Capitol View: Stopping Gun Violence
In downtown little rock, this is capitol view with your host jesi turnure.
>> good sunday morning.
I'm bob clausen in for jesi a lot of things we're going to get to.
The gun debate continues now two weeks after the tragedy in las vegas.
We'll get to that with our panel.
Also, we'll discuss potential republican primary challenger for governor hutchinson.
We begin, though, right here in the capitol city.
The 2018 race for mayor will likely be one of the most interesting campaigns in the state of arkansas.
Mayor mark stodola expected to face multiple challenges.
Joining us this morning, the latest exploring a candidacy.
Frank scott, jr. >> thank you.
>> i want to get you a little bit of background right now for folks that don't know you.
Currently, you're a banker.
You were a highway commissioner.
You served as the aide to former governor to mike beebe and now you say it's time for new leadership in the city of little rock.
Tell us where you're coming out of the gate.
>> well, being a product of little rock public schools, born and raised and still residing in southwest little rock i've been placed to ever unique experiences.
City, the good, bad, and the ugly.
So one of the main reasons why i'm exploring a run for mayor is to figure out and show leadership, bold leadership and vision to move from being disconnected to connected to move from economic disempowerment to economic empowerment and to move from a lack of injustice or more an lost injustice and move that to justice for all.
So by more than less, just making sure we become more unified and experience a lot of growth, business growth in our city to make certain we reach our full potential.
>> on the front burner for i think anyone who takes that position, or heads into this, the debates that will follow, there's going to be violence.
This has been a very touch summer or tough year for the city of little rock, and we're trying to figure out what we can.
Do we've seen something slow down in recent months.
That's the good news.
But the violence issue is there.
What can we do to help or continue, i guess you could say, the downturn that we're seeing right now?
>> from my perspective, our violence and our creep issues, it's merely a symptom and it's not a disease.
I think we're starting to see these symptoms creep up, mainly because we haven't done a great job of addressing a lot of the root cause of our issues.
Mainly would be educational achievement, diversity in the marketplace, economic opportunity and things of that nature.
One thing we called the economy to bring the violence down in fighting crime.
We've seen a lot of over time programs put into police officers.
This certainly has helped in certain high risk areas.
Economically, how do you do that?
How do you keep that up?
How does the police department keep that up and also maintain a low primary if it.
>> roughly right now we have about seventy to eighty say chance these our little rock police department force that's clearly a hole in the boat.
We need to make certain that we look at our budget and figure out the priorities of our current budget and make sure we fill this hole.
Witness we fill the hole, we made to make a correct plan to do great recruiting practices, preferably recruiting practices that helps people from our community come to our community and make certain they understand our community, police our community effectively.
Once we fill that hole in the boat, which that is a clear priority, make sure we an stress these crime issues.
I think we can start moving towards more of a plan ever of action.
Recently in the last couple of days, there was a hip-hop concert canceled here because of fears of violence and it was kind of a more or less a controversial decision by the mayor, but he felt it was the best thing to do in the interest of public safety.
And you will bring a different perspective.
The city of little rock hasn't seen a black mayor in some 30 years.
Right now you're the only black candidate.
>> i'm a candidate.
>> what is your perspective on that decision?
And also the perspective that you will bring to the leadership of little rock?
>> i think clearly coming from where i come from and seeing the things i've seen growing up, i have a unique perspective.
I'm the guy that can be seen at a concert like muddy bad gills.
I wouldn't go to that, but i went to the school at university of memphis and i know who yo academy is and he helped get a part of the process.
This morning i received phone calls not only from folks who may have been applauding the mayor for that particular action but also phone calls who actually had anger toward the unfairness of that action and maybe a lack of consistency.
And so the reason why i'm running is because we have to have more wide and inspired vision of how we interact within our city, because right now we are disconnected, and we have to figure out how we have this bridge to build one another to figure out how we coexist with one another to make certain we grow together just on growing together centers around education in the city of little rock.
This is in the little rock school district under state control for the past few years.
Naturally a lot of folks would like to see it go back to local control.
Your thoughts on trying to get that happening?
>> we need local control right now.
>> and what would be the guiding force for that?
Did the state control do anything for the district?
And has it finished its job?
>> i think the state control from a community perspective, from what i understand, being part of the community, is the state control has created more divisive innocence our community, and so we need to be represented by our community.
>> and in the community, too, i had the opportunity, often get the opportunity to talk to folks in one neighborhood or another.
Did a series of stories on crime and crime in certain areas of little rock.
One big thing they would always say are get us the jobs.
Get these kids some jobs.
Get these kids some things to do to keep them busy.
What can be done as far as whether it's economic opportunity or bringing other industry or corporation into the city of little rock?
>> i think you're right.
One thing we have to understand, again, crime is a symptom of us not addressing some root causes as it relates to our educational achievement, as it relates to economic opportunities.
The table that i sit in, crime is not the first priority people are thinking about.
The first priority is they want to have more jobs.
They want a diversity of jobs.
They want to see jobs come to little rock.
So the mayor needs to be the chief growth officer for the city of little rock.
He or she, whoever it is, needs to make certain that's their top priority, that they are driving business development.
We love arkansas economic business development commission.
We love the little rock chamber.
The mayor needs to wake up every day being the chief growth officer, sitting with entrepreneurs who locate here and figure out how they can tap into their network and bring their network to little rock, because it's a great place with a lot of great potential.
>> when you talk about potential in the city of little rock, and we talked about this earlier, there seemed to have been a shift somewhere along the line where all development and divestment was going out west and the southwest was left behind.
>> this some would say the west end was left behind.
Others the east end.
We have to make certain we're investing in other corner of the city to make certain we unite win another so we can realize our potential.
>> all right.
Mr.scott, thank you very much for your time this morning.
No doubt you will be back.
>> i appreciate you.
>> all right.
>> thank you.
>> still ahead this morning, a lot to talk about after the break.
Recent controversy it these las vegas and lubbock reignite the debate over guns and gun control and gun rights.
All of this.
We're going to campaign the evolving attitudes on firearms and whether these incidents change anything at all.
You're watching capitol view on this sunday morning.
Iew, sunday morning talk, focused on the political scene in arkansas.
>> and welcome back to capitol view on this sunday morning.
It is a cycle that is all too familiar for this country, a mass shooting leaves several people dead, a nation mourns and asks why and begins debating whether national gun laws could have stopped in the beginning.
Here in arkansas the changes we've seen lately haven't been named to strict gun rights, but rather expended.
Joining to us discuss that from fayetteville, chief representative charlie collins and max brantley from the arkansas times.
Gentlemen, thank you both for taking time out to delve into this.
And it is a topic that i guess you could say we could spend all day on.
We have a lot more questions, though, when it comes to what happened in las vegas than we do answers out there.
Safe to say, though, this is a man who probably shouldn't have hands on a weapon.
Charlie, you're about as big a second amendment guy as there is out there and we've seen nra start to talk about this, at least regulating these bump stocks, not guns, but now accessories.
Do you see that as a reasonable compromise from yourrspective?
>> well, i think the first thing, of course, is our hearts are with all of the folks that lost loved ones and are going through the process of not only grieving, but also recovering in the hospital.
So these tragedies always involve real people.
For the next step standpoint, i think there are several things we can do.
This piece about bump stocks, something that makes a weapon operate as if it were an automatic weapon, to me ought to be regulated similarly to how an automatic weapon is regulated.
So whatever is required in order to be able to purchase an automatic weapon, if they adjusted the regulation so that was true for bump stops, that would make sense to me.
But i think there are other things we can do, and i think here in arkansas we've actually started paving a path forward.
Won't solve the problem, but i think it at least helps.
Charlie didn't go far enough on just what we snead to do about bump stocks.
The nra has already declared it's against legislation to outlaw them.
They said we can deal with this in the regular tory process.
We can't of the atf says it regulates firearms, not accessories.
The fra says legislation has been filed and is unacceptable, because in addition to the bump stocks, it covers some other accessories that allow to you fire semi-automatic weapon a little bit faster.
Fact is the nra is not going to allow legislation passed that places any sort of restrictions on firearms. >> you know, we're talking about that, max.
We have a republican in the white house right now, republican congress.
After sandy hook, president obama tried to get things through.
Could not get that done.
So i guess you're saying right now that-- we talked about this briefly and it was a very brief conversation before going to air that any kind of legislation you said would be-- >> i think right now, the balance of power is with the gun lobby.
And not necessarily with the people if you believe public opinion polling.
I'm interested to hear more about what representative collins has to say, because it sounds like his solution for gun problems is more guns.
>> well, i think it's not just the gun as an inanimate object.
It has to allot to do with the intent.
Person carrying weapon.
I think we did three things in arkansas that are moving us in the right direction.
One of them was dramatically expanding our concealed carry law so that good guys and good gals with a gun and get additional training will be able to go into sensitive areas.
These rampage killers, and i think the profile is starting to fit pretty tightly around this las vegas murderer, that type of a killer is looking to be able to control his surroundings for a limited period of time so that he can murder a lot of people and if he could be interdicted by a good guy or a good gal with a gun, that's something that can help deter some of these murders, in my opinion.
Certainly i think that will help us on college campuses or other things in arkansas.
A second thing we did in the arkansas legislature this past session and prior sessions was restrict from an.
Foi perspective the ability of crazies and terrorists and others who might harm us to be able to get the security plans for places like our water sources, for example.
I passed a permanent foi exemption on security plans for water sources back in 2011.
I think the third thing that we really started moving forward on in arkansas that will helpful is making it clear that if you're going to be a murderer and you get a capital punishment sentence that that sentence is going to be carried out and governor hutchinson has demonstrated that we're back on track with that here in arkansas and i think that's something else that can help deter some of these crazies.
Not all of them, but some of the people that would murder our loved ones from it doing it.
>> charlie, i want to really quickly mention something that happened in the past week.
We saw a tragedy on the campus of texas tech university.
A student shot and killed a police officer inside the campus police department.
The student couldn't legally have a gun on that buts.
Even in texas.
It brings to bear the question we were talking about earlier, carrying on campuses in the state of arkansas.
You obviously feel very strongly about allowing licensed and trained gun owners to carry on campuses.
Does that incident in lubbock concern new terms of getting people who shouldn't have guns the idea that they're free to carry them wherever they are?
Wherever they'd like to?
>> i don't think so.
This individual had committed multiple crimes.
In fact, he was in the police station because they were booking him on a drug crime.
And apparently it wasn't his first.
Obviously, a complete tragedy that he would pull out a weapon and so-called out of the blue shoot a police officer in the head.
It's just sickening.
I don't think that's the rampage killer profile that my bill will really help deter.
This seems like a disturbed young man who acted in a spontaneous fashion.
It's a tragedy, nonetheless, but i don't believe my bill is going to deter that as much.
I also don't think that my bill or concealed carry in texas is really what's on that individual's mind.
He's got his own things going on with drugs and other problems and it's just a tragedy all the way around, and i feel terrible for the police in texas tech and the family of the officer who was slain.
>> max, the debate is still fairly fresh in arkansas.
We saw representative collins' bill make it through the finish line.
We'll have debate from many of his colleagues.
Once this policy takes effect and the controversy dies down, do you think it's just going to be standard operating procedure?
>> i don't think much is going to change.
I think people who are going to bring guns onto campus will continue to bring them on campus.
I think over the great span of time, perhaps not even in my lifetime, i hope not, somebody is going to presume criminal activity by somebody who has a concealed carry permit and fire a gun and unintended consequences going to happen.
You know, i'm glad they kept guns out of the area that was fired on in las vegas.
I believe they had metal detectors to prevent it because of about 500 good guys with guns had started firing in the direction where that gunfire was coming from in the hotel, who knows what the additional problems would have been?
I don't think that would have been a solution in that circumstance.
And speaking of deterrent, this guy was a good guy.
He was a law abiding citizen.
There was nothing in his record.
He bought umpteen semi-automatic weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition and explosives, tenerife, and nobody thought to say a thing about it, because he was just a kindly old gentleman.
A little gruff perhaps, but a killer.
>> more with our panel when we come back, including their thoughts on a possible gop primary challenge in 2018 governors race.
You're watching capitol view on sunday morning.
View, focused on the political talk in arkansas.
>> welcome back to capitol view.
Real quick we want to pump back up to northwest arkansas.
You wanted to respond real quick to something max was talking about?
I think max with his actually making a great point about how difficult it is when these crazy rampage killer profile types plan and plot their approach.
So in las vegas, the individual obviously felt like in order to attack this crowd, he couldn't do it from within the crowd because there were obviously going to be off duty law enforcement officers and who knows how many others that might have a handgun with them.
So unlikely that he'd be able to control the situation.
Certainly not get to the kind of murder totals he obviously had some mind.
My hypothesis is, like so many of these other crazy killers, he was trying to beat the previous record, which was 49 death in orlando in 2016.
So his elaborate plan to fire from the hotel windows, it just is sick how they go about this.
The other point that max made i think is also salient, which is most of these rampage killers do not have a history of jail time.
They don't have a history of mental illness or any of those things that is outside of normal.
So there is a no real signals to identify them ahead of time.
And since they don't operate spontaneously, but rather plot and plan to control their surroundings, it makes it so, so difficult to stop them.
That's why i think deterrents, by being able to surprise interdict is one thing that can help make some of them at least say, i'm not going to kill innocents on an arkansas college campus today.
>> a lot to talk about when it comes to gun control, but i want to move on real quick.
We've heard talk for a while now.
It's close to official that jan morgan, hot springs gun range owner and cable news contributor is gearing up for a run for governor in the republican primary.
This is someone who is blistering for asa hutchinson of she's calling him a liberal on just about every issue from guns to tax to his social issues.
Do you see it that way and how do you feel about seeing a challenge to governor hutchinson from the right?
>> well, i think one of the beautiful things about the united states of america is the ability for anybody that thinks they've got great ideas to throw his or her hat in the ring and run for office.
So that's a beautiful thing about our country.
I think asa hutchinson is doing a fantastic job.
He is a strong leader.
He's a strong conservative.
I'm staunchly behind him and will do everything i can to help him get re-elected, because i think he's doing the right things for the people of arkansas, from reducing taxes, slowing regulations, managing spending in a positive direction, and also other things along the way.
So i'm 100% for the governor.
>> max's challenge may have been, as i say, brushed off.
>> as i say, asa hutchinson is no liberal.
I do think this primary of jan morgan makes-- one might give us a read for just how crazy the republican primary voter is.
That's a bad word to use.
Arkansas clearly has trended red.
It's a republican state reflexively now.
But is it an alabama where you can elect somebody who is really on the far fringe against somebody who enjoyed donald trump's endorsement?
I don't think so.
I'm not much of an admirer of the politics of bart hester in charlie's neck of the woods.
And he's very conservative.
He, i think, is sympathetic with a lot of things that jan morgan has said.
He said she puts together a really great campaign and raises a lot of money and gets a lot of exposure, she might get 17% of the vote.
>> you would think, too, maybe a year ago, two years ago, something like this, a challenge from the far right's republican governor would have been probably knot best of your recollection to say that you might get that kind of recognition, i mean, given something like donald trump in there.
And there is an element in the republican party in arkansas that there's a division, and that's good.
I mean, when you have some differences in the party and there's an extremely conservative element and it's reflected, particularly in the arkansas certainat that time and on some of these issues there are differences.
>> charlie, you said solidly a trump support are without a doubt.
Is it fair to say many of your party, including governor, have a strained relationship with the president, getting back to the president, even morgan, if morgan doesn't win?
Do you see races like this as a sign of things to come in the republican party?
>> a couple things.
First of all, my point was i'm 100% hutchinson supporter with regard to the fact that as the republican party has become so widespread in arkansas, is it natural to expect multiple candidates in the republican primary?
I think that's going to become more and more normal.
Just like in the old days, whoever won it is democrat primary was likely to be the elected person.
One of the things, though, that i think we need to keep our eye on in comparison to the alabama senate primary that just happened, judge moore was perhaps the most well-known non-senator in his state of any non-senator that's running for office in this cycle or, you know, in coming years.
So he's been well covered.
He's done a lot of things to get a lot of news coverage and tv coverage over the years.
So i haven't heard a lot of pundits talk about the fact that he had extraordinary name recognition compared to a relative newcomer, who had been appointed to the seat, luther strange.
So i just think that that was a much more of a factor in that race than people are talking about.
In arkansas, i think governor hutchinson is the one with incredible name recognition.
His family, his brother before him won statewide races.
The governor himself has run statewide races.
So from a name recognition perspective, this race would be nothing like the alabama race.
>> that's a good point.
But i want to say that roy moore's name recognition cut both ways.
He also-- in some states it would have been a tremendous negative.
He was removed from office twice for refusing to follow the rule of law and he defended keeping a segregation amendment in the alabama constitution.
And some places, that would be a bad thing.
In alabama, apparently not.
>> i think judge moore is most well-known for the ten commandments in both arkansas and alabama.
That's a good thing to be associated with.
>> well, not when it's put up there in contradiction of federal court ruling, however.
>> gentleman, we have to leave it there, i want to thank you both for joining us, northwest arkansas and here in little rock.
Next time we'll get you both in the same room, or maybe not.
At any rate, we'll be back to wrap things up.
You're watching capitol view on this sunday morning.
>> you're watching capitol view, sunday morning talk focused on the political theme in arkansas.
>> always goes by quick.
That's it for today's show.
We want to hear your thoughts on all the issues we discussed during capitol view, among the many other things that are affecting our state.
Using the hashtag my capitol view on twitter facebook after the show.
So we can continue our conversation together.
We're back with an all new capitol view next week.
Certainly hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend.