Connecticut senator: 'This is not your father's NRA'
January 13th, 2013
11:44 AM ET
1 year ago

Connecticut senator: 'This is not your father's NRA'

(CNN) – Sen. Chris Murphy doesn't share the National Rifle Association's assessment that Congress won't pass an assault weapons ban.

"I think (the NRA) is wrong," the Connecticut Democrat said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union." "I think that this issue is going to continue to move."

On the same CNN program, NRA President David Keene said earlier he doesn't think there's enough support to get an assault weapons ban, or restrictions on high-capacity magazines, through both chambers of Congress.

Murphy, however, shot back, saying when the "president puts the full weight of their office behind legislative change, that certainly means something." The freshman senator was speaking on the show from Newtown, Connecticut.

Following last month's shootings at the Newtown elementary school, President Barack Obama tapped Vice President Joe Biden to lead a task force that would come up with proposals no later than this month to reduce gun violence. While meeting with a wide variety of stakeholders in the gun debate last week, Biden cautioned that "the president is going to act" and mentioned that executive orders could be issued.

READ MORE: NRA president says gun control efforts will crumble in Congress

Murphy said he does see movement on Capitol Hill toward wanting serious change in federal gun laws. He pointed to pro-gun Democrats with high ratings from the NRA, such as Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, both of whom have been outspoken on a need for change. He also mentioned conservative Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia, who recently said he favored some forms of gun control.

"That's a sea change if people like that in the Republican House Caucus are willing to look at this," Murphy told CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley. "Newtown fundamentally changed things, and the NRA just doesn't get this. They've got to come to the table on gun control, just as they're saying they're coming to the table on mental health, because their previous allies and backers in the House and the Senate aren't with them anymore."

He took aim in particular at the lobby's influence.

"The NRA does not represent gun owners anymore. This is not your father's NRA. It represents gun manufacturers," Murphy said. "They make tens of millions of dollars off of purchases of guns."

Since the shooting last month, the NRA has added 100,000 new members, bringing its total membership to 4.2 million, NRA officials told CNN. Because of the increased attention on the issue, the officials think the group will soon hit 5 million.

Murphy pointed to the organization's "roundup" program, which encourages customers to round the cost of their purchase up to the next higher dollar amount and give the difference to the NRA.

The NRA's Keene, however, argued with that notion earlier on "State of the Union," saying manufacturers are "not our constituency."

"Our constituency is twofold," he said. "It's the American people who want to own guns and use them legally, and it's the Second Amendment itself."

While the NRA sharply disagrees, Murphy maintained that an assault weapons ban would help stop more mass shootings, and he vowed to vote for such legislation if it comes to the Senate floor.

"There would still be little boys and girls alive in Newtown today, I believe, if you had banned assault weapons and these high-capacity magazine clips," he said. "And that's something we can do and do now."

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.


Filed under: Chris Murphy • Congress • Gun rights • NRA • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (146 Responses)
  1. Observor

    Murphy, another glib liberal braying like a mule for the oligarchs he serves. The political elite in America know that economic collapse due to their negligence is around the corner. The last thing they want is an armed and angry populace coming to their door to ask why.

    January 13, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. Squigman

    Once, just once, it would be advisable for all parties involved in this discussion/issue to keep the barking dogs and whining dog of both parties silent, or at least at a distance. This issue needs common sense, as well as educated problem solving techniques. The nation deserves the best and brightest be involved. The noise makers need to be ignored if success is to be achieved.

    January 13, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  3. I must be sick

    Now, when I read the news, I'm not shocked at a shooting; I'm more inclined to think:" Oh only 2 people were murdered,
    thank goodness it wasn't 20 ... "

    January 13, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  4. digger64

    How many people have to die from these weapons of distruction. How many kids workers and firemen. I know nothing will change cause were Americans its our God given right to carry a weapon. We lead the world in homacide from guns why cant we go back to leading the world in jobs maybe education.

    January 13, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  5. Dutch2000

    This is not an issue with the NRA's 3 million members versus 331 million Americans with a different view. It's probably more like 200+ million Americans along with the 3 million NRA members who understand the value of the Bill or Rights versus a growing segment of the population who is happy to hand over their rights to government in exchange for some perceived protection.

    January 13, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  6. awasis

    NRA gets 74% of its "donations" from the gun industry.

    January 13, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  7. brucejc

    On the recent school shootings and the call for more “gun laws”.

    Those who fixate on the tools used in crimes instead of the mind-set of the perpetrators are ignoring the real causes and ensuring future crimes. These people are, simply, accessories before the fact.

    January 13, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  8. RC Johnson

    Trex, I also am hearing from the 331,567,318 other Americans, of which an estimated 240,000,000 are legal, law abiding gun owners. And they are tired of being demonized by a rabid, agenda driven press and liberal morons like yourself. Like most Americans, I am not an NRA member yet, but as this witch hunt continues, that will change............Lets see.......331 million........minus...........91 million unarmed..........= UNARMED LOSES BIG!

    January 13, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  9. Olaf Big

    When the President puts full weight of their office... God help English language!

    January 13, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  10. BeadlesAz

    What a sad situation – all those people in Sandy Hook lost their lives – and the main focus is on gun ownership. To the NRA & Gun Rights Crowd – no one (w/ any sense of reality) is trying to take away your right to own weapons. I (a liberal) don't even care if you have a closet full of semi-automatic weapons, high capacity clips, whatever. What I want (and many other people want) is constructive, meaningful dialog on how we can make our world better and safer. I don't how any rational person can be against background checks, waiting periods, regulated sales (i.e., close the gun show loophole). Notice I said *rational* – anyone who believes the big, bad gubmint is gonna come take away their guns is not rational.

    January 13, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  11. Drew

    Tn_Newfie

    You should really read the whole 2nd amendment

    January 13, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  12. Drew

    Tn_Newfie

    Though I agree that it does not say anything about hunting and protection.

    January 13, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  13. Bill in Florida

    So the NRA has less than 5 million members in a country with more than 200 million adults. They represent maybe 2% of American adults. In other words, they're a fringe group who is NOT supported by the VAST MAJORITY of Americans. Maybe it's time for the organization of an anti-NRA.

    January 13, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  14. sly guy

    That's right, the new NRA is part of the shadow government controlling who is elected, and who and who is not staying in office, when they oppose or support the NRA.
    The NRA is on a rampage to arm every man, woman and child in this country, and to make sure blood will never dry on our streets, homes, schools, and any other place where one can possibly congregate.
    It is making sure that this country becomes the armed terrorist training camp, where we can export our culture of violence throughout the world.

    January 13, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  15. Nancy

    No assault gun for individual and the owners of (stolen) gun will be charged and be in full responsibilities under the law as they use the gun(s) in the i incidents (massacres) by themselves.

    January 13, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  16. Dave

    Memo to the NRA – Congress does NOT need your approval to change gun laws in spite of your arrogant opinion to the contrary. It's time you actually polled your members instead of foisting YOUR personal opinions on behalf of the NRA. I think it's fair to say that the majority of your members would support a ban on assault weapons, a ban on large capacity magazines, a tightening of the rules for 'gun shows' and a requirement for screening to get a gun. These changes still leave guns in the hands of ALL your members.

    January 13, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  17. Rememberwhatbushdid

    Why, by now, does anyone who values life listen to the NRA? The leadership, not so much the membership, is a handful of extremists who are under the thumb of the multi-billion dollar gun industry. Those kind of people are always gong to find rationalizations because they just want to keep making money.

    January 13, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. Larry Hoover

    I have hunted most of my life and love my hunting guns but there is no place for guns that shoot 5 shots without reloading.
    The NRA has a lot of radical members , I would never join because I felt they were anti government and had radical views.
    I will support a ban on assault weapons and any other laws to help control guns getting in the wrong hands.

    January 13, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  19. BankerfromBoston

    Treat guns like cigarettes and alcohol, and impose a 'sin' tax. In addition require gun owners to carry insurance no different than auto insurance. Use the sin tax and a portion of the insurance premiums to fund mental health programs and registries. Finally require every gun purchase to require a background check. This may be a more effective approach to addressing the gun issue than attempting an approach that gun owners consider an attack on second amendment rights. Action is required. Trying an approach that is likely to bear no fruit will fail to make any progress on the issue.

    January 13, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  20. Erick

    Guns are not answer.

    January 13, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  21. NoTags

    The NRA has about 4.2 million members, however there are another 80 to 100 million of us who own weapons, but are not members. The vast majority of gun owners who are not members of the NRA feels the same way the NRA does about gun restrictions.

    The majority of police in this country do a great job, however they cannot be everywhere at once so some of us may have to depend on our weapons if our life is threatened. Since I can't carry a cop, I'll just continue to carry my weapon.

    January 13, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  22. Kyle

    This not your father's NRA?.. more like this isn't the Founding Father's government. It's been hijacked by crooks who want to steal the rights away from honest citizens. If you think that the NRA isn't standing up for civillians rights, you don't know much about the intent of the 2nd Amendment and you certainly don't speak with many people outside of your liberal circle. Most people I speak with see a problem with crime. Politicians don't see a problem, they see an opportunity for empowering our government be weakening the people. If you don't like the 2nd Amendment, then don't get a firearm. If you don't like freedom of speech, then don't talk in public. Just because you don't agree with what someone says, or what firearms someone own's doesn't mean it should be illegal.

    January 13, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  23. upclosepls

    Liberals Exposed: The Obama administration and his liberal media followers, are trying to con naive American’s by demonizing semi-auto rifles. How? By calling them “assault weapons” which is a lie (look up the definition). They also keep saying “assault weapons are not needed for hunting”. The real truth: the second amendment was not designed by our founding fathers for hunting (and liberals know this). This is nothing more than a con job to confuse naive American’s into following their ideological beliefs. It’s really about power and control from both liberals and the Obama administration. History shows that if you strip the guns from the people you control the people. Hopefully the liberals and government will not continue to test the power of the second amendment and push this into an ugly repeat of the past. Real AMERICANS! PLEASE STOP BEING CONNED!

    January 13, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  24. Naropa

    The NRA just shows how stupid our country has become. They truly have no purpose but to lobby for Conservatives. And we all know Conservatives would rather shoot ya than look at ya...now THAT'S what Jesus would do.

    January 13, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  25. noteasilyswayed

    Let's look at Newtown..... if the shooter's mother had not encouraged her son to stay down in the basement playing violent video games for hours at a time; if she had not enabled him by taking him to the shooting range with her and, if she had simply had him committed, rather than telling him up-front that she was going to do it, the shootings probably would not have taken place. She should have also hidden and locked up her guns after she informed him that she was going to put him in a psychiatric facility. This society is full of enablers; parents and others disregard signs of violence because they believe that if they just make their children feel good, somehow they will turn out alright. Just like the great amount of children failing at school, we are not really looking at the role of the parents in how things are turning out in this day and age.

    January 13, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
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