NRA says Biden meeting missed the target
Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association executive vice president, made a statement to reporters after the Newtown shooting.
January 10th, 2013
05:09 PM ET
2 years ago

NRA says Biden meeting missed the target

(CNN) - The nation’s largest gun lobby left a Thursday meeting with Vice President Joe Biden and his gun control panel “disappointed” and perceiving little ground for compromise and said it would move forward on the issue independently.

“In a sense, they were checking a box,” National Rifle Association President David Keene said on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.” “They were able to say we've met with the NRA, we've met with the people that are strong Second Amendment supporters.”

His group issued a statement saying it was “disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment.”

Representatives from the NRA and at least five other firearms associations joined Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder for an hour and a half long meeting on Thursday, White House officials said.

In the wake of the mass shooting that left 20 students and six adults dead at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, President Barack Obama appointed Biden to head a panel on gun control and report back this month.

The NRA has proposed putting armed guards in "every single school in America that wants it," as well as considering best practices for training programs and school design.

It has steadfastly rejected compromise on outlawing certain weapons, types of weapons or accessories.

“We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen," the NRA statement read. "Instead, we will now take our commitment and meaningful contributions to members of Congress of both parties who are interested in having an honest conversation about what works - and what does not."

Were the president to propose a certain restriction on who could legally purchase firearms, Keene indicated his group would side with Obama.

“We have for years urged that those who have been adjudicated as potentially violently mentally ill ought to be included in the national database of those who are not allowed to buy firearms,” he said. “Twenty-three states don't do that.”

One group that said it was not invited to the Thursday meeting, Gun Owners of America, charged that the Obama administration is driven by an "antipathy to the Constitution and its disdain for the God-given right of self-defense that all gun owners enjoy."

Reporters were not allowed into any portion of the meeting, but earlier in the day, Biden said, "We realize this requires all the stakeholders to give us their best ideas to what is, as I said at the outset, a complicated problem. There is no single answer."

He said his group was meeting with a broad spectrum of organizations, including experts on health, education, and the law; leaders of religious and social communities; proponents of gun rights and gun control; and advocates against domestic violence.

The NRA described Thursday's conversation as largely one-sided.

"While claiming that no policy proposals would be 'prejudged,' this Task Force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners - honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans," their statement read. "It is unfortunate that this Administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation's most pressing problems.”

About a week after the Newtown shooting, the NRA announced its proposal to put armed and trained guards in schools nationwide and unveiled a project called the National School Shield Emergency Response Program.

"The only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection," the group's executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, said in a statement to reporters. "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

Biden said he would offer proposals to Obama next week and indicated Wednesday that there are both legislative action and "executive orders, executive action that can be taken" on the matter.

Other gun groups present at the Thursday meeting included the Defense Small Arms Advisory Council, Firearms Import/Export Roundtable, Independent Firearm Owners Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation and National Association of Arms Shows. Biden met separately with members of the entertainment industry and groups representing sportsmen.

– CNN's Jim Acosta, Kevin Bohn, and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report


Filed under: Gun rights
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. Kelly

    If Joe Biden were an iPhone app he would be Apple Maps.

    January 10, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  2. Mitchell

    Something the NRA Needs to remember. The 2nd Amendment gives every American the right to own a musket. The founding fathers would not want people carrying weapons that hold 30 rounds.

    January 10, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  3. GuestAgain

    The obama admin doesnt fix problems just dictates ridiculous solutions or completely denies responibility .....

    January 10, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  4. labman57

    What is the difference between a "law-abiding citizen" and a "criminal" or "madman"?

    Sometimes nothing more than having a really bad day.

    January 10, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  5. Thomas

    Wayne LaPierre, said at a statement to reporters. "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

    "The Day the Earth Stood Still "

    January 10, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  6. Randy, San Francisco

    Time to amend the Second Amendment and bring it into the 21st century, nothing sacred or religious about it.

    January 10, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen," the NRA said in a statement. "Instead, we will now take our commitment and meaningful contributions to members of Congress of both parties who are interested in having an honest conversation about what works – and what does not."

    Translation: "We weren't able to control and shut down all conversation regarding gun control so we will now lobby GOPers/Teatrolls with the millions given to us by gun manufacturers and retailers."

    There's no threat here. This is simply status quo. They were already lobbying with millions of manufacturer/retailer money to prevent any sort of common sense gun control and they went to the meeting intending to say this afterwards no matter what happened. They knew full well that there would be discussion of registration systems, background checks, etc. That is what the public WANTS to be discussed. The NRA and its gun fetishists want us to believe that it would be reasonable to not talk about these things? That despite them not ever being tried, we somehow already have evidence that they don't work? That despite them working in other countries like Australia, we somehow have evidence that they don't work? The NRA is a lobbying group for manufacturers, retailers and, ultimately, a sort of wing of the defense industry's lobbyists. They weren't going to find anything other than "more guns are needed" to be an acceptable answer.

    January 10, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    ""The only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection," the group's executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, said at a statement to reporters."

    Was he wearing a jumpsuit akin to what racecar drivers wear, with ads for things like MREs, ammo companies, bunker manufacturers, etc., all over it when he said this?

    January 10, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  9. Jam.Nat

    These meetinga are all a fasade. Obama and Biden have already made up their minds on what they want to do; pass new gun laws and no amount of discussion or facts will make them change their minds. They see an opportunity to pass Chicago style gun control which is a failed policy and are munipulating current public sentiment with their cheerleaders in the press facilitating this effort to push for gun control laws which will have no impact on gun violence. Liberals at their best, I mean worst.

    January 10, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  10. PJ

    In the meantime, the NRA and the tea party will hold its FIRST EVER "Gun Appreciation Day" on January 19th
    sandwiched in between the "Day of Community Service" commemorating the assassination of Dr. Martin
    Luther King, on January 18th and the President's Inauguration on January 20th.
    Then they will start spending the gun manufacturer's money (aka "meaningful contributions"), to buy votes
    or threaten anyone who gets in their way. That is, after LaPierre pockets the millions he is paid.

    January 10, 2013 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  11. Pete

    More psychological testing of gun buyers are needed and tightening of laws surrounding gun shows ..Also some type of criminal check when buying ammo ,not the taxing because what it'll do is lead more Americans to reload more of their own ammo instead of buying new merchandise...There's ways to get around everything because that's the spirit of indiviguals wanting independence in America,its proven and it'll never be stopped...So its smarter to learn to cope with it,if being involved yourself is sometimes a key to fixing things not just crying about it!!

    January 10, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  12. tayllor1234

    Don't know how it happened but the NRA has become the voice of reason while the office of the President of the USA has become a beacon of extremism.

    January 10, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  13. Sanity

    Chicago and D.C. are great examples of taking guns away from law abiding citizens, look at the results, sky high crime rate and violence. Why? Didn't the crimianls all lose their guns too? Oh wait of course they didnt.....
    Now look at Keenesaw Ga. in 1982 they passed a law requiring all households to have a firearm and ammo, murder rate there in the last THIRTY YEARS....4!!!!! Three of those were in one incident in a GUN FREE ZONE, where law abiding citizens were striped of their rights to be armed to defned themselves. The facts are out there, taking guns from the law abiding citizens does NOT reduce crime, it increases it because the criminals have nothing to fear anymore.

    January 10, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  14. madnessofjack

    US citizens have the right to firearms to include....semi automatic rifles, pistols, detachable magazines, pistol grips...all of it.... Its a Individual Right....as in Civil Right, like Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Assembly, Freedom of Worship, etc...
    DEAL WITH IT

    From Wiki
    "McDonald v. Chicago, 561 US 3025 (2010), was a landmark[1] decision of the Supreme Court of the United States that determined whether the Second Amendment applies to the individual states. The Court held that the right of an individual to "keep and bear arms" protected by the Second Amendment is incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and applies to the states. The decision cleared up the uncertainty left in the wake of District of Columbia v. Heller as to the scope of gun rights in regard to the states."

    January 10, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  15. Kelly

    Nancy Pelosi has not had much to say. She remembers what happened to the Democrats last time they tried this.

    January 10, 2013 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  16. plain&simple

    When the American voters tell the NRA where to go and when the voters tell the tea party where to put their obstruction....change will come. Those two factions hope to delay anything in order to have time work in fading everyones memory! Keep hope and change alive,speak out everyday on having a better system to REGULATE weapons of mass destruction! The word Is REGULATE its part of the 2 amendment. Don't omit it.

    January 10, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  17. Welfare Mittens

    I always hear the "a car is a weapon too" argument and to that I say, "I am required to register my car". I can't understand why firearms aren't registered. If it's the confiscation argument, please save it as I've yet to have a vehicle confiscated. I propose requiring firearm insurance, just like I am required to have insurance for ALL my vehicles you should have to insure your firearms. Let the insurance companies set the requirements, conduct psychological testing and background checks and before you purchase a fire arm you need to show your insurance card to show you are all good. No insurance, no guns!

    January 10, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  18. Gurgyl

    Entire second amendment is a total BS. Pass gun-control laws. Period.

    January 10, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  19. Tim

    If you want to really screw something up, send in Biden.

    January 10, 2013 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  20. quieteye

    NRA:
    More guns = less violence.

    Right or Wrong?

    January 10, 2013 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  21. Lisa P.

    Clearly what does not work is expecting the NRA to come up with any serious, responsible or practical solutions to a very real problem. They've turned the phrase "responsible gun owners" into a sick joke. The NRA speaks for the gun profiteers and the gun crazies who keep them in business; responsible gun owners would be honestly looking for responsible ways to keep everybody safe everywhere.

    January 10, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  22. Former Republican, now an Independent

    The NRA has lost it's credibility, and now is representing the Michigan Militia, Skinheads, Neo-Nazis, and other hate groups who don't want guns like we hunters desire. They want guns of war that can kill masses in a matter of minutes.

    January 10, 2013 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  23. scarf

    Why does Wayne think only schools need armed guards? I work in a children's hospital with 350 beds. Our guards carry nothing more lethal than a billy club. Isn't Wayne afraid that some madman will shoot his way into the oncology ward and shoot the cancer patients in their beds? And what about churches? I've never seen any church services with armed guards in the sanctuary. In short, just as any madman with enough smarts and energy to overcome the barriers placed in front of him will get a gun, so will they always have plenty of targets. Unless Wayne thinks we can put armed guards everywhere (I'd like to see his church services), then we should try to increase the difficulties these guys have any getting guns. In other words, universal background checks, limits on clip size, limits on rate of fire, limits on minimum ages for gun users (we require you to be 16 or more to even drive a car, but 10 is fine for a rifle), etc.

    January 10, 2013 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  24. Dave

    How is the 2nd amendment a "God give right"? God did not write the amendment, God did not give anyone that right. Human beings wrote it. Humans created the culture. Radical humans take the so called "right" to the extreme. And fallible humans use the "right" to wipe out lives of law abiding citizens.

    Do the right thing. Limit the use of guns, ensure anyone who has one is of sound mind and passes strict guidelines. Eliminate assault rifles and high capacity magazines. You will never completely eliminate murder but you will certainly greatly reduce the number of mass murders if you do this. Do the right thing.

    January 10, 2013 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  25. Ronnie Harper

    Sounds like the gun lobby has met their newest friend, Vice President Mr. Joe Biden, who will artfully solve the problem they have helped create. Activists are out in full force and we will have substantial movement on this within weeks, not months.

    January 10, 2013 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
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