February 1st, 2013
05:22 PM ET

Gore: Sandy Hook likely to change political discourse

Fareed speaks with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore about the politics of gun control. For the full interview watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS" this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN.

You and Bill Clinton passed the first big assault weapons ban.  Do you believe that that was responsible for your losses in the midterm election, which has cast a shadow on the Democratic Party making even today's conservative Democrats or moderate Democrats very, very reluctant to embrace any kind of tough gun control laws?

I think it was only one of many factors, Fareed. Others, including some with keen political minds, have focused on that as a central element in the 2000 campaign. I think it was only one of many issues. And I think that some have given it way too much responsibility for the result in 2000.

I think that the tragedy at Sandy Hook school is really a watershed event that is likely to change the political discourse. I’m so heartened by the many pro-gun advocates who have said in heartfelt terms, we need to make some changes. It still remains to be seen whether our sclerotic political system can process this change. It’s an open question. But I certainly hope so, and I am encouraged.

And you would say to Democrats, don't run away from this, you're not going to pay a price at the polls.

I think the price – whatever price to be paid – pales in comparison to the duties that they and all of us have to respond to this tragedy.

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Topics: Politics • United States

soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. rightospeak

    Gore is a rich Globalist that has no clue, just like his carbon emission tax. He helped ship American jobs to China ,India. Where was he when war crimes were being perpetrated ? Only Hagel spoke out .He is just full of hot air and that is why I never voted for him. As a Globalist he helped create the near totalitarian regime in the US and he would like to take arms away from people. Why is he , Feinstein, Bloomberg, Peirs Morgan and others obsessed with AR 15 ? Why does the media repeat bull about Ar 15 and CT shooting when facts are different- Ar -15 was not used in the shooting. Why is Gore not talking about mental illness which was the cause of most shootings and the poor funding ? Why are there millions of mentally ill including many veterans roaming our streets and living under bridges while your discussion is about taking guns away from people ?

    February 2, 2013 at 8:38 am | Reply
    • Ayala

      I see that Globalist Al Gore is getting fat since he sold Current TV to Al Jazeera. Also his waistline. What about the UN Global Climate Change Committee releasing its report last week that the climate change models were not corrrect and overestimated man's impact, Mr. Gore. You are a sham! A money grubbing opportunist!

      February 5, 2013 at 10:59 am | Reply
  2. JAL

    I love my bike trail. During the day I ride it, and at night I fly it.

    February 2, 2013 at 8:39 pm | Reply
    • JAL

      Anyway, As far as climate change...How do biological systems deal with waste? Should the planet excrete its waste?

      February 3, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Reply
  3. Muin

    No. Gun right owners would say they do need high tech guns to protect them since technology has improved to keep up with the bad people. And some people who live on the country side do really need it. However, I don't know why background check would be controversial.

    February 3, 2013 at 3:35 am | Reply
  4. Jason

    What a cupcake interview

    February 3, 2013 at 10:55 am | Reply
  5. John Cox

    Just heard Al Gore decry spending on campaigns and the effect that funders dictate political action. Politicians are professional fundraisers and everything they do is through the lens of raising money.

    He's correct.

    However, his answer, public financing, replaces private funders with a public bureaucrat. You still have the problem of decdiding who gets funded.

    The problem is not the funding but the need for the money.

    If campaigns were much smaller, door to door battles, money would not make a difference.

    I am sponsoring an initiative in California to do that. It is called the Neighborhood Legislature.

    This initiative subdivides the huge legislative districts where money is all important into 100 tiny districts where money is not needed to mount a campaign. Then, those 100 select a member of a Working Committee which functions like the old legislature.

    Therefore, in order to go to Sacramento and make laws, you first win a tiny district and then get elected by 99 others. No money is needed for that effort.

    Consider having me on the show to discuss it.

    John Cox

    February 3, 2013 at 10:56 am | Reply
  6. Christopher Beato

    Al Gore answered your questions regarding fracture stimulation in a very misleading manner. The sat photo he showed of the lights from the Bakken oil shale play was not from flaring gas while fracture stimulating wells.

    A majority of the lights are from the increased 24/7 activity in the Bakken. This activity includes everything from newly formed boom towns to house workers, the cars they drive, the hundreds of drilling and completion rigs they operate, the production facilities that process the oil, and yes the high pressure pumping spreads that fracture stimulate the wells so they can produce oil. All of this activity requires lights to take place at night.

    It is also true that flaring certain amounts of some of the associated gas from the oil wells is taking place since there is no economic gas market that it can be sold into. Yes, this waste does need to stop sooner rather than later. This flaring has NOTHING to do with fracture stimulation. It is the byproduct of the oil production.

    The USA's natural gas reserves unlocked by our countries' innovation will shift how the world uses energy. The spread of the use of this technology will be the single largest environmental improvement in the history of the world.

    If Mr. Gore was truly committed to his cause without any alterior motives, then he should be doing everything in his power to educate people on the responsible use of natural gas and help spur the world to more quickly replace the use of coal.

    Just as importantly, the switch to natural gas will increase the standard of living and wealth in all countries as it will be a huge domestic jobs and wealth producer. With respect to the US, if we want manufacturing to continue to migrate back to our country, we need low cost energy to offset the higher wages and social cost associated with our current standard of living. It's a pretty simple equation and natural gas is the key to balance it so quality manufacturing jobs can be generated for our citizens.

    February 3, 2013 at 11:55 am | Reply
    • rightospeak

      Very good point, Christopher. We need to bottle that gas and use in cars to become less dependent on Middle East.
      The interview just shows what I expected from Gore :hot air and a desire to get richer at any cost .His whole environmental disaster is similarly supported with phoney data of bribed 'scientists".

      February 3, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Reply
  7. Jim

    The Gore interview was absolutely agonizing. Pretty week softballs Fareed and not sure what the point was on even having him on your show after he was grilled worse throughout the week. Oh wait it just came to me this was CNN's attempt at helping Al save face. Joke!

    February 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Reply
  8. Roland

    Al Gore the president America deserves but never got.

    February 3, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  9. Ayala

    Christopher, you are absolutely corrrect. Why does a man who has millions need still more millions? Greed! You are a no nothing Gore, and always have been! You do not represent me or the vast majority of americans who you tried to mislead on many issues.

    February 5, 2013 at 11:04 am | Reply
  10. Garry Kamps

    Who cares what al gore says anymore ? Ignore the man.

    February 5, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Reply
  11. Eric Carney

    The oil prices are not going down. The weather is not going to be normal. The tribes are just about crazy.

    February 5, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Reply
  12. Rick McDaniel

    That is nonsense.

    The truth is.......guns don't kill people..........people kill people, and the weapons used, are not an issue. The violence of the mentally ill is the issue, and we are doing absolutely NOTHING about that, whatsoever........so gun control will do nothing but take away the ability of decent citizens to defend themselves from criminals and mentally ill, deranged people.

    You can either face the truth, or stick your head in the sand.........it will change nothing, until we address the real problem......people.

    February 6, 2013 at 10:23 am | Reply

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