The NRA is holding its annual leadership forum in Houston, Texas this weekend a few 100 miles away from where 19 children and two teachers were murdered with the very weapons of war that the NRA is there to celebrate. Democratic candidate for governor Beto O`Rourke showed up and interrupted Gov. Greg Abbott`s press conference on the shooting. Former firearm executive Ryan Busse joins Hayes to discuss how he exposes gun industry radicalization. Gun activist David Hogg joins Hayes to discuss his push to change laws in the wake of Texas school shooting.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: I`ve had enough. We only need four more senators, four more. I said 11, the senators that we only need four more that will negate Manchin and Sinema and it will get gun reform passed, police reform passed, the things we want pass. That`s it. That`s tonight`s "REIDOUT." ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES starts now.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voiceover): Tonight on ALL IN.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`m sick and tired. I`m just sick and tired.
HAYES: The President announces a visit to Texas as we learn the names and see the faces of the children and adults shot and killed in an elementary school.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Something has to be done. This cannot happen again.
HAYES: And a high profile protest in the face of inaction.
BETO O`ROURKE (D-TX), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: The time to stop the next shooting is right now and you`re doing nothing.
HAYES: Tonight, as the NRA heads to Texas, the uniquely American crisis of guns in this country. A former firearms executive and what he calls his battle against the industry that radicalized America. David Hogg and the possibility for progress and what we`re still learning from a community in mourning, when ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. We are all in this country in the state of mourning for the 19 elementary school children and two teachers massacred in Uvalde, Texas yesterday. And there is a feeling of palpable overwhelming rage and frustration, a feeling that I share, watching this perverse and particular ritual, which is what it is, play out in the aftermath of a preventable tragedy like this one, hoping that some tragedy like this one, or the next one, or maybe the one after that will be the thing, the thing that finally cracks the resistance of the gun lobby in the Republican Party.
But we actually have evidence that the opposite is true. Listen to this. A 2019 study found that after high profile mass shootings like the one in Uvalde, not only do legislators and governments fail to pass gun safety legislation, in Republican states, they actually loosen gun laws. "The annual number of laws that loosen gun restrictions doubles in the year following a mass shooting in states with Republican-controlled legislatures. We find no significant effect of mass shootings on laws enacted when there`s a Democrat-controlled legislature, nor do we find a significant effect of mass shootings on the enactment of laws that tighten gun restrictions."
We have a perfectly good example this in recent memory while I`ve been doing the show, right? We just saw it. It was just less than two years ago, when the horrific El Paso shooting happened where a white nationalist citing racist conspiracy theories went to an area where he knew a lot of Latino folks would be and he shot and killed 23 people at a Texas Walmart and injured 23 more.
Now, after that, Texas Republicans did what that paper would predict they did. They passed a number of new laws making guns more accessible, loosening restrictions on guns, including legislation that allows Texans to carry a handgun without a license, and one that would order the state to ignore federal gun control laws.
And the Republican Governor Greg Abbott signed this legislation into law flanked by members of the National Rifle Association. That`s the picture right there of him signing it. So, this is the playbook for Republicans and their donors in the gun lobby. And to be honest, you know, supported by many, many rank and file conservatives, gun enthusiasts who support this view -- it`s not a tiny group of people. The idea and it was a fringe idea, I think when it first started, but it`s now kind of taken over the movement.
The idea is that you make it easier to get guns, you want there to be more guns and more access to guns in the wake of a mass shooting, which in turn does lead to more gun violence and more guns. And more guns mean more gun violence, which also leads to more guns. So, we`ve already seen it play out once in Texas back in 2018.
And I think that should be the status quo expectation, right? Like the posture people should have for understanding this, you know, given the study that we saw, given the experience in Texas and 2018, is that that`s what they`re ramping up to do in the state of Texas again, because the NRA is coming to town actually.
The association is holding its annual leadership forum in Houston, Texas this weekend. That is just a few 100 miles away from where 19 children and two teachers were murdered with the very weapons of war that the NRA is there to celebrate, the ones that they`re fighting to restrict, the ones they think more people should have.
HAYES: Two Texas Republicans, Congressman Dan Crenshaw and Senator John Cornyn are no longer appearing at the event after initially signing on. It`s mysterious. Cornyn says it has to do with -- does not have to do with Uvalde. Rather, he has a scheduling conflict. Crenshaw says he will now be in Ukraine. But Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Governor Greg Abbott, are as of now still planning on speaking at the event as is ex-President Donald Trump who is, of course, the convention`s headliner.
Now, incidentally, we should note the website for the event states "Per the U.S. Secret Service, firearms and firearm accessories will not be permitted in the General Assembly Hall," which is odd. I mean, I guess but I get it, regulations. You don`t want the president to be shot by some random person. But it just is the case. I`m not making this up.
The NRA view is that the addition of guns to any given context makes that context safer. They keep telling us more guns make it safer. So, why does that not apply there? You would think they would want more good guys with guns to stop a guy with a gun. Everyone in that room should be armed according to their logic.
Take any situation anywhere and add guns to it and things will get better is the position of the NRA. It`s the position of many Republicans. Now, in a perverse kind of deja vu, this exact scenario with the NRA convention actually happened once before because again, this is a ritual that we just sort of observed in American life.
So, in April 1999, less than two weeks after the Columbine High School massacre when two teenagers shot and killed 12 of their classmates and a teacher, the NRA held a previously scheduled convention in Denver, Colorado 10 days later, just 15 miles away from the site of the shooting. Thousands of protesters took to the steps at the state capitol including parents whose children had just been slaughtered in school. But that did not stop the NRA. They showed up anyway.
And we later learn thanks to these remarkable secret tapes uncovered from that time the top NRA executive struggled with what to do but ultimately decided to move forward to show strength. Now, Texas Republicans are setting the stage to do it all over again. We saw it during today`s press conference where Governor Abbott and the state`s elected leadership, his allies, dismissed any calls to action. Inevitably, they will push for more deadly weapons in the hands of Texans.
In fact, they filed a brief in Supreme Court to strike down New York gun laws. That`s how committed they are. They want to tell New Yorkers what New Yorkers can do with their guns. More guns in schools, more guns in the hands of teachers. More guns in the room that the governor goes to? I don`t know.
We should also note that armed law enforcement officers yesterday were there on the scene. We still don`t have like the details here. And to be totally honest, it`s been a little hard to get them today, so we should get a definitive accounting. But they didn`t fail to stop yesterday shooter. I mean, there were people with guns around.
So, that today down there in Texas, that`s -- you know, that`s a political performance. Again, they`re politicians. That`s their -- what they do. But it`s why Democratic candidate for governor Beto O`Rourke showed up and interrupted the event. And you`ll notice that Governor Abbott is surrounded by his lieutenant governor Dan Patrick to his right and Senator Ted Cruz directly behind him. O`Rourke was channeling that sense of frustration I think that a lot of us are feeling by trying to interrupt the proceedings in front of the whole country. And I want to play that moment for you.
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O`ROURKE: The time to stop the next shooting is right now and you`re doing nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. Police, get his ass out of here.
O`ROURKE: You`re all bringing up nothing. You said this was unpredictable, this is totally predictable when you chose not to do anything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, you`re out of line. Sir, you`re out of line.
O`ROURKE: I`m standing up for the kids of this state to stop this from happening again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, you`re out of line. Please leave this auditorium. I can`t believe you`re sick son of a bitch that would come to a deal like this to make a political issue.
O`ROURKE: This is on you until you choose to do something about it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s on assholes like you. Why don`t you get out of here.
O`ROURKE: You refuse to stand up for the children of this state while they continue to be killed.
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HAYES: Julian Castro was the mayor of San Antonio, Texas which is just about 85 miles west of Uvalde, and of course, previously served -- I think east of Uvalde -- served as President Barack Obama`s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. And he joins me now.
It`s great to have you on the program although it`s under awful circumstances. That got a lot of attention today. I think the idea for Beto to do that was to get attention and there`s some people who are mad at him in Texas and there`s some people saying hell yes. What do you say?
JULIAN CASTRO, FORMER MAYOR OF SAN ANTONIO: Good for him. Leadership begins by creating the willingness, the spirit to make change. And it for a lot of Texans, that willingness and that spirit is there, but you know, they need a jumpstart. These guys were up there, the governor, the lieutenant governor, the Speaker of the House, all of them following the NRA blueprint to deflect and distract. They`ll talk about mental illness, they`ll talk about other things. They won`t talk about what makes this uniquely American.
They have mental illness and other places. They have video games and other places. What they don`t have is easy access to these weapons of war. So, for Beto to go and do that, you know, that took guts because I`m sure he knew that he was going to get that response from the folks up there. You also don`t know what response you`re gonna get in the room of the people who were there watching.
But I think that was a show of leadership on his part. And we need that shock to the system. He did it in a civil way. He wasn`t uncivil. In fact, when he got back from one or two of those elected officials was crass. And I thought unbecoming of an elected official. But there are a lot of Texans that agree with Beto on that. And I think what he did also was that he made this a more high-profile issue in the governor`s race.
HAYES: I mean, that`s the question, are there, right? I mean, again, I you know, I think a huge part of this story is the NRA. A huge part is the radicalization of gun subculture, a huge part of it is Republicans. But a huge part of it is just like, there`s a lot of people, just voters who don`t want there to be gun restrictions, and a lot of them live in Texas.
And the degree to which like this thing that we have that we see where we make the sacrifice to Moloch, you know, every so often is a deal with the devil that it seems to me that like a discomforting number of people are OK with. And as someone who wants to represent, like, what do you say about what public opinion really isn`t Texas?
CASTRO: What I see is that there are a lot of folks, folks who own guns, folks who go hunting, using for sporting, you know, go to a shooting range, that agree perhaps not with the entire, you know, range of policy solutions on common sense gun reform, but they agree with, for instance, universal background checks, or red flag laws. There`s a place that we can start.
And the problem though, is that you`ve had the NRA creating this myth that people are going to go take your guns, if we go down this path, it`s going to start a domino effect that means you`re going to lose your gun. And they have been successful at that. And what they`ve created is a greater intensity in who shows up to vote, single issue voters, on the other side of this.
What`s happened, I think, since Columbine and what happens unfortunately each time a new town happens or Buffalo or yesterday with Uvalde is that the intensity is going up on the other side. And so, it`s unfortunate that it`s taking this but I believe that we`re actually on a path to making changes.
HAYES: Well, that`s the thing, right? So, there`s the one position is don`t -- we don`t want to interfere with gun owners, right? But the position of Greg Abbott, in particular, let`s talk about the governor, right? And I think this is true of Dan Patrick and Ken Paxton, the folks that are statewide office holders in Texas, is that it`s not just that we don`t want to interfere, it`s that guns are good, that more guns are better.
You know, the governor tweeted about how back in 2015 how Texas was losing out to California in the number of guns purchased and you want to Texas to make up. I think Ted Cruz put bacon on a automatic -- semi-automatic rifle in one of his -- there`s like -- you know, this is a thing to -- we want more people with more guns doing more shooting with more bullets as an affirmative vision of the good that we are -- that we`re trying to carry out in Texas and which they are putting into effect at a policy level. It`s not just don`t tread on me. It`s like, please, please, more guns, please.
CASTRO: Well, that`s exactly been their position. And according to them, this should be the safest state. We should never see any kind of incidents like this. Look, that El Paso shooter went to that Walmart knowing full well that a whole bunch of folks would be carrying there, knowing that there`s armed security guard.
Yesterday, this guy went to, you know, this school knowing that there`s armed security guards probably and that there are people that may well be carrying inside that school. And so, that does not deter these folks from going. And not only that, I mean, he had a shootout, right, with law enforcement and that didn`t stop him.
More guns has never been the answer. It is a lie. It`s an anthology that these guys create. And they were they`re trying to create it again, manipulate the public again. And that`s what Beto O`Rourke basically broke up. And you know, in doing that sort of seized the attention and redirected it to I think the truth and some ways that we can actually be constructive on reaching compromise on this.
HAYES: I do have to give credit to the Governor of Texas who has proven himself to be an able multitasker. He was able yesterday, again, to his to his credit to attend a fundraiser for his reelection campaign Tuesday night in East Texas just a few hours after those 19 children were murdered in his state.
So, he says he`s postponing all political activities going forward, but you got to walk and chew gum. So, good for the governor of Texas there. Julian Castro, thank you very much.
CASTRO: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: When we come back, what we`re learning from a community that is reeling from disaster, the lives taken from Uvalde, Texas. And later, how we became the most armed nation in the world off the charts. My interview with the former gun executive who says the NRA is using fear and extremism to sell more guns. We`ve got much more to come. Don`t go anywhere.
HAYES: We`re learning new details today about the 19 children and two adults who were murdered at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. The victims were all in the same classroom when the gunman burst in, barricaded the door and started shooting. He killed 19 kids and their two teachers, Eva Mireles and Irma Garcia. Here`s Morgan Chesky with more.
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MORGAN CHESKY, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Garcia, a Uvalde veteran molding young minds for the last 23 years. An aunt telling the New York Times she was an avid hiker and the fun of the party. A relative calling Mireles a hero, citing law enforcement who told him she was seen using her body to shield her kids from the attacker.
The young lives cut short offering a glimpse of bright futures. Elliahana Torres is a student and athlete who was never far from a softball field. There was fourth-grader Uziyah Garcia, third-grader Annabel Guadalupe Rodriguez killed in the same classroom as her cousin. 10-year-old Xavier Lopez, a fourth-grader. Jackie Cazarez, Alicia Ramirez, Rojelio Torres, and Ellie Garcia.
Many showing up to school Tuesday, dressed to impress as part of a school- wide footloose and fancy day. And then there`s Amerie Jo Garza, captured here in her last known photo just hours before the shooting, proud to show off her honor roll certificate. Her grandmother telling the Daily Beast she was shot while trying to call 911.
The loss of 10-year-old Jose Flores Jr. prompting his uncle to pin this tribute writing, "I still can`t believe this happened. My heart is broken. I`m going to miss you so much. Rest in paradise, my beautiful angel."
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HAYES: That was NBC Correspondent Morgan Chesky. I want to turn now to sensitive Suzanne Gamboa who has a national program She Latino in nbcnews.com, who joins me live tonight from Uvalde, Texas. Suzanne, you`ve been on the ground talking to people there. What have you learned?
SUZANNE GAMBOA, NBC NEWS NATIONAL REPORTER: Well, you know, this is always a challenging thing to cover. And it`s a lot of the -- there`s a lot of protection for the parents out here. You know, there`s -- and rightly so, you know, they`re dealing with some very serious heartbreak. And so I`ve tried spend the day today trying to find some family members, talk to family members to see if they would allow me to talk to parents.
But it`s -- it has been challenging. The parents are still dealing with really the horror of all this. I did talk to an aunt and a grandfather. I had an interesting situation where yesterday when I got here, there were a couple of mothers -- well, I`m sorry, a mother and an aunt. And they were still looking for -- this was hours later after the shooting. They were still looking for the children of their family.
And they were -- they had just walked up to the school and they were sort of grilling the law enforcement officer about other possibilities. Could they be hiding out in the field? Could they be, you know, lost? Something. Could they still be afraid to come out? I talked to the mother -- the mother that I`ve talked to yesterday, I talked to her this morning to follow up. And she confirmed to me that her daughter had indeed died.
I tried to talk to her a little bit more, but she decided she didn`t want to talk anymore. I did speak to the aunt of Eliana Garcia and the grandfather. I learned a little bit more about her. This is sort of the thing that I hope to do when I talk to parents is just to learn about them as, in this case, as children, you know, when they`re adults, as people, so that we`re not just thinking about them as victims, of shooting victims, but as people that, you know, that had whole lives.
And Eliana was -- it sounds like a really fantastic child. Her father, Steven Garcia, had posted on Facebook a video of her talking about her faith about God and why she loves God. And I believe it was her that told me that she had recently had a communion and that`s what I was about.
She was a young girl who loved cheerleading. She liked -- her grandfather told me she did -- she liked to do splits and tumble. She liked to play basketball, which she did with the youth rec center, I believe, a city team, same with the cheerleading. She would spend, like, from Sunday to Friday with one of her grandfathers. And he told me that, you know, it was the last time he saw her was Sunday, and they went together to the convenience store doing the kinds of relaxed things that they do, just go get some food, the Hot Cheetos, because she liked Hot Cheetos, and they -- you know, sat around and watched a movie and, you know, that sort of thing.
You know, her father is a DJ, and her aunt told me that he liked to test out new beats and lighting with her. She was sort of his guinea pig, you know. And she loved to dance, so if it made her dance then probably it was good, you know. So, and she would give her critiques. So, this was a really, you know, a vibrant child and that now is gone.
HAYES: Yes. What you said before, I just -- you know, a little bit of a sort of curtain pulling back here. But I think, you know, there are people that are public officials that have a responsibility to talk to the press, and we go and hound them. But there`s no -- we don`t have to hear from any one that doesn`t want to talk to us and in these kinds of situations.
HAYES: Whatever is best for the mental health of the folks is the choice they should choose. And I`m glad you talked about respecting that because I think it`s an important ethos for all of us to keep in mind having been in your situation a number of times, myself as well.
Suzanne Gamboa reporting us -- for us in Uvalde, Texas tonight, thank you very much.
GAMBOA: Thank you.
HAYES: Still to come, how we got here, how we became a country where gun violence is now for the first time the leading cause of death for children. That`s a true thing about our country right now. The only response has been to make more guns. How we got here and the people fighting to do something about it just ahead.
HAYES: You`ve probably seen this headline in the last 24 hours but not before. It`s appeared many times on the popular and satirical news site The Onion. It goes like this. "No way to prevent this says only nation where this regularly happens." In fact, today, The Onion filled its entire homepage which versions of that article that they have published in the wake of various mass shootings.
And like ball really good satire, it`s home because it`s true. So, if you`re feeling a sense of visceral anguish, feeling that something is deeply wrong here, you are correct. It is just empirically statistically true. America is a very violent country. It has been a very violent country for a long time. The rate of gun homicides in the U.S. is higher than any other high-income country, nearly six times higher than Canada, 14 times higher than Israel.
When you look at the countries around the world with more gun homicides than the U.S., they are significantly poorer places El Salvador, Venezuela, Honduras, nearly are all are in central South America. And in fact, a lot of those places, particularly in Central America, are places people often flee from to come to this country. I mean, look at that El Salvador number just like shocking and astounding.
We also just have more guns than anywhere else. I really can`t stress this enough, which is related to our level of violence. We`re just literally off the charts. There`s no peer. We`ve got 120 guns per 100 people, more guns than people. That`s not true anywhere else in the world. Yemen is number two. And of course, Yemen is a country that`s been mired in a -- in a brutal and grinding civil war. It`s not a country that people would consider to be right now at peace.
And it comes in a far second place when nearly 53 guns per 100 people, so we`re just a complete and total global outlier, OK. It`s also been getting worse and worse in recent years. So, that`s the other part of this story, right? Like we`re always an outlier, we`re always a very violent place. But a new report from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives shows a surge in the number of guns manufactured in the U.S. with nearly three times the amount of firearms made in the year 2020 than in 2000. There are now more guns manufactured in this country than cars.
In the wake of the horror we just saw in Texas, I`ve been thinking a lot about all the ways the government tries to protect children, which is a laudatory and understandable goal, right? I mean, there`s so many regulations around exist -- you know, protecting children. Regulations, I should note which exists in all 50 states conservative, liberal, or whatever, right?
Like who gets to be a foster parent or even a nursery school teacher who can work in a school, product safety for bottles, car seats, cribs. Stuff gets recalled all the time if there`s the slightest hint that it might be a threat. Even teddy bears have to go through the Consumer Product Safety Commission. All of that this entire regulatory regime to protect kids from harm, like the strap, you put your baby in, like that`s got to be tested. And it gets recalled if it`s not working.
We do practically nothing on guns to protect them from being gunned down. And it has a natural result. It`s this. It`s this chart. Look at that chart. That chart says a lot. There`s a lot on that chart. The blue line is firearms. Guns are now the leading cause of death for children and young adults in these United States. That`s new, OK. For decades, it was car accidents.
And if you want to look at this chart, the glass half full, which I actually do a little bit is, the top line comes down. We have succeeded in pushing down road fatalities. We`ve succeeded in making cars safer for children. We`ve got a lot of regulations, those car seats that kids ride in, right? At the same time, we`ve made our society less safe for them from guns.
And it`s also the case that mass shootings like the ones we see regularly here in the U.S., they just don`t happen with anywhere near the same kind of frequency anywhere else in the world. This really just -- we`re on an island here. I mean, this was true even seven years ago when a 2015 study found that "despite having four percent of the world`s population, the U.S. made up 31 percent of all public mass shootings globally between 1966 and 2012.
And again, that`s a -- that`s a previous era they`re studying. Part of the reason is that when they do have another places, and they have, there have been these like awful random events and other places, they tend to happen just once. After 1996 school shooting in Scotland, the British government passed legislation banning most handguns. There have been no mass school shootings in the U.K. in the 26 years since then. Similar things have happened in other places, Australia, New Zealand.
Well, here in the U.S., mass shootings are actually becoming more and more frequent and deadlier. That`s according to a 2019 study of every public mass shootings since 1966. "More than half of the shootings have occurred since 2000, a third since 2010. So, we`ve always been an outlier. We`re an exceptional nation. We`ve always been a place with more violence, we`ve always been a place with more guns.
But it actually has gotten worse in recent years as a sort of cultural pathology has grown up revolving around guns, a subculture that sees guns not just as a as a useful tool, or a recreational machine, or a form of self defense, but rather as something you acquire for the explicit purpose of mass violence.
Now, that could be mass violence in the form of rebellion against a tyrannical government, or mass violence is presented in many gun advertisements, which is encouraging customers to keep themselves out in tactical gear, pretend Navy SEAL or a member of a SWAT team. But that`s what those images are about. That`s violence, right? It`s not defending your home. It`s not you`re out in the range. It`s like the culture of marketing guns leaning into the notion that gun is there essentially for waging your own personal kind of warfare, that that`s the point of it.
And that`s a real shift. We are living with the results of that shift. Someone who worked in the gun industry for many years saw that shift, that change happen, and left because of it. And he joins me right after this break.
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JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The idea that an 18-year-old can walk into a store and buy weapons of war designed and marketed to kill is I think just wrong. It just violates common sense, even the manufacturer, the inventor of that weapon thought that as well. You know, where`s the backbone? Where`s the courage to stand up to a very powerful lobby.
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HAYES: For the past couple of decades, the American gun industry has grown exponentially. In a piece for The Bulwark, former firearms executive Ryan Busse points out that "Since 1997, firearm sales have increased by over 600 percent from annual sales of about four million guns to current totals of nearly 25 million." That has come and missed a major shift in how the industry markets its products.
Ryan Busse watched that change happen over his 25 years working for the gun manufacturer Kimber. He left the industry in 2020, wrote a book titled Gunfight: My Battle Against The Industry That Radicalized America. And he joins me now.
I read various accounts of this shift. I`m just curious to start with your -- what you saw. What was the shift? When did it happen? Why did it happen?
RYAN BUSSE, FORMER FIREARM EXECUTIVE: Chris, thanks for having me. So, much of the shift in the firearms industry predates the sort of same -- the same sort of radicalized political shift we saw in our country in the right and Trumpism. But, you know, I grew up on a ranch, as a gun owner who valued responsible gun ownership, hunting and shooting with my father. Those are things I still enjoy. But early on in the firearms industry, I figured out that that sort of cultural connection was being used and twisted to form up something that has become very nefarious and dangerous for our country.
And when the NRA figured out that the use of hatred and fear and conspiracy theory could drive people to vote in irrational ways. The firearms industry figured out that these things could also be used to drive firearm sales. And so, you have this kind of twisting of right-wing politics and firearm sales. And here we are today in what feels like an intractable situation where our politics -- our entire national politics are held hostage to this issue.
HAYES: Yes. I mean, you write once gun companies were careful to avoid incitement with gun monikers. But now there are trademark names such as the Urban Super Sniper, which is obviously a deranged thing to sell people, an AR 15 campaigns that promise the own will get there man card back. That`s a reference to a Bushmaster ad which was consider your man card reissued.
You write in the book about that being a specific moment where you felt like something had shifted. Why?
BUSSE: Because that was the moment at which I realized that this wasn`t -- this was no longer about the sort of healthy responsible firearms ownership, it was now about growth at all cost. And, you know, the sort of downstream effects that would come from a get your man card back campaign, or an urban super sniper campaign, or a Daniel Defense campaign, or now we have, you know, all sorts of locker up AR -- 30 round AR magazines. Like, those are downstream pollutants that the industry just acted like it could flush down the river for somebody else to deal with.
Well, here we are as a country. Here we are dealing with those pollutants, like they`re not for somebody else to deal with. We`re all Americans. And I came to realize that those are just exceedingly dangerous advertising campaigns.
HAYES: Right. Because I mean, it seems to me, there`s also this kind of -- I was talking about this earlier today but -- we are talking on our call about like the Taco Bell fourth meal problem, right? So, at a certain point, Taco Bell, like, looks out and they survey the country and they`re like, well, we`ve got Taco Bells everywhere we can have a Taco Bell. And we`re selling people just about as much Taco Bell as we could sell them, but we got to grow. And they came up with this campaign to event like fourth meal.
So, it`s like, well, maybe we can -- we can get people eating Taco Bell one more meal a day. At a certain point, it`s like you`ve sold the guns you sold for hunting and recreation where the guns are sold for people who are wanting for self defense, maybe a small handgun that keep by their bedside table or something. There`s -- you got to -- there`s got to be other reasons for people keep buying guns. That seems like part of what`s happening.
BOSSE: It`s not an accident that the most tumultuous time in your life and my life, the time between January 1, 2020 and January 7, 2021. But George Floyd was murdered, COVID lockdowns, race riots, counter protest. Like, these things were ripping the nation apart, right? Well, that corresponds perfectly to the highest gun sales ever in the history of the United States.
And if you`re an industry and a lobbying organization, the NRA, that has figured out that these are the sorts of things that will drive your outcomes, well, why would you not try to encourage more of these outcomes. And the spillover effects are horrific. We are allowing kids, 18-year-old kids to go buy a gun that they should not have two days after they turn 18. They can`t even buy a handgun, but they can buy an AR-15, they can buy 30- round magazines. Like, this is what we need to do to drive business? Like, I`m sorry but have you no soul?
HAYES: There`s also the fact that guns are very well made. And unlike many consumer products you might buy particularly these days -- it might last six months, break, it`s a little like carbon molecules in the air. Like they just -- it just accumulates. Like, they don`t go anywhere. They stick in working order. So, when you sell it --
HAYES: You know, I mean, so there`s a -- when you talk about kind of pollution, it`s like, every sale is just the first sale in the first chapter in that guns life, but they can have many lives, right?
BOSSE: Look, I own guns myself. My favorite gun was built in 1912. And it`s probably as good today as it was the day it was built. I burnt out with it. I don`t need 100 more of those. And you`re right. These are not disposable. I guess, maybe one of the things you`re hitting on here is that the -- is that the firearms industry and the NRA is trying to create -- is trying to make this a consumable good, but it`s not a consumable good. These things are durable goods. They hang around forever.
As you -- as you drive down the road, Chris, there`s about 285 million registered vehicles in the United States. And we all deal with traffic. We`ve looked across the roads and like, holy smokes, there`s a lot of cars on this road. There are 400 million or more guns in the United States, 100 to 150 million more than those cars that you see, and they`re not going to go away.
HAYES: Ryan Busse, your book is really interesting piece that was excerpted in the Bulwark. It`s really interesting. And I appreciate you coming on to talk tonight. Thank you very much.
BUSSE: Thanks for having me, Chris.
HAYES: Still ahead, David Hogg, you might remember, help lead the push for Florida to enact gun regulation measures in the wake of the mass shooting in his high school. What he learned from that very hard fought victory and whether it can happen again after this.
HAYES: Tonight, we`re learning the names, seeing the pictures, hearing the stories of the 19 elementary school children and two teachers brutally murdered in a Texas classroom yesterday. And of course, the conversation is turning again to what can be done at a policy level legislatively to prevent this level of violence from happening to another school, to other children, to other people.
The thing is, there was a time not too long ago when we had real hope for that. You remember, four years ago, a former student walked infamously into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and murdered 17 people. And after that, the survivors, high school students, formed a coalition and they spoke out in media interviews, sharing their stories. They met with lawmakers, even put on the enormous March for Our Lives rally in Washington D.C. attended by over a million people.
And their pressure yielded real tangible results. They got the got then- governor of Florida, and now Senator Rick Scott, a guy who`s now setting the Republican agenda for the midterms to sign a law putting at least some gun control in place. The question is, can this momentum be recaptured to do something again?
David Hogg is a gun control gun safety advocate, co-founder and board member of March for Our Lives, that group of Parkland survivors who brought so much pressure to bear in 2018. And he joins me now. David, you`ve been == you`ve been at this for four years now. What have you learned?
DAVID HOGG, CO-FOUNDER AND BOARD MEMBER, MARCH FOR OUR LIVES: Frankly, and I know this might sound crazy, I do not believe we are nearly as divided as we think we are. It`s the biggest thing that I`ve learned. I`ve been in protest -- I`ve encountered protested by hundreds, if not thousands of people outside of events that I`ve done with my friends across the country when we did our road trip in 2018, and at basically every event since. And many of those places, people were open carrying AR-15.
And I`ve had conversations with people like that. And I`ve had conversations with people in my own direct messages, you know, that call me names. And I just say, you know, does this make you happy? I`m not trying to convince anybody of anything here because we agree. We agree that we need to end gun violence in this country.
And what I always bring it back to is like, look, I`m not going to try to change your mind because you`re not -- you`re not going to change mine, but we need to figure out what is the one thing that we can agree on to move forward to do something, not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans to actually address this issue.
Just one thing, it`s not going to end gun violence entirely. We have 400 million guns in this country. As Ryan said, that`s 100 million more than there are cars, essentially. But we can still make a reduction. It`s like cigarettes, right? We need to address the gun industry the way we needed to address the tobacco industry. We need to address why people want to smoke the same way that we need to address why somebody wants to pick up a gun. And we need to address how these laws are enforced in the first place as well.
HAYES: Yes. When you say -- so, you`re someone who has been the target of a lot of animus. I mean, I`ve watched it play out. I`ve often kind of worried on your behalf honestly, in a sort of paternal way about your psychology and how it`s affected you subjectively. I feel like you have a unique insight into the fervor here because you`ve been face to face with it. right?
So, there`s something very deep about this like don`t -- you`re coming to tread on me, you`re coming to change something profound about my life. There`s something like insulting or domineering or tyrannical about what you want to do. Like, how do you -- how do you come to understand that pathos that driving a lot of this?
HOGG: Look, I think it`s fear and it`s hatred, because people fear what they don`t know and people are -- essentially, the hatred that I`ve seen directed towards me typically comes from one or two places. It`s hatred and insecurity a lot of the time. We have to address that hatred with as a result, you know, education and bringing people on and talk to them, and also not just justifying that defense mechanism of hatred.
The thing I really want to get out, though, Chris is that, you know, four years ago, we marched it. It worked. The movement did our job. We had the highest youth voter turnout in a -- in a non-presidential midterm in American history in 2018. And then we have the highest youth ever in 2020. We voted out more NRA-backed politicians than ever before in American history. And right now, we are closer than we ever have been as a movement, and stronger than we ever have been to actually changing this because we have a pro-gun violence prevention president, a pro-gun violence prevention House and Senate, and we can do it.
And that`s why March for Our Lives is calling for a second march right now across the country where young people, older people, Democrats, Republicans, gun owners, non-gun owners all come out, because we realize though we have our disagreements as Americans, even Ryan and I, when I`ve talked to him in private conversations, we have disagreements, you know, on certain things. But ultimately, we need to focus on what we can do, even if it`s one thing.
And that`s why I would ask people to join us in these marches on June 11th, is when we plan to do them, and they`re going to be everywhere across the country we hope. Because we want to show Americans and especially Congress that this issue isn`t going away. We demand they act even if it`s in a small way. It may not absolutely eradicate gun violence, but we need one step.
And I know every single -- every single -- or most Americans agree with me on this. Democrats, Republicans, and everyone I`ve talked to agree. We need to do something, even if it`s small and just saves one life because these kids are dying. These aren`t even kids, honestly, these are babies. Our future is dying with them.
And if people want to help us with that, I need you to text, MARCH to 954- 954. And once again, text MARCH to 954-954 because we need as many Americans as possible involved in marching with us in the streets and beyond that, then into state capitols to lobby because the NRA shows up. They show up and that`s why they win.
It`s not just because they support elections through their donations. It`s because they show up. And we need to show up not just in the streets, but then bring this to state legislators and into Congress and show that this issue is not going away. We`re not going to wait until the next shooting happens to address this.
HAYES: Your point there I think is an important one for people to hear who are watching this program. The NRA derives its power not for money, but from people that show up, that are there, that belief -- that believe in the program. And counter mobilizing is really the key to understanding that. I know you understand that well. June 11th, I will be looking for that. David Hogg, thank you for making time tonight. I appreciate it.
HOGG: Thank you. And we need people to show up again, so text MARCH to 954- 954. Thank you.
HAYES: All right, that is ALL IN for this evening. I will turn things over now to my colleague Ali Velshi who is hosting "MSNBC PRIME" tonight from Uvalde, Texas. Good evening, Ali.