Mayor Pedro Segarra on 'This Week'

The Hartford mayor and ABC News' Pierre Thomas discuss the Newtown shooting.
5:38 | 12/16/12

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Transcript for Mayor Pedro Segarra on 'This Week'
And we are back at newtown middle school for the special edition of "this week" and joined by our chief justice correspondent pierre thomas and mayor segarra. We want to talk more about the law enforcement aspects of this, and, pierre, four months ago, august, coming out of aurora, you said we would be here again. All too soon. Didn't mean to be prophetic but these are the facts. In this country we have a love affair with guns. They are sold commercially. In fact, the fbi did background checks on black friday to sunday, the friday after thanksgiving, and there were 154,000 gun checks on that day alone. And, in fact, in november for the month of november, americans attempted to buy 2 million guns, so what that means is that people who are heading to the dark side, if you will, have easy access to weapons easy access to weapons and this ia a complicated situation. The guns are everywhere. What people will point out is in this case the shooter didn't have to go buy a gun. They were right there in the home. We have information that the mom or the family had at least five weapons readily available and assault-style rifles are bought and sold in this country like handguns, and the particular weapon we believe was used in this crime has the capacity, the assault-style rifle of this weapon, typically can fire and also can hold up to 100 or more rounds and can fire those bullets within seconds. You've made the point, the volume of the gun sales means the -- we're beyond the point of no return. There are so many guns out there right now in the united states. To use the cliche, the genie is out of the bottle. 200 million guns plus in circulation. If you stop selling them today they are not biodegradable. They're not going anywhere. You would have to figure out how to remove them from the streets. That would be very difficult. You have worked on that in the city of hartford. Mayor, you've had some success buying those guns back. We did. We had a gun buyback program a couple of weeks ago. We're a small city of 125,000. In less than three hours, almost one weapon per minute was turned in, so there is a desire on behalf of the community to turn these weapons back in, although I don't know how much of those efforts could lead to preventing something similar from happening to what happened in newtown, but there is a need to have some focus on using a systems approach because there are different systems that come in play here in terms of mental health systems, but we have been effective and just also by working through our shooting task force and other programs we've had to try to limit the number of shootings, but this is call, a wake-up call in addition to the things happening and if this crisis, this hore fink incident does not send a message that some stronger and immediate action needs to happen in our country, I don't know what will. You joined a coalition of mayors who have called for more action. President obama said it's time on friday for meaningful action. What specifically would you like to see? First of all, I think that as soon as we get through this process of trying to get our or help our community, have have mayor bloomberg and our conference chair from philadelphia, mayor nutter, come together. I mean we are -- we're the closest. The towns and cities are the closest to having deal with the effects of this violence, so it should be incumbent upon us to solidify ourselves, to be a pore powerful voice, to beore power than we've ever been to come together with a ban on assault weapons to make sure we put the pressure on and really meet the challenge of how do you balance -- what we're asking for is some balance. We do recognize our constitutional right to bear arms, but I think that this has gone to a point now to afford some people with the ability of conducting these mass exterminations is just not what -- this has struck home for you personally. Your father and two friends, the victims of gun violence. My father was killed when i was a year old. I never got to meet him. I never got to know what it is to have a father, so this hits very close, and I ended up in connecticut where I lived in the south bronx where my two closest friends were killed as children through guns. I feel strongly about it and emotionally vested, but i recognize it'll have to take a group of very dedicated people to working together because we eed to tap different social systems. I worked as a psychotherapist. When you get people that are distraught into a clinical study, it doesn't take very long to find out that there is a problem. The issue becomes how do we reach out in a way that eliminates the potential for these folks to to do this damage by having a wider net. Mayor segarra and pierre thomas, thanks very much. Much more of our special edition of "this week" ahead.

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

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