Tonight, one month after the Newtown shooting, Anderson Cooper anchored AC360° from Connecticut and spoke to Mark Kelly about seeking changes to gun laws. Kelly says that he wants “responsible, common sense changes to gun violence laws” which include background checks, mental health issues and access to assault weapons.
One month after the tragic shooting in Newtown, CT "Piers Morgan Tonight" welcomed NRA consultant, Asa Hutchinson to the program. Tonight, he detailed some of the reasons behind the current NRA initiative to arm guards outside of America's educational institutions:
"My job is to come up with some good solutions to help our school districts and our states, to look at this. When the President comes out with his proposals, I do hope that he provides a federal partnership for providing funds for training of the armed presence in the schools to help our local school districts," said the former under-secretary of Homeland Security. "Right now, virtually every school district in America is looking at better ways to assure the safety of their children."
Noting that he can understand why many people would find the NRA's plan to seem sensible, Piers Morgan did express concern that weapons would send the wrong message, and create the wrong environment, for students and their communities:
"There is a fear that if you start loading up firearms around schoolchildren, all over America, what you're basically doing is militarizing schools. Where do you stop? You have to militarize almost everywhere that children may be, and that is everywhere," theorized Morgan. "So America becomes this kind of paramilitary country."
Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai, spoke exclusively with Christiane Amanpour in Washington, DC, during his visit to the United States, and following his afternoon press conference with U.S. President Barack Obama.
The wide-ranging interview covered topics including the drawdown of U.S. troops, military equipment requests by Afghanistan to the U.S., and the immunity request by the U.S. before committing security forces to reinforce the military transition beyond 2014. The 30-minute interview will air in its entirety on CNN International during the Monday, Jan. 14th edition of Amanpour.
Specifically on the topic of the status of forces agreement for the immunity of U.S. military personnel who would remain in Afghanistan after 2014, President Karzai suggested that he would be able to convince the Afghan people that this is necessary. The following is an excerpt from the interview:
AMANPOUR: Are you ready to agree to immunity for U.S. forces? The president, in his press conference with you, made it very clear, no immunity, no U.S. troops.
KARZAI: Yes, we discussed this in detail today. We have discussed it on other occasions previously. Afghanistan sovereignty, as you referred to earlier, is for us the, you know, untouchable. That cannot be compromised. That cannot be touched.
And that's the reason at times we were so intensely at loggerheads with the U.S. government, civilian casualties and questions of our sovereignty, or interference or lack of full respect to that sovereignty.
Within the context of sovereignty of Afghanistan and the laws of Afghanistan, and with a broader security umbrella that the presence of the United States and Afghanistan and our other allies provides to us, I can go to the Afghan people and tell them that, well, if we are to ask for a U.S. presence in Afghanistan for that broader security and stability, there are things that they want in return.
And immunity is the principle thing that they want. So I will argue for it. And, I can tell you with relatively good confidence that they will say, all right, let's do it.
AMANPOUR: So you just made a bit of news. You believe there will be immunity if you're satisfied that your sovereignty is respected?
KARZAI: If I'm satisfied, if the Afghan people are satisfied, surely they will consider it favorably.
AMANPOUR: And you think that that's a likelihood?
KARZAI: It is quite a likelihood.
The full transcript of this program may be found here. This edition of Amanpour will air on Monday, Jan. 14 on CNN International at 3:00pmET in the North America. In Europe, Amanpour airs on CNN International at 21:00 CET.
CNN's Ali Velshi (@alivelshi) explains the how the debt ceiling works, and why we can't afford another Congressional stand-off.