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American Cities Reeling From Deadly Gun Violence; Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) Is Interviewed About Gun Violence; Teen Survives COVID- 19 After A Blood Cleaning Therapy; Biden Announces Troops Will Leave Afghanistan By September 11; Vaccine Hesitancy Among Evangelicals; How U.S. Gun Control Measures Compare To Other Parts Of The World. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired April 17, 2021 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: Don't miss the two-part finale tomorrow night, starting at 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific right here on CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Sikh community is in mourning as four members were among the victims of the Indianapolis mass shooting.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's very difficult for our community not feel targeted, especially given the violence that we've endured for decades.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Protests for a sixth straight night outside Minneapolis and the potential for even more tonight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happens every night is that for hours and hours you see peaceful protests and then as night falls, things tend to get a little bit more contentious.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got Prince Harry flanked by the duke and duchess of Sussex. They look comfortable.
Harry and William breaking away there, chatting. They broke together in the name of Prince Philip. In death, he's brought the family together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: I'm Pamela Brown in Washington. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.
Police officials in two American cities right now, Minneapolis and Chicago, are closely watching for a repeat of Friday night. That was when angry protesters marched and rallied and clashed with police. They have been reacting to a pair of fatal officer-involved shootings and demanding justice. And this is happening right now right outside of Minneapolis,
protesters demanding murder charges for the now former police officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright last weekend. Kim Potter has been charged with second degree manslaughter.
More deadly gun violence today in Nebraska. Police say someone opened fire inside a shopping mall in Omaha. One man died at the hospital, one other person is hurt. Two suspects are still at large. That same mall was the scene of another deadly shooting in 2007.
And in Indianapolis today, still nothing concrete in the investigation of a 19-year-old man who started shooting inside a FedEx facility Thursday night. He killed eight people and then himself.
CNN's Jason Carroll is in Indianapolis right now. CNN's Josh Campbell is in Minneapolis.
And, Jason, first to you. Tell us how is that community remembering the people taken from them in that horrific mass shooting?
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they are coming together at this moment and trying to heal. And, in fact, Pamela, a vigil just ended just a short while ago here in this park in Indianapolis.
As you know, eight victims, four of those victims were from the Sikh community. In fact, many of the workers at that FedEx facility were members of the Sikh community.
I want to bring some of them in to talk to us right now. They found the courage to speak to us.
Two of the victims, you can see their pictures here. The one here in red was Amarjit Sekhon, the picture there that you see, that's the one in red. The one there in blue, Jaswinder Kaur. Two women who lost their lives that night, their family members here speak to us, found the courage.
I just want to start out by saying, what would you like people to know about Jaswinder or Amarjeet?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: About Amarjit, I want to say she was a very, very hard-working woman. She devoted her life to her kids, to her family. She's a family-oriented woman. She had no issues with anyone. She was the nicest person ever.
This is something that shouldn't have happened to her or to my other aunt, Jaswinder. We're deeply saddened by this. Jaswinder, she was -- she's an amazing person. She always had a smile on her face.
The only reason why she joined working was she was bored at home. She just needed something to do. That was one of the reasons why we always would say to her, like, oh, you should stay at home. You don't need to be going working overnight.
She was like, I like going, I like working, it's something that kind of clears my head. I get out of the house, I walk, I talk to people. She was the nicest person ever.
CARROLL: How is the family managing to try to come to terms with what happened? How are you dealing in this very difficult time?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're still looking for them. I still can't believe this thing happened with us. Our auntie was a great cook. She will cook anything for us any time even though if it's midnight or 1:00 a.m. So, now, we're all together but we're just looking for them, hoping they'll just come back.
CARROLL: I don't think many people realize how many members of the Sikh community were at that FedEx facility on that night.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's a lot of majority people from Sikh community that work out there. We are really sorry not only for the Sikh community. It's not about any community. It's about people. It's human life. It's about loved ones.
So, it's really devastated and I feel bad for us and also for others who also lost their lives.
CARROLL: Well, again, I want to thank you so much for finding the courage to speak to us. Thank vey much. Thanks again.
And, Pamela, again, eight victims, this vigil tonight was for all the victims.
Very quickly, I want to read their names to you, Matthew Alexander, Samaria Blackwell, Jaswinder Kaur, Amarjeet Kaur Johal, Amarjit Sekhon, Jaswinder Singh, Karli Smith, John Weisert. John Weisert, of course, the oldest victim at 74 years old -- Pamela.
BROWN: And two 19-year-olds in there.
Jason, thank you for bringing us the latest.
And let's get to Minneapolis now and CNN security correspondent Josh Campbell.
Josh, some news just in to CNN, update us please on the announcement just made by the city of Brooklyn Center.
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, we're hearing that there is now a curfew that will take place at 11:00 p.m. tonight. That, of course, following that clash last night between some violent demonstrators and law enforcement officers. What happened last night is it started peaceful. There were a group of about 250 peaceful protesters that showed up outside the police station there in Brooklyn Center.
However, as the night progressed, things started to go downhill. Around 9:00 p.m., authorities say that some of the people that arrived there started shaking the fencing outside the police station and at one point breached the fence. That caused police officers to come out trying to get that crowd out of there. Upwards of 100 people were arrested.
Again, they're trying to prevent a repeat of what they saw last night, so they substituted this curfew for 11:00 p.m. If past is any indication, however, these curfews don't seem to stop some of the most violent agitators. And so, we are still waiting to see what will happen tonight.
We know as we speak right now, there is another protest that is going on, a very peaceful protest outside the home of the Washington County attorney, members of the community coming out to demand that the officer who shot Daunte Wright be charged more severely. We know manslaughter charges have been announced. They want to see murder charges in this case.
So, this city and this whole area simply on edge, both because of that case of Daunte Wright and his killing in Brooklyn Center, but also because of what's happening downtown. That is, of course, the city waiting for the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin.
So, a city on edge, law enforcement obviously out with a very heavy presence, including members of the National Guard. And we're waiting to see what the protest look like tonight -- Pamela.
BROWN: Yeah. We'll be tracking all the developments. Thank you so much, Josh Campbell.
Let's turn back now to America's gun violence epidemic. With me tonight, one of the few members of Congress who knows what it's like to survive a mass shooting. That is now Representative Jackie Speier of California -- take a look right here -- laying wounded in 1978 after being left for dead in the ambush near Jonestown Guyana. Speier was shot five times at point-blank range with an assault rifle. Look at this picture.
She was working with Congressman Leo Ryan who went there to investigate the people's temple. He was murdered in the ambush, along with three American journalists, before 900 followers of a madman would be forced to die by suicide.
Congresswoman, thank you so much for being here.
REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D-CA): Thank you, Pamela.
BROWN: That introduction I just read is all too familiar to you. In fact, much of this must seem so familiar, the shock, the outrage, the demand for change. So, after 45 mass shootings in 30 days, does anything change this time?
SPEIER: You know, I hate to say this, but I don't think so. And we have come to a point in this country where we're just numb. When you think about it, there's already been 12,000 people that have died by bullets in this country so far this year. We've already had 140 mass shootings. One of the statistics that absolutely sends shimmers up and down my
spine is the fact that 91 percent of children under the age of 15 who are killed by bullets live in the United States.
When are we going to do just the same kinds of things like making sure that people that shouldn't have guns, people who are felons, people who have mental health issues and people who have been convicted of domestic violence, when are we going to say that not only is that true when you go to a gun store, it's true when you go to a gun show, when you buy a gun online, when you buy a gun from another person.
And now we have the growth of what we call "ghost guns".
But they're not ghost guns. They're real guns. They're do-it-yourself guns where you buy the parts online. And we have 10,000 of them now in this country and there's no way of tracking them.
BROWN: So, let's talk about that. You mentioned one of the executive actions on gun violence that President Biden had rolled out just ten days ago. Let's put them on the screen for the viewers. Let's see.
There are several efforts that they did. I want to see if you look at these efforts that the Biden administration has taken within the limitations they have, obviously, do they go far enough, is it just the most he thinks he can get done without a fight from the GOP? What do you think?
SPEIER: Well, these are executive orders that he can do without the support from Congress, without Congress passing legislations. So it is -- it is a good start. It's a good intention, but we have an obligation and we absolutely must do the right thing.
Now, we passed HR-8. It's a comprehensive background check bill that looks at those three issues. And yet, there's a reluctance in the Senate to even take it up.
I guess my challenge to my Republican colleagues, if you say you don't want to have felons have guns or persons who have mental health issues, then show us a bill. Show us a bill that you can support that's going to close those loopholes.
It's already the law in this country. We just have to make it work for the 21st century.
SPEIER: When that law was first passed, there wasn't online sales of anything. There weren't gun shows.
BROWN: So, let's talk about that, because your fellow Democrat over in the Senate, Chris Murphy, thinks the only thing they can get done is the more narrow version of the universal background checks bill that clear the House. With the 50-50 split in the Senate, and your moderate colleague Joe Manchin's views on gun rights and bipartisanship, should Democrats settle for just getting something passed even if it isn't enough in your mind then?
SPEIER: I absolutely think we should get something passed. You know, there are over 20 million guns in this country now that have not been subject to background checks. That should frighten all of us. And we know that gun sales jump when there is a mass shooting or the incidents of COVID. When people feel insecure, they buy guns.
I don't want to buy a gun. I want to be able to go to church. I want to be able to go to the grocery store, and I want to be able to go to the movies and not be afraid that I'm going to be slaughtered.
BROWN: Let me ask you, I think every American wants to be able to run errands and live their lives and not worry about getting shot, which is why it is so frustrating to sit back and see these mass shootings happen and nothing get done in Congress. And I know as a Democratic congresswoman who has supported gun legislation, these House bills who want to get something done, it's frustrating for you.
But what -- do you think Democrats and Republicans need to be talking more? Do you think that will do anything if more Democrats reached across the aisle and talked to their Republican colleagues and said, hey, let's talk about this, let me hear your views, I want you to hear mine, let's figure something out.
SPEIER: I think that it is so embedded now in the Republican Party that Republicans who want to do the right thing, who know we should be doing something, are afraid to do anything for fear of being primaried. It's all about self-preservation.
I mean, I can't tell you how despondent I am now. When I was in the state legislature in California, I carried the assault weapon ban on the assembly side. It was passed by both houses. It led to then Republican Governor Pete Wilson and it was signed into law.
We have lost the rationality that used to exist between Republicans and Democrats, doing the right thing so people are safe. Even though 90 percent of the American people, when you explain to them what we're trying to do, appreciate it and want to have that safety, want to know that a felon can't get a gun. But they can get a gun.
BROWN: Yeah, it's just so frustrating, and as a journalist who has just covered these mass shootings time and time and time again and has had these conversations time and time and time again, it is just frustrating. I imagine I'm echoing the frustration of people at home too, whether it's, you know, the gun reform legislation and mental health reform, all of that together. It needs to be looked at. Something needs to be done.
Congresswoman Jackie Speier, thank you for coming on the show.
SPEIER: My pleasure. Thank you.
[20:15:03] BROWN: Still ahead this hour, grave concerns about the health of jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny as his supporters are asked to rally for his life.
Also, a retired Army captain who lost both legs fighting in Afghanistan tells me why pulling out troops won't create a power vacuum for terrorists.
And we hear from an evangelical pastor actively discouraging his congregation from taking the COVID vaccine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Is the appeal of your sermon that the pandemic is scary, the virus is scary, and you're telling scared people you don't have to worry about anything of that stuff. Like, come to my church and God will make sure you don't get this virus?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I promoted that.
REPORTER: Why do you give them false hope?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's not false hope.
REPORTER: Why not?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's false is our lying politicians.
(END VIDOE CLIP)
BROWN: But, first, teenager Karla Duarte barely survived coronavirus, sharing her miraculous story. You don't want to miss this. Karla and her mom join me live when we come back.
Stay with us.
BROWN: Within the last few hours the world reached a somber pandemic milestone. The number of lives lost to COVID-19 has surpassed 3 million people. The U.S. leads the world in COVID deaths with more than 560,000 and rising.
There is some promising vaccine news we can share. With the U.S. officially administering more than 200 million vaccine doses, almost a quarter of the population is now fully vaccinated.
And there's this. Doctors say they are homing in on the cause of blood clots that may be linked with certain coronavirus vaccines and they add their findings have important implications for how to treat the condition regardless of whether vaccines cause it.
Well, earlier this month when a New York teen took part in a ceremonial first pitch at the Mets home opener, it was a big deal, because a year ago, this was Karla Duarte, in a hospital, on a ventilator with COVID-19. Her condition going downhill until doctors took drastic action by doing something and they said it involved removing Karla's blood, passing it through an artificial lung to basically clean it before returning it to her body.
Karla Duarte is here to talk with me about this along with her mom Ana Tejada.
Thank you both for coming on. What an incredible year it's been for both of you.
Karla, first to you, how are you feeling now? And tell us about your journey.
KARLA DUARTE, COVID-19 SURVIVOR: Well, thankfully, I'm feeling much better. I feel 100 percent back to normal like how I was before I got sick. It's been a tough journey just recuperating the virus. So, it's been a long one.
BROWN: So, Ana, as a mom with a daughter who's sick with COVID and not responding to treatment, what was going through your mind as a mom when doctors talked to you about removing her blood and cleaning it? How did they even approach you with this?
ANA TEJADA, MOTHER OF COVID-19 SURVIVOR: Well, she was very sick. She was one of the sickest patients at intensive care once she was on the ventilator and the ventilator was not treating her properly, so they decided to go to this artificial machine. And they said, this is the last resource we have for your child.
My answer to them was just do whatever you have to do in order to save her. Yes, but it was very scary.
BROWN: You thought you would lose her?
TEJADA: Yes. I thought that she was not going to be able to make it. If it wasn't for that machine, I don't think she would be here with us and telling her story.
BROWN: So, Karla, how did -- did you have any idea, first of all, what was going on? I mean, I know when you're in the hospital on a ventilator and all kinds of things, it's hard to really know. But how did doctors explain it to you? What did it feel like?
DUARTE: They explained it by telling me that I had to be sedated, because I would have to be intubated. To hear that, that was a really scary moment, because I would have never thought it would have went downhill from that. I thought, okay, maybe by tomorrow I'll be fine. So those were really scary and traumatizing words to hear.
BROWN: Do you have any idea -- and mom, you can chime in too -- why you went downhill so fast? We keep hearing with COVID that normally young people like yourself aren't as impacted and so forth, although there are cases, obviously, like what we saw with you. Did they explain to you what was going on? DUARTE: No. We don't know. I had no health conditions prior to being
sick with COVID, so we don't know why I was so affected -- so affected by it.
BROWN: Well, thank god they had that last resource to use and you are here. And you got to take part in the first pitch at the Mets home opener. How was that?
DUARTE: That was very exciting. It was very exciting to share the first pitch with the doctor that saved my life as well as other honorees that were honored that day.
BROWN: That is incredible. Our health care workers across the country are heroes. I know you can agree with that. You experienced that firsthand and you're here to share that.
Ana Tejada and Karla Duarte, thank you so much.
DUARTE: Thank you for having us.
TEJADA: Thank you, Pamela.
Well, critics call President Biden's decision to pull troops out of Afghanistan a disaster. Retired Army Captain Dan Berschinski who paid a stiff price while serving there says they're wrong.
He joins me next to explain why.
BROWN: Well, some disturbing developments overseas this weekend. A Russian opposition leader known for his fierce and public criticism of President Vladimir Putin is reportedly very close to death in a Russian prison. I'm talking about Alexey Navalny who is 18 days into a hunger strike in a harsh penal colony. His spokesman says Navalny is, quote, dying with just a few days to live.
At the same time, Russian prosecutors are trying to label anybody protesting Navalny's situation as an extremist, which would open them up for a very serious crackdown.
Meantime, President Biden is the fourth commander in chief to oversee the war in Afghanistan and he hopes to be the last. Wednesday announcing that U.S. troops will leave by the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I concluded that it's time to end America's longest war. We went to Afghanistan because of a horrific attack that happened 20 years ago. That cannot explain why we should remain there in 2021. (END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Well, this week, a veteran who lost both his legs fighting in Afghanistan, wrote an op-ed in support of the decision. And he joins me now, retired army captain, Dan Berschinski. You ran for office in Georgia as a Democrat and endorsed Biden for President, but many Democrats are opposed to this decision to leave Afghanistan. Tell us. Explain why you think it's the right move.
DAN BERSCHINSKI, RETIRED U.S. ARMY: Yes, well, this is one of those big issues that unfortunately, I think Americans, both our elected leaders and our voters, and then every citizen has basically been tuned out of we've been fighting in Afghanistan, for coming up on 20 years now. The original impetus was the 9/11 attacks, of course, back in 2001.
And I think, quite frankly, the reason that this issue creates dilemmas within politics is because the momentum that's been built up. We have been at war. No one sees any easy extrication from the war, and no one wants to be the president or the commander, or the elected representative that calls for ending wars. To be honest, it's just easier for the country to keep doing what it's doing. And I think there's a tremendous amount of apathy and that's unfortunate.
So, Congressman, Adam Kinzinger, who has also served in the military spoke to my colleague, Jake Tapper this week about the plan to pull out U.S. troops.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): I think it's incredibly disappointing. So, two things. First off, yes, it is a tragic situation in Afghanistan. The Afghan people and the Afghan military is doing the brunt of the fighting 96 percent of combat operations are by them. We're there to train and assist, and do counterterrorism missions, and stiffen the spine of the Afghan military.
On top of that, you know, of Russia, at the door of Ukraine, China is growing, you have these negotiations in Iran. And I think this sends the wrong message at the wrong time. And frankly, it's going to be, I fear, a repeat of what we saw in Iraq after the U.S. left and we only had to go back with a bigger force.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: So, what do you think about what we heard from him? Do you see his point that this may be sending the wrong message to the U.S. American adversaries?
BERSCHINSKI: I think that sticking our troops in a country 7,000 miles away from us for 20 years sends the wrong message to our adversaries. There's no easy right answer to this. The right answer was to strike at the Taliban in retribution for the terrorist acts of 9/11, destroy their capability to fund and assist Al-Qaeda in coordinating another attack and then to leave. Instead, we decided to change that very straightforward, direct mission into a two-decade long quagmire with no real strategic goal. Certainly, no achievable strategic goal. So, there is no good solution here. But I don't see how anyone, including the congressman can argue that doing what we've been doing for the last 20 years is productive. There has to be an alternative.
BROWN: So, then how does the U.S. prevent Afghanistan from becoming a terrorist safe haven now?
BERSCHINSKI: Yes. It's going to be difficult. I think without a doubt, it is fair to say that having our troops on the ground occupying Afghanistan keeps us closer to the threats, physically closer to the threats. It's easier to operate an intelligence gathering initiative, when you're on the ground like that, pulling back will make that more difficult.
I have all the faith in the world in our intelligence community, our police forces, our cooperation with other states and National Intelligence organizations, and confidence in our special operations forces that we can continue to keep terrorism at bay without occupying Afghanistan for another year, five years or 10 years.
BROWN: So many lives have been lost in Afghanistan, you lost two of your legs. But you push back on any notion that this amounts to the U.S. turning its back on those sacrifices that have been made in Afghanistan. Tell us about your view on this.
BERSCHINSKI: Leading soldiers in combat in Afghanistan was the privilege of my life. My soldiers acted with such honor and integrity and courage on a daily basis. It will show me for the rest of my life. I sacrifice greatly. Other soldiers have sacrificed greatly.
I think the last thing we want to do to honor those sacrifices is to cause more soldiers to have to continue to sacrifice in a never-ending war of occupations 7,000 miles away from us, so I just do not buy to some false fallacy.
BROWN: All right. Captain Dan Berschinski, thank you. And thank you so much for your service and for all the sacrifices you have made for this country.
BERSCHINSKI: Thank you.
BROWN: And make sure to join me tomorrow when I talk to retired four- star Navy Admiral William McRaven, the man who oversaw the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden. He was the head of U.S. Special Operations Command, and we're going to talk about this week's announcement to pull all American troops from Afghanistan and his new book called "The Hero Code: Lessons Learned from Lives Well Lived."
And still ahead tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ELLE REEVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Are you going to get the vaccine?
TONY SPELL, PASTOR, LIFE TABERNACLE CHURCH: No, it's detrimental to your health. It starts going into conspiracy theory type stuff, but I do. I believe it's Bill Gates in them trying to kill us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Members of a Louisiana parish say they will not get the coronavirus vaccine all because of misinformation and mistrust.
BROWN: The last hour we introduced the evangelical pastor in Louisiana who has been encouraging his followers to reject the coronavirus vaccine, but what's behind his distress of the vaccine and what do his followers have to say about it?
REEVE: Is the appeal of your sermon that the pandemic is scary, the virus is scary, and so you're telling scared people, well, you don't have to worry about any of that stuff, like come to my church and God will make sure you don't get this virus.
TONY SPELL, PASTOR, LIFE TABERNACLE CHURCH: Yes, I promoted that.
REEVE: Why are you giving them false hope?
SPELL: It's not false hope.
REEVE: Why not?
SPELL: What's false is our lying politicians.
REEVE: Several people told us they started coming here after they saw spill in the news for keeping his church open and liked his message.
JACKSON: I was worried about not going to church and going back to alcohol and drugs. The aim for this whole shutdown was the church, because we're the radical right. We don't believe in gay marriage. We don't believe in abortion, all that.
REEVE: Are you going to get the vaccine?
JACKSON: No. It's detrimental to your health. It starts going into conspiracy theory type stuff, but I do. I believe it's Bill Gates and them trying to kill us.
JACOB MORRIS, LIFE TABERNACLE CHURCH PARISHIONER: I feel like and I know it works medically. But when you put something in you to help you stop from getting it, you know, that just -- that just doesn't work for me. I've never liked the idea of that. PATRICIA SEAL, LIFE TABERNACLE PARISHIONER: Donald Trump, I love him to death, I would vote for him again. But when he was talking about getting the shot, I said, you can have it all you want. I don't want it.
REEVE: Are you going to get the vaccine?
KERRY WILLIAMS, LIFE TABERNACLE CHURCH PARISHIONER: I did already.
REEVE: You did?
WILLIAMS: This is my first one. I got to go back and do the second one. Yes, I got the vaccine.
REEVE: OK. Cool.
SPELL: There is a political group today that wants to apologize for being Americans.
REEVE: Spell preaches conservative politics, but his congregation is unusually diverse compared to typical Christian churches, in part, because he buses in people from all over town.
One reason why I think it's interesting, these two positions you have the importance of desegregation and your opposition to the vaccine is that many of the people you minister to which is admirable, are poor people of color. Well, those people tend to be most at risk for COVID. So why not encourage them to take the medicine that will protect them?
SPELL: Not only I do not encourage, I discourage. I don't know anybody in my church, black, brown, El Salvadoran, Honduran, Mexican, who had the virus.
REEVE: Your father said he had the virus. Your father and mother told you they had the virus.
SPELL: Yes, and that's all right. Maybe we had it and maybe we got it.
REEVE: You also said your grandfather got the vaccine.
SPELL: And I'm opposed to that. I did not promote that. I think it was foolish for taking the vaccine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Christian leaders on the right, people like Tony Spell have really bought into this idea that if I continue to sow this narrative where people feel victimized and fearful and angry, I can continue to build my audience. I build my own credibility in this group of people that says, yes, everybody else is untrustworthy but you.
REEVE: I just don't understand why you can't say, like, the church was essential. It's so important for so many people. But --
SPELL: The church is essential.
REEVE: What a miracle that we have these vaccines that would allow people to celebrate more safely.
SPELL: Never will say that. There is no backing up.
REEVE: It just feels like you're taking a political position.
SPELL: It's not political at all. I'm not a politician. I'm a prophet. Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah.
REEVE: Elle Reeve, CNN, Baton Rouge.
BROWN: Wow. Fascinating reporting there.
And don't miss my new reporting tomorrow night. I have been in rural South Carolina traveling down there where the fight to give with skeptics is even tougher now that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been paused. So, you'll see my report tomorrow night right here on CNN Newsroom. And we'll be right back.
BROWN: At least 45 mass shootings in just the last month, that is the reality the U.S. is facing as calls for tougher gun control measures growing louder. But mass shootings aren't just a problem here in America. So, how are other countries tackling the issue?
Our CNN correspondents around the world explain.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: I'm Nic Robertson in London where gun controls are some of the strictest in the world. Handguns and automatic weapons are effectively banned. Shotguns and rifles can be held under very tight license. Deaths from gunfire are relatively low. The year ending March 2019, 33 people were killed. That was three more than the previous year, but mass shootings are exceptionally rare.
1987, 17 people killed. 1996, 18 people killed. In 2010, 13 people killed, exceptionally rare.
BLAKE ESSIG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Blake Essig in Tokyo. Here in Japan, gun violence is almost non-existent. Since 2000, gun deaths, each year, have generally been in the double digits. With the homicides involving gun deaths, often in the single digits of this from a country with a population about a third the size of the U.S.
Under Japan's 1958 firearm and swords law, most guns are illegal in the country. And under the law, possession is only allowed if special approval is obtained. And before that can happen, you must pass a background check, explain to police why you need a gun, receive formal instruction and pass the collection of written mental and drug tests. Of all rare when it comes to mass killings in Japan, those often- responsible resort to knives or arson instead of guns.
ANGUS WATSON, JOURNALIST: I'm Angus Watson in Sydney, Australia where it's 25 years since the country's worst ever mass shooting forced the Australian government to ban rapid fire rifles and shotguns. Gun ownership licenses and registrations were also tightened. It took just 12 days for the federal government to act after 35 people were killed and many more injured at Port Arthur, Tasmania by a man with a military style semi-automatic weapon.
A federally funded gun buyback scheme and surrenders under amnesty saw over a million firearms destroyed the chances of dying by gunshot wound in Australia fell by 50 percent in the years after the ban and gun related suicides dropped by 80 percent.
HADAS GOLD, CNN REPORTER: I'm Hadas Gold in Israel where it's not unusual to see soldiers just walking down the street holding large rifles. Because of the national draft, many citizens who are drafted into the military received some sort of firearm training. But obtaining a gun permit as a civilian is not an easy process.
First is a list of preconditions one must meet such as proving why you need the extra security and then there's another list of requirements you have to meet that include getting extra training and even being cleared by a physician to obtain a gun.
Gun related deaths in Israel are relatively low per capita compared to the United States. According to the Arab's newspaper, in 2019, there were less than 130 gun-related deaths for a population of just over nine million.
BROWN: Thanks to all of my colleagues for that reporting around the world.
And up next, the royal family comes together to remember Prince Philip one final time.
BROWN: Well, Britain's Royal Family saying farewell today to its patriarch, Prince Philip. Queen Elizabeth sat alone during the funeral of her husband of 73 years. COVID restrictions allowing only 30 people including the royal family to attend the intimate service on the grounds of Windsor Castle.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are here today to commit into the hands of God. So, of his servant, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. We have been inspired by his unwavering loyalty to our Queen. Our lives have been enriched through the challenges that he has set us, the encouragement that he has given us, his kindness, humor, and humanity.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We remember before this day Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, rendering thanks onto thee for his resolute faith and loyalty, for his highest sense of duty and integrity, for his life of service to the nation and commonwealth and for the courage and inspiration of his leadership to him with all the faithful departed grant by peace.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thus, it hath pleased to Almighty God to take out of this transitory life unto his divine mercy. The late most high mighty and illustrious Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich, husband of her most excellent majesty Elizabeth the Second.
BROWN: Join me tomorrow when I talk to the number three Democrat in the House, Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina.