May 5th, 2013
11:37 AM ET
12 months 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. Oh

    Dear GOP legislators....I'll remember what you failed to do every time I vote....

    May 6, 2013 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  2. DB

    Durbin should quit celebrating mass shootings which give Senators such as himself an opportunity to seek additional power not granted to them by the Constitution of the United States.

    May 6, 2013 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  3. justbeamensch

    Why shouldn't the NRA celebrate? They have successfully purchased our Democracy lock, stock and gun barrel. The puppets in Congress do their bidding- the best Congress money can buy.

    May 6, 2013 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  4. alex s

    The 2 year old girl that died from her brother's gun–a 22 caliber rifle manufactured for children AS YOUNG AS FIVE–with little girl and little boy models–should have laws that protect and represent her right to life. There should be a law that states if you buy your 5 year old a rifle that fires live ammunition and that 5 year old kills someone because you left him or her unsupervised with that fire arm, you are liable for that death. But that's not the case because the NRA argues that her death is sad, but her death is the price of our 2nd amendment. Is that reasonable? The NRA has watered down all safety regulations on guns through political manipulation/ bullying. The NRA implies that imposing responsibility and regulation for guns would debilitate the gun market. Is that really true? Americans never lost their love of cars after society decided that cars have to be registered and insured and you have to have a driver's licence to operate one. Maybe the NRA is afraid that parents would start using common sense.

    Imagine if this disclaimer were displayed prominantly on the cricket gun package:
    IF YOUR 5 YEAR OLD UNINTENTIONALLY MURDERS SOMEONE WITH THEIR CRICKET RIFLE BECUSE THEY WERE UNSUPERVISED, YOU COULD FACE JAIL TIME. CHILDREN WHO KILL MAY SUFFER LONG TERM DETRIMENTAL HEALTH ISSUES.

    Or how about this: THE SURGEON GENERAL ADVISES THAT GUN SHOTS CAN BE HAZARDIOES TO YOUR HEALTH. It's on cigarettes. Why can't it be on guns?

    I want to live in a society where my and my family's safety and right to live is protected. Doesn't that require the acceptance of regulations on roller costers, cars, tobacco, drinking, fishing and hunting? My fishing licence requires the annoying burden of paperwork and money, and there are regulations on the species and size of fish I'm allowed to take out of the ocean The consequences for fishing violations are heavy fines and jail time. Yet a 5-year-old child–who isn't even tall enough to ride Thunder Mountain at Disney–can kill his sister with a his very own cricket rifle–no questions, no debate. This is the price of the 2nd Amendment? Please spare me.

    So let's do everything we can to be reasonable and responsible to reduce the number of shooting deaths in America which is greater than anybody can tolerate.

    Nothing can prevent these things from happening. Nothing. As I stated earlier, we are never going to be able to do away with gun violence in its entirety or be able to stop the criminal insane from commiting or attempting mass shootings. But we can make a few rules– like reducing magazine clip sizes so that in the event a mass shooter falls through the cracks and starts shooting in public, we will reduce the number of casualties and injurys that result. Is that unreasonable? We can also look at our mental health system, and create a system that identifies potential dangers and provides the necessary treatment. Our prison system, our movies, vieo games– everything that we can look at, we should be looking at as it relates to solving the problem of gun violence in America. We have a moral imperative to attack the issue with gun laws that represent the needs of society. Rights carry Responsibilities. But we are never going to get anywhere if we rigidly hang on to the status quo. Remember–its better to light a single candle than curse the darkness (–George Bush, 41st. President of the United States.)

    May 6, 2013 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  5. Kent Atwood

    "The 2nd amendment is not about deer hunting. It's about liberals being kept in check. "

    H&K MP5: So how exactly is owning a gun supposed to keep liberals in check? Please enlighten us because it sounds like you are planning on keeping liberals in check by shooting them. Maybe I'm reading it the wrong way so I would like to give you a chance to offer up an alternate reading of that.

    May 6, 2013 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  6. Tom

    The NRA is a lunatic organization.

    May 6, 2013 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  7. mountainlady

    spkliewer..... if all gun owners were like you there would be no problem with the 2nd Amendment. Thank you for bringing a voice of sanity to the discussion. As an American I have no interest in taking away anyone's guns. I DO want to know who owns them. I DO believe that our government would never confiscate people's guns. The American form of democracy is no longer an experiment. It has worked well for over 200 years. I believe in it. No one needs to stockpile weapons to defend themselves against their government. Even the suggestion is NRA propaganda. It makes me so sad to think that other nations look at this and believe that gun violence and gun worship dominate American life. For the NRA to celebrate the gun vote is like the Muslims who celebrated 9/11. It's disgusting, selfish and heartless. When will people stop listening to them? When will our legislators stop being ruled by them?

    May 6, 2013 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  8. Tim Sure Shot McGee

    Yes, since convicted felons, once released, follow laws, let's waste time passing more laws for them to follow. This is a complete waste of time. My post is actually also a waste of time. You reading my post–even bigger waste of time!

    You want to change things? Then get yourself a permit, learn how to use your weapon, and when stuff goes down, handle your business. Then you can be a hero on an interweb news article, or maybe even crack into the "Breaking News" segment. Personally, it seems like with the way reporting goes these days, it isn't news-worthy until really bad things happen.

    I think reporting more about all the foiled attempts and hero stories (which happen everyday) could have a positive effect by making these hoodlums think twice about whatever they were thinking about....

    May 6, 2013 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  9. Dave

    Yet again, how convenient it is for CNN and liberals to ignore the fact that the Grassley-Cruz amendment proposition, which would have strengthened current laws and provided funding for research in the area of mental health, didn't pass because the vast majority of Democrats in the Senate VOTED AGAINST IT. Those are the same democrats who "wanted to do something" and are continuing to demonize republicans for voting against the Manchin-Toomey amendment. And the G-C amendment was voted on DIRECTLY after M-T. How convenient that's never mentioned. And how convenient liberals are to cover that up and not mention it. We are NOt blind you fools.

    May 6, 2013 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  10. J.V.Hodgson

    The NRA look s purely literally at the second amendment, and interprets certain parts especially the well regulate militia and individual right to own guns as the same as a whole.
    Remember each area or locations within states had armories controlled by local officials. thay could call uopn thos who had arms to support even vivil war acts and those that had none could get them fro a " well regulated armory " both types of citizen then fought under a command structure and became a " a well regulated militia" often with more power ful weaponry to use after the needed and essential training.

    We should also remember that the Law men were exteremely scarce guys then c/f todays Police , FBI, DEA, AT@F and Homeland and the CIA etc re the UGH foreign elements.
    Then, oh joy of joys if we all had a gun we can get there quicker than the police... hello most of us work, most of us find aout about a crime after the police take action ( no ones perfect sometimes they dont re-act) the idea that all of us armed civilians reduce gun deaths from crime or whatever is inane... best case is per Looney lapierre the good guy shoots the criminal
    Final PS.... what did our founding fathers know about say PTSD, Dementia, Unless you were an absolute raving lunatic, or a known criminal , Sundance kid etc Only the former said you could not have a gun, or join the militia... certain places authorised the sheriff to take your guns while in town or city limits, no back ground check even, you wanna come into the town/ city park you guns over there until you leave.
    My point having variable laws by state each interpreting the second amendment differently is not even remotely appropriate to todays society, technology and knowledge or the risk if tyranny the latter being very remore due to the main fact we a re a Constituional Republic with separation of powers, not an absolute monarchy.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    May 6, 2013 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  11. Esteban

    Gun control is just a political agenda to gain future votes. The real solution will be the execution of violent criminals, bring back firing squad, hangings, and the electric chair. Society worries about in-human treatment of criminals I bet if these quick dealing and criminals see this, minds will change.

    May 6, 2013 03:18 am at 3:18 am |
  12. citizenn

    How many of the liberal senators have their wealth invested in the entertainment industry, those people who try to make mass violence seem "cool".

    May 6, 2013 04:12 am at 4:12 am |
  13. ron

    hmmm...i am a nra member , and i was not celebrating.....and all the gun owners in the country probalbly had a sigh of releaf from these liberal, anti -constitutionist like durbin...i cannot stand people like this that slowly nipe away at our freedoms...it will not stop with gun control , proceed on to other things too....don,t support this guy

    May 6, 2013 04:38 am at 4:38 am |
  14. James

    The NRA is a grassroots organization composed of ordinary men and women. It has demonstrated democracy in action: defeating elitish liberals who want to "do something" about violence, but go after lawabiding gun owners instead of the criminals and the nut cases. I am celebrating the defeat of that misguided bill, too. To call it "bipartisan" is a misnomer–it was a strictly Democratic initiative. I am looking forward to 2014 so we can vote out some more anti-gun senators and Congressional reps–just like we did in 1994! The elitist liberals assumed that just because Obama got reelected, that he has a mandate for gun control. Not so. He got reelected because we didn't want another rich guy to be president who wouldn't even release his income tax statements. The economy is still in the toilet, and all Obama does is push for gun control and gay marriage–all too divert us from the problems that are too tough for him to solve!

    May 6, 2013 04:50 am at 4:50 am |
  15. James Klimaski

    The Second Amendment was passed so slave owners in the South could keep their chattel from revolting. With the Civil War and the passage of the 13th and 14th Amendments, the 2nd Amendment lost its reason to be. The Militia exists as the state's national guard and not as some fools keeping machine guns in their homes. The NRA is nothing more then a tool for the gun industry to market its products to its members. The NRA was a different organization when I was growing up. It concentrated on things like gun safety and hunting. It was hijacked in the 70's by right wingers who actually hate the real America playing on the fantasies of people who simply think violence is the answer to all their problems. Timothy McVey typifies what the NRA is becoming.

    May 6, 2013 05:02 am at 5:02 am |
  16. Brandon

    I'd just like to respond to some of the more brazen comments I've read here:

    The 2nd Amendment WILL be "infringed" eventually. The court has interpreted away many parts of the constitution that don't comport with our reasonable expectations and common sense. Why would the 2nd Amendment be any different? Thousands of people die every year from gun violence. This idiot LaPierre is grandstanding on his layman's interpretation of one paragraph in our constitution while people are LITERALLY dying as a result. Common sense will win in the end. WE ARE COMING FOR YOUR GUNS. Are there is absolutely nothing you can do. Bet your life on it.

    May 6, 2013 05:07 am at 5:07 am |
  17. Cheek

    What is sad is that the liberals won't support mental health reform and refuse to protect our children in our schools! Where are those bills?

    May 6, 2013 05:22 am at 5:22 am |
  18. tigger211

    The senators statement about keeping the guns out of felons hands to stop the carnage that they cause is a
    Democrat brain gas.none of the people that done the serious shooting in America weren't felons so how is keeping guns out of their hand going to prevent what happened.What he is trying to say is the Democrats don't want Americans to have guns so they can protect themselves against tyranny.Respect is something that is taught and we have lost that.We took the paddle out of the schools around 1970 and ever sense we have had a problem in
    America with respect.That is something that our senators don't know anything about or care about.

    May 6, 2013 06:03 am at 6:03 am |
  19. wb

    Make no mistake about it, there is no re-negotiating the vote as it stands right now.They shelved the bill hoping another mass shooting occurs so that they can exploit that for political purposes and try to force a re-vote. Liberals are the bloodthirsty ones in this battle.

    May 6, 2013 06:03 am at 6:03 am |
  20. Animal

    I must remember to find out which Senators voted against this bill and thank them for having the courage to vote no on a bill that would do nothing for the prevention of crime.

    May 6, 2013 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  21. Marie MD

    The nra celebrates the gun vote because it brinsg more money to their crowd of fools who are little people who only feel big if they have that gun or rifle in their hands.

    May 6, 2013 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  22. Randy

    In 1957 there were over 500,000 institutionalized in State Mental Institutions and we had reasonable involuntary commitment laws. We had no modern "gun control" laws, could buy your M1 Carbine through the mail along with all the 30 round magazines you wanted- yet mass random shootings NEVER HAPPENED!!! Was 1957 America a police state? Doctors and judges made the decision who to keep in the loony bin, and they could not get out until they were no longer a threat to self or a public threat. You still had the rights to a lawyer and judge to prove your sanity and get out if there was no basis for the decision.

    Today we have emptied and closed the State Mental Institutions, created the homeless population, made involuntary commitment impossible until AFTER you commit a crime- and then try and blame guns for the actions of the mental patients!!! Jared Laughner- parents tried to get him help at least twice but were turned down for lack of insurance, neighbors said he would ride around on his bike talking to himself, school said he was unbalanced, EXPELLED him for his disruptive irrational outbursts- in the PAST he would have been institutionalized long before he shot Gabby based on his obvious illness! Virginia Tech- school teachers said he was unbalanced, he had been IN a mental institution before- in the PAST he would have been institutionalized based on his obvious behavior!!! Colorado- His college psychiatrist was so alarmed by Holmes that she had him banned from the campus, but nothing else. Colorado media, including the Denver Post, reported last month that Fenton rejected a law enforcement offer to involuntarily confine Holmes for 72 hours after he told her six weeks before the shooting that he fantasized about killing "a lot of people." In the PAST- she could have had him involuntarily committed BEFORE he hurt anyone, you didn't have to wait until they were an imminent threat to themselves or others!!! What was even the POINT of him trying to get help from the psychiatrist when all she did was ban him from the school???!!! Even Charles Whitman in 1966, the first of these crazed mass shooters warned authorities before hand by seeking help from Texas University's school psychiatrist- repeatedly! He had severe migraine headaches and extreme anger that HE knew was irrational, turned out he had a BRAIN TUMOR- discovered AFTER his death!!! He even told his psychiatrist he was fantasizing about shooting people from the tower!!! If his school psychiatrist had remotely done his job he would have gotten the help he sought. To this day Texas University won't release all of Whitman's medical records, claiming the deceased "right to privacy"- so the school won't be SUED!!!!

    The Newtown CT shooting- Mother was so scared of her son she told sitters not to turn their backs on him even if they went to the bathroom, was in the process to allow her to involuntarily commit him- but with him not having committed a crime involuntary commitment is virtually impossible and there is no where to send him. In the State of Connecticut, you cannot even use someone's past history of violence or past psychiatric history against them in an involuntary commitment case. 40 years ago he would have been institutionalized in a State Mental Institution based on his behavior. You know where the largest State Mental Institution in Connecticut is? NEWTOWN- it’s been CLOSED for DECADES! This is NOT a "gun control" issue!

    May 6, 2013 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  23. Guest

    Dont worry liberals, all the laws in the world wont force anyone to go after the thug criminals doing the majority of the killing so you and your friends can sleep easy.

    May 6, 2013 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  24. Krisagi

    “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.”
    This is the problem making new laws wont prevent convicted felons from having guns. Why would it? Their already a felon so what would going back to prison mean to them? Nothing. You want to stop gun violence start by enforcing the laws that are already in place.

    May 6, 2013 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  25. Hogwired

    And who's state, Mr. Durbin, has the worst record in the country for prosecuting people who try to make gun purchases and who are denied under the existing laws because they are a felon, or have been judged mentally defective? Your own state, Mr. Durbin, Illinois, of course. It seems to me that if we aren't even enforcing the existing laws that are already on the books, we sure as heck don't need any more. And Mr, Durbin, you are a hypocrite. You idiots in DC can make laws forever (because I guess you have nothing better to do), but if they're not enforced, you're just wasting everyone's time.

    May 6, 2013 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
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