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. Rod

    The Republicans' and the NRA's insistence on preserving access to semiautomatic weapons facilitates terrorists, drug dealers, and the mentally unbalanced. It's ironic that the legally acquired AR-15 Adam Lanza used in a small town in Connecticut produced far more corpses than the "weapons of mass destruction" employed by the Tsarnaev brothers at the Boston marathon. I don't personally know anyone who owns a gun but if I did I would hesitate to get into a dispute with that individual for fear that he or she would cross the line. To me, the Second Amendment is as obsolete as slavery because its adherents lean on it as justifying armed revolt against the US government . As for arming teachers, a gunman entering a classroom would shoot the teacher (or armed guard) first before spraying the room with bullets and then reloading. Isn't that what bank robbers might do first?

    May 5, 2013 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  2. robert rasmussen

    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.”

    Don't be a dick, Dick! The NRA is not celebrating that fact you claim over Criminals. They are celebrating the fact all your feel good laws don't go after the criminals but punish everyone else, period.

    May 5, 2013 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  3. George Dreger

    Photo: Here's some statistics for you... Like and Share this!
    Like · · Promote · Share

    May 5, 2013 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  4. freya

    As if this people are celebrating all the gun violence that happen to in the United States of America. They can celebrate the tragedy that was cause by the guns they love but there is a cosmic payback coming to them soon.

    May 5, 2013 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  5. a slozomby

    "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,”" blame your war on drugs for that one.

    May 5, 2013 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  6. a slozomby

    "gun nut
    @h&k mp5
    "a well trained militia" If you live the 2nd then you support the "Draft" all 18 years old should be drafted into the military so we can have a well trained militia. Lets not gut the 2nd."

    its a well regulated militia. how hard is it to know the text.

    May 5, 2013 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  7. Averell Brown

    It is time for the President to declare the N.R.A. a threat to National Security and take away all it's funds and arest the C.E.O. for treason, the majority want more gun controls and a limit to the number of rounds a weapon has, all assault weapons should be seized by the military, if people want to die so be it, I am retired military and if I was younger I would (if the government orderd me) take the civilian assault weapons, they don't need them, but most likley this won't happen since the big money lobiest for the gun manufactures and stupiod blind N.R.A. members follow them

    May 5, 2013 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  8. G_Edwards

    I guess that Pres Obama shouldn't have headed off and joked around at the Gridiron press club annual dinner either.

    Included in that was making fun at 100s of thousands of government workers who have been or will be facing a furlough.

    .

    May 5, 2013 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  9. sueinga

    The GOP pledges their allegiance to the NRA not America .

    May 5, 2013 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  10. Jack Dawson

    New laws make no difference if you refuse to enforce the existing ones. Adding to background checks is window dressing that accomplishes nothing to prevent the type of crimes like Sandy Hook. Restricting the rounds in a magazine affects virtually no crimes, fewer people are killed with "assault rifles" on an average year than are killed by being clubbed to death with a bat or a pipe. Establishing the basis for gun registration is a first step to confiscation.Even if the law makes that registration illegal, has that ever stopped the government from breaking its own laws?

    I know a lot of people who celebrated the defeat of that law. Some were NRA members, some were not, but they all felt better seeing that bill fail.

    May 5, 2013 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  11. Texas

    There are more gun owners NOT affiliated with the NRA than there are NRA members. Let's have a national referendum on this topic and see what happens.

    May 5, 2013 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  12. NoNeedForAName

    Part of the reason why so many of us are happy this was defeated is that it was bad legislation. I agree with the senator that the political sentiment needs to change. These amendments were poorly written and had virtually no affect on the practical day to day transfer of weapons. It was a rushed piece of garbage that was designed to "just do SOMETHING" without addressing any of the real problems.
    It failed for that very reason. If somebody wants to put together a real plan, and come up with some real solutions, most of us even on the pro-gun side of the issue welcome the effort.

    If the plan however is to "just do something" and throw garbage at the wall and hope it sticks, then no thanks.

    May 5, 2013 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  13. don

    like Mr. Durbin (more respect given than deserved) gives a darn about preserving life. every day baby's are slaughtered in this country and he cares nothing. as a matter of fact, he celebrates when abortion clinics receive more tax-payer funding. he is a real slime ball and to suggest the nra is wrong for defending the same right that so many have died to ensure and protect is preposterous.

    May 5, 2013 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  14. FactCheck

    The simple solution is to correlate magazine size to IQ. Very few of these gun wackos would then be carrying a clip with thirty rounds. The Second Amendment confers the right to bear arms; it says nothing about ammunition.

    May 5, 2013 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  15. Yvonne

    The NRA needs to go to work on cleaning up their image. The advice they hand out to Americans every time there's a shooting involves another gun purchase, gun sales, arming teachers in the classroom, arming spectators at the Boston Marathon, arming movie goers, arming 5 year olds, etc. In other words, they are so focused on putting 4 – 5 guns in a household, everything else they purport loses credibility because it becomes a moot point, and lacks the intensity and passion as another 'gun sale'. Notwithstanding the fact that most Americans don't believe that we need those many guns to be safe in America; that we need assault rifles, semi-automatics, or high capacity magazine clips to protect our families.

    With 91% supporting universal background checks, Americans have a strong belief that 'safety' comes in the form of keeping guns out of the hands of the severely mentally ill and those with a history of crime. We are courageously innovative. America believes in expanded or universal background checks for Internet sales and gun shows, and stiffening penalties for straw purchasers, underground militia groups, and gun traffickers. We are a peaceful and civil nation, and we take pride in that civility. We do not believe in solving our problems with guns, guns, guns! Violence attracts more violence, and by the same token, peaceful solutions are more gratifying and rewarding. We are a prideful nation, and because of that pride, we shall never have to result to handling any problem with a firearm. We are the United States of America, the greatest country on the planet. Let's not ever forget that.

    May 6, 2013 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  16. psfitz

    If you own more than 25 guns, that is possession with intent to kill.

    May 6, 2013 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  17. Jim

    The second amendment merely describes the method by which a military force was raised in the 1780's. It has no relevance to the 21st century. Indeed, it became superfluous the first time the government opened and stocked an armory.Look at the history and debates over the adoption of the US Constitution. The founding fathers had no idea that weaponry would eventually be so deadly and efficient. The NRA wackos need to look at the whole amendment. People were guaranteed the "right to keep and bear arms" ONLY so that a "well-regulated militia" could be raised if it should be necessary.

    No question that the NRA is the most toxic organization in America today.

    May 6, 2013 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  18. nRa 4 da gun industry.

    My second amendment trumps the lives of dead babies, kids and everything else. Deal with it. Not to mention the profits associated with it.

    May 6, 2013 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  19. Geoff

    Wayne LaPierre may as well have been the one carrying firearms into Sandy Hook Elementary and pulling back on the trigger. There's no doubt whatsoever he couldn't care less how many innocent lives are lost due to the use of guns. The entire NRA is going to hell. They are an ungodly bunch.

    May 6, 2013 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  20. Victor

    For all of you who have bought into the paranoia taught to you by thr NRA, I would love to watch you take on a squad of marines or special force when the "evil government" tries to take away your freedom. Get real that's a fantasy your living in.

    May 6, 2013 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  21. David Carmel

    Background checks are in essence a registery for law abiding citizens. The criminal will obtain their gun illegally and will not have to submit to these checks. So what good will that do? Would this have stopped Newtown or Aurora? Maybe Dick Durbin should look at al the laws his state has and he has the worst state for gun violence. Crime in Texas is a lot less than that of Illnois.

    May 6, 2013 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  22. Safejourney

    Thank you Sen Durbin. The majority of Americans know that the NRA only represent the gun manufacturer and NOT their members or the American gun owners.

    May 6, 2013 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  23. Joe

    They won't really be happy until they figure out a way for their guns to have their own guns.

    May 6, 2013 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  24. Rogue351

    Back ground checks – Now why does a "Responsible gun owner" need to endure the time consuming, expensive violation of their rights ? It is common sense that ANYONE wanting or trying to buy a gun is doing so honestly. No one would ever tell a lie in order to get a gun, right ? Take a look at all of the illegal guns that are currently on American streets. Those had to have come in, over a boarder illegally. There is no other explanation for how they ended up in the hands of criminals. Either criminals brought them over the boarder or our government or a foreign government handed them out to all of the criminals. It is IMPOSSIBLE to think that a "Responsible gun owner" sold a weapon to a person who then used that gun in the commission of a crime. It is totally obserd to think that a "Responsible gun owner" did not adequately secure weapons they bough legally allowing them to be stolen. How dare anyone even consider a "Responsible gun owner" could actually be at fault. Therefore making these upstanding "Responsible Gun Owners" go out of there way and have to endure a background check or account for their weapons is just wrong. The "Responsible Gun Owners" are 100% upstanding Americans. They are the life blood of American talk radio. Without these civic minded individuals talk radio would be a thing of the past. Now we all know that radio uses target marketing to place advertisements for different services that appeal to the kind of person that listens to a certain program. With that said, my only question is why does respected right leaning talk radio ads 6 times out of ten advertise for TAX lawyers. this would indicate to me that stations who host people like Beck, Hannity and Limbaugh for some reason think that there listeners, at those time slots do not pay there fair share of income tax and need legal assistance. Now why would a "Responsible Gun Owner" whom is proven to be a patriotic American not pay their taxes ? Taxes fund the military, police, road systems, water systems and national security that is directly responsible for protecting our boarders. Maybe if they actually paid their taxes all of these illegal guns would not be flooding our boarders and ending up in the hands of criminals. Because we are darn sure the criminals are not getting these weapons from Americans top citizens, the Responsible gun owners. WAKE UP AMERICA, stop being stupid. The NRA is assisting in putting guns in the hands of criminals. They are not protecting your rights. They do not have Americas best interest in mind. It is about money and you are buying into their lies and supporting more illegal guns on the streets each time you let them get away with garbage like this.

    May 6, 2013 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  25. down with the NRA

    Last I checked no one was going to take anyone's guns away, just make it harder for felons and the mentally ill to purchase guns. I really can't understand why anyone would think that is a bad idea. 30 round clips should only be in the hands of our law enforcement officers and military, the second ammendment was written when our fore fathers where stuffing lead balls into a musket so don't give me that BS argument that its my second ammendmet right to have as many rounds as I want. Also, the NRA is deplorable for using a national tragedy as ligthening rod for their own agenda

    May 6, 2013 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
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