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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 12/3/2015

Guests: Hussam Ayloush, Tim Hilliard, Mark Follman, Charlie Pierce

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: December 3, 2015 Guest: Hussam Ayloush, Tim Hilliard, Mark Follman, Charlie Pierce

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from San Bernardino, California. I`m Chris Hayes.

And tonight, a city in mourning for the 14 people killed here yesterday. At the center for the developmentally disabled, the deadliest mass shooting in this country since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School three years ago.

The county coroner has now identified each of the 14 victims:

Michael Wetzel, 37. Damian Meins, 58. Nicholas Thalasinos 52. L. Daniel Kaufman, 42. Sierra Clayborn, 27. Shannon Johnson, 45. Bennetta Bet- Badal, 46.

Aurora Godoy, 26. Isaac Amanios, 60. Harry Bowman, 46. Yvette Velasco, 27. Robert Adams, 40. Tin Nguyen, 31. And Juan Espinoza, 50.

At this hour, we`re awaiting a press conference with updates from law enforcement. We`ll of course bring it to you as it happens. We`re also learning much more today about the husband and wife duo who carried out yesterday`s deadly rampage, though we still don`t have an answer to the key question that has been bedeviling everyone, why did they do it.

Syed Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, are now thought to have been the only people who opened fire on the Inland Regional Center yesterday morning, killing 14 people and ultimately wounding 21. Both attackers were killed hours later in a dramatic public shootout with police.

Combing through the scene of the shooting and a home connected with the attackers, investigators discovered an extraordinary trove of weapons and equipment, including a pipe bomb at the shooting scene that never detonated.


CHIEF JARROD BURGUAN, SAN BERNARDINO POLICE: We did locate the one pipe bomb that was actually three pipe bombs combined into one that had a remote control, car-type remote control device that appears to have not have worked. There were 12 pipe bomb-type devices found in that house or in the garage to that house. There were also hundreds of tools, many of which could be used to construct IEDs or pipe bombs. There were another 2,000 9- millimeter rounds found at that house. Over 2,500 223 rounds that were found at that house.


HAYES: According to officials, Farook had been attending a holiday party at the social services center with the San Bernardino County Health Department where he was employed as an inspector. At some point he left, only to return with his wife between 15 and 30 minutes later, heavily armed and in tactical gear, and fired up to 75 rifle rounds inside the conference room.

Before carrying out the attack, Farook and Malik had left their six-month- old daughter in the care of her grandmother.

Joining me now, NBC News chief justice correspondent Pete Williams.

And, Pete, what are investigators piecing together about what happened here yesterday?

PETE WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS CHIEF JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, they`re finding another sign of preparation for this attack. And this is one that occurred just the day before the attacks they believe.

As investigators are going through that house in Redlands and looking for electronic devices for the electronic trail that they may have left behind, they`re discovering that the couple tried to disguise that trail by damaging the hard drives on computers and smashing cell phones. So, this is making it harder for the FBI to recover data off the couple`s phones.

What is going to happen now is that those devices are being sent back here to the FBI`s lab in Quantico, where officials can try to very often recover data even from a smashed hard drive or a smashed cell phone. Very difficult to do, but they`ve had some success in the past. It doesn`t always work but it`s something they`re going to try.

Nonetheless, by other means, by checking other records, they`ve been able to determine that Syed Farook was in touch over the past year or so with people in the U.S. and overseas who had expressed an interest in radical jihad.

Does this mean that they radicalized him or that he was just seeking out opinions with which he already agreed? To be determined. But that`s one direction in which the investigation has been going, Chris.

HAYES: And, Pete, the FBI as of today has taken over this investigation. The FBI`s been very careful about attributing motive here so far. It seems they really want to make sure they`ve penetrated down to the bedrock before they come out and say anything definitive.

WILLIAMS: From the president on down, the president, the attorney general, the FBI officials here in Washington, the special agent in charge in L.A., and the county and city authorities, they`re all saying much the same. We don`t know why they did it. And until they know why they did it they can`t say why they didn`t do it.

So this is a difficult thing for them to do. They don`t -- they can`t square the circle here. What did his trips overseas, his contacts with people who may have had like-minded views about radical jihad, have to do with attacking his fellow employees? That is a very odd bridge to get over.

And so, that`s one thing that`s stopping them. But this may be a slight nuance here. I`m not sure the FBI has actually taken over the investigation. They`re certainly leading parts of it. But in many ways they`re still partnering up there with the local authorities, who have a lot of work to do on this.

HAYES: All right. Pete Williams, thank you very much.

WILLIAMS: You bet.

HAYES: NBC`s Stephanie Gosk visited a mosque that Syed Farook attended for the past several years in San Bernardino and she spoke with the assistant imam there and two members from the mosque who knew Farook.


STEPHANIE GOSK, NBC NEWS: What were your thoughts when you realized he was behind this?



GOSK: What was he like?

ALI: He was reserved. He wasn`t a person that was, you know, like a social person, like meaning that he wouldn`t -- he wasn`t someone that if you saw, he would come up and grab you and hey, how are you? But we made friendship with him, acquaintance from him from the mosque. He used to come by during work and pray in this mosque.

GOSK: When was the last time he was here?

ABBASSI: It`s been a while. A few weeks. Maybe a month. I don`t know.

GOSK: A few weeks. It had been a while.

Anything about his demeanor that was odd or out of place or angry?

ABBASSI: Absolutely not.

ALI: No, absolutely not.

ABBASSI: He was living the American dream.

GOSK: What do you mean by that?

ABBASSI: He had a really good job, really good pay, $77,000 a year minimum. He had a wife. He had children. He had --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just had a baby.

ABBASSI: A warm house. He had a baby.

GOSK: What do you think about the role that his wife played in this?

ALI: It`s just -- it`s unbelievable.

GOSK: Is there something particularly striking about the fact that a woman was involved?

ALI: Unbelievable.

GASSER SHEHATA, DTIA-AL-ULDOM AL-ISLAMIYAH MOSQUE: And she`s a mother of a 6-month-old baby. So, how she had the heart to leave her baby behind.

ABBASSI: It just doesn`t make sense.

SHEHATA: It doesn`t make sense at all.

GOSK: Did he describe her at all, what she was like or --

ALI: No.

GOSK: I know you don`t talk much --

ALI: I only saw her twice in my life. And that was -- because we have goats and stuff that we sell. So he came to get a goat for slaughtering. You know we have Eid, right? For slaughtering. Like sacrificing like Abraham.

GOSK: Mm-hmm.

ALI: So during that that was the last time I saw him, actually. That was two, three months ago. And he had come by to pick out a goat.

And he had come with his wife. And she was all covered with the veil. What we call niqab. So I wasn`t able to see anything. I couldn`t describe how she looked. I have no idea.

GOSK: Did your mosque radicalize Syed?


GOSK: That will be the question a lot of people will ask.

SHEHATA: There`s nothing radical in Islam. There is never anything radical, anything about hating others. And in this majid, we only pray, we learn our religion, and we go home. There`s nothing radical at all happening here.

GOSK: Does anyone who comes to the mosque for recreation --


GOSK: -- go to shooting ranges? Does anybody own guns as far as you know?

ALI: I don`t think any of us own guns.

SHEHATA: I have never had a gun in my life. Never shot in my life.

GOSK: Is there a gun culture in the community?

SHEHATA: No. Not at all.

GOSK: Do you worry the effect that the shooting will have on your community and how they perceive you?

ABBASSI: Definitely.

ALI: Absolutely.

Ad something to add to that, I don`t think that we`re saying that if it wasn`t a Muslim it would be OK, right? We`re not saying that. That if it was a Muslim, hey, it would be better. No, that`s not what we mean.

We mean that because it has to do with him being a Muslim it directly involves us, it threatens our lives, it puts our lives at stake. It changes our perceptions on life and how we need to, you know, carry on from here.

GOSK: Roshan, you had an immediate experience with that last night. Who showed up at your door?

ABBASSI: So, we pray our last prayer at 7:00 p.m. So we prayed, and we chat a little bit after. Me and my friend, we go to my house.

A few minutes later, knock, knock. Who was at the door? Said, oh, it`s probably my neighbor. He comes sometimes, he gives me some stuff, some gifts, so on, so forth.

I open the door, a gun pointed right at my face with a flashlight.

GOSK: What kind of gun?

ABBASSI: A handgun.

GOSK: Yes.

ABBASSI: Probably a smaller version. FBI, a Secret Service agent, and LAPD.

GOSK: The gun was raised when you opened the door?

ABBASSI: Yes. So I was shocked.

GOSK: Scared?

ABBASSI: Scared. Definitely. What did I do to have a -- what did I do to deserve a gun being pointed at me right at my door?

GOSK: What kind of questions did they ask you?

ABBASSI: Where is he from? What does he do? Everything about his background. His wife, so on, and so forth.

GOSK: Was that the moment you realized it was him?


GOSK: So you didn`t even know it was him when they showed up at your door with guns?

ABBASSI: I did not know.

GOSK: What do you hope comes out of it? What`s the message that you want to give to the American public? This is your opportunity to give it.

ALI: That we denounce this, that we are also fellow American citizens. We are also citizens of San Bernardino.

This is my hometown. I was born here. I was raised here. So I, you know, take this as my own -- something that happened in my front yard. Not my back yard, but in my front yard.


HAYES: All right. I`m joined now by Hussam Ayloush. He`s executive director on the Council of American Islamic Relations in Los Angeles.

Mr. Ayloush, you put together that press conference last night, which was a deeply intense scene. Obviously, a lot of grief.

And can you tell me why you put that together, why you felt the need to have that press conference?

HUSSAM AYLOUSH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CAIR-LA: For a couple of reasons. One is we wanted to provide a platform for the family of Syed Farook because they felt frustrated. They felt angry, grieved, devastated about the news that one of their relatives could have committed such a horrendous crime.

They wanted to tell fellow Americans that we all stand together, we all grieve and mourn together and pray for the victims and their loved ones. The other reason is, unfortunately, we live at a time when there are those with anti-Muslim views who try to exploit such tragedies every once in a while when those tragedies involve some Muslim perpetrators to build hatred and fear of Islam.

So, we wanted to make sure that, again, our fellow Americans know that we stand united as Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, and others in the face of such criminal behavior. We reject any such criminal behavior, any barbaric crimes such as this one. This breaks our heart that anyone, anyone would even doubt our humanity, doubt whether we cry and feel saddened like every other every American.

I have family members. My wife works in the area. My kids go to school there. You know, the first thing when I heard the news, like any other parent, any other American, immediate anxiety and worry about their safety. And then, after I made sure they`re safe I worry about the rest, like everybody else.

HAYES: Mr. Ayloush, there`s a sense in which it sounds like the people around him, the interview we just listened to and the brother-in-law last night that was at your press conference, really do seem just shocked, just beyond shocked that it was Syed, that there just doesn`t seem to be a lot of indication to anyone.

AYLOUSH: And for good reasons, because the family could not imagine that a person living the American dream as your earlier guest said, someone had a good job, happy family, just recently got married, a baby girl, you know, why would anyone give up their life, their marriage, their kids, everything else in life to do this? It`s hard -- it`s mind-boggling really.

We`re all waiting for the results of the investigation to know what the really motives, what would have made someone snap like that and become the monster that he became. It`s heartbreaking to hear the imam speak a while ago, and I know the imam and the community there. It breaks my heart that they have to even feel the need to condemn, as if it`s not already known that we all condemn such behavior.

HAYES: All right. Hussam Ayloush, thank you very much.

I`m joined now by Tim Hilliard. He`s a social worker who works at the Inland Regional Center, which is just behind me here, the site of yesterday`s massacre. He was at work yesterday and witnessed the aftermath of the shooting.

How are you doing?



HILLIARD: I haven`t slept since yesterday.

HAYES: I understand that Daniel Kaufman, who was just announced by the coroner as one of the deceased, is a friend of yours.

HILLIARD: Yes. We all know him at regional center. He worked in the coffee shop downstairs. He actually ran it for all of us. And we just found out, confirmed this afternoon.

HAYES: I want to give my condolences to you. Everyone I think is sending condolences across the nation right now. What was it like there yesterday? When did you realize something wrong was going on?

HILLIARD: At first, I didn`t know what was going on. I was in my office listening to music and getting back in the groove of everything at work. I just got back from Thanksgiving break, and heard a lot of stampeding, walking around. I`m on the third floor in the second building, right over building 3.

And I received a text around 11:00 saying active shooter on site and I`m thinking something basic, maybe somebody casually walk through with a gun. I mean, it`s social services. So, maybe nothing big. At that time I step out of my office, see hysteria, people running, screaming, saying they`re getting shot, getting killed, we`re going to die. Just hysteria.

At that time, I realized there`s really something going on but not what. So I was trying to ask questions of exactly what is going on within our facility.

HAYES: What kind of work, for folks who didn`t hear about the Inland Regional Center till yesterday when this horrible tragedy visited it, what kind of work do you guys do? What do you do?

HILLIARD: We provide social services needs for consumers that range in different things from intellectual disability, autism, to make sure they have independency, empowerment, to provide basically the function in everyday life just like anybody else.

HAYES: It`s incredible work. And thank you for doing it. And I hope you can get back to it as soon as possible. Tim Hilliard, I really appreciate it. Thank you very much.

HILLIARD: Thank you.

HAYES: All right. More here from San Bernardino and how people are starting to process yesterday`s shooting. And later, we`ll talk about these two dramatically different headlines covering yesterday`s tragedy. Plus, I visited a nearby gun shop earlier today and had a chance to talk with the owner.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Normally, the business increases after things of this nature.

HAYES: Really?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People -- my phone`s been ringing off the hook this morning.



HAYES: Today in the Oval Office, President Obama offered thoughts and prayers for the victims of yesterday`s mass shooting in San Bernardino and thanked law enforcement for their response. He also again called on all Americans, including lawmakers, not to accept that nothing can be done to stop these sorts of attacks.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As the investigation moves forward, it`s going to be important for all of us, including our legislatures, to see what we can do to make sure that when individuals decide that they want to do somebody harm we`re making it a little harder for them to do it because right now it`s just too easy.


HAYES: More from President Obama and the possible motive or motives of the shooting suspects, just ahead.



OBAMA: It is possible that this was terrorist-related, but we don`t know. It`s also possible this was workplace-related.


HAYES: Authorities are still trying to establish a clear motive in yesterday`s shooting rampage, but there appears to be the possibility two categories of violence might emerged, the disgruntled alienated rampage here with which we`ve become all too familiar, and the self-radicalized terrorist. Again, stressing that either or both of those profiles are still only possible explanations of what happened yesterday, something we may never fully understand.

One suspect, Syed Farook, was an environmental health specialist with the Department of Environmental Health Services. He attended yesterday`s holiday party event at the Inland Regional Center and left early after reportedly possibly getting upset. Farook then returned, presumably with his wife, Tashfeen Malik, and opened fire.

Many details of the attack indicate a certain degree of planning including the weapons used in the attack and found at the couple`s home, where authorities discovered 12 pipe bombs and more than 2,000 rounds of ammunition.

Before the attack, the suspects left their 6-month-old daughter with the child`s grandmother, reportedly saying they had a doctor`s appointment.

Law enforcement officials tell NBC News that Farook had been in contact with people known to have radical jihadist views -- the extent and implications of this part of an ongoing investigation.

Joining me now, Mark Follman, national affairs editor of "Mother Jones", and NBC contributing editor Steve Clemons, editor at large of "The Atlantic".

And, Mark, it`s a depressing reality you have been on the mass shootings beat for "Mother Jones." It`s something you cover routinely. You`ve done really comprehensive analysis of mass shootings. As someone who`s studied a lot of these, what stands out to you here?

MARK FOLLMAN, NATIONAL AFFAIRS EDITOR, MOTHER JONES: Well, as you were just describing, Chris, the confluence of possible motive here is really fascinating, as much as this case is horrifying, that this may have been some kind of workplace violence combined with some kind of ideological terrorism-related motive. And I think it underscores how complicated this problem is for law enforcement to investigate and try to prevent from happening.

A top federal official who focuses on this problem, who I spoke to recently, was mentioning to me how after you have an event like Paris, all kinds of threats of this nature that they`re watching out for tend to get spun up and they get increasingly worried that regardless of what the motive is, you may have more attacks like this. Part of that is the copycat effect that goes on with these cases.

So I think this case may represent that in a new way, but we`ll still have to see what comes out.

HAYES: Steve, there`s been a lot of concern. And again, I want to be clear about what we know and don`t know. We don`t know the motives yet. We don`t know the extent to which there`s a possible connection to any kind of jihadi ideology.

But there has been -- bracketing that for a moment there has been concern for a while about just essentially the way in which various jihadist groups have used propaganda to essentially inspire what we call lone wolf attacks. There`s been a few in different places around the world that seem to have been essentially people that fell into some kind of psychological pathology partly inspired by the propaganda, and it just seems like a very difficult policy problem for anyone to try to approach.

STEVER CLEMONS, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I think you framed it exactly right. We saw shortly after the revelations of the San Bernardino attack, various supporters of ISIS begin tweeting out "America burning" with glee. And that kind of activity may inspire others.

But I think it`s important to remember, I mean, I think that right now, many of our Muslim-American citizens are worried about a growth of Islamophobia, which I have to say, given some of what we`ve heard from people like Donald Trump, may in fact tick forward.

And it`s a real tragedy because just as Mark Follman just described, we don`t know all of the answers about this particular couple and the toxic mix of what created this particular incident. And what`s going to happen in many places in the United States is people are going to think that that toxic mix is easily replicable and can metastasize in their home mall. And that`s just not the case.

HAYES: Mark, the detail -- there`s a few details here that I keep getting stuck over. The fact that it was a husband and wife together, that it was two people committing this, which I think it`s been since Columbine we`ve seen something like that. That a woman was involved, which in the mass shootings I`ve seen documentation of, women being shooters is very rare.

And the last detail, which I just cannot get my head around is the dropping off of the 6-month-old before they go to do this. I guess my question is, is there some level at which motivation here ultimately never is resolvable, is fundamentally unknowable at some level?

FOLLMAN: Yes. I think that`s right. You know, some of those details you`re describing really are truly mind-boggling, shocking. And on a subject we`re pretty numb to at this point. You`re right that a woman shooter being involved is pretty rare. There was one other case recently last year, the alleged right-wing couple who shot some police in Las Vegas.

HAYES: That`s right.

FOLLMAN: But this appears to be a very different kind of case. And there are so many kind of ways that this problem seems to morph now that yes, I think it is ultimately very hard to know what the motivation was in any kind of clear sense because I think frankly it`s a number of things in many of these cases. You have this combination of ideology, of deep-seated grievance, of mental health issues in a lot of these cases. It`s very hard to pin down in a lot of ways. And I think this case epitomizes that problem.

HAYES: And, Steve, to me that spells a kind of caution for anyone looking to make policy pronouncements on this across the political spectrum. I mean, obviously there are different ways people are thinking about this in terms of gun safety. But from a sort of counterterrorism perspective, we`re going to start to see rhetoric heat up on that.

What are you looking for in the debate to follow?

CLEMONS: Well, I`m worried about the debate that follows. I`m worried about some of the things we`ve heard. You know, just the other day, Donald Trump talked about bombing the families of people we`re fighting in ISIS. Talking -- we have some candidates out there talking about returning to the days of Japanese internment.

I hope it doesn`t go that far. But you`re going to see fear tick up in this country. And you`re going to see irresponsibility. And I think it`s in these times of stress in a country where a country really shows what it`s about, it shows what its norms are, it shows what civil liberties it stands for and it kind of shows hopefully what a more full vision of democracy really means and not a society based on fear.

But I think we`re going to be tested very, very strongly in the coming months.

HAYES: Yes, I can feel that too.

Steve Clemons and Mark Follman, thank you both, gentlemen.

FOLLMAN: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: Still ahead I visited a gun shop today where the owner had to keep pausing in an interview because so many people were calling. Why, ahead.



HAYES: How`s business been?

MIKE WIRZ, GUN SHOP OWNER: Normally the business increases after things of this nature.

HAYES: Really?

WIRZ: People -- you know, my phone`s been ringing off the hook this morning about handgun purchases and things of that nature.

Most people that respond to those types of immediate needs for guns don`t realize what it takes to purchase the gun. They have to file all the requirements. If they were in another state like Arizona, they could go into a gun shop, and if they had a clean background and they filled out the same paperwork, once the background check had been completed...

HAYES: Let`s stop for one second.

WIRZ: You can just turn that off.


HAYES: That was part of my interview with California gun shop owner Mike Wirz. He`s a retired detective from the San Bernardino sheriff`s department and owner of Wirz Wholesale Shooting Supply in Highland, California. And you can see the phone was literally ringing off the hook in the wake of yesterday`s deadly shooting in neighboring San Bernardino.


HAYES: Sir, you`ve been at this six years. You`re saying that in the wake of big mass shooting events like this you tend to see interest the next day...

WIRZ: You see people calling that have never owned a gun in their entire life trying to find out how to purchase a gun, when they can pick it up, when they get one, where they can get training for firearms.

HAYES: Wwhat is that about?

WIRZ: Just fear in general.

HAYES: It`s fear you think?

WIRZ: Well, because something of this nature affects all the people. I`m a retired county employee. I know county employees. I know county employees that work with some of the county employees that were victims yesterday.

And it affects every family member in that group, friends and neighbors and things like that. And they`re worried that something like this could happen at a school, as we`ve seen in the past, or in a county Christmas get-together for the employees of the county.

So not knowing that this would happen, and, you know, Redlands is a very quiet community. Thinking that somebody living in a town that you`ve lived in most of your life, that something like this could have come out of something like that, is something that people start thinking about. They think well, if I had a gun maybe I could protect myself, protect my family.

So everybody tries to rush out and they don`t realize that you can`t just rush out and buy a gun and walk out the door.

HAYES: Not in California.

WIRZ: Not in California.

HAYES: Do you anticipate that there will be any -- California`s sort of its own thing, but do you think there will be any federal action or does it seem like...

WIRZ: Well, we have so many laws on the books right now...

HAYES: It doesn`t really matter in California.

Anything the feds do isn`t going to essentially affect your business.


Well, if the fed outlaws certain purchases or restricts certain gun sales it affects every state. But the state has -- they`re able to make more restrictive laws concerning gun ownership and purchase.

And the state of California has been on the leading edge as far as making things more restrictive. The problem is when somebody comes in with a clean record that doesn`t mean anything. It just means they don`t have any...

HAYES: Criminals, red flags.

WIRZ: Criminal convictions. Or when they`re reading the federal forms for firearm purchases, the federal form, and they answer all the questions they`re answering the questions. That doesn`t mean they`re answering them truthfully. And a lot of them on the guns that are actually denied through the state of California, they`ve lied on the questionnaires. They`ve actually said that they have never been convicted of a crime and obviously, when they run the background check and they find out, oh, I didn`t think it counted, it was over ten years ago or five years ago.

But yet on the form they stated they had never been arrested.

HAYES: How many times in a week do you have something come back where you -- where it`s declined?

WIRZ: I probably only get a denial about once every three months. Because most people that come into my business are law-abiding -- most of them are trap and skeet shooters and law enforcement officers and stuff like that. Because I have a large clientele of my former co-workers and stuff that buy guns for friends and family.

They buy them for themselves or their hobbyist shooters and things like that. And they have clean backgrounds and they shoot on a weekly basis at different ranges.

HAYES: Let me ask you this. I want you to answer honestly. It`s a hypothetical. But say there was some terrible mass shooting around here. And the news came back and they got the weapon and they traced it back and you`d sold that person that gun, you`d done it completely legally, they`d passed the background check, there was no -- you didn`t do anything wrong.

WIRZ: Right.

HAYES: What would -- how would you process that? I mean, is that just -- would you think, well, that`s just -- that`s on them. They chose to use the weapon that way? Would there be some part of you that said...

WIRZ: If you would actually have sold something -- and I still have the option of refusing to sell guns to people. I`ve had gang members come in with family members, and having been in this area, I know the tattoos, I know the other things. And when they`re bringing somebody in, they`re bringing their girlfriend in to look at a gun, and I deny selling the gun to them myself.

but as long as they actually come in and they fit the criteria to purchase them, you can sell them. Whether you would know what they plan on doing with the firearm after they purchase this, I wouldn`t have the...

HAYES: No, I mean, if you wake up one morning and you`re reading the paper like Jesus, I sold that guy that gun that, for instance, was shooting public health workers...

WIRZ: I didn`t have anything to do with it any more than if I was the car dealer that sold the Camaro that was used in a drunk driving fatality.

HAYES: Right.

WIRZ: I sold a car.


HAYES: All right.

Back here in San Bernadino, we appear to be just moments away from a press conference from law enforcement officials, possibly also some political officials we`re hearing right over my shoulder right here. We`re going to bring that to you. Do not go anywhere. That`s next.



HILLARY CLINTON, FRM. U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: It`s important to remember, and I know this from the work I did as a senator, particularly with law enforcement, the vast majority of Muslim-Americans are just as concerned and heartbroken about this as anyone else.


HAYES: Hillary Clinton today on yesterday`s horrific mass shooting here in San Bernardino, once again calling on congress to pass laws to make it harder for dangerous people to get guns. Later she said the attack increasingly looks like an act of terrorism.

At the Republican Jewish coalition`s presidential forum in Washington today many of the Republican presidential candidates also discussed the shooting, though they offered a somewhat different message.


SEN. TED CRUZ, (R) TEXAS: coming on the wake of the terror attack in Paris, this horrific murder underscores that we are at a time of war.

CHRIS CHRISTIE, GOVERNOR OF NEW JERSEY: We need to come to grips with the idea that we are in the midst of the next world war.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: It`s not a gun control issue. This is not about gun control. If you think the shooting in California is about gun control, then you don`t understand what`s going on in the world. It`s about two people who have bought into an ideology that`s just absolutely insane in nature and has to be combated.

UNIDENITIFIED MALE: Mr. Trump, what`s the solution to stop these mass shootings, is it gun control? Is it mental health better care?

DONALD TRUMP, 2016 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Mental health. And it`s also really strength. We need strength. We have weak government. We need strength.


HAYES: Meanwhile, in the Senate today lawmakers actually voted on an amendment to prevent people on the government`s terror watch list from purchasing firearms. The amendment needed 60 votes to pass. It did not get them. Almost every Republican voted against the measure to keep people on the terror watch list from buying firearms while almost every Democrat supported it.

Joining me now, Charlie Pierce, writer at large for Esquire.

You know, Charlie, there`s a lot of reason people are skeptical of the terror watch list. There`s been notorious examples of people like late Senator Ted Kennedy appearing on the no-fly list and I think those concerns are all valid.

It still strikes me the politics of guns is that one day after this there`s no movement whatsoever on that vote.


I mean, we haven`t -- Chris, we have a tough time in this country with actual wars. But we`re really bad at our metaphorical wars, especially in this regard.

We`re fighting a war on drugs, but we can`t keep from arming the drug dealers. We`re fighting a war on terror, but we can keep guys off airplanes, but we can`t keep them from buying an assault weapon. This doesn`t strike me as -- if we are engaged in the next world war, as Chris Christie says, we`re fighting it really badly.

HAYES: Well, that use of that metaphor, that it was striking to me that Ted Cruz and Chris Christie both invoked war in the wake of this. I mean, obviously there`s an active war the U.S. is waging in Iraq and now parts of Syria, both with air strikes and ground forces. They`re not called boots on the ground, but they essentially are.

But it`s also -- it`s so striking the difference as soon as everyone learns who did it and starts to speculate why they did, something goes from something you can kind of brush off like the horrible shooting in Oregon community college to an example of essentially a civilizational struggle.

PIERCE: Yeah. I think there`s more than a bit of threat inflation in this.

I mean, I spent a weekend in Iowa following Marco Rubio around for a piece that`s coming up in Esquire and he was very much into this is a civilizational struggle and if we don`t win then they win.

Now, what you`re dealing with still is a rump faction of barbarians in one particular part of the world. I do not think they are a threat to western civilization unless their activities become so heinous that western civilization decides to commit suicide to stop it.

HAYES: Right. And you can see now it`s really going to be interesting I think to see how this reverberates through the political system. The Paris attacks were -- the rhetoric got so heated so quickly that we`re going to see how the political system reacts.

And Democrats have definitely been aggressive. I mean, Hillary Clinton today and the Senate Democrats, seeing this as an opportunity to push gun safety legislation that they`ve been trying to get passed now for years since essentially Newtown.

PIERCE: Yeah. I mean, also significant I think was the instant rapid response on all the Republican tweets about thoughts and prayers going out, which got turned around very quickly into everything from the front page of the New York Daily News down and saying thoughts and prayers are fine, but let`s do something about the weapons that are causing this problem.

HAYES: Charlie, do you think there`s something -- do you think this is going to play out, having been on the campaign trail in Iowa with Marco Rubio, how much fundamentally is the election going to come down to these two issues that are sort of front and center in the wake of something like this? This idea of a civilizational war against radical Islam and guns. Those were not at the top of the agenda for voters three months ago, five months ago and they may not be on the top of the agenda for voters in a month.


I think in the immediate future, and by that I include the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, they`re going to be front and center. After that it all depends on whether or not another one of these things happens. I mean, if that`s the case, you are looking at a very ugly presidential campaign.

HAYES: Yeah, that is true.

Charlie Pierce, thank you very much.

All right, we`re going to have more live from San Bernardino ahead. Don`t go anywhere.


HAYES: We`ve got word this press conference we`ve been anticipating is going to start soon and in attendance will be Governor Jerry Brown along with some local law enforcement officials. We`re going to keep an eye on that and bring it to you right as soon as that happens. Stick around.


GOV. JERRY BROWN, (D) CALIFORNIA: ...California, for San Bernadino, for the families of the victims, we face a real threat, but we have a fabulous group of people: sheriffs, policemen, FBI, other personnel. We`re all working together. And we have to rise above all the jurisdictions that we`re a part of and we`re working as one group, one people.

And my concern is to make sure that everything that can be done is being done and going forward that the state of California provides the resources and works very closely with both local officials and our federal counterparts to make sure that we can protect the people of California.

When it comes to people who engage in these kind of vicious, brutal acts, we`ll spare nothing in bringing them to justice and protecting the people along the way.

So I don`t know what this means going forward, but I think we have to be on our guard. We can`t take anything for granted. And I just want to assure my fellow citizens here in California that we`re going to go just as far as we have to to make sure that public safety is protected. Thank you.

MIKE RAMOS, SAN BERNADINO COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: First and foremost, I want to thank the governor for being here. I`m Mike Ramos, district attorney. I`m a very fortunate district attorney. We are working cooperatively with the U.S. attorney`s office, U.S. attorney Irene Decker. And I can`t tell you how proud I am of the teamwork of both our local agency, San Bernardino police department, the sheriff`s department, and our federal partners, the FBI and others.

And finally, as the district attorney, we are very saddened of the loss of the victims, family members, some family of attorneys in my office and we are going to be there for the victims.

If you go to @SBCountyDA on the Twitter, you will have a direct line for victim services, any other family members that need support and help, we will be there for you. Thank you.

DAVID BOWDICH, FBI: Good evening.

First of all, I want to thank you for your patience. As we`ve said from day one, this is a marathon, not a sprint. It`s a tragedy that occurred. We will continue to do everything in our power, bringing all the resources to bear of the federal government to work hand in hand with our state and local partners in this matter.

We continue to exploit all the evidence possible. And as I`ve said from day one, the evidence will lead us to the facts. We will go where the evidence takes us. Thank you again for your patience.

CHIEF JARROD BURGUAN, SAN BERNADINO POLICE: Good evening, everybody. Thank you very much for being patient. I know we were going to try to do this a little bit earlier. 4:30 was what we were shooting for, we just couldn`t quite make that happen. But thanks for sticking with us.

Were we able to get those pictures up? So we have some pictures of the crime scene where the officer-involved shooting took place. We`ll able to provide digital copies of those images online for everybody that wants them.

But they are pictures of the weapons. They are pictures of the suspect vehicle and a few others in there. We wanted to provide that.

Additionally, I`ve got a few more statistics and numbers for folks just as an update from earlier information we have put out.

As we said, this was a department of public health event. As it turns out, it was an event that was training in the morning that was transitioning to a holiday Christmas party luncheon in the afternoon. And this happened right about the time of that transition.

There were 91 invited guests that were there. We believe that there were about 75 to 80 people that were present in the room when this occurred, or that ultimately came to that party. We don`t have the exact number because they had a sign-in list and we`re still working through some of those dynamics. We don`t know that everybody signed in.

Of the 21 people that were injured, 18 of them have been identified as county employees.


BURGUAN: 18 of the 21 were county employees, the other 3 were not county employees.

of the 14 people that are deceased and their identities have been released now, 12 of those individuals were county employees, county of San Bernardino, two of them were not.

And then finally, one of the questions that came from the media is that you wanted to hear from one of the first responders when we responded to this on Wednesday morning. So I`d like to introduce Lieutenant Mike Madden. Spelling is M-I-K-E last of M-A-D-D-E-N.

Mike is actually one of our administrative commanders for the police department. He`s a 24-year veteran. As an administrative guy he really has a desk job. The reality is at 11:00 in the morning on Wednesday Mike was on his way to lunch when this call went out and he didn`t -- Mike was the first officer that was on scene, and he was the first person that we had that gathered, the first units that went in and addressed this.

So I`m going to let Mike kind of tell the story of what they experienced firsthand and then we`ll take a few questions for Mike as soon as he`s done.


I guess I was just asked to come forward and talk a little bit about what it was that we saw and we experienced yesterday. And I`ll tell you that it was something that although we trained for it it`s something that you`re never actually prepared for.

When we got the call -- I oversee dispatch. It`s one of my functions and responsibilities with the police department. And I know my dispatchers. I know the tone of their voice. I know the severity of calls as they`re going out. And I could hear it in our dispatcher`s voice that this was actually happening, this was a real event, and it was the event that, you know, we have an active shooter and we have an active shooter going on in our city.

And I was nearby. I was less than a mile away. And I started coming this way. And I realized as I was getting closer that I was one of the very first units there. Myself and Officer Shawn Sandoval arrived almost simultaneously and just out of pure luck, because the information was evolving so rapidly. It was out of pure luck that I happened to pull into the right location, which was just south.

The road that you see here just north of us. It was just south of the building where this tragedy took place. As I was looking and seeing all of the activity and trying to assess what was happening, I was informed that there was -- that that was the location where this was happening. And I was asking for officers to respond as quickly as possible because we had every belief at that time that we had people still actively being shot inside of the building.

My goal was to assemble an entry team and enter into the building to engage the active shooter. This mindset and this type of training became indoctrinated in us after the Columbine incident, and that was the goal, that we wanted to get in there and we wanted to stop any further innocent people from being injured and possibly killed.

As three officers arrived, there was an approximate two-minute time lapse from the time that I got there until we had a team assembled of our four initial responding officers, and the four of us then went around the south side of the building.

As we made our way around to the east side, it was immediately evident that the reports we were getting were 100 percent true. There were victims who were clearly, obviously deceased outside of the conference room.

And I relayed that information to the other responding officers and again requested assistance.

As we entered into the conference room, the situation was surreal. It was something I don`t think, again, we prepare for. And they try to -- an active shooter we talk about sensory overload. They just try to throw everything at you to prepare you for dealing with that. What you`re seeing, what you`re hearing, what you`re smelling. And it was all of that and more. It was unspeakable.

The carnage that we were seeing, the number of people who were injured and unfortunately already dead. And the pure panic on the face of those individuals that were still in need and needing to be safe.

We asked -- we got as many people out as quickly as we could. We had approximately -- I estimated in talking with the other officers who were with me probably 50 people responded past us and out the doors. And then we went further into the building. And that was a difficult choice to have to make as well, passing people that we knew were injured and in need of assistance, but our goal at that time had to be to try to locate the shooters and deal with them before we could get further assistance in for those people in need of medical attention.

I was very glad to see that in a very short period of time we had a number of other responders that came in and were able to formulate tactical teams and then continue on with the search.

And I was then able to pull back from the situation and go back to more of a supervisory role and allowing other officers to continue with the remainder of the search.

Does anybody have any questions?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: did you think it was still an active shooter? What were you thinking about in terms of there might still be someone in the room?

And my second question is how are you doing personally? How are you handling this?

MADDEN: First question there was we absolutely believed there was another shooter. We were told that there were as many as potentially three shooters. But again, we were getting information from multiple callers and people weren`t, you know, clear as to exactly how many shooters we did or did not have.

Some were seen potentially reporting double, you know, suspects and things of that nature.

So we were told that one of the suspects had possibly fled in the black vehicle prior to our arrival, but there were as many potentially as two more shooters inside. And when we entered, there was fresh gunpowder and the smell of gunpowder in the air leading me to believe that there was in fact -- there were in fact shooters still.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are trained for this, obviously. (inaudible) never been trained for when this happens (inaudible). How emotional was it for you? I mean, (inaudible) there are tears in your eyes right now.

MADDEN: You know, you -- to be honest, you guys, it was a little surreal. It was -- you`re trained for it. And you know your job is dealing in reality. But it seemed a little surreal. But yet I did the job I was supposed to do.