US Cong Lou Barletta (R-11th)

Newsmaker Interviews
Thursday, March 1st

US Congressman Lou Barletta (R-11th) joins Sue Henry in the WILK studio to answer questions about gun safety, re-districting and what is going on in Washington DC.


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Congressman from new analysis here. And congressman Bartlett is an hour studio which is great and he's told me something that maybe a little bit emotional and made him emotional to write entered. It did the poster right behind you how with all you guys. There than LA tour or not he's sticking out over your head as I look. The last time I was here I was with LA and I came in for a fifteen minutes. Roundup and we ended up talking for over an hour and I can't help but think that with the issues that that we're discussing today. LA would be right at the top of that. He he he would be screaming and standing up and stamping his feet and there are so many things going on but so let's. Let's start with the the overarching issue of our schools and the climate that we have in light of the fact we've had some very tragic. School shootings including one at Parkland Florida. You have some legislation that you are introducing rate in hopes of looking at school safety percent correct yeah it's. It's actually something that the president the administration can do without congress. So there's not an actual bill that would would make this happen. And and there are uh oh what is considered. Six teen critical infrastructure. Sex sectors and in our country. And they are things two like our nuclear. Power plants are waste and water systems are transportation system. Our financial. Sectors energy sectors are sixteen of them and what that with that means is is that these sectors are vital. Two. To our national security into our country as a whole schools are not included and I'm calling. Four. That asked that schools be the seventies critical infrastructure. So what does that do what is what does it mean it's not just. You know this and just put it in the end it that at 12 to the paragraph. It means that that the secretary of flow Homeland Security now becomes that that the pivotal person. In bringing all resources. And it and ideas along with state local and and really assess. The safety of our schools and how we prevent mad mad men from. I'm getting inside our schools and and some of that may look like. Different infrastructure doors windows and and the structure itself but it will also talk about the security. No different than what we do with our our financial arm. Buildings are federal buildings in Washington it's embarrassing for me. One when I go back to Washington see that the the protection that we have and the fact that you can't get in the Department of Education without an armed guard at the at the elevator that you can walk into our schools. You know report willing to protect politicians elected officials and bureaucrats. You know shouldn't we also treat our children the same way there they are greatest asset no parent should fear for their their child in the and no child should be be afraid to go to school. So if we wanna have this discussion on how we stop this or we are and in. Our I just think it's very important at the very first thing we should talk about his. Whether it's about guns or mental illness whatever we're talking about the best way to stop that is that they can't get him. And and I think that's where we need to begin. How hard is it to do this because a lot of people say aft in the aftermath of these things that people. They have ideas and it seems that those ideas vanishing nothing gets done is something that is. Plausible. And can get done and the other thing that. I think about in a situation like this is the you know you don't want the schools to turn into like a Deepak do. No prisons or anything I you know want kids to feel they're in some sort of institution that's not. What are used to so how we how we get this how you get does. Don Mosher is the first thing I agree with you we don't want them feel like term prison but I want them to feel the same way I feel when I go and a building in Washington feel safe. And you know I don't feel like I'm walking into a prison but I know it's going to be very difficult for gunmen to come in those buildings and start shooting everybody up. Federal employees in an elected officials and that's why I'm calling for it to be included in the critical infrastructure as the seventies because it actually puts somebody in charge. Of how we do this and and what do we do it with our schools and fortifying them. So that. You know I know school that digital doors on the classroom. So when that when they do active shooter training. You know just think that he's sorry that's like you know fishing in a barrel. Or right now so I think we have a lot of work to do and grow and there's a lot of good ideas and fair discussions were like about the president he's making everybody feel uncomfortable. And and when you make everybody feel uncomfortable. Fun I think we're finally getting through having an open and honest discussion and you know he's not talking like a Republican with Republican talking points or Democrat I think everybody. It feels a little little little heat under their caller right now. And that's good it uses a businessman and when you negotiated deal and both sides think they got a bad deal there was probably a good deal so. I'm glad for those discussions but I'm disappointed. That we're not focusing on. Other ideas such as let's make sure somebody can even get in that our schools with a gun. I agree with him that but the most of the discussion as you know has banned. About firearms. Who can happen come what kind of firearms or should be. Should there be. These bumps stocks etc. so GCR a changing Washington and so these issues where there's been a lot of op students in the past DC Washington actually moving toward. Some considerations and and some people say nothing will change because of the influence and sway of the NRA. How do you feel about Noah. I don't believe that's too ugly there will be some changes. That war world will come about and and I are we've it's a fair discussion. You know I personally don't believe that in the British have a bomb stuck there's only one reason now there's only one reason for so. You know so I think there's areas where we can go. But but we also have to have a discussion now what are we trying to accomplish. If we're having this discussion because we don't want. Another incident like we saw. Well and we have to open that discussion up to how we prepare and if it's just going to be about you know people promoting more gun laws. You know I just personally and and I'm willing to have this discussion on on on this issue because there are things that make sense and I'm glad we're having it and I think will will move to that a consensus. On what new laws Ku couldn't congress impose that. That would make people feel better but we just don't feel good stuff and we're not gonna save another kids from getting shot up in the school than. Which are satisfying ourselves in in in that discussion so. You know I think we need to have a wide range. Our discussion of the fact that lets face it if one person gets to the point. That they have planned and are ready to carry out a mass shooting in a school. I don't think they're gonna say you only in north I was gonna do that the congress passed another law now I can't. How does a person get to that point how we live people in America. Get to the point where. You know they wanna do something like this I think we have failed art at many levels. Society today in itself what's causing this in society I think that's a fair discussion I have out how how and why are we having so many more. And and you know I wanna make sure that we have sensible gun laws but but at the same time don't punish law abiding. Citizens in America and and do things that that will affect them that won't solve what we're trying to do so I'm open minded. But at the same time you know I wanna look at real solutions that that makes sense it will this prevent what we saw. And down in Florida will prevent. The others in and one thing I wanna be careful about in raising the age 221 there's there's. Things that. Pop up in my head Pennsylvania's as a sportsman state. People want to talk hunt in Pennsylvania. Fathers usually. Beacon hunting with their sons. And daughters as soon as there legally of age. To do that. Do you know understanding. The safety of firearms is usually taught by. By the fathers to the to their children and I don't wanna do anything that's going to. You know again take away the rights of of law abiding citizens. To do something that may not. Stop. So what we're trying to prevent and and the you know beyond that and it's unfortunate that we really want to talk about this but I it was a mayor I saw it. You know when you make more when we make something illegal and dozens and dozens stop that. It doesn't take more off the streets have been. People bad people end up making a lot more money. Gangs and drug dealers woo their business will skyrocket as soon as we do this you know it's just like we made narcotics illegal. You know we all know what's happening in there and our country with that sort. Sore it make us feel good but at the same time I could tell you that there won't be one less automatic or semi automatic weapon on the street it's just who they're gonna buy it from. And in. I think we lose more control. By turning this over to drug dealers and gangs are to begin to be the place where people buy their firearms and it's in Oregon it's a fair discussion birth. I'm just trying to. Look at what what will be real solutions to two to the problem and you know I know where a lot of this is all about guns. But. In a we're not talking enough about what I said school safety that should be the first step let's make sure people can't get him to. You have as a person get to this point you know how to get to the point where they decided one day I'm gonna go kill kill a whole lot of people are we doing enough. Along the way to help people on counseling and and recognizing when somebody's beginning to have a mental health problem. Should we be focusing more on that what role does does Hollywood in movies and violent. Graphic. Videos play with somebody who may be dealing with mental health issues does that mean you and I mean look at it and feel differently and somebody. Who likes the you know seeing the order a video game we can go around and kill cops and have been very graphic does that play a role I think all of this should be something that we're talking about. Carried us somebody wants to know your opinion. On what should happen to the mayor of Oakland California that tipped off people being sought by ice. Well I think I think there should be charges. Against her. It is illegal to aid and abet. Anyone who is in the country illegally and that is along that already exists I know that very well you know I tried to enforce the laws has a mayor and haseltine and I was sued. And here you are mayors. Across the country that are number one declaring their city's Sanctuary Cities and I think there should be something done every mayor that does not. Because it is illegal to aid or abet somebody who is in the country illegally and how the mayor of Oakland is clearly doing that. Our letters with us this morning on WI OK the congressman from the eleventh district. Well theologians districts for now and name you'll get a chance to talk about. And that as well but diet outlook people ask I'm going to ask you about NRA contributions do you take some men and what is their influence on you. Have very little lump. NRA contributions. That come into my campaign and probably the that at the lower and off of contributions in Washington and no it again that doesn't that those small even small or at large contributions that members get around. Should never ever. I have an influence on on what you do Romero he anointing or Washington. Because of the NRA and went to Washington because I wanna do what's right when I think is right and stand before I believe in self. You know it doesn't play a role a role for me and I you know I think there are some some. Ideas that that I am going to support him on his banning them from stocks to I do think we need to strengthen our. Our background check system obviously you know we don't wanna keep we don't want anybody who should have gone back to get a gun and then there was some critical mistakes made in Florida. They were human errors. All the signs were there. People didn't do what they should've done. In we need to make sure that that doesn't happen again sewing and I think we need to go back and look at look at this and say what. What do we come away with that will make our country stronger schools safer and people. Feeling better but I don't wanna just do things that are. Feel good things that aren't and they're going to hurt law abiding citizens to make ourselves feel good without really being honest. Is this going to stop. The next incidents from happening have a armed person Allen schools whether it should be I see here's a reason travelers hit us most kids are killed in the first six minutes and in in a school shooting in the first six minutes after somebody that can stop that person in two minutes. Three minutes a lot of lives gets saved. We don't want our police officers without without a weapon I mean you know. We why should our kids being a building where we know can't could be a target and there's nobody in there. To fire back to stop this person minutes count in these school shooting so if you can take somebody out in two minutes three minutes. Rather than wait till by the time the police get there. You know it's over and and too many people lost their lives absolutely we need to have. A security that could or could stop a shooter. Before they before they stop on her own. You are in the area to talk about a program that your working with the with the Johnny. To shine program which is a way to. Are changed the path for young children. In in this in the year educational systems and I I applaud anything that's done in and you know there's no. How partisan politics and let's talk about that part. Our national something that senator you're the particular very proud of it's true it's gone gone on we've been working at this for a long time we wanted to change direction their lives. Of of kids that there may. May drop out of school are doing that well in school and you know when somebody jumps out of school not a lot of good things are going to happen for that person so we found. In carbon school Cook County program that they've been doing at the time for over ten years shined schools and homes and education it's an afterschool program. In taxis that's. We college steam because it's stem education plus the arts. And it has been successful. Four over twelve years now and now it's probably fourteen years. We were seeing school attendance grew up over eighty some percent class participation go up over eighty some percent graduation to the next grade over 90% this is definitely something. That is good for kids to keep him in school and and change the direction their lives we started it and who's an accounting I'm going to visit them. School today. In Wilkes-Barre this past time program and at parkway elementary. And there are some that a very very proud of and so senator you do check. Aaron and a couple. By the FBI and law enforcement in Florida and is there anything that can be done. For EU as a congressperson to look into this didn't deserve need to be hearings are you satisfied. What Florida will do by themselves to look into that well hole footwear want to see what Florida while doing and I in north who we can do Washington is is make sure that that there's accountability that. How the FBI is reporting in there was a failure and reporting. Of what should have been. Reported on the background check and what should be done so you know we're gonna look real closely at how how we hold these people accountable if they are. That this information is getting on somebody's report that when I check the background of someone. It's obvious and and that the FBI should've been at this. Men's stores so should the sheriff's department in Florida and we're gonna do everything we can make sure that happens. That we about thirty seconds the congressional redistricting in Pennsylvania honey honey season. Jonathan as really a fortunate the voters in the people Pennsylvania got the short end of the stick. You know it takes some some people were campaigning for a year. And and you know so the voters are finally finding out where people stand under issues are able to get their questions answered and all of a sudden candidates don't know war in aware of their running in. Voters don't know who's gonna represent them this is no way to send people to Washington its a shame that the Supreme Court did this. They should exist if they get like its who you know we're gonna bring drum maps at the end of this census but. To to do this right before an election is this shameful it's so unusual to how many people have been and drawn out of the district that they were running and as crazy as should all be about voters. Knowing who's who wants to represent them and we have cheated the voters in the state. It in doing this when they are doing it and I think that's the biggest would not whether it's a Democrat or Republican advantage. The voters got cheated in on and knowing who is going to represent them aren't Libre and we five but at thanks for coming in those are really nice to see an answering questions.