May 5th, 2013
11:37 AM ET
5 years 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. not perfect yet

    The majority of Americans support comprehensive gun control and this is what Republicans give us?

    May 5, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  2. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    The dems are just waiting for the gop to get train wrecked in the 2014 house and senate elections. The nra claims they have 5 million brain dead members,well theirs 350 million voters waiting to throw out the gop trash in 2014 mid terms. It will pass after the gop loses the house, time to sweep out the gop garbage, the gop is what is wrong with American ,simple solution !!!!

    May 5, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  3. sam

    Wayne uses the 2nd amendment has an excuse for guns. Wayne is a terrorist in this nation. The NRA is a terrorist organization and needs to be stopped. The politicians that promote and support the NRA needs to be defeated.

    May 5, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    NRA is as idiotic as senate that voted against the bill last month. People are watching to overthrow these bums from senate in next election for sure. Nation needs GUN-BAN LAWS. Period.

    May 5, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  5. Aerin

    The NRA is helping the GOP down the toilet fast.

    May 5, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |

    Check out the NRA membership. Check out how they make their living. I am sure that you will find out that they buy guns legal and sell to criminal elements. 2014 is the year we go forward or we go back in time.

    May 5, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. John

    And Dick Durbin still doesn't get it

    May 5, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  8. Breeze

    The majority of Americans do NOT support gun control. That 90% figure was just made up by obama. OUR country is based on the RIGHT that "shall not be infringed" for the INDIVIDUAL to own guns. Besides, nothing they are doing will stop gun violence. Voting this down was a blow for FREEDOM.

    May 5, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  9. OldSchool

    We need universal background checks, it is an entirely logical proposition. The NRA types often like to use the statistic that tens (or hundreds depending on the time span) of thousands of people are prohibited from buying guns because they fail background checks. Their argument is that the "laws aren't being enforced" because these people aren't prosecuted for failing to disclose information on their application forms, while bafflingly ignoring the fact that the requirement for background checks stopped these people from getting guns. This background check requirement needs to be extended to ALL GUN SALES, via a dealer or private.

    May 5, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  10. Jonljne

    I am so angry at the GOP for defeating common sense anything at this point. I am going to hold their feet to the fire this midterm election. I have looked up who has an NRA A rating republican and democrat and will vote against them

    May 5, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  11. skyatimus

    NRA: Better sorry than safe.

    May 5, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. james mcgrath

    The last time gun control was a major issue, the party in power was kicked out of office and it was not the GOP.

    May 5, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  13. Mike Fessler

    Durbin's an idiot. Felons would have guns regardless, even if a law was passed banning ALL guns. That buffoon seems to miss the fact that a law has been on the books for decades making possession of a gun by a felon against the law already. Has that stopped them? No. Durbin needs to get a ticket on the clue bus.

    May 5, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  14. Lori Post

    I find it ironic that my college aged son was en route to Los Angeles and had a layover at the Houston airport on Friday. He was flying into Houston as the NRA leadership was reaching their final destination – – Houston, Texas. My son called me from his cell phone while lying on the floor because he stepped out of his gate into terminal B where there was gunfire. There was a man shooting an automatic pistol who also had an automatic rifle in his bag. He was trying to get through security only feet from where my son was laying. Security officers shot and killed this man. This incident has been significantly downplayed in the media. A person who brings a handgun and an automatic rifle to the airport is set on a massacre. The only reason that he did not kill many people is because security guards killed him first. My son was forced into a hallway with NRA officials, marked by their IDs and advertising on their clothing until he was interviewed by the police and until it was deemed safe for him to leave. Many NRA members would have perished from unsafe gun ownership and yet they protect the right to own at the cost of my son's life and their own. Nobody is trying to take away the NRA's guns or any other person for that matter. We want to keep guns out of the hands of mentally ill, violent felon's hands and there is no need for automatic weapons unless you are a member of the US armed forces. Automatic weapons have the ability to kill a lot of people in a short amount of time. But hey, I am biased – – that was just my kid who was laying on the floor while being trampled by hysterical people running for their lives including the sissy NRA members.

    May 5, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  15. gary kolenich

    Obama is whats wrong with this country. Funny how all democrats are poor, dont own guns, have all the answers...blah blah. Yet, we went into sequester, no gun bill, spending out of control. F obama

    May 5, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  16. John Lewis

    Hey Mr. Clueless.... convicted felons will find guns regardless of any new background check laws you pass.

    May 5, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. SOS

    Hilarious. 5 years of Obama and the dems cannot win anything. I guess the great bailing-out the banks fiasco proved how ineffective you are. You are not winning anything next time. You are going to lose the senate and the whitehouse.

    May 5, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  18. Wally

    Guns over kids..some organization. GOP out 2014

    May 5, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  19. Nate

    Face reality! Most Americans don't want the second admendment repealed. They do not want their rights sliced away a fraction at a time. Especially by a class of society distrusted by all: politicians. If you fixed America's drug problem the gun problem would go away. (By drugs I mean both illegal and "legal" )

    May 5, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  20. Jim

    oh get a grip, if/when the democrats win they will be celebrating. As a NRA lifetime member I am not celebrating as I know we still have a long road before people realize the guns are not the problem.

    May 5, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  21. Robert

    Senator Durbin just inadvertently admitted that the problem of people being killed by guns is HIS fault!
    "the carnage that takes place virtually every day in America because convicted felons have gun, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois"
    It is already illegal for convicted felons to have a gun, the problem is that Senator Durbin hasn't supported enforcing those existing laws.
    Senator Durbin just proved that the NRA is right, we don't need more gun laws, just enforce the laws we have!

    May 5, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  22. blackhawkmom

    Men haven't evolved much since the neanderthal days – used to be clubs; now, it is guns to supposedly prove manhood. How do men now define manhood? Pathetic !!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 5, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  23. Bob

    I am a Republican BUT not next election because I am NOT voting for anyone who voted against gun control. P.S. I have a list of each. GOP you are a DISGRACE.

    May 5, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  24. MacLorry

    Gun owners are more passionate about protecting their 2nd amendment rights than those who would take away those rights for the false promise of safety. Dems will lose big in 2014 not only because of gun control, but the disaster Obamacare is becoming. Thus, will end the Obama administration and its failed policies.

    May 5, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  25. iceandsnow3

    To jkane: I'm with you. Unfortunately, the only thing that MIGHT, and I use the term loosely, change the views of the NRA and the Republicans, is for the same type of horror that was inflicted on the people and parents of Newtown to be inflicted on them. People tend to change their thinking drastically when a tragedy happens to their own kin.

    May 5, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
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