All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 10/2/17 Las Vegas shooting

Guests: Megan Messerly, Ali Soufan, Ruben Kihuen, Edward Markey

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: October 2, 2017 Guest: Megan Messerly, Ali Soufan, Ruben Kihuen, Edward Markey

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: You can donate blood by the way with United Blood Services. That`s United Blood Services at 6930 West Charleston in Las Vegas. See that the numbers up there. And 601 Whitney Ranch Drive in Henderson. That`s another place. That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. Our coverage continues right now from Las Vegas with ALL IN with Chris Hayes.

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from Las Vegas, I`m Chris Hayes. And behind me is the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino where less than 24 hours ago, a gunman rained down bullets on a crowd of 22,000 people attending a country music festival. The massacre carried out from the 32nd floor of a Vegas Hotel is now the deadliest mass shooting by a lone gunman in American history, leaving at least 59 people dead and over 500 wounded. In its scope, its execution, its sheer cruelty and lack at this hour of apparent motive, the actions of the shooter make the mind rebel. All day today`s tourists walked along the strip, attempting to make sense of what had just happened. More Americans were killed here last night than in any single day of fighting in the Iraq or Afghanistan wars. And because it happened at an event attended by so many people, there is an extraordinary amount of video of the attack itself, which started when the final performer, Jason Aldean, was still on stage.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shots fired from Mandalay Bay.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Multiple casualties, GSWs, there`s multiple casualties!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Automatic fire. Fully automatic fire from an elevated position.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to stop the shooter before he has more victims. Anybody have eyes on this shooter?


HAYES: The gunman has been identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, described by his brother as an accountant and a professional gambler. According to police, Paddock was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel along with a trove of over a dozen firearms. Police found, even more, weapons today at his home. Paddock had no connection to international terrorist groups according to the FBI and law enforcement officials have yet to pinpoint a motive. His brother told reporters he never saw this coming.


ERIC PADDOCK, BROTHER OF THE SHOOTER: It doesn`t make any sense that he killed those people. It makes no sense that he did that. There is no -- my brother, who talked to my mom on the phone two weeks ago, I`m just -- it doesn`t make sense that that guy could do this.


HAYES: NBC News Justice Correspondent Pete Williams joins me now. And Pete, that bafflement is the sort of order of the day I think for anyone watching this. What have we learned, if anything?

PETE WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it`s the order of the day for the people trying to figure it out too, Chris, because there has been -- none of the indicators that usually have followed these crimes. No one has come forward to say that they knew about this or that they were worried about him, were suspicious, quite the contrary. Nothing from neighbors, nothing from members of his family, no note left behind, no manifesto, no confession video, no social media postings. To this point, we don`t know of my suspicious e-mails, absolutely nothing to go on they say at this point. It`s a complete mystery. And yet it`s one for which he was obviously extensively prepared.

They say he checked into the Mandalay Bay Hotel last Thursday carrying an enormous amount of firepower. 16 rifles, including assault-style rifles and sniper rifles, and a handgun, plus hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, all in ten suitcases, the Sheriff`s Office says when he checked into the hotel and got in essence, a suite or room that had two adjoining rooms. And when the time came for him to begin the shooting, he broke the windows out in the north-facing windows and the east-facing windows that wrap around the side of the hotel. Those two red bands you see there in the graphic that commanded a view of the concert area. But whether that was his target all along, we just don`t know. And if it was, why did he target a country music concert?

None of this makes any sense, of course. But there`s been absolutely no -- nothing to indicate in his past. His brother described him as a multi- millionaire. He was obviously a very successful businessman. He lived 80 miles away in Mesquite, Nevada. Coincidentally, having lived for a time in Mesquite, Texas, and also Florida before retiring and moving back to Nevada where he likes to gamble. He was frequently in Las Vegas and was a high roller, placing tens of thousands of dollars` worth of bets in one evening. And -- but none of that seems to add up.

The only sinister thing in the family`s past is the father who was on the FBI`s ten most wanted list in the mid-`60s after he was arrested for bank robbery and then escaped from prison after serving eight years of a 20-year sentence. He was later recaptured. That`s his father Benjamin Hoskins Paddock, who was described in the FBI wanted poster as someone who had been diagnosed psychotic and also had suicidal tendencies. But there has been nothing to indicate anything like that in the life of the son, Stephen Paddock, the man the authorities say was responsible for this horrifying act.

HAYES: All right, Pete Williams, thank you for joining me.

WILLIAMS: You bet.

HAYES: Here with me now, Megan Messerly, a Reporter for the Nevada Independent who has been covering the tragedy. And Megan, I want to give people first of all the sense of the scope. I mean, there are 22,000 people or so. How have officials been coping with this from the moment that gunfire started?

MEGAN MESSERLY, REPORTER, NEVADA INDEPENDENT: Yes, I mean, Las Vegas being you know, the entertainment capital of the world, we have large events like this. You know, we had two major music festivals just the last weekend before this one. You know, it`s something that officials know can happen at any point in time. But it`s still, you know, it`s the one thing that you hope never happens. You hope that you prepare and prepare and you never have to deal with that reality but here we are today.

HAYES: Yes, I just want to be clear that in terms of preparing, I mean, it`s just -- it`s impossible almost to conceive of a preparation given the fact that he is in -- he is, you know, a third of a mile away. When you`re here down here looking at the concert venue where he was shooting, from it`s almost staggering how far and how vulnerable everyone was from his firing position.

MESSERLY: Yes, exactly. I mean, that`s the thing. You look at all the hotels up and down the strip, and there are towers everywhere. You know, there is no way that you can perfectly safeguard. You know, the casinos do a great job with security, and they`ve been preparing for something, you know, worst case scenario happening like this. But like you mentioned, it`s a great distance. It was across the street sort of kitty-corner from the Mandalay Bay. He was firing a long distance to get to these people who were just trying to enjoy a country music festival.

HAYES: The sheer scope of casualties, we`re talking over 500 people injured. Have the local hospitals, first responders, doctors, is there sufficient capacity to deal with everyone that needs treatment?

MESSERLY: Right. So the two you know, major trauma centers, we have UMC and Sunrise and they`ve been triaging people you know, as best they can. But the Governor actually signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency that will actually allow us to bring in doctors from out of state to help treat those patients. Nevada already has a physician shortage. We don`t have enough doctors as it is on a good day, which makes it only harder on a day like today when there`s just not enough specialists, not enough trauma surgeons. They`ve been working 18, 20 hours trying to treat these people, keep them alive and it`s just exhausting. And they`re putting their all into it. But you know, the state needs the relief from out of state doctors coming in to help out.

HAYES: In terms of the shooter, and I want to make sure we don`t linger too long on this individual. But there is a sort of lack of fingerprints it seems, aside from the fact that he seems to have frequented the casinos here.

MESSERLY: Right. I think that`s the big thing. You know, in the wake of a tragedy we look for some sort of meaning, no matter how horrible that meaning is. We want it to make sense and you know, maybe something will come out in the days to come but we haven`t had a clear sense of, you know, why. Not that there is ever -- you know, it`s always a tragedy when something like happens.

HAYES: It does seem though that there`s no one -- aside from the brother, I mean, this is someone who cut a swath of associations. If he was managing property, he was frequenting casinos, he had elevated status because he was so -- he was such a high roller, that there would be more people that have interacted with him and so far it`s sort of nothing.

MESSERLY: Yes, we haven`t had sort of that, you know, friends saying hey, I knew this guy coming out thing. And maybe, you know, again, that`s to come. You know, one of my colleagues was out in Mesquite today talking to his neighbors. And you know, they had seen him around and you know, they`re saying it`s just shocking that in our little retirement community here out in Mesquite, 80 miles away that our neighbor, you know, is capable of something like this.

HAYES: All right, Megan Messerly, thank you so much. I appreciate it.

MESSERLY: Thank you.

HAYES: Former FBI Special Agent Ali Susufy joins me now on the phone. And Ali, I want to start with something happened earlier today. And we didn`t put it in the lead for a reason but it seems worth talking to you about which is that at some point today, ISIS through Amaq which is their official news agency claimed credit for the attack. Authorities say there`s no reason to credit that. What do you make of that?

ALI SOUFAN, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Well, unfortunately, Chris, the truth is more devastating than ISIS. What we`ve seen in Las Vegas is a uniquely American scene. ISIS is trying to claim responsibility in order to bring attention to themselves after the losses that they`re experiencing I believe in Iraq and Syria. But this is yet another mass shooting in the U.S. We`ve seen unfortunately 273 so far this year. This one is now, as you mentioned, the worst single mass shooting in our history. The previous deadly mass shooting in our history took place just 16 months ago in Orlando. And the one before that occurred almost five years ago in Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut.

You know, the aftermath of such traumatic events has become all too familiar scene in our society and our politics, unfortunately. There is a rush to frame the narrative with immediate and often false claims. ISIS and other -- and others, not only ISIS, by the way, they fully understand the social-political obsession over terrorism in the U.S. With this claim, I think they are hoping to add to our national confusion, add to our national anger, add to our deep pain, and they are not the only one, Chris. There was almost immediate and deliberate fake news, viral posts and articles, and all of them were aimed to inflaming social and political tensions. Just as for example the blurb that came from the Russian propagandas venue Sputnik that slackly stated that the FBI had found a link to Islamic state when the bureau had literally said the opposite.

This is the same Sputnik that was involved also in doing a lot of fake news around the election. So we have to be very careful. This is a time of unity. We have to be careful not allowing others who do not have our self- interests at heart to -- you know, for us to do their propaganda and become an echo chamber for them.

HAYES: All right, Ali Soufan, thank you so much.

SOUFAN: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: We`ve been learning from eyewitnesses about those moments of terror and incredible heroic actions taken both by first responders, and just fellow concert-goers. I`m joined now by MSNBC Correspondent Jacob Soboroff who`s with survivors of the shooting. And Jacob, I`ve heard already today so many stories of people acting in almost unfathomably courageous ways and selfless ways to get people out of harm`s way.

JACOB SOBOROFF, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Some of those folks are in this room, Chris. I`m up above you, 19 floors above you off the street level inside the Mandalay Bay in a room here with a group of friends that was here for the concert, like so many other people. This is Jamie, this is her sister, Cindy McAfee, that`s Cindy`s husband Steve and that`s her friend Dale, a retired Los Angeles Firefighter. I want to let everybody kind of share with us, Chris, what they went through last night. The first thing I just want to ask Jamie is how are you all doing? You were down there with Cindy as well as Dale at the concert.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think we`re fine now but it was very scary. We were sitting there enjoying the music. We heard what we thought were firecrackers. It ended up being gunshots. I grabbed my sister`s hand and said we need to get out of here. We`re going to be trampled.

SOBOROFF: And I have -- Chris, just full transparency, I have known Cindy and Steve McAfee since I was a little kid. When I got the call from them, this is something that so many people went through. And it sends literally shivers down your spine to hear from people that you know that were out there on this field. Cindy, you were down there, but Steve was in the room, on the 32nd floor, up there on the same floor as the shooter hearing those gunshots go off. You called Steve on his cellphone knowing he was up there, but not knowing he was on the same floor as the shooter. What did you guys talk about on your phone call?

CINDY MCAFEE, SURVIVED SHOOTING: We did not talk about the shooter. I was hysterical. I was very scared. He kept telling me to stay calm. When I heard shots, to hide. When I heard no shots, run. And that`s what we did.

SOBOROFF: Did you see anybody that was down on the ground when you were out there?

C. MCAFEE: We saw a couple of people. One woman was having chest compressions. I don`t know if she got trampled or if it was gunshot but -- and then several people with grazed you know, gunshot wounds were just grazed, small. But nothing --

SOBOROFF: I want to get -- I want to get the perspective of both Dale, Chris, and Steve. Steve, let me come to you first. You were on the 32nd floor. You were just doors away from where this shooter was, down the hall, basically. What did that sound like? What did you think was going on when you heard all this and you knew that your wife and your sister-in- law were down there?

STEVE MCAFEE, WITNESSED SHOOTING: At first, I didn`t know what was going on. I just heard these loud pop, pop, pop, pop. And I looked out to see what was going on, and couldn`t see anything because it was dark. And then I heard it again. And then she calls me on the phone, and she is freaking out. And I`m like, what is going on? And she goes, there`s someone shooting. I was like, oh my God. And I was trying to tell them where to go and what to avoid and what not to avoid because I had the perfect view looking down on everything that was going on.

SOBOROFF: I`m not sure there was anybody that was in the situation that you were in, which is on the same floor in the hotel as the shooter looking out practically from a very similar vantage point, knowing that your wife was down there. What did it feel like?

S. MCAFEE: It was pretty scary. You know, all you could think about is oh, God, I hope nothing happens to her. And at that point is when the SWAT knocked on the door, and they evacuated us all and took us downstairs and had us leave the hotel. But the whole time her and I stayed on the phone and kept in contact. I was comfortable when I knew that she was safe.

SOBOROFF: I`m just looking at Cindy while you`re talking about that. How did you guys keep it together during that moment?

C. MCAFEE: I didn`t. I didn`t keep it together. I was hysterical. I will be the first to admit it. He kept telling me to take deep breaths, stay calm and that`s what I did.

SOBOROFF: And the first time you saw them reunited, what was that like?

C. MCAFEE: Tears.

S. MCAFEE: Joyful. It was really joyful.

SOBOROFF: One of the heroes, I have to say, Chris, of this, and he won`t say it because he spent 34years in this business as a Los Angeles Captain, at Fire Department, is now retired is Dale, who was down there. And Dale, you used belts, you and your son used belts to make improvised tourniquets for people that were down there? Why? Why was that something that all of a sudden you kicked in and you did that?

DALE SHRODE, SURVIVED SHOOTING: Well, one thing was the way we`re trained is to save as many people as we possibly can which is called triage. And my son and I, he actually collected the belts from people. And so the best thing we could do for people is, stop the bleeding. And once we stopped the bleeding, we would drag them out of the line of fire because most people that were shot were still in the line of fire. So we basically were triaging, some people were not savable and we would move on to the ones that were and get them to a place where they had some cover.

SOBOROFF: Did you understand? I mean, what was your situational awareness like when you were down there. Did you know where these -- where these gunshots were coming from? Did you have any sense of how many rounds were coming? As a Firefighter, 34 years in Los Angeles Fire Department, did you ever see anything like the injuries that saw last night?

SHRODE: No, never. Not in all the earthquakes, nothing like this. Nothing compared, nothing -- you know, you always resort back to your training. And our training is to triage and do the most care for the most amount of people. And that`s what we did. We went in, I think we -- I think we actually pulled six people back to cover and stopped their bleeding. And then basically, after that, it was -- there was a lot of people helping. A lot of military and a lot of PD guys were out there pulling, a lot of off-duty. And so, I think care went actually quick. I know there was two LAFD, other off-duty LAFD people also triaging and pulling to safety. So it went quick, it went quick.

SOBOROFF: Your professionalism kicked in but now you`re sitting here with your friends. There was about 15 of you guys, even more of members of your family that were there. What is it like to be sitting here now almost 24 hours later?

SHRODE: Just now it`s surreal. Now it`s -- now that it`s over, it`s very difficult to believe that this actually happened and that we were able to respond the way we did. And actually, I think we got the best outcome we could for the situation we were in.

SOBOROFF: It`s unbelievable, Chris. And I`m just looking down at the floor actually here. A pair of cowboy boots and you see people walking through this hotel. Remember, this was country music festival all throughout here. They just came here to have a good time. These guys got together as a group of friends, like so many other people. And we know right now, you know, 59 people didn`t make it out last night, Chris. And I`m sure there are many of them, just like these guys who can`t leave here yet, family members, friends, literally can`t get out of this hotel, can`t get their cars and have to be here for the foreseeable future as the investigation continues.

HAYES: All right, Jacob Soboroff, thank you for that and tell everyone there, we are so, so, so glad they`re all OK. Joining me now is Congressman Ruben Kihuen of Nevada whose district includes North Las Vegas. And Congressman, of course, on behalf of everyone, everyone is so just so terribly sorry for what happened here. Your brother works in the Casino. What was your first reaction last night when you heard the news?

REP. RUBEN KIHUEN (D), NEVADA: I was having dinner, getting ready to go to bed. And around 10:30, I saw the news of the shooting. The first thing I did was call my brother, text him. I wasn`t hearing back from him so I started panicking. And thankfully about an hour later he called back and said he was fine. He was not working last night. So I got some good news. But I know that 59 other families did not get good news last night. So our thoughts and prayers are with every single one of those families, with the victims, the first responders, the police officers, the nurses, the doctors, everybody who is right now as we speak working tirelessly to save lives.

HAYES: You were at the hospital, at one of the hospitals today, one of the trauma centers, what was the scene there like?

KIHUEN: So I ride around 3:00, 3:30 in the morning, it was chaotic. There was at that time about 190 bodies there, victims left and right. Every single hallway, every single room, every single bed was occupied. You know, nurses and doctors were all scrambling to help the multiple victims. I can just imagine how chaotic it was when the bodies first started arriving. I mean, 190 bodies there. And I just got to say to all the doctors and the nurses and the paramedics, the police officers, everybody who was there at the hospital and at the scene here, I just want to praise them because, because of them, you know, a lot more people didn`t die today.

HAYES: The Governor`s declared a state of emergency. You guys are looking for additional medical capacity here. I just talked to Ali Soufan about that claim, which doesn`t appear to be true at all of ISIS taking credit. And the reason that I bring it up is because you could feel people wanting there to be some meaning in this in some kind of symbolic, ideological, political ideological sense. And I guess what do you make of it? What meaning do you make as a member of the United States Congress going to go and vote on national policy and think about how to make this country a safer, more just place?

KIHUEN: Look, right now my main priorities obviously saving lives here. That`s why I went to the hospital, to lend support, you know, to the doctors and the first responders. But obviously, we`re going have to have a discussion here moving forward. You know, how do we keep our country safe? You know, let`s have a discussion about gun violence prevention in this country. You know, this should not happen. You know, how did this gentleman get a hold of 18 weapons? How did this gentleman manage to take these weapons up to a room? You know, these are all questions that we all have. There is a lot of confusion, a lot of mixed emotions right now. But again, it is our responsibility as leaders of this country to have that discussion.

HAYES: All right, Congressman Kihuen, thank you very much. I appreciate your time.

KIHUEN: Thank you so much. Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: All right, much more to come tonight live from Las Vegas in the aftermath of the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history, which happened to fall on the two-year anniversary of another mass shooting. That, in two minutes.


HAYES: Last night`s mass shooting in Las Vegas came exactly two years to the day after a mass shooting at a community college in Oregon that left nine dead and nine wounded. It was one of the 14 times that President Obama delivered remarks after a tragic shooting.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: 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. This is a political choice that we make. To allow this to happen every few months in America.


HAYES: After the break, President Trump`s response to this latest shooting and the emotional calls for new gun laws from Senate Democrats. One will join me. That`s next.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My fellow Americans, we are joined together today in sadness, shock, and grief. To the families of the victims, we are praying for you and we are here for you. And we ask God to help see you through this very dark period.


HAYES: The President sent his thoughts and prayers to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting today. But he offered little else, particularly in the way of solutions to stop this kind of horrific violence from happening again. In mass shooting after mass shooting after mass shooting, thoughts and prayers is of course now a familiar almost ritual refrain for lawmakers and it`s prompted advocates of gun safety, again, to call for more concrete policy action.


SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D), CONNECTICUT: Thoughts and prayers need to be matched by action. And that`s our job. Our job, frankly, is not just to send good thoughts.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Thoughts and prayers are not enough when more moms and dads will bury their children this week. And thoughts and prayers are not enough when sons and daughters will be forced to grow up without their parents.

SEN. EDWARD MARKEY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: We must act so that we do not become numb to this preventable carnage, this epidemic of gun violence in our country is not preordained. It is preventable.


HAYES: Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts whom you just saw there joins me now. And Senator, do you feel that we have become numb?

MARKEY: I think the American people are ready for action. I think that they are angry. I think that they want the United States Congress to finally take on the NRA. It is the Republican Party which is in the vice- like grip of the NRA which refuses to take up legislation on background checks, on assault weapons, on each and every one of these issues that the American people overwhelmingly know that we should do something about it in order to prevent these kinds of incidents occurring in our country. But thus far, the Republicans only want to loosen gun safety laws, not tighten them.

HAYES: What do you say to people who say I have had this conversation now in oh, God, I don`t know how many mass shootings I`ve covered now, but it`s been quite a few. Whatever your particular policy prescription is, it will not match the solution here. So, in this case, you already see people saying, it appears as this individual actually passed federal background checks. The guns were acquired legally. It`s possible that he modified them in some illegal fashion or semi-legal fashion. So whatever Senator Markey or Senator Murphy wants to come up with, there`s just going to be terrible people who want to do terrible things, and the law won`t stop them.

MARKEY: That`s not so. Massachusetts has the toughest gun control laws in the United States. And we have dropped by 60 percent the gun fatalities in our state over the last 20 years. We know these laws work. We know that if you have strong background checks if you don`t allow people to go on Instagram and buy an insta-gun, which they can do right now. We know that if we don`t let people go into gun shows and buy guns without any kind of background checks, that that will stop bad people from buying these guns. Good people have no problem with identifying themselves. It`s the people who don`t want to be identified who use the surreptitious ways which are now legal in order to purchase guns which can wreak havoc on communities across our country.

HAYES: Does the Second Amendment to your mind, Senator, protect or enshrine a constitutional right to assemble an arsenal of any size, say, in this case it appears to be 19 weapons and thousands of rounds of ammo?

MARKEY0: When the second amendment was written, in order to maintain a well regulated militia, they did not have in mind that people could purchase guns indiscriminately, go up into the top of buildings and rain down this death on 59 people, hundreds of other people injured.

And I know one thing, the Republicans are intending on bringing out a bill that allows for silencers to be put on these weapons. You can only imagine if last night people had no idea which direction these shots were coming from. In fact, they couldn`t even hear the shots, it would not have been 59, it could have been 259, 359, 999 people who were killed.

So the NRA has this incredible grip on the Republican Party. And our job is going to be to turn NRA into not relevant anymore in American politics. And this fight, I think, is now going to be something that absolutely commands the attention of the American people.

HAYES: All right. Senator Ed Markey, thank you.

MARKEY: You`re welcome.

HAYES: Nevada State Senator Yvanna Cancela`s district includes the Las Vegas strip, including the Mandalay Bay Hotel, and she joins me now.

And first of all, how are you doing? How are your constituents doing?

YVANNA CANCELA, NEVADA STATE SENATOR: Well, I think we`re all very shaken up here in Las Vegas. And it`s a tough question to answer.

HAYES: Yeah. People seem really shocked, I have to say, like in a general, in like an actual clinical sense. People seem shocked.

CANCELA: Yeah, I`ve heard the way folks describe their feelings as numb. And I think that`s where I`m at. I think that`s where a lot of folks are at. But today has been really inspiring in seeing folks come out and do everything from donating supplies and blood, and that`s been the most beautiful part of today, if there was to be a beautiful part of today.

HAYES: The politics of guns in this state are quite pointed. It is a fairly permissive state in terms of regulation. It`s enshrined in the first article of your constitution. People sometimes come to Vegas to do things like actually fire fully automatic weapons on gun ranges.

What do you view as the conversation that will happen among you and your colleagues in this state here in the wake of this?

CANCELA: I think a discussion about what we do moving forward is inevitable at the state level, at the county, at the city level, and certainly at the federal level. We are all victims of inaction at this point.

The fact that we had v not had a meaningful conversation on gun control at the federal level is really a problem. And here in Nevada, voters acknowledged that problem the last election cycle when they voted for universal background checks. And the fact that policy has not been enacted is a big problem.

HAYES: I want to give people -- and I want to be clear here about the specifics, there is no reason at this point to believe that the shooter in this case used the gun show local.


HAYES: So, I just want to be clear about what, you know, apples and apples here, but the citizens of your state did vote the universal background check referendum. What happened to that? Why is it not in place?

CANCELA: To make a long story short, it`s been held up by our attorney general. And it`s really, that initiative passed because that there was an acknowledgment that we need to do better as a state in our gun laws, that we need to have need to take basic protections to make sure that guns don`t end up in the hands of those who shouldn`t have guns.

And the fact that our attorney general has decided not to enact such a basic protection.

HAYES: That was, just to be clear, voted for by the people.

CANCELA: Won by the majority of the voters, yeah.

HAYES: It was a ballot initiative.

CANCELA: It was. Yes.

HAYES: It was not members of your body passing legislation.

CANCELA: No. It was the majority of Nevadans voted and said background checks are a good idea.

HAYES: How strong is the NRA here? And not just the NRA, which is sort of I think is a stand-in for the politics of guns, which even independents sometimes the NRA are very powerful and forceful.

CANCELA: Well, it`s hard to say. I think the NRA is a powerful body across the country. And what`s unfortunate is that it becomes a Democratic versus Republican issue. And the truth is that bullets last night did not target parties, they targeted individuals, and we as politicians need to start seeing this as a human issue and not as a partisan issue.

HAYES: Yvanna Cancela, state senator, all the best. And everybody is grieving with you.

CANCELA: Yeah. Thank you.

HAYES: Ahead, before the president visits Las Vegas in the wake of yet another mass casualty shooting, he first goes to Puerto Rico, after spending the weekend attacking the mayor of San Juan and the U.S. citizens that live on that island in dire need. That`s next.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There were a lot of people just bleeding everywhere. It was just -- didn`t know where the blood was coming from, didn`t know whose blood it was. There were people carrying people. There were people laying down. People -- one man was sitting next to me who had a bullet hole through his arm, and they were just like we can`t help you right now, it`s not -- we have other people to worry about. Please, just wrap it up and please hold still until we can come get you.


HAYES: We are back here in Las Vegas with our ongoing coverage of the deadliest mass shooting by a lone gunman in U.S. history. A gunman opening fire from the 32nd floor at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino behind me, shooting into a crowd of 22,000 people attending a country music festival, killing at least 59 and leaving more than 500 wounded.

I`m joined now by Republican Danny Tarkanian of Nevada. He is now running for senate in the primary, the Republican primary against incumbent Dean Heller.

And Mr. Tarkanian, first, how do you make sense of what happen here in the wee hours of the morning?

DANNY TARKANIAN, REPUBLICAN SENATE CANDIDATE: Yeah, there is no way to make sense with it. It`s one of the craziest things that`s ever happened to this town, by far the worst thing that`s ever happened to this town. It`s always been a big fear of people that have lived here that there would be a mass shooting or some type of mass killing by we would have thought an international terrorists, not somebody that lived in Mesquite. So everybody is in shock.

My wife is just -- it just -- it`s hard to put into words the sadness and the feelings that we have today.

HAYES: You mentioned international terrorism, and obviously there was worry or concern or thoughts earlier today that might bear out. Do you think that if it had been international terrorism, there would be very concrete calls from people in your party and from all parties for policy action against, say, ISIS? Would that result in some channeling of the grief and the anger into some concrete calls for policy?

TARKANIAN: So you think that some policy passed by congress would stop an ISIS terrorist attack, is that what you`re suggesting?

Look, my mother is on the city council here in Las Vegas. She gets briefed regularly by homeland security. They have told her that there are all kinds of terror cells out there that they have been monitoring and that there`s a big risk that something like this would happen here.

And when I first heard that this happened this morning when I got up, I said oh my goodness, something happened like they had warned her. And then you know we find well, it probably is not that case, it`s somebody that just lived 45 minutes from here.

HAYES: Right. And then I think the question then becomes, and there are Senate Democrats today who were talking about guns. And Chris Murphy, who represents Connecticut where Newtown happened and things like that, that in the absence of that, that there is some concrete things that congress can do to reduce the incidents of gun violence and mass shootings in this country.

Is that something you think is achievable, I guess, is the question before you think whether it`s advisable?

TARKANIAN: Look, I think that any time an activity like this can happen in our country, it`s wrong, and something needs to be done to stop it. But the bodies aren`t even cold yet. And we`re going to sit here and politicize this thing? I mean, why don`t you wait until there is some time for the people to grieve and get over this, and then you can figure out exactly how did the guy get his guns. How did he get 10 guns like that? Did he break the law to get him? Are you going to pass laws that are going to stop someone from breaking the laws?

I mean, we don`t even know what happened yet.

I think the best thing to do is, one, focus on the great work people here in Las Vegas did, first with the police officers and the firemen, helping to minimize what the shooter was able to do, the incredible work by all the people in the hospitals and the emergency rooms. You know, the people that are giving blood. It`s four hours just to get for you to wait in line to give blood here in Las Vegas. The churches are involved.

I`m going to a vigil at 6:00 at my church. We`re doing some wonderful things in this community to try to minimize this horrendous act that happened here.

There is going to be time to politicize this later on. And if there are solutions, to come up with those solutions.

HAYES: And I understand and respect what you`re going through here. I just want to follow up on that question politicize, because when a murderer killed dozens of people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the president of the United States, a man who you support and whose support and whose support you boasted of, called for banning a billion people worldwide in the wake of that, and the bodies hadn`t even been identified. Isn`t that politicizing too?

TARKANIAN: I think you love to misquote President Trump, and that`s all good and well for your viewership. But I`m not going to get into that today when this has been the worst tragedy that happened to my city and you want to start taking potshots at the president.

Let`s talk what happened here, what our city is going through, and what we`re trying to do to get through this really, really difficult period of time.

HAYES: Sir, I have to say, I`ve covered a lot of these. And my hope, and I think the hope of every other citizen is to find some way that we don`t have to cover any more of these, whether here in Vegas or in Orlando or in San Bernardino or in Oregon or anywhere else.

TARKANIAN: Yeah. And I don`t think that Senator Malarkey, with all the malarkey he was saying came up with any solutions that would have stopped these type of mass murders that you`re talking about.

HAYES: His name is Markey, sir.

TARKANIAN: Well, it was a bunch of malarkey what he was saying. I mean, if this guy broke the law to get the guns to kill people, then how do you figure to pass a new law that`s going to prevent someone from doing this. He`s already breaking the laws. When you`re murdering somebody, you`re breaking one of the worst laws you can do. It`s like you guys think you can legislate human decency and evilness, and you can`t.

HAYES: All right. Mr. Tarkhanian, thank you for making time tonight. And again, the whole country is grieving with you.

TARKANIAN: Well, thank you very much.

HAYES: Still to come, my colleague, Rachel Maddow, is here to talk about the president`s changing position on gun control, that after this one- minute break.


HAYES: The White House announced today that President Trump will come here to Las Vegas on Wednesday, but before that, he has another stop.

Puerto Rico still recovering from the devastating Hurricane Maria, which he spent the weekend attacking after the mayor of San Juan`s desperate appeal for help on Friday.

The very next day, the president lashed out on, where else, Twitter, writing, quote, "The mayor of San Juan who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats you must be nasty to Trump. Such poor leadership ability, but the mayor of San Juan and others in Puerto Rico who are not able to get their workers help. They want everything to be done for them when should it be a community effort. 10,000 federal workers now on the island doing a fantastic job."

The island is still reeling from the vast destruction of Hurricane Maria on September 20th., almost two weeks ago. Most of the more than three million Americans living on the island still don`t have power, and it could stay that way for weeks or even months.

Less than half the island`s households even have running water. Thousands of people are still in shelters. Some hospitals have shut down because of lack of fuel, and in many areas people are worried about having enough to eat still, this far after the hurricane making landfall.

Only 13 percent of cell phone sites on the island even working. Communication with the outside world is a struggle.

As we mentioned, the president will be here in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

My friend and colleague, Rachel Maddow, host of the Rachel Maddow Show, joins me now.

It`s good to see you in person although in horrible circumstances.


HAYES: Puerto Rico is a disaster and there is a sense in which the fact pattern of today makes -- it feels like an earthquake or tsunami in some ways because it`s resistant to meaning, right?

And you saw the trajectory of the coverage where it was like, is this going to be ISIS? Because if it`s ISIS, there is a neat conceptual category, there is a sense of political rhetoric and there is going to be a bunch of people saying this is what we have to do to defeat ISIS.

And then it`s just like, well, what do we do with this?

MADDOW: And, also those paths -- I mean, let`s say ISIS is claiming responsibility for this. And the FBI says that they don`t think this is tied to international terror. There is some interesting questions around that. We`ll find out when we find out.

The other hypothetical here, let`s say we find out that this guy actually is a convert to ISIS. He is a convert to Islam and he took a nom de guerre and did it in ISIS` name. The fact that he did it in the United States using legally purchased weapons would also be a full stop, end of the road in terms of us discussing what we`re doing about it in this country.

What happened here is, yes, another mass shooting. It`s a terroristic attack of some kind, although we don`t know anything about his ideology or his motivation yet at this point.

And, the most important thing about it in terms of its affect on us as Americans, is its magnitude, which was 100% tactical.

HAYES: Right.

MADDOW: It`s a technological thing that happened here. It`s what he had at his disposal in terms of machinery to do this.

And we still can`t address that as a country. Not that there is some magic thing, an easy solution. But we still can`t have a conversation about that in any way that follows the rational rules.

HAYES: And there is also a sense -- I mean, we`re standing here. I have to say, for people watching at home, the sheer magnitude of this and the horror of how far away he was from what he was shooting at, which doesn`t strike you until you`re up against the scale of it.

You know, there is this question about terrorism, and it just almost feels like that word has been exploded of meaning. Because if this isn`t terrorism, then what the hell is terrorism?

The sheer fear of terror and panic that was imposed on the 22,000 people that were there, if that meet the definition, what the hell do we mean by the definition?

MADDOW: Well, the point of terrorism is to achieve a political and ideological aim, separate and apart from the carnage that you caused.

Whether it`s by so infuriating the people who see themselves as compatriots with your targets that they lash out in a way that creates a convenient battle or whether it`s -- some other thing that derives from the crime itself, right?

There is some tertiary goal.

HAYES: Yeah.

MADDOW: Whether there is or there isn`t, which we don`t yet know, what happened here is larger than -- larger than biggest plane crashes in American life, in American history in terms of the number of people killed and injured.

If one person with this technology can kill or injury 600 other Americans, mostly in the space of a few minutes. I mean, the attack went on for a little bit more than an hour. But most of the killing, most of the injuring people happened in the space of about 12 minutes, we think.

If one person can do that with this machinery that we then sell, and we can`t talk about the machines as being part of what`s going to determine whether this happens again, we`re stuck.

HAYES: And it feels like madness, it honestly feels like madness to cover these over and over again and to end up at the same dead-end.

Particularly what you just said about airplanes. It`s like, we have a tolerance of risk of airplanes is zero. You know what we did? We made them way safer, and no one just shrugged their shoulders and said, well, people are going to die on airplanes, and it`s just going to happen. We`re going to bury a lot of dead. We`re going to go to a lot of memorials. We are going to send up the thoughts and prayers.

Actually we just said no. Actually we will not tolerate that. Our tolerance of risk from that thing is zero.

MADDOW: Right.

HAYES: I`ve now covered -- I don`t know how many I`ve covered. But in every one -- and again, the right -- The other thing is in the policy details who knows what the actual particulars of the weapon acquisition, what law would have stopped it, and there`s this sort of counter argument you get immediately before anyone`s even identified the fallen.

MADDOW: And we have a, you know, Bill of Rights and a Second Amendment and there is a constitutional right to bear arms and there is an interesting rational argument to have about our constitutional rights and the damage that the illegal exercise of that right. Which makes it outside the bands of rights.

HAYES: Or the legal regime we`ve constructed around it.

MADDOW: Sure. There is a rational argument to have about that and there are policy options derived from a rational argument about that.

The problem is we cannot rationally discuss it. We can`t get there. Not after New Town. Not after Virginia Tech. Not after Pulse. Not after this.

And, you know, some of those we call terrorists attacks and some of them we don`t.

The problem is not our ability to discuss terrorism, the problem is our ability to discuss guns.

HAYES: Alright. Rachel Maddow who will be here in just about ten minutes.

MADDOW: Yeah. Stick around, thank you.

HAYES: We`ll see Rachel and Lawrence O`Donnell as the evening progresses live from here in Las Vegas.

Ahead, the remarkable comments from a performer at last night`s concert in Las Vegas. How he says his experience changed his opinion of gun control. What he said, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: A performer from last night`s Las Vegas concert has now made a passionate statement about gun safety.

The twitter post from Caleb Keeter, the lead guitarist for the Josh Abbott Band reads in part, it`s been going around all day today, "I`ve been a proponent of the Second Amendment my entire life until the events of last night. I cannot express how wrong I was. We actually had legal firearms in the bus. They were useless. We couldn`t touch them for fear of police might think we were part of the massacre and shot us. We need gun control right now. My biggest regret is that I stubbornly didn`t realize it until my brothers on the road and myself were threatened by it."

Colonel Steve Seroka is a former air force fighter pilot, Las Vegas city councilman and veteran`s advocate, and Matthew Defalco, army veteran, Federal Wildlands firefighter. Both men have advocated for and spoken to Republicans about gun safety regulations.

I want to start with you councilman. You represent the folks here. How are you?

COL. STEVE SEROKA, LAS VEGAS CITY COUNCILAN: We are a grieving city right now and we are very proud of how our city has come together and rallied around this situation.

It doesn`t matter your cultural background, what ethnic group you are or your philosophical preferences that we were all affected by this.

My family alone, we had a good friend whose sister passed away, one of the fatalities is a member of my workplace, members of my daughter`s high school were shot and injured. None of us have escaped the tragedy that occurred here last night.

HAYES: You know, Matthew and I were talking before the show about you talking to people about guns, and, you know, there have been efforts here for some gun legislation and, you know, it just feels like such an impacted conversation.

What was so striking about that statement from that guitarist was, you feel like no one ever changes their mind on this subject, but you feel like you had experience with people changing their mind or reconsidering opinions.

MATTHEW DEFALCO, GUN REGULATION ADVOCATE: Yeah. I mean look, question one was on the ballot last year and it was a real common sense initiative which passed with the voters, and we talked to Republicans, veterans, gun owners, law enforcement. We had coalitions all over across the community to support it.

And it is just one of those things where we`ve got to get above the fray and actually have a conversation about how we can save lives, and I really think there are a lot of ways, question one is one of the ways that will really make a big difference in terms of keeping our community safer.

HAYES: Do you think -- I mean, what happens I think when we talk about guns, and I`m sure people are watching me right now being like, how dare you, the bodies aren`t even cold, but it becomes something bigger than this question of -- right?

We were just saying about airplanes. There is not the same emotional attachment, ideological attachment, constitutional attachment to an airplane, right? How do you get around that for that conversation?

SEROKA: Well, I think you brought up a good point. We need to get our city back on our feet. We need to take care of our people that are in need, and then we need to have that really hard conversation, and a lot of it comes down to common sense.

Yesterday it seemed like an eternity for the people on the ground, but we have the best police force in the nation. We train other police forces that were on the ground on scene within four minutes they were in that room and they found in a very confusing situation, they were on the shooter.

That takes a very trained and professional force to be effective.

That says something right there that the value of having professionals perform those roles for us as a community.

HAYES: What do you think, someone having 19 weapons, 19 firearms, what do you think of that?

DEFALCO: I think there is probably no reason for that and that`s a major problem.

We got to start with background checks, but I see 19 -- there is all kinds of different things I`m hearing, reports that we`re seeing in terms of this individual circumstance, but I think we need to back up and take a look at the epidemic of gun violence in this country and look at real gun violence prevention, and not just what happened with this gentleman, what his point of view was.

I don`t want to talk about what he thinks, what he wants us to think. I just want to look at how we can make a difference to save lives in our community.

HAYES: The other part of this, this is a place where people come from all over the world and the country, and they come to public events. And I think -- I don`t think anyone wants to see Las Vegas turn into an airport, right?

SEROKA: Correct.

HAYES: I don`t think people come to Vegas want to see that. The casino owners sure as heck don`t. You guys don`t. How do you have that conversation?

SEROKA: Well, I think Matt was on something with gun violence prevention. That`s the key.

And we ask the rest of the nation to stand with us. To stand with Las Vegas and all of our communities, because we are all susceptible to this. This could have been any our hometowns, and we cannot let this violence stop us from leading a quality life. And we --

HAYES: So is that going to be a fight, too? It seems to me that`s going to be a fight. Somebody will say, metal detectors on the way into casinos on the strip, things like that.

SEROKA: We have to make sure our visitors, 43 million a year are treated with respect and that they can feel good about their safety. I think Las Vegas has the best police force and we care about our security here as evidenced by four minutes of response time.

HAYES: That is remarkable.

SEROKA: That is remarkable. I think we can rest assured that we have the best security here.

HAYES: Alright. Gentlemen, thank you.

DEFALCO: Thank you for having us.

HAYES: Steve Seroka and Matthew Defalco, thank you for joining me tonight.

Tonight, we`re learning more about some of the 59 victims killed in last night`s attack here in Las Vegas.

NBC`s Stephanie Gosk with more on those who didn`t make it out.


STEPHANIE GOSK, NBC: As bullets rained down, Sonny Melton`s instinct was to protect his wife of just over a year, Heather.

He grabbed her and started running when he was shot in the back.

Heather says, "He saved my life and lost his. At this point I can barely breathe."

Melton was a registered nurse in Tennessee. His wife is a surgeon. They met at the hospital and fell in love.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was very kind, loving person that everybody liked a lot.


GOSK: Brice Jordan lined up to donate blood just hours after learning his cousin, Quinton Robins was killed. Robins attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In his free time he coached his little brother`s flag football team.

JORDAN: I loved Quinton. He was popular kid around school and around town.

GOSK: At least two Manhattan Beach, California residents died in the massacre, including Rachel Parker, a long-time records technician for the police department. And special education teacher, Sandy Casey. Her partner Christopher said "She lived life to the fullest and made me the happiest man in the world." (END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: All right. Rachel Maddow now here to continue MSNBC`s live coverage on the ground in Las Vegas. Take it away.


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