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. myway

    It's hardly a surprise the NRA's conduct is against any decency or common sense. They've re-written the book on deplorable rhetoric in the face of gun related tragedies. You have to wonder what sort of citizens would defy any attempt regulating guns while tens of thousands of people suffer gun related deaths not to mention how that affects all their friends an relatives

    May 5, 2013 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  2. NavyVet51

    Convicted felons have guns because you bleeding heart liberal fail to deal with them corectly!!!

    May 5, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  3. Jesse Jackson

    poor little Dicky Dirtbag is upset, boo hoo hoo....

    May 5, 2013 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  4. Ancient Texan

    The NRA and the Senate are doing exactly what the people are entitled to: protection of the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

    May 5, 2013 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  5. Ancient Texan

    Even if the bill passes in the Senate, it will NOT in the House.

    May 5, 2013 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    @H&K MP5

    The 2nd amendment is not about deer hunting. It's about liberals being kept in check. To believe otherwise is to be a fool.
    Following your logic Tim McVeigh was a hero and so are the Boston bombers. They unilaterally decided our government had become oppressive, took up "arms" and struck a blow against the establishment. Since the 2nd doesn't describe a "well-regulated militia", does not define "arms", and gives no definition to the term "infringe" you must believe these men were within their rights to kill Americans. Your viewpoint of the 2nd would appear to legalize domestic acts of terror.

    May 5, 2013 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  7. Scott

    "The defeat was seen as a major victory among anti-gun control advocates and among those in the gun lobby,"

    Anti-Gun Control Advocates apparently is the new name for those supporting the Second Amendment

    May 5, 2013 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  8. Mike

    The 2nd amendment was implemented when the major weapon was a single-shot muzzle-loader. No way the founders foresaw automatic weapons that are only good for shooting a bunch of people. Any "law-abiding" hunter who needs more than six rounds should do his hunting at the Safeway. NRA – what a bunch of money-hungry idiots.:

    May 5, 2013 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  9. Anonymous


    Like the Democrats wouldn't be celebrating had the measure passed....
    It's important (and sad) to note the measure only failed to come to a real vote. The gross misuse of filibusters by Republicans has completely destroyed the functioning of the Senate. If Republicans ever retake the Senate do you think Democrats will forget how Republicans obstructed all debate and trashed the democratic process? What will Republicans do then? Is destroying our government the goal? Obstructionism is far easier than democracy.

    May 5, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  10. John lightfoot

    I now believe we do not need to fight to keep the 2 admendment. We need to fight to create out own government that is controlled by the people. It will be a fight to the death. The other side will need to be annihilated. it is the only way now we take back our government!

    May 5, 2013 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  11. Mike

    Unless, of course, you are a member of some white-supremist "militia" that is convinced the government is out to confiscate all of your weapons. That has never been mentioned or even considered. The NRA puts out the bs just to instill even more paranoia in those whack jobs. Just what we need.

    May 5, 2013 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  12. Larry L


    Liberals will NEVER infringe on our Second Ammendment.
    The 2nd Admendment is a great example of right-wing judges interpreting law to match the desires of their political party. The 2nd very clearly applies to a "WELL_REGULATED MILITIA" – not over-weight bubbas playing with Soldier toys. It does not say common sense shouldn't be allowed. If I can procure hell-fire missles does the 2nd protect that right? How about nukes? Those are "arms". Was Tim McVeigh a hero for using "arms" against a government building and it's inhabitants? Does the 2nd endorse domestic terrorism? America is fed-up with radicals from the right-wing.

    May 5, 2013 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  13. AndyM

    Could someone please show me where deer hunting is found in the constitution?

    And oh the complaining about not getting the 60 votes! LOL But liberals have no problem when that actually works for them. But they are a bunch of hypocrites so it's to be expected.

    May 5, 2013 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  14. gregg

    senator first name describes you and most of these comment people!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 5, 2013 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  15. Mathew Keirinsky

    Jail the NRA

    May 5, 2013 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  16. Steve

    Guns don't kill people... People kill people. If they can't use a gun they would just use something else.

    May 5, 2013 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  17. sly

    We want convicted felons to have WMD's, and it is especially great when the NRA gets to gloat over school massacres.

    This is the American Way – there are way too many children anyway, and they simply contribute to global warming.

    So who cares when a few American citizens bomb some footrace, or some felons blow away some kids.

    Each American averages 9 weapons – it is the American Way!

    May 5, 2013 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  18. Critical Thinker

    S C R A T C H your disapproval on every vehicle displaying an NRA sticker.

    May 5, 2013 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  19. Critical Thinker

    NRA stickers are bullseye targets.

    May 5, 2013 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  20. EN

    NRA is the enemy of the people. They only care about their own power and politics. They would rather people die than give up their recreation options.

    May 5, 2013 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  21. Joe in Kalispell

    How two faced the Dems are. When they win a political victory it firework and cake. But oh no, when the other side wins it's bad form.

    May 5, 2013 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  22. LiberalTearsAreDelicious

    There are already back ground checks at gun shows and online purchases.... I wish you idiots would stop drinking the koolaid and believing that you can buy a gun without a background check.

    May 5, 2013 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  23. Jo

    There was an excellent editorial that I read from an Iowa newspaper earlier today. The main point was that until people on the left can start being respectful toward those of us that are gun owners, there will be no "sensible discussion". For you people out there that do not understand firearms to paint us as some evil body of people is incredibly insulting. We are your police officers, your veterans, your doctors, your firefighters, the people that make it so you can have water and electricity, and so forth. Until you can become more rational and stop the name calling and bigotry, towards something that you do not even understand there will be no "progress". I have a right to own firearms and standard capacity magazines as an American and the ignorance that some of the posts on this page display are a prime example of why that is!

    May 5, 2013 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  24. cstites

    Felons Possessing firearms are already illegal .. start proscecuting em instead of letting em go.. even the gang bangers in his homestate of illinois have told them if they increased the penalties many of them would rethink commiting th crimes but lord forbid we would actually see common sense legislation put through that actually would work to prevent crime.. and blah lets blame it on the NRA... they want to blame the group that helped the slaves become free?? wow talk about hypocrits at thier best.

    May 5, 2013 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  25. Greater Good

    Hey NRA brass and gun fanatics,
    You do a background check on your employees,your babysitters, and your used car...but you want your local thugs, drug dealers, and would-be terrorists to evade such scrutiny. And this makes sense...HOW?
    Oh, right, you don't mind them having this easy access to guns–because you're confident yours are bigger and you can blast them all away. In touch with reality much?

    May 5, 2013 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
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