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Rawlings-Blake debates guns, policing on MSNBC's 'Morning Joe'

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake advocated for gun reform and sparred with a Wall Street Journal columnist over policing tactics on MSNBC's Morning Joe Friday morning.

Rawlings-Blake, who is also president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and secretary of the Democratic National Committee, urged those running for president and Congress to work seriously on tackling the issue of gun violence.

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"We are asking [them] to be real about how we can stem the tide of illegal guns," she said. "We need the federal government to invest and protect. ... We need stronger partnerships between our federal law enforcement officers so we can stop this onslaught of guns that are really destroying our cities."

Co-host Willie Geist asked Rawlings-Blake to respond to gun control advocates who say that the strictest gun laws, in places such as Chicago, have failed to stop shooting violence.

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"I would say they just really need to stop it," she said. "How many shootings does it take? How many mass shootings? How many children have to die on our street before they realize that they can't just say no? They can't just block it. Let's figure out what we can do."

Mary Kissel, of the Wall Street Journal editorial board, turned the conversation to black-on-black violence, which she said is "the real problem," and "something the mayor isn't speaking about."

"We should also be speaking about the real solution to the immediate problem which is politicians running against the police forces," she said. "What worked here in New York City was stop-question-and-frisk, which kept guns off the streets and protected the largely minority communities in our urban areas."

Rawlings-Blake responded that she has issued a call to action for Baltimore's black men to address the violence, but she dismissed Kissel's argument as "a bunch gibberish and no solution."

"You can point the finger all you want, that doesn't make us safer," Rawlings-Blake said.

"I have proposed a solution," Kissel responded, "'Stop, Question and Frisk' works."

Co-host Mika Brzezinski pointed out that the stop-and-frisk policies in New York created racial tension because they were enforced unequally, mostly in poor, minority communities.

"It's more than just discriminatory," Rawlings-Blake said. "What she's suggesting is the way that we solve America's problems is to continue to make minorities second-class citizens. Again, not real solutions.

"We've seen where the divide between the community and police has caused — look at Baltimore — caused huge problems in our community. And the solution is not going to be just stop more people."

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