Last week we reported on the tragic story of a nine-year-old girl who accidentally killed her firearms instructor while learning to shoot an Uzi. It started a national debate over how young is too young to fire such heavy weaponry. Gary Tuchman visited the Okeechobee Shooting Sports range in Florida, where the owner said he has seen four and five-year-olds shoot better than some adults.
Anderson Cooper talks to Erica Lafferty, daughter of slain Sandy Hook Elementary School Principal Dawn Hochsprung, about why she drove hours to confront Senator Kelly Ayotte yesterday. The Congresswoman voted against the bipartisan gun control bill two weeks ago, calling the regulations a burden on gun owners. “I want answers that no one has given me and I still haven’t gotten them,” says Lafferty.
In a heated exchange at a town hall event in New Hampshire, Lafferty took to the mic and asked Sen. Ayotte about her priorities. “I’m just wondering why the burden of my mother being gunned down in the halls of her elementary school isn’t as important as that?”
Lafferty says the senator dodged the question, as she expected her too. But Lafferty predicts the legislation will be back on the floor this year with a different outcome. She and others plan to continue lobbying for stricter gun control.
Gabby Giffords remembers facing her assailant at his sentencing.
"Beady eyes," she said of Jared Loughner, who shot the former Arizona congresswoman in the head with a 9mm Glock pistol. Six people died and 13 were injured that day when the deranged gunman opened fire in front of a Tucson supermarket.
At the sentencing last November, Giffords sat stoically - staring Loughner down - as her husband, Mark Kelly, spoke to the court.
"Well, yes, he had some interesting expressions on his face," said Kelly. "And she did not look away."
"Beady eyes," Giffords repeated.
In an exclusive, wide-ranging interview with CNN, Giffords and Kelly understand they are now in the center of the heated debate over gun control and background checks, while still struggling to rebuild their lives after that day in January 2011, when their lives changed forever.
Anderson Cooper asks National Rifle Association President David Keene why he doesn't support expanded background checks. Keene also responds to a 360 hidden camera investigation that shows how easy it is to buy guns at gun shows without showing ID.
A hidden camera investigation demonstrates how easy it is to buy guns at gun shows without giving identification. CNN's Martin Savidge explains the results of the undercover report.
Background checks are not required for private sales, but the seller is legally obligated to check the buyer's ID to verify that person is not from out-of-state.
The CNN crew that visited Tennessee, South Carolina and Georgia was able to purchase several weapons without having to prove residency or fill out paperwork, but not in every interaction with a seller. In once instance, a seller tells our producer that he got a gun "off a police officer."
The total weapon haul from the weekend was three semi-automatic handguns with extra magazines and one semi-automatic rifle with a 30-round magazine. The total spent was $2,800. No identification was given, leaving zero paper trails. The guns were turned over to CNN security to deal with.
Is it easy to purchase a gun at a gun show without doing little more than paying for it? CNN went undercover at five gun shows in three states to find out.
While background checks are not mandatory for private sales, the seller is required to check the buyer's ID to verify the person is from that state.
The producer who visited Tennessee, South Carolina and Georgia was able to walk away with several weapons without having to prove residency or give any personal information – but not in every interaction with a seller.
Tune in at 8 and 10 p.m. ET to see the investigation. Following the report, Anderson Cooper will ask National Rifle Association President David Keene why he opposes universal background checks that proponents say could prevent criminals from obtaining guns.
Nicole Hockley, whose son was murdered, is lobbying Congress for tighter gun control restrictions with other Sandy Hook families. She tells Anderson Cooper about her son, Dylan, and her mission in his memory.
Senator James Risch says expanding background checks will catch criminals, but it won't prevent them from getting guns. Anderson Cooper asks him about his views and why he's part of a group of GOP Senators who are planning to block a debate on gun legislation – he's the only one out of the 14 lawmakers who would agree to talk about it on AC360.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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