(CNN) – Republicans on Sunday were reticent in voicing support for the National Rifle Association's scheme to place guards with firearms in American schools, though they also appeared to find little common ground with Democrats, who want tighter restrictions on purchasing assault weapons.
Lawmakers from both parties have agreed that some changes are needed following the Newtown, Connecticut, shooting on December 14 that left 28 people dead, including 20 children. But while Democrats advocate new legislation making it harder to obtain military-style firearms, Republicans claim such measures have proved ineffective in the past.
The NRA, the top lobbyist for gun manufacturers, asserted on Friday that armed guards in schools were the best prevention against a similar tragedy. That proposal, along with vows from Democrats to reintroduce bills banning assault weapons and high-volume ammunition clips, was met with skepticism Sunday from Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican.
"We had an armed guard in Columbine, we had an assault ban. Neither one of them worked," Graham said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
"We're talking about preventing mass murder by nontraditional criminals, people who are not traditionally criminal, who are not wired right for some reason," he continued. "And I don't know if there's anything Lindsey Graham can do in the Senate to stop mass murder from somebody that's hell-bent on doing crazy things."
Another Republican, Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, also cast doubt on the NRA's proposal, saying a national effort to place guards with guns in schools was misguided.
"I think decisions about schools ought to be made at the local level," Barrasso said on "Fox News Sunday." "I would not want a national effort to say you have to do this in schools. I think local education decisions are best made at the local level."
On CBS' "Face the Nation," GOP Sen.-designate Tim Scott said Americans shouldn't "rush to judgment" on the NRA's plan, but didn't offer an endorsement of the plan himself.
And Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a conservative from Utah, said on NBC he was worried about arming educators since he "had science teachers in high school who can't negotiate a Bunsen burner for goodness sake."
"I wouldn't suggest necessarily that we give everyone a gun. It's not for everybody," he continued. The NRA has specified it is not advocating teachers carry guns in school; rather, the group suggests schools could follow the example of malls and movie theaters that employ retired or off-duty policemen.
Nearly every Republican appearing on the Sunday talk shows agreed that new gun restrictions were the wrong path to take in the aftermath of the Connecticut shooting - though some expressed an openness to hearing all options put forward.
Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia said he wanted President Barack Obama's newly formed team on gun violence to look into every aspect that could lead to a massacre like the one in Newtown, but that previous bans on assault weapons had done little to stop senseless killing.
"Bans alone don't solve the problem," he said on ABC's "This Week," pointing to a prohibition on military-style weapons that was in effect in 1999 when the shooting at Columbine High School claimed the lives of 12 students and one teacher.
Barrasso said Americans "can get false sense of security from Washington, and in passing more laws. But we need real solutions to a significant problem in our country, and I'm not sure passing another law in Washington is going to actually find a real solution."
And Graham wondered how a ban preventing him from purchasing another AR-15 semi-automatic rifle would thwart another tragedy like the one in Newtown.
"If you deny me the right to buy another one, have you made America safer?" he asked.
Democrats say yes. Sen. Joe Lieberman, the retiring independent senator from Connecticut who caucuses with Democrats, said bans making it impossible to buy the type of weapon used in Newtown would reduce the chance of similar shootings in the future. While Republicans' intransigence on the issue means such a ban won't come easily, he said, the public is ready for new laws.
"It's going to take the American people getting organized, agitated, and talking to their members of Congress," Lieberman said on CNN's "State of the Union."
At first I thought the NRA plan was criminally stupid. But then I asked myself, "What if the gun man been an Islamic terrorist?" The Republicans would be falling all over themselves to back the NRA plan, as would many others. There would be no talk of more gun control laws etc. At least the NRA has the welfare of the children in mind.
And so the NRA, much like the KKK, fades from American history as a significant political force.
While I celebrate the death of this lobbying organization which exists only to boost the profits of arms dealers who would sell guns to toddlers if they could bribe enough Congressmen to make it legal...
I am worried that there are no more major politically-minded organizations in the U.S. dedicated to protecting the amendments outlined in the Bill of Rights. Not just the highly overrated second amendment (why does the right to serve in a state militia appeal to you people so much, anyway?) but the amendments that actually matter.
Alas, freedom of the press guarantees that anyone with enough money can chisel away at the rest of our freedoms for personal benefit.
Thus we can only combat evils such as the KKK and the NRA on a grassroots level, by speaking out en masse and by denying them footholds in our communities.
NRA members, it's time to cast off the corporate yoke and form a new coalition dedicated to protecting YOUR liberty and not the liberty of a bunch of gunsmiths in Germany or Russia or China.
From the 2nd paragraph of the article – "But while Democrats advocate new legislation making it harder to obtain military-style firearms"
HOLD IT RIGHT THERE! Already, we have inaccurate reporting! These are NOT "military style" weapons that we are talking about! A "military style" weapon is a MACHINE GUN which fires multiple rounds per "trigger squeeze" and these are ALREADY ILLEGAL!!!
The weapons which Democrats are trying to outlaw are NOT military weapons, rather they are CIVILIAN weapons require one full trigger squeeze per bullet – EXACTLY LIKE AN OLD HUNTING RIFLE! This is technology that's been in existence for over 100 years! Yet, by LABELING them "semi-automatic assault rifles" the anti-gun crowd is able to frighten the general public who are not knowledge about guns.
If we are going to have a reasonable discussion about gun control, then we need to have ACCURATE REPORTING – and not the mislabeling of weaponry by shoddy journalists!!!
I have an idea- let's have the NRA pay for the police officer in every school! They have enough money to blackmail congress, they should be able to afford it. I wonder if they'd be willing to spend their money on that? Would their members keep donating? C'mon NRA, put your money where your mouth is.
I will never understand why on earth people think the answer is more guns. why the first response is to protect guns. If, according to the NRA there should be no limit on the weapons I own then can I go out and get myself a flame thrower? Can I have a nuclear war head? But I want one. you said i could have one and I want one. Sounds like children. And while we're at it, let's put armed guards in schools. what about shopping malls? Theaters? ballparks? the list is endless. why doesn't this madness have to stop somewhere?
Clinton also advocated for armed guards in schools...and allocated close to $200 million for it I believe.
The NRA and Republicans are so out of touch with average Americans and what they believe they should feel shame. While average Americans are trying to come to grips with this slaughter, they are out there defending the rights of the people who are killing our children. I wonder if the NRA will support background checks on the "volunteers" they put in our schools, they won't support background checks on gun owners, so are they going to fill our schools with criminals and crazy people.
Two peas in a pod.....that would be Wayne Lapierre and Grover Norquist. Next to them would be Mitch McConnell and Eric Cantor. They all seem to have taken away the spotlight that once shinined on persons like Pat Robertson and the late Jerry Fallwell. Men who have hindered, threatened, and coerced, under the umbrella of "God and Country" to achieve their own selfish goals. Power can be a very dangerous thing in the wrong hands and we are witnessing that danger with the NRA in their reluctance to change the gun laws. The NRA has abused the intent of the second amendment and apparently aren't genuinely moved by the latest slaughter of twenty little souls. The NRA is bereft of any common sense and decency.
Why don't put the NRA on the list of terrororist organizations? Shouldn't they be? Then any group or individual that supports them or accepts aid from them would also be labeled a terrorist.
GOP: American Taliban
NRA: American Al Qaeda
The NRA could care less about the children and other victims that they are responsible for. The blood is on their hands, and unless the people of this country stand up to the NRA, they will continue to get what they want. I'm not with the NRA, and I vote too.
Bottom line: the school failed to protect those kids.
When the kids are in thier parents company, the parents are tasked to protect them. If you don't, there are laws on the books to hold the parents accountable.
They go to school, and nothing is done to protect them. Despite the fact there have been numerous incidents at schools, with and without guns, that caused harm to at least one or more students. Kidnappings and harm is just the start of the list.
Common criminals are not the issue here. They mostly harm themselves or Mr & Mrs Public to further their own vices. It is those people with serious mental illness that choose to harm kids. And on top of that, you cant get a room full of experts to agree what mental illness is or how it is defined.
But everyone wants to government to fix things and the fact is, when the government gets involved, it is all screwed up.
It would cost 80 k a year for each school to pay for an armed guard. Forget that, and use that money for a government sponsored mandatory "buy back" program on assault weapons .
The leaders of the NRA gave a statement a week after Newtown. Their idea to arm teachers or principals is outrageous. I do not believe they know how schools and teachers operate. This appears to show just how much they believe that guns are the answers to problems. The statement certainly does not add to the healing process. It is based on the premise that we treat violence with more violence.
There's no talking sense into the gun lovers at this point. The only thing I hope they digest is that they're on the wrong side of history. Looking back, they are on the same team as those who believe that slavery is justified, segregation is ok, that women shouldn't vote, that evolution is a lie, it matters if a gay person marries, and so on, and so on. There's not a shred of empirical evidence to support their position, and every shred of evidence on the planet indicates that they are 100% wrong. To my NRA friends; you are a special breed of moron, and almost always my American brethren. I love ya, you're my countryman, but you are the problem. I hope you come to your senses in my lifetime.
I am starting to think that it doesn't matter if they are demoRATS or republiCANT. That our polititians are a bunch of clowns... all the way up to the White House and the lobyists (like the NRA) are the drivers driving the clown car.
We all need to lay our weapons down. We are armed to the teeth and this is the result. We manufacture the world's guns and we market the world's guns, first to our own people and then to the rest of the world. Private gun ownership needs to be outlawed. We need to repeal the 2nd amendment.
America, I feel sorry for you as a nation. The gun nuts and extreme right wingers have a hold on your great country like never before.
I'm glad I'm a Canadian.
If the NRA wields so much power because they have 3 million members why not start an ANTI-NRA membership drive? I am a gun owner (non-NRA member), but would pay to join the ANTI-NRA to help elect ANTI-NRA politicians.
I'm from Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina and there is a Police Station within the only High School for three towns. There are armed officers at the all the schools. No problems in the schools that isn't addressed immediately.
We need to secure from the outside with fences and cameras just like our gated neighborhoods. Time to react would help solve the problems.
Grover Norquist supplied the gun and the NRA has been good enough to load the gun. I would say the GOP is snakebit but I think it's more of a case of the chickens coming home to roost.
Now they have to sit around and prey there's not another gun massacre, or a "once in a 1000 year super storm", or that a bunch of GOP backing Wall Street scum are in the process of running another ponzi scheme on the whole country.
In the last 30 years they really got behind this "only look out for number 1" and they're finding out all their supporters feel the only "number 1" in the world is them.
This is another example of a lobbyist running our congress. First Grover Norquist is blackmailing everyone who won't sign his oath to not raise taxes and will go after anyone who signs and goes back on that oath. Now the NRA is trying to hold congressional members hostage with this half-baked scheme. When will congress become honest and do the bidding of their constituents rather than that of the deep, crooked pockets?
Guards in schools???
It's a little vague but an on-line search shows in excess of 130,000 public schools, and then there are the Church and Private schools. A conservative estimate would call for some 500,000 armed guards not counting substitute guards. Who will pay for that, you & I in additional taxes?
And what about Grocery Stores, Shopping Centers, Doctor’s offices, Bars, Night Clubs, Play Grounds, Buss Terminals, Wal-Mart’s, K-Mart’s, 7-11’s, Gas Stations, Churches, Book Stores, Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Libraries, On every street in the Nation. Clearly not a workable solution at all, and just a vain attempt to be heard; next time hopefully they’ll think before they speak but I doubt it.
Also, many facilities would require multiple guards depending on hallway configuration. Each guard would require start-up and on-going training, uniforms, equipment, and besides their pay you have to add in medical and retirement benefits; there would also be a need for administration personnel to handle the guards and insure all locations are properly covered. Multiply this by the numbers of public facilities and open spaces to protect and you have a massive $$$ burden on everyone. No Thank You NRA.
Why is it the issue of increase of mental health care is not addressed? Government on the local, state and federal level close mental health clinics cost savings , so that those who Need care don't get it and the first thing politicians state go to private facilities. How can the poor, homeless and veterans go to private facilities, when those facilities don't want them? Everyone voices use common sense, but yet not many are capable of using that gift if they possess it!
I'm not endorsing the NRA plan, but I do think that if this plan was proposed by Obama just about every Democrat would think it was a great "common sense" idea.
Republicans are getting hammered for both creating the legislation that gave us the fiscal cliff AND for not being able to come up with anything now that its here. Now, the NRA wants them to stick their necks out just a little bit more! I'ld almost feel sorry for them if this wasn't so richly deserved.