May 5th, 2013
11:37 AM ET
1 year ago

Durbin blasts NRA for 'celebrating' gun vote

(CNN) – The No. 2 Democrat in the Senate criticized the National Rifle Association for cheering the defeat of a recent bipartisan gun control measure and expressed hope that the “political sentiment” will change in the upper chamber so the legislation can be brought up again.

“The National Rifle Association can go to Texas and celebrate defeating that measure, but they certainly shouldn’t celebrate when they look at the carnage that takes place virtually every day in America because convicted felons have guns,” Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

He was referring to the organization’s annual meeting this weekend in Houston, where the recent gun control debate was a key theme among speeches by high-profile conservatives. Speakers praised the audience for lobbying their lawmakers to vote against gun control measures and encouraged them to keep up the fight.

"We are in the midst of a once-in-a-generation fight for everything we care about. We have a chance to secure our freedom for a generation, or to lose it forever," NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said Saturday.

"We must remain vigilant, ever resolute, and steadfastly growing and preparing for the even more critical battles that loom before us," he said.

One of the main provisions considered the most likely to pass would have expanded the background check system to include private sales at gun shows and online. In the April 17 vote, however, the Senate fell short of the 60 votes needed to move forward with the measure. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid shelved the overall gun control bill to allow more time for negotiations and vowed to bring it up again.

The defeat was seen as a major victory among anti-gun control advocates and among those in the gun lobby, who argued that the measure would not have done much to help prevent mass shootings like those seen in Newtown, Connecticut, and Aurora, Colorado, last year.

Durbin, the Senate’s majority whip, said the legislation needs five more votes in order to pass but said it can be an uphill battle in the Senate.

"What we need to see is a change in political sentiment within the Senate. We need to pick up five more votes, and that's quite a task, I might add, as whip in the Senate, but we can do this. I hope the American people don't give up. I know the president hasn't given up," Durbin told CNN's chief political correspondent Candy Crowley.

– CNN's Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.

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


Filed under: Dick Durbin • Gun control • Gun rights • NRA • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (498 Responses)
  1. Nik without a C

    Its the Conservities that are the real bully, No Democrats are not whiners. We are human too. I like Gun Control and if it passes then I am a happy camper, and make those in the NRA take a second look, the American people are fighting with the First Amendment . So You Republicans go back to your caves and stay there. I like that the Democrats are winning and that they are not cowards, The Never Give up without a fight. I wish more Newtown parents would protest and keep at it until the NRA and they Guns are melted down for Playgrounds and Parks.

    May 6, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  2. truckingeek

    One question that comes to mind when the pro gun people start crowing about their Constitutionally protected rights: when you open fire what happens to the bullets? Do all of you live on estates where you don't have to worry about kids or other people? Or do you live in areas where there is a high likelihood of hitting someone else or damaging property if you decide to fire a weapon? What happens to the rights of those in your line of fire? What is it that you are so frightened by that your need for lethal protection overrides everyone else's rights and needs?

    May 6, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  3. Chicago

    The NRA should be thanking Obama. No president has ever done more to increase gun sales and permits than Barry! To top it off he goes and directs Homeland Security to go and buy up all the ammo...I bet ammo makers have a record year in profits. That should lead to some new innovation and developments. It may also ramp them up in terms of how much and how fast they can make ammo in the future. For once I am glad we have an utter moron for a president!

    May 6, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. fibsernum

    I am surprised the NRA did not meet in Newtown, Aurora, Tucson, Blacksburg, Littleton or one of the other of the hundreds of sites where their wonderful guns have displayed their capabilities so effectively.
    It is hard to believe that any conscientious, moral, intelligent gun owner would not shun the Nuts Run Amok organization.

    May 6, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  5. The REAL Truth...

    "Freedom and the protection of the Constitution should always be celebrated Mr Durbin. Sad as a high ranking Senator you don't understand that."
    -------------
    So why then does the dichotomy exist in Kansas, that has instituted a state law that bans the application of Federal law enforcement regarding guns made in Kansas as a felony? Anyone see the irony in refusing to enforce a Federal law while supporting a Constitutional Amendment ??

    This is the lunacy that gets the NRA loving politicians elected. We have an incredible number of uninformed and ignorant voters to whom these folks cater. Now the TX House has passed legislation allowing concealed carry in TX universities. This is more lunacy. In fact, the whole NRA board should have their heads examined and be considered candidates for mental asylum incarceration.
    And yes, I own guns.. bu the NRA has become an extremist joke!

    May 6, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  6. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    The House and Senate are about to approve an internet sale tax on a bill introduced by republicans and NO one is complaining. There's not one single banner toting tea partier complaining in Washington. But there was all sorts of uproar about socialism and big government over the ACA. I could just imagine the uproar had President Obama been the one introducing this internet tax. The reality is that there's no democrats and republicans in congress. They're all teapublicans and they're a bunch of bigoted racist pigs who are envy and jealous cause our President is the greatest President in U.S . history. Hey, take for more years of ulcers and heartburn and enjoy turning green with envy!

    May 6, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  7. The REAL Truth...

    I fully believe that the political arm of the NRA infringes on my rights to life, liberty and happiness..

    May 6, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  8. Abbey

    The progressive hillbillies running the Democrat party could care less about children's safety. This assault by them is nothing more than another feeble attempt to erode liberties. Does anybody really believe that progressives goal is to rid all law abiding citizens the right to gun-ownership.

    May 6, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  9. John Illinois

    No 2nd Amendment rights infringement! You liberals need to look at who are commiting crimes with guns and where most these gun crime are happening. There are not being done by law abiding citizens! They are being done by criminals and criminals do not abide by laws! All this gun control garbage does is infringe upon the rights of law abiding citizens and would not have stopped anything that happened. Durbin, Reid, Pelosi, Obama and their band of liberal fools just want to say "at least we did something" but all it would do is affect law abiding people, not criminals.

    May 6, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  10. Sean

    Good God the response to this article are nothing short of mind boggling. How can people actually believe that the solution to all our problems is to arm every man, women, and child? The only thing that would do is lower the assault rates and raise the murder rates, because why beat someone when you can just shoot them? Also another point i'd like to address is this, there is NO way in hell you people who sit here and spew nonsense about the government doing door to door raids and imprisoning US citizens unlawfully would be able to do anything to stop it if by some bizarro world chance it happens. I'd love to see your "well regulated militia" stand up to the true professionals.

    May 6, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  11. happynurse

    I feel sorry for people that have nothing else in their lives but the love of guns......the NRA doens't care about everyone's rights, just the money guns put in their pockets. i dislike guns and don't want to be rubbing elbows with people who have them on their person, most of them are unsafe and uneducated as to how to use them. I feel they pose a danger to me. I think that I have the right to be safe. But apparently my rights don't matter

    May 6, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  12. Bill

    The country is divided big time for many issues, now guns has cemented the right wing. Think about it, not jobs, deficit, abortions, migrants, or Obama care, no, guns for liberty they claim. Hey I am a smoker and smokes cost is eating my lunch, too bad tobacco companies did not hire the same P.R outfit to fight the government. It is my right to die from cancer with out government interference. Kidding of course.

    May 6, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  13. pm Ohio

    The Bill of Rights was written over 200 years ago before there were military style weapons on our streets. Most of our Amendments to the Constitution have limits and laws limiting the "Rights"...like the freedom of speech (1st Amendment)...you can't cause a panic and yell "fire"...you cannot campaign withnin a certain distance of the polls, etc. What is the problem with preventing felons and the mentally disabled from owning weapons that have one purpose and that is to kill somone or something? And all you Conservatives out there who thing that te Liberals are taking Rights away...it's the Right who trampled out freedoms with the Patriot Act, which took most of our rights to privacy away...the Government only has to say "terrorist" and they can do anything they want...no warrant needed...That was a GOP Law. The Patriot Act was the single biggest grab of our individual rights in out countries history.

    May 6, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  14. mark

    Hey Durbin – I'm a registered Dem and I'm doing the happy dance over the vote. Now how about you and your worthless counterparts get off your collective butts and come up with some legislation that would actually help solve the problem of gun violence in this country instead of treating average citizens like criminals.

    May 6, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  15. grixxly

    11 Teens die a day because of cell phone use while driving: Where are the new Federal laws to stop this? It is about the children after all, isn't it?

    May 6, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Why are all the so-called "law abiding citizens" concerned with a background check law?? What's wrong with that picture?

    May 6, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Kudos to those of you who said you cancelled your NRA memberships. They keep touting about the new memberships they got but of course no mention of how many cancellations which most likely reversed their gains. It seems from the comments by many of the 2nd Amendment lovers who use that as an excuse to have as many weapons and whatever kind they want, that these are the people who should in no way have a gun! They are very paranoid and could just be one of those "law abiding" citizens that goes over the edge and commits a mass gun murder.

    May 6, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  18. Marvin Jergens

    The Democrats have awoken a sleeping giant. The 2014 midterms will make 1994 look like a summer picnic. In 1994, conservatives got caught with their pants down and allowed a gun ban to pass as part of a crime bill. It won't happen again. Liberals want to demonize the NRA. Why? Because they can't accept the fact that the NRA is made up of doctors, construction workers, accountants, mechanics, electricians, mail carriers, etc. Do you really think that ALL guns in the country are owned by NRA members? This is a liberal agenda that has been waiting in the shadows for the right time to emerge. They are trying to strike while the iron is hot, and now they are angry that they lost. Go ahead and believe that 90% BS. Both my Senator and Congressman voted "no" on the bill like the majority of their constituents demanded.

    May 6, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. mrathh

    Problems with the background check bill:
    1. It doesn't provide a means of effectively screening the mentally ill becasue there is nothing substantive to force states to provide that information, or what kind of information, or define what degree of mental illness should result in prohibition.
    2. The Dept of Justice (1999) has shown that very few crimiinals (<2%) buy guns from private sellers at gunshows, because guns simply cost too much there. They are much cheaper through illicit "street" sales.
    3. The bill was looking to appropriate $100 million a year ....to exapnd this ineffective background check system.

    May 6, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. ron

    i quess when durbin wins something,,he is depressed.....what an idiiot....just trying to blast nra, and gun owners as a whole

    May 6, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  21. ron

    in honesty,,,the background check alone was probably suported by some gun owners...what was wrong with that bill...was all the stuff that was added to the bill that did not allow many things that affected gun oners...thats what you don,t here from people here.

    May 6, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  22. ron

    i did not know democrats were so anti-gun....will make me think next time i vote.

    May 6, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  23. Ferret out the BS

    Bill, yes you have a right to kill yourself with cigarettes but you're not the only one and while you're doing it, there are a heck of a lot more of us out here breathing your smoke and paying for your medical care. Just as there are a heck of a lot of innocent bystanders getting shot and a heck of a lot of us paying for their medical care, even the gangbangers that don't die right away.

    May 6, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
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