What Bill de Blasio would do to counter rise of white supremacy and deadly violence

What Bill de Blasio would do to counter rise of white supremacy and deadly violence


Now we hear from another Democratic presidential
candidate. Bill de Blasio is mayor of New York City. He runs the largest police force in America. Mayor de Blasio, thank you for being here. BILL DE BLASIO (D), Presidential Candidate:
Thank you very much, Judy. JUDY WOODRUFF: You do run a large city that
has its own share and history of gun violence. BILL DE BLASIO: Yes. JUDY WOODRUFF: How do you look on what has
happened over this past weekend? BILL DE BLASIO: I think it’s a tragedy that
doesn’t have to be in America. I think this happened for a reason. It’s the proliferation of weapons and the
ease with which people can get them. And now it is this additional horrible reality
of white supremacy growing in this country, this movement of white supremacy growing,
aided and abetted by messages from the White House. We have to understand, this wasn’t the case
20 years ago. We have seen these mass shootings become more
and more common, and on top of it now more often coming with a political agenda. We saw that with the Tree of Life Synagogue
in Pittsburgh. We saw that in Poway, California, now El Paso. We have to understand something’s changed. And I think we have to confront it two ways. One, Congress needs to come back and pass
some commonsense gun laws, background checks, the basics, a waiting period before you get
a gun, get rid of assault weapons. But, second, we need leadership that’s actually
going to unify us and not tear us apart. JUDY WOODRUFF: You say background checks need
to be tightened. BILL DE BLASIO: Yes. JUDY WOODRUFF: Your city has some of — and
state of New York… BILL DE BLASIO: Yes. JUDY WOODRUFF: … has some of the strictest
gun laws in America. And yet you still have your share of violence. Critics say you go to the places with strict
gun laws, they still have violence. Don’t they have a point? BILL DE BLASIO: I’m going to contest that,
Judy, with this point. We are now, New York City, safest big city
in America. We had under 300 homicides for a city of 8.6
million people and the most diverse place on Earth, people in one of the smallest — crammed
together in one of the smallest geographies you could imagine for 8.6 million people. And yet we have created some more mutual respect. We have created a stronger social fabric. And our police are working more closely with
communities. The result? Gun violence continues to go down. Crime continues to go down. So I actually would argue we have got some
proof that those strong gun safety laws correlate to reduced violence. JUDY WOODRUFF: You had in New York City, in
the Brooklyn neighborhood of Brownsville the weekend before this a shooting, and one person
dead, 11 wounded. BILL DE BLASIO: Yes. JUDY WOODRUFF: You waited several days before
you called that a mass shooting. BILL DE BLASIO: Yes. JUDY WOODRUFF: Why? BILL DE BLASIO: Judy, I have since said I
understand why people of the community wanted to make sure that somehow there was not a
different value given to one of these tragedies in one kind of community vs. another kind
of community. JUDY WOODRUFF: What do you mean by that? BILL DE BLASIO: Meaning I think the fear in
the Brownsville community — first of all, I went out there the next morning. And folks were first and foremost concerned
that the whole community not be painted negatively because of the acts of a very few. We don’t know all the facts yet, but they
appear to be members of a local gang. I didn’t want to in any way add to the negative
impression that people were worried about. On the other hand, some voices came forward
and said, we don’t want to be undervalued. We don’t want that — a shooting that affects
black lives to be seen as less important than some of the other shootings, for example,
on some of the college campuses. And I heard that point, and I recognized it. And I said, that’s fair. I will refer to it as a mass shooting. Even if the — even if the motive may have
been different, even though the specifics may have been different, I understood why
people thought that was important. JUDY WOODRUFF: Another issue in all of this,
of course, New York City has been the site of the worst international terrorist event
ever, 9/11. BILL DE BLASIO: Yes. Yes. JUDY WOODRUFF: Do you think there’s been too
much emphasis placed on international terrorism, and not enough on domestic? BILL DE BLASIO: I think it’s time to reassess,
because, for years, there was a valid concern about international terrorism, obviously after
9/11. But even when I first came into office, we
were still seeing a lot more activity by terrorists directed at major locations in the west. Thank God that has been reduced in recent
years for a variety of reasons. But what is coming up is this domestic terrorism. It’s unmistakable. This is the threat we need to focus on more
and more. JUDY WOODRUFF: Mayor Bill de Blasio of New
York City, thank you. BILL DE BLASIO: Thank you, Judy.

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