer -
very brave - by the way, law enforcement - unbelievable in Las Vegas. The most brave, heroic folks I've ever seen. And I get emotional talking about
it. I walked down the street to get back in my hotel - every police officer I saw, I thanked.
But there was one brave police officer who screamed at us (ph) and said go now, run. That's when we exited that little area to run north, to get out
of the venue (ph). And I saw that same officer jumping over the five foot fence - we were - I was right next to Las Vegas Boulevard - he jumped the
fence to go fight the shooter. He didn't, probably, know where the shooter was either. But can you imagine the heroics of that (ph) police officer?
AMANPOUR: Well, instinct kicked in, and it was the difference between life and death for many of you, you included. Brian Claypool, thank you very
much for joining us from Las Vegas.
CLAYPOOL: Yes, thank you.
AMANPOUR: Thank you, for talking to us.
So, police say they found the shooter with a stockpile of at least ten rifles, as we've said. And an expert says the gunfire indicates that he
used a military-grade automatic weapon.
We're joined now by John Feinblatt. He's the president of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. It's a coalition that advocates for gun control. And he's
joining us now from New York. What do you think? You've spent a career advocating for sensible gun control. You saw what happened in Las Vegas
Do you have any real hope that actually this could be a game changer?
JOHN FEINBLATT, PRESIDENT OF MAYORS AGAINST ILLEGAL GUNS: Look, last night was an absolute national tragedy but, there's another tragedy going on in
this country and that's the unwillingness of Congress to enact gun safety laws.
And, what's amazing is, what's the discussion in Congress these days? The discussion is about re - deregulating silencers and making it easier for
concealed carry weapons to be carried across state lines. Can you imagine how much worse last night in Las Vegas would have been had we deregulated
Most of your guest were on the scene have talked about the noise and the noise was the first signal to them that they had to hide, or run, or take
shelter and I've certainly talked to - to...
AMANPOUR: OKAY, John, John...
FEINBLATT: ...other who have said the same.
AMANPOUR: ...John, I'm going to have to stop you for one second. If we can we'll come back to you but there's a moment of silence that the
President and First Lady are leading.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: John Feinblatt that was President Trump and The First Lady, the Vice President, and his wife there. I guess I want to ask you frankly,
what do you think when you see that? I mean yes, it's a tragedy the country is being called to unite, but many of these politicians on both
sides of the aisle, many of them simply don't have what it takes to stand up to the NRA, despite what the majority of the American people demand.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FEINBLATT: Absolutely, look. There are two ways to honor crime victims. One, is moments of silence like the one you just saw that was lead by
President Trump, and that's important. But, the other is too honor, people, who have been killed in mass shootings and on the streets too
honor, them by doing something about it and that's what we don't have in this country.
As I say, we're going in the wrong direction. We're making it easier for people to get access to guns rather than make it tougher. And, what it
takes is to hold people accountable. And, next year we're going to have mid term elections and I can assure you that the American public who as you
say, support guns safety over whelmingly is going to make this an issue at the ballet box.
And, they should have worked on encourage them to do it and just look at some recent examples Kelly Ayotte was the only Senator from Virginia
through Maine to vote against back ground checks in the aftermath of Sandy Hook and she lost her Senate Seat largely because of her stand on blocking
back ground checks after a shooting in Connecticut school house.
AMANPOUR: Well here's the thing. You'd think that people like yourself who have the majority of the American people on your side who know that
sensible gun control which does not mean taking guns away from people but just regulating them in a sensible way could work.
There's a problem with the message. Some how it's getting all confused. People think, maybe that there's gun control, that there are back ground
checks. The - it seems to me and certainly our other guests have said so, that on your side the message is very [mugled] despite the carnage while on
the NRA side it's a very simple clear message that people relate to.
FEINBLATT: Well look Christiane if you look at what's happening in the states you get a very different picture. In the past four years 24 states
have made it more difficult for domestic abusers to get guns and the research says it makes a big difference. Now over - nearly 50 percent of
the American public lives in states where in order to sell a gun you have to have a back ground check and that's up from about a third.
So, the states get it. Republican Governors are getting it, Democratic Governors are getting it, but when it comes to Congress we're going in the
wrong direction. And, what we need is not just thoughts and prayers what we need is, not just moments of silence, but we need resolve and we need
AMANPOUR: Well, I really hope for the sake of all those lives in America that you succeed. Certainly we've seen it England, we've seen it in
Australia. Leadership on both sides of the political aisle works in these - in this regard. John Feinblatt, thank you so much...
FEINBLATT: Thank you Christiane, thank you.
AMANPOUR: ...thank you we're out of time but good luck to you.
And still ahead, from one crisis to the next, President Trump heads to Puerto Rico next for a look at recovery efforts that he says are going
great. But the latest report from the island on the pace of restoring basic services do paint a very different picture. We go live to San Juan
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program, President Trump issues a solemn call for national unities day after the nation's worst mass shooting in
memory but tomorrow he plans to travel to hurricane hit Puerto Rico where he's been anything but unifying. His response to that natural tragedy has
been to tweet insults at San Juan's mayor who was despirately just asking for help.
Three quarters of the island remains without electricity and more that half the people there still don't have clean drinking water. That's nearly two
weeks after the hurricane and our Boris Sanchez is in San Juan. Boris give us an update. How is the mayor doing? And what do you think the welcome
or the reception of President Trump will find there?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN REPORTER: Well after his tweets this weekend Christiane, several people told me things that I could not repeat to you on
television. It's uncertain if the President will get a warm response. What is certain is that Puerto Ricans will welcome any help that they can
get. Here in San Juan, there certainly signs of progress. We saw one unfold before our eyes in the past few moments.
When we arrived at this Wal-Mart in downtown San Juan, the line here was hundreds of people deep and it curved around the block. And we slowly
watched it disappear; people were able to get inside. Hopefully once they do get in, they'll be able to find some of the products that they need.
You mentioned some of the key numbers when it comes to recovery and the progress that's being made. That uptake in the number of homes and
businesses that have electricity. Right now about 70 percent of the gas stations here are functioning, some 65 percent of grocery stores are open.
That's in very busy areas - in urban areas, if you go out further into the rural part of Puerto Rico where we visited yesterday. Things are still
pretty bleak. We went into a neighborhood yesterday where a Korean war veteran lived with his wife, Jose(ph) and Livia(ph).
They were made homeless by hurricane Maria, a tree went strait through their living room. Now they're not sure exactly what to do, they said they
registered with FEMA but not a single FEMA official or local official even has gone into their neighborhood to survey damage or offer them any kind of
Right now they're living with a neighbor and they're uncertain about what their future is going to be. They are hoping that President Trump comes to
the island and offers them some assistance. Christiane. AMANPOUR: Boris, let's just hope that happens remembering of course that there are three and a half million American citizens on Puerto Rica, Boris
Sanchez thank you very much. And when we come back, the other tragedy in Las Vegas, we'll return there. It is the deadliest mass shooting in recent
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program and of course it goes without saying there are more mass shootings in the United States than any other country
in the world. U.S. only has five percent of the world's population. Here are some painful reminders of America's unique gun problem.
Shootings on American soil since 1963 have killed more Americans than all of the wars the U.S. has ever fought. That's according to PolitiFact and
the Virginia Center for Public Safety. And while the United States as I said has five percent of the worlds population, it had 31 percent of all
public mass shootings from 1966 to 2012.
Yet, nothing much has happened to change all of this. At least 58 people are dead in Las Vegas as far as we know and hundreds more have been
ingured. The plice have identified 64 year-old Stephen Paddock as the gun man but they've not yet determined a motive.
With me now is the former Philadelphia police commissioner and CNN law enforcement alalysts Charles Ramsey. And you've also been in law
enforcement at the top of law enforcement in Washington D.C. Chief Ramsey what on earth do you think as a law enforcement officer when you see this
CHARLES RAMSEY, POLICE COMMISIONER, PHILADELPHIA: Well I mean, it's just tragic, there's no question about that. It certainly is going to make
everyone rethink how we secure these venues. But as you mentioned in your opening remarks, it also brings to light the gun problem that we have here
in the United States and I don't see that being resolved anytime soon.
AMANPOUR: Well that's really depressing. So you say tragic - tragic to me is a natural disaster, is somebody to me who loses a reative or something.
This is tragic plus - tragic on steroids, it goes on and on and on. It there anything that you can identify sitting there that maybe could happen
without too much constitutional (INAUDIABLE)?
I don't know, some republicans have reached out to us and said just - just tract the ammo. Why should somebody be able to buy all that ammo that was
required for all those bullets, for all those 10 guns that he had in that hotel room.
RAMSEY: Well the other part of that too was that was an automatic fire that you hear when you listen to the sound at the venue - at the event.
How did he get his hands on something that's automatic. There are laws in place that really restrict people's ability to be able to purchase guns
that are fully automatic.
He could've converted another weapon. ATF will work on that to try to figure out exactly how he got his hands on it. But there's so much that we
don't know about this individual right now that we don't know what the motive is, we don't know anything much about him.
There'll be more information as time goes on but again, how do you secure for things like this. An oudoor concert, someone from a high rise building
knocking out a window and starts shooting down on people killing at least 58, that number will probably rise. Another 500 or so injured. It's
AMANPOUR: Well sir, of course how do you secure is a big part of the problem but isn't the biggest problem how do you stop the wrong people
having guns? And how do you just act in the best interest of the population? I asked you about ammunition, you didn't respond. And I want
to know what you think about silencers. If the bill goes through to allow silences to be use willy nilly (ph) but whoever wants to.
RAMSEY: Tracking ammunition, tracking firearms. But this whole bill about silencers, to me is absolutely crazy. Can you imagine if that individual
had a silencer on that weapon how long it would take for people to even know what's going on which increases the number of victims. It's insane in
my opinion and yet it stands a good chance of probably passing.
Our congress just - they don't have the courage to take the kind of measures that need to be put in place to make sure that these guns stay in
the hands of responsible owners -
AMANPOUR: Do you think -
RAMSEY: -- and don't fall into the hands of people that are mentally ill.
AMANPOUR: We've seen many of the usual suspects - I'm sorry to say that but grieving families, certain activists - they're the ones who always go
to congress and should testify and lobby and all of the rest of it. What if all of your confederers, all the law enforcement people, all the first
responders, what if they just invade congress and say enough already. How many people are we going to have to rescue for how much longer?
RAMSEY: Well the Major City Chiefs for an example which is an organization that I happened to be the president of it one point in time, taken very
strong stands around reasonable gun laws. But we don't come with any money and the lobbying that goes on by the gun industry. They're pretty much
buying the support of many of our members of congress unfortunately.
Listen if Sandy Hook - if the slaughter of 20 babies didn't change gun laws in America then don't think that this is going to change anything. There
will be some discussion for a month of so and then things go right back to the way they were. Nothing will happen.
AMANPOUR: That's a really, really, really bleak, bleak note and thank you. I guess right now it's the pragmatic note, I hope it changes. Charles
Ramsey thank you very much indeed for joining us. And it is of course easy to despair in the face of yet another mass shooting.
This tweet from a local Las Vegas reporter gives some hope though. Parking lot of blood donation center on Charleston is full at 3:48 AM, Vegas is
strong and compassionate. All over the city, people responded to calls for help from medical authorities. Natives, tourists, business travelers alike
flooded donation centers. The lines ran literally out the door.
Las Vegas was strong, it was compassionate indeed. Maybe, maybe these people will send a message to where it really counts and that is to the
elected officials in United States Congress. That is it for our special program tonight. Thank you for watching, good bye from London.