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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 10/01/15

Guests: Chris Van Hollen, Chelsea Gorrow, Victoria Hawks, Pia Corazon

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: And good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. Today, this country experienced its 45th school shooting in this year alone and the 294th mass shooting of the calendar year of 2015, according to the broadest definition of the term. A massacre at a community college in a remote part of southwestern Oregon which left ten people dead and seven wounded. There is still at this hour a lot we don`t know about what happened. We do know the gunman, a 20-year-old male, is now deceased. Not long ago, President Obama came to the White House briefing room to deliver a blistering response to today`s events, one that may be remembered as one of the most powerful and angry speeches of his presidency. We bring it to you now in full. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There`s been another mass shooting in America -- this time, in a community college in Oregon. That means there are more American families -- moms, dads, children -- whose lives have been changed forever. That means there`s another community stunned with grief, and communities across the country forced to relieve their own anguish, and parents across the country who are scared because they know it might have been their families or their children. I`ve been to Roseburg, Oregon. There are really good people there. I want to thank all the first responders whose bravery likely saved some lives today. Federal law enforcement has been on the scene in a supporting role, and we`ve offered to stay and help as much as Roseburg needs, for as long as they need. In the coming days, we`ll learn about the victims -- young men and women who were studying and learning and working hard, their eyes set on the future, their dreams on what they could make of their lives. And America will wrap everyone who`s grieving with our prayers and our love. But as I said just a few months ago, and I said a few months before that, and I said each time we see one of these mass shootings, our thoughts and prayers are not enough. It`s not enough. It does not capture the heartache and grief and anger that we should feel. And it does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted someplace else in America -- next week, or a couple of months from now. We don`t yet know why this individual did what he did. And it`s fair to say that anybody who does this has a sickness in their minds, regardless of what they think their motivations may be. But we are not the only country on Earth that has people with mental illnesses or want to do harm to other people. We are the only advanced country on Earth that sees these kinds of mass shootings every few months. Earlier this year, I answered a question in an interview by saying, "The United States of America is the one advanced nation on Earth in which we do not have sufficient common-sense gun-safety laws -- even in the face of repeated mass killings." And later that day, there was a mass shooting at a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana. That day! Somehow this has become routine. The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine. The conversation in the aftermath of it. We`ve become numb to this. We talked about this after Columbine and Blacksburg, after Tucson, after Newtown, after Aurora, after Charleston. It cannot be this easy for somebody who wants to inflict harm on other people to get his or her hands on a gun. And what`s become routine, of course, is the response of those who oppose any kind of common-sense gun legislation. Right now, I can imagine the press releases being cranked out: We need more guns, they`ll argue. Fewer gun safety laws. Does anybody really believe that? There are scores of responsible gun owners in this country --they know that`s not true. We know because of the polling that says the majority of Americans understand we should be changing these laws -- including the majority of responsible, law-abiding gun owners. There is a gun for roughly every man, woman, and child in America. So how can you, with a straight face, make the argument that more guns will make us safer? We know that states with the most gun laws tend to have the fewest gun deaths. So the notion that gun laws don`t work, or just will make it harder for law-abiding citizens and criminals will still get their guns is not borne out by the evidence. We know that other countries, in response to one mass shooting, have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings. Friends of ours, allies of ours -- Great Britain, Australia, countries like ours. So we know there are ways to prevent it. And, of course, what`s also routine is that somebody, somewhere will comment and say, Obama politicized this issue. Well, this is something we should politicize. It is relevant to our common life together, to the body politic. I would ask news organizations -- because I won`t put these facts forward -- have news organizations tally up the number of Americans who`ve been killed through terrorist attacks over the last decade and the number of Americans who`ve been killed by gun violence, and post those side-by- side on your news reports. This won`t be information coming from me; it will be coming from you. We spend over a trillion dollars, and pass countless laws, and devote entire agencies to preventing terrorist attacks on our soil, and rightfully so. And yet, we have a Congress that explicitly blocks us from even collecting data on how we could potentially reduce gun deaths. How can that be? This is a political choice that we make to allow this to happen every few months in America. We collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction. When Americans are killed in mine disasters, we work to make mines safer. When Americans are killed in floods and hurricanes, we make communities safer. When roads are unsafe, we fix them to reduce auto fatalities. We have seatbelt laws because we know it saves lives. So the notion that gun violence is somehow different, that our freedom and our Constitution prohibits any modest regulation of how we use a deadly weapon, when there are law-abiding gun owners all across the country who could hunt and protect their families and do everything they do under such regulations doesn`t make sense. So, tonight, as those of us who are lucky enough to hug our kids a little closer are thinking about the families who aren`t so fortunate, I`d ask the American people to think about how they can get our government to change these laws, and to save lives, and to let young people grow up. And that will require a change of politics on this issue. And it will require that the American people, individually, whether you are a Democrat or a Republican or an independent, when you decide to vote for somebody, are making a determination as to whether this cause of continuing death for innocent people should be a relevant factor in your decision. If you think this is a problem, then you should expect your elected officials to reflect your views. And I would particularly ask America`s gun owners -- who are using those guns properly, safely, to hunt, for sport, for protecting their families -- to think about whether your views are properly being represented by the organization that suggests it`s speaking for you. And each time this happens I`m going to bring this up. Each time this happens I am going to say that we can actually do something about it, but we`re going to have to change our laws. And this is not something I can do by myself. I`ve got to have a Congress and I`ve got to have state legislatures and governors who are willing to work with me on this. I hope and pray that I don`t have to come out again during my tenure as President to offer my condolences to families in these circumstances. But based on my experience as President, I can`t guarantee that. And that`s terrible to say. And it can change. May God bless the memories of those who were killed today. May He bring comfort to their families, and courage to the injured as they fight their way back. And may He give us the strength to come together and find the courage to change. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: All right. The president at one point calling for media organizations like our own to compare the number of deaths at the hands of terrorist attacks and gun violence deaths. That`s something we`ve actually had occasion to do on this program numerous times in the 2 1/2 years I`ve been anchoring here. Our friends at Vox put together that. You see that top line is deaths from guns, and the bottom line there at the bottom are deaths from terrorism. Guns killed many, many, many, many, many, many more people in this country. We should also note on a day like today when the attention is focused on the horror out of Oregon, gun violence strikes at every hour in America, in every state, often concentrated among our citizens who are poorest and most marginalized. They too deserve our thoughts as we think about this problem. Joining me now, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Democrat from Maryland. Congressman, your reaction to the president`s comments today. REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D), MARYLAND: Well, Chris, the president is absolutely right. It`s tragic. It`s heartbreaking. But it`s also sickening. It`s sickening because we see this mounting death toll from mass casualty shootings but also every day in our neighborhoods, in our cities, and it`s sickening because we know there are common sense gun safety measures we can take to dramatically reduce the death toll and we`re not doing anything about it. And the definition of gross negligence is when you know you have a solution that will help prevent gun deaths and you don`t do anything about it. HAYES: What does that look like? What does it mean? What are the solutions? VAN HOLLEN: Well, we know that if you have a universal criminal background check to help keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people, you will reduce gun deaths. We know that. We know that the state of Connecticut passed a law that also says you that should have a permit to purchase a weapon just like you need to get a license to drive a car. You should get a license before you can go purchase a weapon. And Johns Hopkins Center, a Professor Webster there, just did a study a few months ago showing that in the state of Connecticut the number of deaths from gun violence went down by 40 percent. Maryland just adopted a similar law two years ago and the results will be coming. I just spent yesterday in Maryland with our Maryland attorney general, Brian Frosh, calling upon other states to adopt these laws. And I`ve introduced legislation to incentivize other states to do it because those states that are passing these common sense gun laws are seeing reductions in deaths but they`re also vulnerable to the negligence of other states, Chris, who are not taking these common sense measures. So we need to act on a state level but we also need to act on a congressional level, and it`s just scandalous and shameful that in the House of Representatives, we`ve never even had a vote on common sense gun legislation, never a vote on universal criminal background check legislation, never a vote on the legislation that I and so many others have introduced. Give us a vote. And you know, Mr. Speaker, one thing he might be able to do before he leaves at the end of October is let democracy work. Let the American people watch Congress, vote to decide whether or not they want to take these common sense measures that help save lives, just as the president said. HAYES: You know -- VAN HOLLEN: Congress needs to act. It has gotten sickening. People should be angry. And this is -- the time for action is way overdue. If this were a disease, if this were a virus that was killing tens of thousands of Americans, we would have the scientists at the national institutes of health, we would have the folks across the country at the CDC, we would have -- HAYES: That`s right. VAN HOLLEN: -- all hands on deck. And yet we have this epidemic that`s killing Americans and nothing`s being done. HAYES: All right. Congressman Chris Van Hollen, thank you very much for your time. The congressman mentions if this were a virus, if this were a disease, we one year ago today had the first American who got Ebola. And everyone can remember the scale of the response, of the things that were motivated to make sure that disease did not spread, the absolute terror that people would be stalked by Ebola, and compare that to the way we shrug off gun violence. Coming up, what we know about what happened today in Oregon. Later, my conversation with Bernie Sanders about his reaction to today`s events and President Obama`s remarks. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: We`re following breaking news out of Afghanistan tonight, where a military official says 12 people, including five service members were killed when an American transport plane crashed during takeoff. The C-130 transport plane went down shortly after midnight local time at Jalalabad airport, which is roughly 100 miles northeast of Kabul. The cause of the crash has not been determined. The military official says there are no reports of hostile activity in the area at the time. Officials said in addition to the five American service members who died, five civilian contractors aboard the plane also lost their lives as well as two locals on the ground. We`ll bring you any updates as they become available. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Authorities in Oregon now say today`s mass shooting left 10 people dead and seven wounded. The gunman who is now deceased has not been identified. It happened in Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, a small city of roughly 22,000 people, about 180 miles south of Portland. Today was just the fourth day of the fall term of the school`s 3,300 full-time and 16,000 part-time students. And at 10:38 Pacific Time, the local Douglas County sheriff`s office got a call ban active shooter at Snyder Hall, a building that mainly houses science classrooms, and units were immediately dispatched to the campus. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 911 DISPATCH: This is going to be the Snyder Hall. The -- somebody is outside one of the doors shooting through the door. There is a female in the computer lab. We do have one female that has been shot at this time. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: UCC campus went into lockdown as over 100 officers from units all over the area arrived on the scene. The gunman once again opened fire. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 911 DISPATCH: Exchanging shots with him. He`s in a classroom on the -- it`s going to be the southeast side of the hall. Copy (INAUDIBLE) 17 exchanging gunshots right now with the male. He`s in the classroom on the southeast side of Snyder Hall. (INAUDIBLE) Unconfirmed report that he`s got a long gun. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Just a few minutes later, the threat was over. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 911 DISPATCH: Copy, we`re sending ambulances in right now. Code four, the suspect is down. Copy code four. Suspect is down. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Wounded were transported to multiple area hospitals while students and staff from the college were bused to a nearby fairground were the Red Cross was on scene to help them reunite with family members. Investigation now under way. The community college will remain closed until Monday. At a press conference this afternoon, Oregon Governor Kate Brown shared limited information good the gunman. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. KATE BROWN (D), OREGON: We have confirmation that the shooter is deceased. He is a 20-year-old male. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Joining me now, Chelsea Gorrow. She`s crime reporter at "The Register Guard" newspaper in Eugene, Oregon. And, Chelsea, very little information we have gotten thus far. What is the latest? CHELSEA GORROW, REPORTER, THE REGISTER GUARD (via telephone): That is the latest information we`ve had. There were ten confirmed deaths and seven confirmed injuries. Three of those injured were transported to a Eugene hospital. The other four are being treated locally. And other than that they have shared very little information about the victims or the shooter. They expect another press release this evening. HAYES: I can only imagine the level of shock and chaos in that community at this point. How are people handling it? GORROW: Well, most of the people are down at the fairgrounds. I`m stationed up at the fire department, and Oregon state police offices for those press conferences that are happening sporadically. There`s a ton of media up here. There are some families that are coming by just to check. People delivered beverages and food up here to people. But when I first arrived on scene there was a family sitting next to me that was waiting for a phone call from their daughter to find out if she was OK. And they did get that phone call. She was a nursing student. And they headed out to the fairgrounds to meet her. HAYES: We also don`t know at this hour whether all the family members have been notified. I imagine that`s part of, of course, the reason that they are going to hold until everyone`s notified to release those victims` names. GORROW: Right. They said it would be 24 to 48 hours before any of the names are released. HAYES: All right, Chelsea Gorrow, thank you very much. GORROW: Thank you. HAYES: All right. Joining me now is Victoria Hawks, a city councilor in Roseburg where today`s shooting at Umpqua Community College took place. Ms. Hawks, can you tell us a little about your town? VICTORIA HAWKS, CITY COUNCILOR, CITY OF ROSEBURG: Our town is about 22,000 people. Split in half by Interstate 5 and the college is about five miles from the city center and it`s outside of my jurisdiction. I used to work there a long time ago. I have fond memories of it. I also was a student, and I`ve got children and now grandchildren that are out there. Two of the boys were out there today, were in the lockdown in the library, the next building over from Snyder Hall. They`re fine. I am glad to report. Shook up but fine. We`re all kind of -- as I sit here and think about it, before I came on, it`s like there`s nothing else to think about today. And we all think we`re safe, but I think this proves that nobody is anywhere. HAYES: Do you know how folks are communicating with each other, the sort of support systems that have been put in place if there are going to be the kind of resources for trauma and grief and I imagine so many people are going to be needing there? HAWKS: I am sure there will be grief counseling available at schools and so forth. I`m not privy, though, to the expertise -- I don`t have that expertise just within my city council in this community is an unpaid volunteer job, so I don`t always hear everything that`s going on in spite of what one might think. HAYES: Victoria Hawks, thank you so much for taking the time. And I just want to say that obviously the entire nation is sending you good thoughts and condolences this evening. HAWKS: The families of those deceased and injured need it the most. HAYES: All right. HAWKS: Thank you. HAYES: More to come, including an interview with Senator Bernie Sanders. You don`t want to miss that. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SHERIFF JOHN HANLIN, DOUGLAS COUNTY, OREGON: We are deeply saddened by the tragic events that unfolded today at Umpqua Community College. These sort of tragedies aren`t supposed to happen here, yet they did. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: After the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, President Obama made a push for tougher gun control laws including expanded background checks. That effort was met with resistance not just from the gun lobby, but from local law enforcement including Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin, the man you just heard from, spearheading the response efforts in Oregon. One month after the Sandy Hook shooting, Hanlin wrote a letter to the vice president, Vice President Biden, vowing to refuse to enforce any federal gun laws he personally believed violated the 2nd Amendment, quote, "gun control is not the answer to preventing heinous crimes like school shootings. Any actions against or in disregard for our U.S. constitution and second amendment rights by the current administration would be irresponsible and an indisputable insult to the American people." Hanlin going on to write, "any federal regulation enacted by congress or by executive order of the president offending the constitutional rights of my citizens shall not be enforced by me or by my deputies, nor will I permit the enforcement of any unconstitutional regulations or orders by federal officers within the borders of Douglas County, Oregon." The Obama administration`s gun control proposals failed in congress, but some states have since decided to introduce their own reform measures, those states include Oregon, which earlier this year proposed to expand background checks for gun sales. And Sheriff John Hanlin was one of the measure`s opponents, even testifying against it. The measure passed anyway, with Oregon Governor Kate Brown signing it into law this past May. Joining me now, Pia Corazon, she`s senior adviser for Americans for Responsible Gun Solutions, the gun violence prevention group founded by her former boss, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords for whom you (inaudible). Great to have you here. PIA CORAZON, AMERICANS FOR RESPONSIBLE GUN SOLUTIONS: Thanks for having, Chris. HAYES: I want to be clear about the context of this information about this county sheriff, we know nothing about the gun, how it was acquired in sort of specifics and obviously this county sheriff is not responsible in any way for what happened today. But it is a window into the fact that that sentiment is a widely shared one and in some ways that is what folks like yourself are up against. CORAZON: Yeah. I mean, you know, Gaby talks about this a lot when she was in congress, that Tucson felt very far away from Washington and I`m sure that this part of Oregon feels very far away from the center of power in New York or Washington where decisions are made. And you know, for a sheriff to make that statement isn`t that surprising. We speak with a lot of gun owners. Our work, we think, is -- shares the voice of the governor in America. Over 70 percent of gun owners believe background checks are a good thing and that they could actually save lives. Background checks are not controversial anywhere except Washington, in the halls of congress, otherwise, you know, over 70 percent of support is pretty good support for public policy. HAYES: Would background checks -- I mean, then you get the argument on the other side which says, okay, would background checks prevent these things? How much would a background check really do? I mean, you know, America has more guns per capita than any country in the world. I think possibly except for Yemen or Iraq, somewhere around there. CORAZON: Yes, right. HAYES: You know, how effective do we think those would be? CORAZON: Look, I mean, we always say there is no one answer, there`s no panacea for this problem. We have -- the gun lobby will often says guns don`t kill people, people kill people and we firmly agree. People are the problem. And it is stopping the people who should not access from acquire these firearms from getting them and making sure that the responsible gun owner in America, the hunter, the person that feels that they need their weapon for protection and is going to lock it at night and keep it away from their children and if they lose it report it to law enforcement, these people are not the problem. The problem is the fact that criminals, mentally ill, domestic abusers, they have easy access. And the truth is there is something that our government can do. I mean, we make a choice to live as the president said, to live in the world where we have such gun violence. Like there are answers. If you were to put together the NRA, the Gun Owners of America, the Obama administration, Sandy Hook Promise, Gaby Giffords, I mean, you could actually put together an interesting discussion. And I actually think if the cameras were off there would be more agreement in that room than there would be differences. But the -- you know, there is a political game here that`s been played for a long time. There`s a lot of money at stake. And the result is nothing has happened, literally nothing has happened at the federal level. The state level we`ve actually seen some success. HAYES: It`s important you say there`s money at stake. I think it gets lost sometimes. The NRA becomes a target. Obviously, there are a lot of gun manufacturers in this country that make a lot of money selling a lot of guns. There`s a gun for every man, woman, or child in America. And if there`s a legislation that means those gun sales are going to go down, because some people can`t guy them, that is going to be coming out of someone pock`s pocket. CORAZON: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it`s -- there`s a lot of money at stake. And that`s a good point to make. And we recognize that. No one will profit from less gun violence. We talk about that all the time. HAYES: Yeah, Pia Corazon, thank you very much. We really appreciate you being here. Still ahead, I`ll talk with Senator Bernie Sanders to get his reaction to today`s shooting. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Today, presidential candidates began reacting to the Oregon shooting. Jeb Bush said he was praying for the victims and families. Hillary Clinton expressed outrage that, quote, "these mass murders happen again and again and again." And we showed you earlier, President Obama expressed real frustration and anger this nation continues to suffer through these mass shootings while doing basically nothing to solve the problem. I just spoke with presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, Vermont senator, and I asked him for his reaction to today`s mass shooting. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, Chris, I saw the president`s statement. And I know him well enough to know that this was very personal for him, that he is disgusted, he is angry, he is sick and tired, as we all are, of sending our condolences to the families of people who have been murdered in cold blood. And the president is right. Condolences are not enough. We`ve got to do something. We have to stop shooting at each other. We need sensible gun control legislation. And by the way, we need to significantly improve mental health services in the United States of America. And I pledge to do everything that I can in both of those areas. HAYES: Yes, if you were elected president, is this something that would be a priority for you? And have you thought about how you go about putting in place the policies that could reduce the amount of mass shootings we see? SANDERS: Well, I don`t think anyone has all the answers, but I think some of the components are, first of all, guns should not be in the hands of people who should not have them -- people who have criminal records, people who are mentally ill. And that means we need a very strong instant background check system. Number two, we have a huge loophole right now in gun legislation, in that unlicensed gun dealers can sell guns at these gun shows. That`s the gun show loophole, which has to be eliminated. And in my view, which is somewhat controversial, I don`t think in this country, we should be selling or distributing weapons of mass -- weapons that are designed just to kill people, automatic weapons, military-type weapons. And that`s what I voted for. But what we need, Chris, as a nation is to get beyond the shouting. You know, you got some people who want to ban every gun in America and some people believe in nothing at all. I think the vast majority of the American people, as the president indicated, including gun owners, and I know that`s true here in Vermont, want sensible gun control legislation, and they also believe that we should have more access to mental health facilities and counselors than we presently do. The bottom line is, if somebody is suicidal, somebody is homicidal, you`ve got to make sure that person gets care and attention immediately, not two months from today. HAYES: You reference that your constituents in Vermont, a state, of course, you represent, that`s a state that it`s my understanding of the statistics has relatively high levels of gun ownership, relatively low levels of gun violence, compared to some other states. SANDERS: Yes. HAYES: You also -- you voted for some gun safety legislation and against others. You voted against the Brady bill, you voted for instant background checks, you voted against a bill that would have allowed lawsuits against gun companies. Has your thinking on this evolved over time? Have you been influenced in how you think about it in discussions with your constituents who are gun owners? SANDERS: Well, I think we are all disgusted and horrified by these mass killings. And as the president indicated, we`re tired of sending condolences and we know that it could happen tomorrow, it could happen again a month from now. I have voted as I said a moment ago for what I think is the most important provision, and that is strong instant background checks to make sure that people who should not have guns do not have guns. And I have voted to eliminate this gun show loophole, which is what we have got to do. And, you know, I think, Chris -- HAYES: But the fact -- (CROSSTALK) SANDERS: -- that at the end of the day -- HAYES: If I could just say, Senator -- SANDERS: Yes? HAYES: There`s two things about this. One is it strikes me is, you know, it may prove to be a more difficult policy problem than we`re prepared to admit about keeping guns out of the hands of the wrong people. And it may be that that isn`t enough, the sort of items that you`ve indicated, that if we need to take a more robust approach like, say, in Australia or England, which the president mentioned today. SANDERS: Well, I don`t -- you know, I don`t know that anybody knows what the magic solution is. What we do know is the current situation is not tenable. It is clearly not working. And as the president indicated, we can and must do a lot better. So, I believe -- but I`ll tell you what else I believe. You can sit there and say I think we should do this and do that. But you`ve got a whole lot of states in this country where people want virtually no gun control at all. And if we are going to have some success we are going to have to start talking to each other. And here`s what I think is the good news, that I think there is a consensus for serious gun control including among people who own guns. And I think that`s what we have to bring about. And the fact we have folks in Congress who don`t even want us to get information about shootings in this country and fatalities, that`s pretty crazy stuff. So, I think the job is to bring people together and say, yes, we`ve got to move forward, we`ve got to move forward aggressively, stop the shouting and let`s work together to do something that`s realistic. HAYES: Senator Bernie Sanders. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Coming up, we`ll hear from an eyewitness to today`s shootings in Oregon. That`s ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: All right, on this very busy news day, an update about Hurricane Joaquin, which is now a category 4 storm with sustained winds, estimated 130 miles per hour. The storm is churning through the Bahamas, was threatening to make landfall along the Atlantic seaboard on Monday. If that happens, it would be the first major hurricane, meaning a category 3 or stronger, to hit the U.S. since 2005. Forecast models now show the storm slowing down and turning eastward. The National Hurricane Center tonight saying we are becoming optimistic the Carolinas, the mid-Atlantic states will avoid the direct effects from Joaquin. But the center says cannot rule out a direct impact from Hurricane Joaquin on the east coast. We`re going to keep a close eye on it. And we will keep bringing you updates as they become available. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: All right, our own Jacob Soboroff is in Roseburg, Oregon and he joins us live from outside Umpqua Community College. Jacob, what`s the latest? JACOB SOBOROFF, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Hey Chris, I`m about as close as anybody can get to the 100-acre campus just up the hill here. We`re about a mile away. And I just had an opportunity to speak with a student who was on campus at the time of the shooting. Take a look. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SOBOROFF: I`m here with John Parker Jr. who is a returning student to Umpqua Community College. Hey, John. Thanks for taking the time. JOHN PARKER, UMPQUA COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENT: Thanks for having me. SOBOROFF: What were you doing this morning when you heard the first reports of shots fired? PARKER: Myself and a few other veterans were in the vet center on campus. It`s a closed room where we get to go and study in quiet without all the other people. We were just getting ready to leave at about 10:00, 10:40 or so, and a guy come back in and said that we need to stay inside because there`s an active shooter on campus. At that time a few of us said, well, we should go check this out, see what`s going on. And when we did, we went outside and almost immediately staff members were telling us to get back in, take cover and go inside. So we all went to our buildings for our classrooms that we were going to and that`s where we stayed for about two hours. SOBOROFF: Is this a place that you normally feel safe? PARKER: I always feel safe. SOBOROFF: Can you elaborate on that a little bit? PARKER: You know, I`m not out thinking that society is out to harm me. I do happen to conceal carry myself for defense of myself and others just in case a tragedy like this happens and I have to be in close proximity to where I can be involved to try to help save some lives. But I`m not a person who believes that there`s always somebody out there behind your back ready to do something like this. SOBOROFF: What were you planning on doing today? PARKER: I was planning on going to class. But like I said, when we found out there was an active shooter on campus, we were going to go and see if we could intervene. Veterans are trained -- the air force, navy, marines, army. We`re trained to go into danger, not just run away from it. So, if there was something we were able to, we were going to try to do it. Luckily, we made the choice not to get involved. We were quite a distance away from the actual building where it was happening, which could have opened us up to be potential targets ourselves. And you know, not knowing where SWAT was on their response time, they wouldn`t know who we were and if we had our guns ready to shoot they could think we were the bad guys. But essentially, we ended up going into our classrooms, where the instructor asked if anybody in the room was concealed carrying and I raised my hand and said I was. And I was prepared to defend the classroom. SOBOROFF: And just for the record, Oregon is one of the states that does allow post-secondary concealed carry. So what you were doing was legalhere at the university, at the community college. PARKER: well, it`s not just legal here. I mean, of course our U.S. constitution 2nd amendment protects it but Oregon article 1 section 27 goes even further of the right to bear arms for the defense of your self and of the state. So... SOBOROFF: I`m sorry to interrupt you. Did you know anyone that was in the building or speak to anyone that was in the building where the shooting occurred? PARKER: At this time I haven`t been able to find out any names of any victims or anybody who was witness to the shootings that happened. SOBOROFF: How did you come out of the property? We`re about a mile away. How did you come out of the university? PARKER: So when SWAT came in to clear the room we all had to put our hands on our head. They cleared some bags. we left. We walked across the campus, met a group of 15 to 20 officers. Before they patted me down I informed them I have a weapon my right hip, which they weren`t alarmed. I was forthright with them. And they removed it. They disarmed it, or disarmed me and unloaded the weapon, verified I have my concealed carry permit on me, verified everything through the proper channels and ultimately they escorted me back to my vehicle. They didn`t want to put me back on the bus with everybody else and say it was just an active shooting situation. So instead of putting somebody else with a weapon on the bus they just let me grab my own vehicle off campus. SOBOROFF: Today is a very to say the least unusual day, in Umpqua and in Douglas County. What is this place normally like? PARKER: It`s a close-knit community. Most people, they come together. We have a lot of groups that do -- they adopt the highway programs. We have a great homeless outreach program. We have a great community here that really comes together that help people out. Things like this is obviously -- I mean, in most of America, most communities don`t have tragedies like this. So, it`s not like it is today. SOBOROFF: Let`s just -- when you look up this hill, you see this street closed. It`s a street you that probably drive up regularly. Is that fair to say? PARKER: While I`m attending college, yeah. SOBOROFF: What`s it like to see what`s going on here today, law enforcement from different departments, different agencies. How does it make you feel? PARKER: Well, first off, the response that was received from law enforcement, the quick timing, the -- really just the quick responses is good. It`s pleasing to know that that`s there and available to us. But I know there`s many people on campus that conceal carry, so that also helps me feel a little bit better. And going into the future knowing that this stuff will hit home, hopefully never again, but it really brings a new reality that it`s possible. SOBOROFF: john Parker Jr., student at Umpqua Community Ccollege, thank you so much. PARKER: Thank you. (END VIDEOTAPE) HAYES: Jacob, that was a great interview. You get the sense I heard the sheriff earlier saying this is the only institution of higher education in the entire county for 107,000 people, getting the sense today just following the coverage that this is just a real pillar institution in Douglas County. SOBOROFF: It`s unbelievable, Chris. I mean it seems to be, you know, we pulled off the highway and came straight here, but it seems to be the scale of the place, 100 acres, at a place that seems so rural you can see behind me how rural it actually looks. It just feels important to the community. And I know that under we get there, until we really find out what happened we won`t be able to tell for sure, but just from my vantage point, you`re absolutely right. HAYES: All right, Jacob Soboroff with us live in Roseburg, Oregon. Thank you very much. We will have the latest on today`s mass shooting in Oregon after the break. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: All right, we`ve got some new information on the deadly shooting today in Oregon. Law enforcement officials tell NBC news the shooter, who is deceased, was 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer. They say he was not a student at Umpqua Community College. They`re trying to figure out his connection to the school. Multiple law enforcement sources also tell NBC News a total of four firearms were recovered on the scene -- three handguns and a long gun similar to an AR style rifle. Police say the massacre left 10 dead and seven wounded at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, which is about three hours south of Portland. Late this afternoon, President Obama mourned the dead and delivered a blistering call for new gun laws to prevent such tragedies in the future, appealing to voters to hold lawmakers who refuse to act accountable. That is all we have right now at this moment. That`s All In for the evening. The Rachel Maddow Show will start right now with continuing coverage of today`s shooting in Oregon. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END