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Kasich believes current gun laws need to be enforced and that more focus needs to be made on mental health.
JOY BEHAR: What are you going to do about guns? Let’s cut to the chase, come on.
JOHN KASICH: Well I think first of all you have to enforce the laws. When people go to gun shows, when they’re going to sell a gun we need to know who’s buying it; which is the law. Secondly, the whole mental health data system has to be up. States need to be held accountable for it. But here’s the thing that we notice with all of these folks, cause I’ve spent a lot of time trying to help people who have mental illness. You know what we find with all of them? The families have broken down, the communities are broken down, and the neighbors are not there. I was at a place in Iowa called…
BEHAR: That’s true of a lot of people in this country. They don’t all have guns.
KASICH: Joy, we have to rebuild it so people don’t find themselves isolated, alienated, frustrated, uncared for. I mean when you break down everything in your community, people they just…
RAVEN-SYMONE: What about guns in kids hands?
KASICH: You mean little kids or…
MICHELLE COLLINS: Like the eleven year old who just shot his neighbor.
KASICH: The laws in this country need to be enforced. And the eleven year old; where’s mom and dad? Where’s the neighbor? Where’s the community?
COLLINS: If there wasn’t a gun in the home it wouldn’t have happened, just plain and simple.
KASICH: Yeah but you’re not going to get all the guns out of the home, that’s just not going to happen. I want you to understand if we focus on guns, and that’s fine, that’s not the underlying problem.
BEHAR: Well let’s start there at least.
KASICH: People who are law abiding don’t want to give up their guns, and they have a right to protect themselves and their families.
COLLINS: Why does the NRA have so much control over congress? To me is seems like everyone is catering to them and no one is taking a stand on this. Why does the NRA have so much control?
KASICH: You know what I think it is? I think it’s because people feel like they have a right to protect themselves and their families.
BEHAR: With an AR-15? Why do they need all those?
KASICH: Some of these things are not permitted anymore. But look we can spend all of our time saying “if we take this gun away”. The question is why are these people all pretty much the same? They experience some form of mental illness, they come from families that are broken.
WHOOPIE GOLDBERG: What about there are people who don’t have people’s best interests in mind who are not mentally ill; they’re just boneheads, they’re just bad people. What about the parents if you’re talking about the teenagers; teenagers who are in a house where guns are not locked up. The parents should be held accountable. Parents should be held accountable.
KASICH: Of course, parents have to be responsible.
GOLDBERG: We have to stop brandishing this idea that put more guns…we have Ben Carson on who said if he had been in that classroom he would have said “hey everybody”. Listen, I made a movie years ago called Long Walk Home. And I always used to say “man if the klu klux klan had come to my house I would have said blah blah blah”. I have friends who have said “If I lived in Germany in the 30’s I would have said…” you wouldn’t have said blah blah blah, you wouldn’t have. They were oppressive too much. Why is it so difficult for us to say here’s the bottom line. We’re not going to sell AK-47’s because you can’t hunt with them. You can’t hunt a deer, there’s nothing left. Can you do that as President? Would you do that as President?
KASICH: I voted for an assault weapons ban and all that happened was they just changed the structure of the gun.
GOLDBERG: But if you’re President what would you do to take a hand on this?
KASICH: I’ll tell you what I’ve done in Ohio. I have greatly strengthened the treatment for the mentally ill, I’ve created mentoring programs for children in school and getting parents involved in the same way we’re fighting drugs. I think you’re missing what I’m saying. We can talk all day about drugs but don’t you see that these folks who have been the mass shooters, in the theater out in Denver, what’s happened here. This guy, his mother was all alone, didn’t know where to go, there were no emergency beds. We’ve now created emergency beds in Ohio, to get to the root of this.
COLLINS: That’s like finding the crime before it happens.
KASICH: What I’m saying to you is you can deal with the symptom or you can deal with the root cause. We are not treating mental illness in this country the way we ought to. I was just in Iowa at a place called The House of Hope. This is where women go because they have nowhere else to turn. I said “why is this here?” They said because we don’t have neighbors anymore, our families are broken up. Don’t you see this is all about frustration, alienation and we have to deal with that?
BEHAR: Given all of that alienation on top of that there are too many people with weapons. That’s the problem, don’t you see that? Maybe congress should never take money from the NRA. How would that work out?
KASICH: I don’t think this is about money.
GOLDBERG: You have to come back.
KASICH: We’re out of time already? I just want to tell you one thing that you need to know. I believe in this country there’s some moral imperatives. We’ve got to balance our budget so our kids are not in debt. We’ve got to grow jobs; we’ve got to help people who lost their jobs in their 50’s.
GOLDBERG: And you’ll do that?
KASICH: All of it. I did it when I was in Washington. I’ve done it in Ohio. Everyone gets lifted.