Bennett: NRA focused on bump stocks to avoid 'very large argument' over gun control

The Powerhouse Roundtable discusses possible gun control legislation and more domestic policy issues.
6:44 | 10/08/17

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Transcript for Bennett: NRA focused on bump stocks to avoid 'very large argument' over gun control
Good afternoon. On my orders the United States military has begun strikes against Al Qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the Italian regime in Afghanistan. President George W. Bush 16 years ago this weekend, the start of America's longest war. It's just extraordinary. Susan, to think back at how long we've been there and that we're now putting in about 3500 more U.S. Troops beginning the 17th. We'll have about 14,000. Will it make a difference. It's amazing. I read a story I wrote in September of 2001 quoting soviet generals who said it's easy to go to war in Afghanistan and it's really hard to leave. You know, I think of the soldiers and Marines who are headed over there who were toddlers when 9/11 happened. Yeah, soldiers now having children older than -- I mean older than the war. Do you think it will make a difference, those troops. None. It's not going to make any difference at all. At that point in time, every other empire, British, soviet empire, Alexander the great, you have to pull out because it's not going to work. Okay, and I want to turn back to more domestic issues here, Jeanne. You heard the very civil gun debate we had between the two members of congress but do you think there will be any legislation especially about those bump stock -- actually the NRA said they believe the device is designed to allow semiautomatic rifles to function like fully automatic Rives should be subject to additional regulations so is that a sign they'll do something. It is a sign that they want to do something. The trouble is if you look at the regulations, they have -- the ATF cannot do it by itself and they'll have to move a bill if they want to do it properly and once you put a piece of gun legislation on the senate floor, strange things can happen. So I mean I think the NRA wants it to be regulation because there's a piece of paper. They can help write the sentence. They can keep it really, really narrow but if you talk to the ATF, they told us that this is not an area in which they have the authority to regulate. They need congress to give them that authority, that means legislation. And, geoff, if there is something that happens, if there is a change, is it really that much different because the fully automatic -- it's the same regulations as you would have fully automatic weapons. That's right. I think most people didn't even know these exist issued. A week ago they didn't and gun enthusiasts didn't know. It's considered to be a novelty item. The NRA would rather have it be a conversation about this specific thing than have a very large argument about the gun control debate and the GOP is really caught in this position of, you know, sort of instinctively trying to defend gun rights then being seen as doing nothing in the wake of what was the worst national -- Is it hard story get gun restrictions after this shooting because he bought all those guns legally for those who want to have restrictions. I don't know what it's going to take for us to finally do something. After all of these thing, sandy hook, this, what happened in Orlando, all of these things, I own three rifles and two shotgun, I live this Texas. I'm a reasonable hopefully reasonably responsible gun owner and most reasonable responsible gun owners think something should be done. Here are two facts I think people ought to realize. In the last 50 years more than people have died from guns than died in all the wars in all the battles that the United States has been in since the revolution. More Americans have been killed in the last 50 years than died in all those battles. Second, more Americans were killed in Las Vegas in that shooting than have died from radical islamic terrorism in the United States in the last ten years. Saw that statistic. The talking is done, the problem is we have to at least start to do something because if we do nothing this is going to continue. And, of course, we had Pierre reporting earlier about mental health issues. I want to move on to the birth control issue and the trump administration announced Friday it's rolling back the mandate for health insurance to cover birth control, allowing employers to opt out based on their religious belief. Where does this Stephanopoulos, Susan? You know, look, I think what you see is this is a way of once again focusing like a laser on what trump perceives to be the political base that brought him to power and, you know, they are not taking a let's make a deal whether it's on gun control or birth control. Or transgender people. Absolutely. The strategy is very clear. It's to focus on 2020 in a way even more than 2018 to focus on the president and who brung him. You also see they have appointed a very conservative executive branch government so trump might not have his own sort of cadre of trumpians to come into power which is why we see fights ins inside the white house, right but there is a very clear group of people who have come and to different executive agencies of the trump administration and they are systemically you know rolling back policies they disagreed with fervently of president Obama. I think it's not going to change the minds of almost anybody, right, but it might be something that earns trump a little bit more goodwill with his voters that he's going to need. That's right and one of the reasons why, though, Democrats don't view as credible president trump's overtures to chuck Schumer to find some sort of bipartisan approach to fixing health care because of the way they view the trump administration as, you know, vandalizing and sabotaging the affordable care act. One of the things they point to. Ludicrous. We will decrease access to birth control but not to guns in our country and to me the argument if you want to lessen abortion in the country which many of the religious community does, increasing -- decreasing the ability of women to get birth control is only going to make that worse. Want to go back to the hill and the Russia investigation. It was a year ago that the intelligence community said that Russia interfered with the elections. We're learningore and more about this. The Facebook ads. Where are we with this? We're starting to get at least on the hill we're starting to get into the thick of it, where they're bringing in primary players now to do some public hearings as well as behind the scenes and, of course, Mueller is hard at work. The focus now is on what happened on social media and how did they try to influence votes and we're learning so much about the Russian ads that were bought that echoed some of the trump campaign themes and they were in the same neighborhoods and precincts that the trump campaign needed to win.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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