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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 5/27/22

Guests: Mike Collier, Tim Mak, Lucy McBath, Michelle Goldberg, Andrew Exum


The NRA holds convention in Texas days after 19 children and two teachers were killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Police admit a string of failures in their response to the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. There`s growing outrage and protests as the NRA holds its convention in Texas. Since the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, there have been numerous calls for the Senate to pass the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, a gun reform bill that would expand background checks for gun sales by unlicensed dealers or internet sellers.


JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: This is -- it`s hard. People think of newspeople as sort of hard and cynical people. And I am incredibly cynical when it comes to things like politics, but this stuff breaks you. Dr. Kavita Patel, thanks so much for being here.


REID: That`s tonight`s "REIDOUT." ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES starts now.



CROWD: Vote them out! Vote them out! Vote them out!

HAYES: Righteous crowd protests in Houston as law enforcement admits to its catastrophic response.

STEVEN MCCRAW, DIRECTOR, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY: For the benefit of hindsight, where I`m sitting now, of course, it was not the right decision. It was the wrong decision.

HAYES: And the architects of the system that failed celebrate guns in Houston before facing the truth in Uvalde.

GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): Yes, I was misled.

HAYES: Tonight, what we know about the police failure and the policy failure that allowed mass murder in a Texas School. Plus, pandering and the protests at the NRA convention in Houston, and what you and I can do to break this uniquely American ritual of violence when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. Today, Wayne LaPierre, head of the National Rifle Association, hosted a number of Republican politicians including the ex-president at his organization`s annual conference in Houston just days after 19 elementary school children and two teachers were slaughtered by a gunman a few 100 miles away.

Now, all of the speakers at today`s conference acknowledge the shooting, and really, how could they not. And all of them blamed it on everything but the AR-15 style rifle that the government bought as soon as he was legally able to when he turned 18.

This is standard. I mean, this is the script. We know how this goes for NRA and the politicians who it pays. In the aftermath of the recurring horror these weapons of war have brought LaPierre and his allies in the Republican Party just throw out any excuse to try to explain why guns are not the problem.

It was following the Sandy Hook massacre 10 years ago which left 20 children and six adults dead that LaPierre provided one of the most indelible excuses of the modern age.


WAYNE LAPIERRE, CEO, NRA: The only way, the only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.


HAYES: Ironically, that`s the moral cosmology of a child, like a small kid that thinks about the world good guys with guns and bad guys with guns. And that phrase and the sentiment behind it are now inescapable. I mean, it was obviously ridiculous back then a ludicrous thing to say and ludicrous now. It`s simply not how a functioning society works. It`s a wild-west state of nature in which conflicts are resolved only through violence and bloodshed.

But it meant more guns, right? If you`re Wayne LaPierre and you`re solving at the board there sitting around and brainstorming, like, oh, there`s 20 murdered kids, guns, more guns? Maybe we`ll just try to shoot the moon here. The notion that only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun is still it`s an organizing policy principle of the Republican Party.

It is the mythos sold by the conservative movement for the last 10 years at least to justify constantly expanding access in every legislative session to gun like Texas Governor Greg Abbott has done. And in the aftermath of this latest horrifying massacre, they tried it out again, because it`s what they do. The mythos was on full display again. Everyone praising with solemnity, the good guys with guns, and claiming those good guys with those guns prevented an even greater tragedy.


ABBOTT: The reality is as horrible as what happened. It could have been worse. The reason it was not worse is because law enforcement officials did what they do. They showed amazing courage by running toward gunfire for the singular purpose of trying to save lives.

MCCRAW: As he was approaching, as the governor mentioned earlier, there was a brave Consolidated Independent School District Resource Officer that approached him, engaged him. And at that time, there was not -- gunfire was not exchanged, but the subject was able to make it into the -- into the into the school.

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): During the briefing from law enforcement, two of the Uvalde police officers who responded to the shooting shared their harrowing experience with us. And in the face of such unthinkable evil, their courage was unwavering.


HAYES: I`m just going to read what Greg Abbott has said again, just because just I wanted to let it sink in. Hold on one second. The reason it was not worse is because law enforcement officials did what they do. They showed amazing courage by running towards gunfire for the singular purpose of trying to save lives. That is a comforting story, if you`re mourning the horror of what`s happened.

But here`s the thing. That`s not just not true, it`s -- we think now the opposite of the truth. The argument that heroic law enforcement officers, the proverbial good guy with guns showed unwavering courage and prevented the massacre from being even worse, that`s not at all how it looks as we learn the facts.

After three days of misdirection, false start, shifting stories, we have arrived at what appears to be the horrible, almost unspeakable, almost not believable truth of what actually happened in that classroom in Rob Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Just listen to the Texas Director of Public Safety today admitting to the total and complete failure by police to stop the massacre.


MCCRAW: There was discussion early on that an ISD, Consolidated ISD for Uvalde, an officer, he was a resource officer had confronted the shooter. That did not happen. The bottom line is that officer was not on scene, not on campus, but had heard the 911 call with a man with a gun and drove immediately to the area, sped to what he thought was the man with a gun to the back of the school and were turned out to be a teacher and not to suspect.

In doing so, he drove right by the suspect who was hunkered down behind the vehicle where he began shooting at the school. The caller identified -- I`ll not say her name, but she was in room 112, called 911 at 12:03. The duration of the call was one minute and 23 seconds. She identified herself and whispered she`s in room 112. At 12:10, she called back in room 12, advised there are multiple dead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What efforts were the officers making to try and break through either that door or another door to get inside that classroom?

MCCRAW: None at that time.


MCCRAW: The on-scene commander at that time believed that it had transition from an active shooter to a barricaded subject.

The question simply is this. There was 40-minute gap. And if the 911 operators were aware that children were alive in that classroom, why weren`t officers notified of that? And if that`s the case, why didn`t they take action? That`s the question.

From the benefit of hindsight, where I`m sitting now, of course, it was not the right decision. It was the wrong decision, period. There was no excuse for that.


HAYES: 19 police officers were inside the school for more than 40 minutes as the gunman holed up in a classroom with those terrified little children and those panic, desperate kids kept calling 911 and pleading with them to send him the police. I honestly -- I listened to the press conference today. I kept thinking that I was missing something or I had -- I was screwing it up. I was left speechless.

Now, let`s just say that let`s just be clear here. The officer in charge on the scene who that Department of Public Safety officials said was -- made this decision it was not an active shooter situation and the 19 cops inside the building didn`t have to go in despite the gunman locking himself in a classroom full of kids and a barrage of 911 calls. That individual wasn`t present to defend himself today or herself.

And I got to say, given the record of official pronouncements so far, there`s no reason to take anything anyone from law enforcement in this situation says at face value, full stop. So, that`s what we have now. But it does seem confirmed even as we will likely learn more in the coming weeks, the worst possible set of facts appears to be the true one. That the police utterly failed with their guns, the good guys with the guns, in the school utterly failed to protect those kids, that they set up a cordon outside the school and yelled at and threatened and prevented parents from rushing in even it seems as the gunman was still inside.

And in addition to the police response being an unfathomable failure, it is also just a profoundly upsetting demonstration of the bankruptcy of the arms race theory of violence prevention, something that just Wayne LaPierre pulled out of the ether so he had something to say, this decades-long project outline by LaPierre 10 years go. Give -- just give them everybody guns and arm and increasingly militarized police force more and more money, more and more weapons, make sure they all have SWAT teams, they all need to have SWAT teams because you never know.

So, if one of their weapons ends up in the hands of a bad guy, we`ve got a huge paramilitary unit that`s trained to go in there and stop them. It`s all BS. This -- they built up to this moment. And here it was. Here`s the proving ground. And we just saw it fail in real time. And yet, even after that, in the wake of that, after that press conference today in which that failure was an enunciated, at the NRA conference, after we learned about the failure of the good guys with guns, here`s what happened.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): Ultimately, as we all know, what stops armed bad guys is armed good guys.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As the age-old saying goes, the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Have you ever heard that? No, you`ve never heard that.


HAYES: If those are the two categories, I`m curious for Donald Trump to take this, which category were the police in this estimation? Of course, it`s not two categories of people. That`s the whole point. Whatever Donald Trump and Ted Cruz say, the entire NRA worldview collapsed in on itself in a pool of blood in that elementary school in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday. And in the end, the sheer brutal bankruptcy of what these cretins have been proposing, Cruz, and Trump, and Greg Abbott, Wayne LaPierre, everyone celebrating guns, and gun culture use today, it has been laid bare.

Mike Collier is a Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Texas. He`s running to replace Republican Dan Patrick. And he joins me now. Obviously, you`ve got a vested interest here. You`re running against Dan Patrick. He`s one of the officials who`s up on that stage with the governor, of course, with the Attorney General, with the head of Texas Department of Public Safety.

And again, I don`t -- you know, the failures that happened on the ground and Uvalde, which become clearer and clearer, those aren`t the direct responsibility of the governor, lieutenant governor. But I just -- like, are people in Texas losing their minds over this revelation, because it just seems to me -- forget ideology. Forget where you are on anything. Like, how can this possibly be what is being presented to people?

MIKE COLLIER (D-TX), LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR CANDIDATE: First of all, Chris, thank you so much for allowing me to speak to you in what is really one of the darkest and most difficult days of our lives as Texans and me personally. You said something a minute ago, Chris, that I would like to challenge which is that you say that it`s really not Greg Abbott`s fault, or Dan Patrick`s fault what happened in that school today.

Well, I say that is wrong. You know, we had a terrible situation, mass murder in Santa Fe High School about four years ago. And we demanded that the legislature take steps to bring us sensible gun reform. And we insisted that if they did nothing, that it would happen again, that more children would die, and that they would have blood on our hands. And that is exactly what happened.

And they do have that on their hands. And we must hold these so-called leaders accountable because this is so heartbreaking. You`ve heard the stories, Chris, about the teacher who held sobbing children in her arms, praying that they would be OK, and then making sure that they got out first, risking her life for those children, and yet Dan Patrick won`t even risk his next primary for those children?

No, the blame lands to Dan Patrick`s feet particular Dan Patrick. He`s the most powerful political leader in the state, but he did nothing.

HAYES: There was a policy fork in the road to your point after that Santa Fe killing. And it wasn`t like they did nothing. They did do something. There`s -- I think it`s -- is it -- am I right that it`s 100 -- $600 million in the total School Public Safety, $100 million earmarked specifically for hardening schools, again, this sort of good guy with the guns. There`s the SWAT team. Uvalde did the training,

Like, there was a choice to do something. I just wonder if there`s going to be a reckoning with the failure.

COLLIER: Oh, there`ll be a reckoning. There`ll be a reckoning. And it`s not fair to say that they did anything. There was a recent audit, by the way. I mean, Dan Patrick ranted at Fox News after Santa Fe and said we need to harden the targets. First of all, that`s the wrong way to go. You don`t harden the targets. These are schools, these need to be places of learning.

We need safety. We need resource officers. We need counselors. We need to have a safe environment for those children. But even if you do hard in the schools, which is his flood policy, they did not -- there was a recent audit that showed that more than half of the schools in the state have done nothing.

And I think it`s very clear to see what happened with this terrible situation in Uvalde. They had done nothing. No, they -- and here`s the deal. The legislature has to act, Chris. And schools -- kids are coming back to school in three months, OK. The Texas legislature doesn`t meet again until next year. So, now, the question is, are they going to have a special session?

And I`ve called for a special session just this morning to deal with this or are they going to ignore it as they have so many times in the past. They must come together now. They didn`t then. There were several special sessions after Santa Fe, but they weren`t related to this crisis. They were related to suppressing the vote. They were related to attacking trans kids. Nothing was done, Chris.

Now, I`ve called on them to do a special session. We need to reform or gun laws in this state and everybody knows it. We`re waiting to see if they do.

HAYES: Just finally and quickly. I mean, you say and everybody knows it, you`re in Texas. My understanding looking at your bio, you used to be a Republican. You`re a Democrat now. It`s a state with high levels of gun ownership and politically a high level of support for guns and -- or at least for politicians who are maximalists about it. Do you think any of that has changed, the basic political gravity in your state as you`re running for statewide office?

COLLIER: Let me say this, Chris. I`ll answer it this way. First of all, I was raised in a hunting culture. My father and I used to hunt. I have a great respect -- I own -- I own a gun. I have a great respect for firearms, a great respect for the importance of training, and the great respect for the importance of limitations.

You know, it`s easier to get a fishing license in Texas than to get -- I mean, it`s easier to get an AR-15 in Texas than it is to get a fishing license. But I would say this to your question. The majority of Texans respect guns, recognize the importance of gun safety. We want sensible gun laws. It is a very, very small group of Texans that Dan Patrick panders to and particularly the NRA and the gun lobby that he works for -- he doesn`t work for us. And you`ll see that Texans are going to go to the polls, and we`re going to make sure that our voices are heard.

HAYES: All right, Mike Collier who is running against Dan Patrick to be the Lieutenant Governor of the state of Texas on the Democratic ticket. Thank you very much.

COLLIER: Thank you.

HAYES: Well, the pro-gun lobby peddled more of the status quo inside the convention center. Outside, lining the streets, hundreds of protesters gathered incredible scenes of grief and rage demanding action. I`ll talk to a reporter who knows the NRA playbook better than just about anyone right after this.



HAYES: There was both anger and determination in the air in Houston, Texas as hundreds of people gathered to protest at the National Rifle Association`s annual meeting today. It brought the country`s grief out into the streets just three days after a gunman murdered 19 children and two adults at an elementary school in Uvalde. The displays were striking.

This group walked into slow procession down the sidewalks surrounding the convention center carrying a child-sized casket. They held up photos of the 9, 10, and 11-year-old children killed in Uvalde. A group of young children`s stood silently in a row each wearing a placard displaying the name and photo of one of the victims. One boy held up a sign reading "Am I next?"

And as NRA members assembled in the hall, activists and Democratic politicians rally the crowd at a park across the street. They express their fury at the gun lobby and the Republicans who support them. There were also hopeful calls to action.


LIZ HANKS, TEXAS CHAPTER LEAD, MOMS DEMAND ACTION: Turn around and let them know how you feel about how they have not taken action on this issue.

CROWD: Shame! Shame! Shame! Shame! Shame! Shame!

Vote them out! Vote them out! Vote them out! Vote them out!

DAVID HOGG, CO-FOUNDER, MARCH FOR OUR LIVES: I believe that this time can be different and it will be different. If you believe that raise your sign.

BETO O`ROURKE (D-TX), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Action is the antidote to despair. It is the key to victory. And it is necessary if we were ever to overcome this. Are you willing to act?


HAYES: Inside the convention hall, NRA and Republican leaders stood up to defend the guns that were used to murder those 19 children this week and claimed that no restrictions on them could prevent a massacre.


LAPIERRE: If we as a nation were capable of legislating evil out of the hearts and minds of criminals who commit these heinous acts, we would have done it a long time ago.

ABBOTT: There are thousands of laws on the books across the country that limit the owning or using of firearms, laws that have not stopped madmen from carrying out evil acts.

GOV. KRISTI NOEM (R-SD): People like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi instantly start calling for more gun laws that wouldn`t have made any difference in stopping the shooter.



HAYES: The NRA is still a very powerful institution with a tight grip on our political system. Tim Mak has been reporting on the NRA for years. He is a Washington Investigative Correspondent for NPR and the author of the book Misfire: Inside the Downfall of the NRA. He was outside the NRA convention in Houston today, and he joins me now.

First of all, just describe, Tim, as someone who`s reported on this organization for a while what the scene was like there in Houston today.

TIM MAK, WASHINGTON INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT, NPR: Well, it`s really interesting. I`ve never seen as many protesters as I did NRA event as I saw today. I mean, you were talking about -- you`re showing those images of what was happening outside. And I talked to a lot of people who had never been to an ant-gun issue or a gun issue protests before in their lives, but the events of the last week and in Buffalo before that really rallied a lot of folks out in front of the NRA convention.

It just isn`t something I`ve seen before. I`ve seen small gatherings and demonstrations outside of NRA events, and nothing quite this -- of this size and this intensity.

HAYES: You know, your book -- your book was fascinating and incredible reporting. We featured it before on the show. It`s -- the subtitle, which is the downfall the NRA prompts the question of like, not really fallen down. Like, they went through this insane intramural dispute lawsuits, accusations of essentially embezzlement and misuse of funds, one faction beating the other enormously public and embarrassing disclosures about the amount of money that was being paid to associated vendors and so forth. And there they are. Like, how is this thing still standing?

MAK: Downfall, not necessarily defeat, right? That they`ve had enormous setbacks, enormous challenges, enormous troubles, like you`ve just been describing. Their fundraising is down, their membership is stagnant. And this is a really interesting thing, right? That a lot of people think that the NRA is power comes from the money they raise or the money they spend politically.

What is fascinating about all this is that the NRA`s power comes from its ability to mobilize its members. And you know, it`s able (AUDIO GAP) it`s able to flood phone lines, it`s able to get decision-makers in lawmakers to understand that, hey, if they don`t want to be challenged politically, they need to listen to what NRA members have to say.

And so, that`s really been the source of the NRA is resilience. Now, what does it mean that there are these demonstrations outside the NRA convention hall, and that there are folks who had never been involved in this issue before suddenly now getting activated on it? It shows that there is some promise for that side of the argument.

HAYES: What is LaPierre -- I mean, it seems to me LaPierre just also -- I mean, again, the things he was accused of -- and again, these are by people who share his ideologies. This is not like, you know, a gun grabbing lib who say Wayne LaPierre, right? Like, this fight that`s documented in your book. Does he -- why are people still listen to him personally? What is his political relationship in the kind of pantheon of the -- of the upper font of the right-wing conservative Republican establishment, if you will?

MAK: Well, as my book shows, I mean Wayne LaPierre is not a charismatic figure. And I don`t think people listen to the NRA because they respect Wayne LaPierre in particular. If you look at his speeches, he`s the kind of awkward, halting individual. His not particularly good at it presenting policy proposals or convincing folks to listen to his side of the cause.

The power that he wields is as the head of an organization that is able to mobilize its members on short notice and get folks activated at times like this, and lawmakers might be trying to pass legislation the NRA doesn`t want to see pass.

HAYES: That`s it. They hit the green button and right now they`re getting the delusion. It`s a question of how many people were on the other side is a big part of the equation here. Tim Mak, thank you very much.

Coming up, the congresswoman who ran and won by pushing for more gun safety measures after her life was touched by unspeakable tragedy. Congresswoman Lucy McBath on the time for action, after this.



CHRIS HAYES, NBC NEWS HOST: Since the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, there have been numerous calls for the Senate to pass the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, a gun reform bill that would expand background checks for gun sales by unlicensed dealers or internet sellers.

That was HRA to pass the House to support from both sides of the aisle last year and actually in a rare bipartisan vote, it has languished in the Senate ever since.

The bill was one of the very first pieces of legislation that was co- sponsored by Congresswoman Lucy McBath of Georgia. She`s vice chair of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.


HAYES: She ran for Congress specifically on a platform of gun safety after her 17-year-old son Jordan Davis was murdered at a gas station by a man with a gun.

Congresswoman Lucy McBath joins me now.

Congresswoman, it`s great to have you on the program. I feel like I want to say what I said to Fred Gutenberg earlier in the week, which is that I can imagine these weeks, which are hard for everyone, obviously, are particularly painful for someone who has suffered through tragedy like you have.

REP. LUCY MCBATH (D-GA): Thank you, Chris. It`s so good to be with you again, thank you for having me tonight.

And as I`ve said before, every time we have these tragedies, it`s just a painful reminder, it`s -- for me, it`s like a punch in the gut. That again, and again and again, you know, when we can really do something, put forth policies to keep our family safe. And yet, and still, even 10 years since I`ve lost my own son, we haven`t done so. We haven`t been able to get federal background checks for all gun sales pass the Senate.

And these are life-saving measures that people are just waiting for us to pass. I`m just sad to say I`ve talked to too many people that are so afraid to send their children off to school, afraid that they might not -- might not come home, so afraid, you know, that their children are going out in the evening to parties or what have you and might be caught in crossfire. So many families that, you know, are so afraid of sending their children to other people`s homes, and they might be unsecured firearms there.

And especially under COVID, so many homes, so many more domestic violence cases that have just gone up exponentially. So, we have a public health crisis on our hands. And still yet, we`ve not been able to really move as rapidly as we should have moved within these last 10 years.

HAYES: Yes, I mean, the obstacles are clear. And I think they do come back to politics over and over again.

I mean, you are someone who -- there was redistricting in Georgia, your district move, you just went to a contested primary. So, you`ll be the nominee -- the Democratic nominee in that -- in that district.

It is if I`m not mistaken, I was just looking at the index of it. It`s going to be competitive. I mean, you don`t -- you`re not like a plus 35 seat, you`re not just going to like ramp to reelection. And I guess I wonder like, how much do you think about this issue as being a vulnerability or something that you`re going to be targeted politically for? Because this is something that you are so passionate about?

MCBATH: Well, you know, let`s be honest, my number one policy agenda, and my very first campaign was gun violence prevention, gun safety. And there again, here we are, even in this election, people know me specifically for my work in gun safety, gun violence prevention.

And I can assure you, there`ll be far more numbers of people that go to the polls this fall. And this will be a policy for them that they will go to the polls on, because we have a public health crisis here.

And, you know, on Tuesday, I was standing at the podium after having just been reelected. And the solemn irony was not lost on me that on the same day, Georgia sent me a mother on a mission back to Congress again to help keep our kids and our families safe, was very same day that 19 children and two teachers were gunned down senselessly.

And again and again, we continue to see these tragedies. We`re paying for these weapons of war in our streets, by the blood of our children who are sitting in our schools. We are paying for unfettered gun access with parents standing in line for a DNA test, forced to find out if it was their precious child that was riddled with bullets, and may beyond recognition.

It is the phone call that every parent fears. The phone call that is a sucker punch to your stomach and across the country, the violence that took my son, the violence that took the little boys and girls in Uvalde and the Black seniors in Buffalo, it`s been replayed with casual callousness. Just absolutely over and over again.

HAYES: Congresswoman Lucy McBath who represents that district in Georgia and will be on the ballot this fall and co-sponsored a legislation, which is just sitting, waiting for the Senate to take it up.

Although, don`t cross your fingers too hard. Thank you so much, Congressman.

MCBATH: Thank you.

HAYES: Coming up, from refusing to allow Greg Abbott to continue with business as usual, the masses gathered outside the NRA meeting, the signs of some kind of break from the script of what the aftermath of these atrocities look like. Is it enough? That`s just ahead.



HAYES: There are so many levels of sorrow and despair and rage and frustration in the aftermath of an event like that mass murder in Uvalde Texas. I would say the first level is just profound sorrow and grief and anguish.

You know, for those who are just watching this, those who are not in the community, those at home like you, imagining what happened, imagining it happening to someone you love, like imagining it happened to your own child which is almost the body rebels against.


HAYES: Beyond that is the sense of how ritualized both the act of violence and the aftermath of the combat (PH), there are these steps you can script out that happened every single time, the grieving, the platitudes, even the ones I agree with, the empty promises and never again, all this in our own way, feeling pulled against our will inexorably into a form of collective social ritual that has developed and evolved around gun mass murder in the United States. This is what we all do.

There are also these moments of hope where people seem to be disrupting that script, disrupting the ritual, breaking the cycle.

You saw Texas Gubernatorial Candidate Beto O`Rourke interrupt Governor Greg Abbott`s ritualistic press conference incorrectly as it turns out, praising the police.

And you saw NBA Coach Steve Kerr, whose father was shot to death when Kerr was 18, refusing to talk about basketball ahead of his team`s game.


STEVE KERR, NBA COACH OF GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: In the last 10 days, we`ve had elderly black people killed in a supermarket in Buffalo. We`ve had Asian churchgoers killed in Southern California and now we have children murdered at school.

When are we going to do something? I`m tired. I`m so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there. I`m so tired of the excuse, but I`m sorry, I`m tired of the moments of silence. Enough.


HAYES: Now, Kerr is an outspoken and passionate advocate for justice. So, it wasn`t surprising to see him do that. But it was still intense. And it wasn`t just him though.

Before a Playoff game this week, the NBA`s Miami Heat did their part in the ritual, a moment of silence and then went beyond that and the crowd erupted.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We now ask you to join us in a moment of silence for those no longer with us.

Thank you, the Heater urges you to contact your state senators by calling 202-224-3121. To leave a message demanding their support for common sense gun laws. You can also make change at the ballot box visit to register and let your voice be heard this fall.


HAYES: You can hear from the crowd`s reaction how happy they were to hear their team take a stand on this issue.

And then, last night, the New York Yankees in the Tampa Bay Rays were playing a baseball game dedicated their Twitter feeds to gun safety during the game. Each team tweeting shocking facts like 58 percent of American adults or someone they care for have experienced gun violence, instead of giving score updates.

Today, of course hundreds of people protested at the big NRA convention Houston. Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg posted this video of the huge crowd writing this time it`s going to be different.

And all these felt like attempts to break the cycle to disrupt the grim and orderly procession of our civic rituals.

But again, we need more. We`re going to talk about that next.



HAYES: As a cycle of mass shootings in America grinds forward once again, there`s no obvious answer for how to stop it. Polling shows the majority of Americans favor legislation to curb gun violence but it seems unlikely that Republicans in the Senate will ever allow anything at all to pass, nevermind substantial.

In a new op-ed from the New York Times titled America may be broken beyond repair. Michelle Goldberg writes, "The real nightmare is not that the repetition of nihilist terrorism brings American politics to an inflection point, but that it doesn`t. The nightmares that we simply stumble on, helpless as things keep getting worse".

And as Andrew Exum points out in his latest article at The Atlantic titled: We need to learn to live with guns. "The most important thing to know about yesterday`s tragic school shooting in Texas that absolutely no laws are going to change as a result of it."

Michelle Goldberg and Andrew Exum have both joined me now.

Michelle, your column echoed I think a lot of the despair that a lot of us are feeling, and also, I think, just the despair of that one level above, so there`s the first order awfulness and then, the second order recognition of the cycle that we all now share.

And again, it is ritualistic. I feel like I`m part of the ritual, I don`t want to be part of the ritual, but we`re all part of it. And this sense of just claustrophobia of being locked in it. I don`t have a way out, but I just wanted to hear your thoughts.

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, COLUMNIST, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, I think that the reason that we`re stuck in this ritual is because we`re stuck in the sclerosis of American politics. That`s the thing that`s immovable.

So, as long as you can`t break the filibuster, as long as you can`t break the control of, you know, right-wingers on the Supreme Court who are about to strike, who seem poised, just kind of strike down gun restrictions in New York City that we have the even more guns and more gun violence.

As long as you basically can`t break the cycle of minority rule, which is what this really all comes down to. The fact that the majority, you know, there`s mixed pullings on guns in general, but on things like you know, background checks, red flag laws, bans on assault weapons, you have really substantial majorities that cannot enact to their will, because of this hostile minority and the hostile minority sees guns and sees sort of holding in reserves the threat of violence, and the threat of insurrection as key to their power. So they have no incentive to cooperate with Democrats.


HAYES: Yes, and Andrew, your piece, which is you know, just to give a little bit of your bio, you live in Texas now, you`re originally I believe from Tennessee, you served as an Army Ranger in Iraq.

You talk about guns and gun culture and conceptualizing of how to change it from within in a certain kind of way. How have you been thinking about this?

ANDREW EXUM, CONTRIBUTING WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: Yes, well, it`s really interesting, Chris. I mean, we just moved back from Texas after three years there back to Washington, D.C. And I literally just, you know, had to (AUDIO GAP) through my firearms with the Metropolitan Police, which was something that would have been completely foreign in Texas.

I have to say, I didn`t feel like my Second Amendment rights were compromised too much. The Metropolitan Police was tremendously professional throughout the whole process.

But you know, I think the real issue, Chris, about this for, I think we`ve got to have a cultural change. I think that you know, as Michelle put it, the chance of legal, any type of laws changing are probably pretty nil.

But frankly, I`ve seen the gun culture in America really changed and evolved since I grew up. When I came back from war, from you know, Iraq and Afghanistan, I started to see all these folks who wanted to dress like special operators and carry tactical weapons and you know, take them to the range.

I was at Bass Pro Shops on Monday trying to buy ammunition for my kind of go to deer rifle and couldn`t find any. I could find ammunition, it was 45x5.56 (PH) NATO for nine millimeter for the types of weapons that you know, are semi-automatic pistols and for semi-automatic assault rifles. That`s what the demand stands. We`ve got, -- we`ve got to recapture something that looks a little healthier.

Frankly, I`d like to see these types of weapons a little more stigmatized than they are today and to the degree that these tragedies help hasten that stigmatization, that`d be a good thing.

HAYES: Yes, I mean, the problem is it has the opposite effect. And you know, empirically it is essentially served as advertisements for the -- for these weapons, which is just to ghoulish to contemplate.

But Andrew, to your point, I mean, I`ve been thinking about these sort of different layers, right? So, there`s the first layer which is recreation, right?

So, like, the gun is like -- it`s like a -- you know, it`s like a tennis racket or ATV or a million other different things people like to do. And I don`t even think honestly like, even the people who are the most kind of gun skeptical. I mean, maybe they think it`s weird, but it`s like fine, all right? You know, and I think there`s people who are animal rights people who don`t like hunting.

But again, and then there`s one level above that Michelle, which is OK, you`re defending your home, or you live -- you live in the woods where you got animals, you want to be worried about self-defense.

But it`s that -- it`s that third level, that`s the thing, that`s like so toxic I think. And you just mentioned it, Michelle. And you mentioned it Andrew and way of the like, the war cost play, the Civil War beat back the tyrants, the tactical obsession, the explicit idea that you now see Michelle from politicians, that essentially the Second Amendment was the founders ceding their own monopoly on legitimate use of force. The notion that what they gave away their monopoly, which is, of course preposterous, but is now Michelle, like mainstream conservative view.

GOLDBERG: Right. And there`s this sort of menace running beneath or not even that far beneath the modern conservative movement in the modern Republican Party.

There is an ad I mentioned in the column by Blake masters, who`s a Peter Thiel funded candidate for Republican -- for the Republican nomination for Senate in Arizona, where he`s holding this semi-automatic, I think it`s called a honey badger and saying, you know, this isn`t for hunting, this is to kill people.

And he doesn`t mean that as an argument against the gun, he means is it as an argument for the gun saying that we need guns like this to protect our country.

And what he means by that, I think is a sort of, again, it seems to me like a very subtle or implicit threat of insurrection, if there`s a government that he or Republicans consider tyrannical.

HAYES: Also, I mean, just final thought here Andrew, you`ve seen -- you`ve been in war and people that have been around what guns do I think, whatever their view on the weapon is, come away with an understanding of that, that I think is lost sometimes in this like, fetishization like, culture that`s built up around it.

EXUM: I really feel like I`m, you know, pushing against the tide here with you know, I`ve got three young kids, and I`m trying to, you know, introduce them to something that`s healthy in terms of, you know, hunting and shooting sports. They see daddy go up and you know, go shoot sporting clays, and skeet and whatnot.


EXUM: And I want them to see that. I want them to see some sort of healthy. If they want to join the military, then they can do that as well. I did when I was -- when I was a young man. But I just don`t want them to be, you know, captive to what I see is just this really toxic, ugly culture.

HAYES: Yes, well, that was a great discussion in an awful week. So, I really appreciate both you, Michelle Goldberg and Andrew Exum. Thank you both, really appreciate it.

That is ALL IN on this Friday night. "MSNBC PRIME" starts now with Ayman Mohyeldin. Good evening, Ayman.