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. Really?

    NRA= Not Real Americans

    May 6, 2013 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  2. Dick LaTrick

    I support Dick Durbin an all anti-NRA sentiments, its time for them to lay down the arms.

    May 6, 2013 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  3. abnguy

    Death by a thousand cuts is the way I would sum up the gun ban crowd. Not one more gun regulation is needed.

    May 6, 2013 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  4. Peter Bishop

    The NRA is merely the poster child for Democrat and liberal "intolerance".

    May 6, 2013 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  5. T

    ...............NRA......purveyors of PARANOIA and immense wealth......................self serving ONLY, ........and the result is FELONS AND CRAZIES WITH LEGAL GUNZ................

    May 6, 2013 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  6. Signalfinder

    The entire issue is being missed here by the senator. The issue he brings up is the NRA convention. Well how are the toughest gun laws in the nation working out? Chicago has the highest murder rate in the nation but they would have the rest of the nation follow their lead. They allowed a convicted felon to walk after a gun arrest then he killed a young lady who made national news. But you and the senator would punish legal gun owners for some gang punk who the state did not lock up. Enforce the laws and maybe we can get a handle on gun violence. Here in the south the crime rate dropped after implementing conceal permit and the right to carry in you car. statistics do not lie like demarcates do! You will be looking for gun owners to save you when the government comes a knocking!

    May 6, 2013 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  7. Weba

    Vic7, are you referring to the cops since they are the only ones who fit that description during this ordeal. Just like the one in Cali where the ex-cop went on a shooting spree. The cops just riddled the wrong truck with 2 women in it right full of bullets. That is ok though apparently.

    May 6, 2013 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  8. Thatguy371

    Pierre needs to take a hike. His gun salesman tactics are really getting old. And the gun nut sheeple who actually believe common sense gun control/background checks/etc means they're taking all of your guns, all of you wackos need your head examined.

    May 6, 2013 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  9. Chilly Willy

    Why shouldn't the NRA celebrate? For certain if it had passed, Democrats would be celebrating.
    Yep, Democrat-it's only OK if we do it.

    May 6, 2013 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  10. scott b

    I have an idea! Write a bill that not only has background checks, but also has voter ID. That way people that should not have guns don't, and people that should not vote don't. That way we all get something we want, but have to live with something we don't want.

    May 6, 2013 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  11. Nick

    The inconvenient truth about recent gun control polls: yes, 90% of those polled think expanded background checks are a "good idea" – but only 40% believed the proposed legislation would actually have any impact on gun violence in America. Why pass a law few think will have any impact? Democrats would have celebrated had the measure passed, so I can't fault the NRA for celebrating their victory and the victory of all law-abiding gun owners.

    May 6, 2013 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  12. nuclear mike

    Dear Senator Durbin...your Federalist views continue to mock our State's rights protected by the 2nd Amendment & Bill of Rights under the Constitution. Had not the good law abiding citizens of this entire country stood up and with the NRA we would be just like England...a Socialist State...who we fought & wo nour independence from which gives you the very Federal job you hold now...or are you a Tory loyalist?

    May 6, 2013 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  13. wolf

    Wow, all of these paranoid morons that think "The NRA saved us from the evil liberal government that wants to take our guns and freedoms away." Guess what? The NRA is run completely by gun manufacturers that only care about having the least amount of restrictions so they can make the most money. They laugh when they think about how you are all their brainless puppets they go rally any time someone wants to say that people dont need 100 round machine guns just because they feel like owning one. They celebrated when Sandy Hook happened since they saw all of their gun sales rise immediately.

    May 6, 2013 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  14. Name

    Can we please stop refering to to battle/war/whatever other misplaced term. This is about common sense. Durbin so percisely stated it himself. The carnage we see daily in America because convicted felons have guns... There are laws against that. The people in place that are tasked to enforce them aren't doing their jobs. That's where the outrage should be.

    May 6, 2013 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  15. Mark Thayne

    I hate to say this but its just another issue to divert attention off the extremely important issue of balancing our budget, and fixing an economy that is soon to be heading into its 2nd great recession (thanks to the sequester) under Obama's tenure. His speech in Mexico to get the immigration act through was to collect another 10,000 uninformed voters rooting on the Democratic party for the 2016 elections. This is an administration that is shaping up to be the most useless one in this countries history. One that leads with an iron fist, instead of using different ways to communicate in order to open negotiations.

    May 6, 2013 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  16. Snoop

    "“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.” "

    Cause, you know, felons aren't supposed to have guns under the current laws, and that works so well..

    May 6, 2013 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  17. Pogojo

    I don't understand, he said they need laws to keep guns out of the hands of felons,,, is there not already a law against felons having guns? Why don't they go after the felons with guns??

    May 6, 2013 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  18. Katie

    Convicted felons with guns?? Noooooo.. They got them illegally, because that's what criminals do. Making 1,000 new laws won't take guns out of the criminals' hands.

    Here's a thought, start enforcing the federal laws that criminals break when they are caught will illegal guns.. Like the 10 year mandatory sentences?? Oh, but that's too much trouble government, right????

    May 6, 2013 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  19. TSRVT

    The NRA needs to be treated as a domestic terror organization. They leadership of this cabal is completely unhinged and divorced from reality. I am speaking as a gun owner and former dues-paying member. Thus NRA is corrupt and working against the best interests of all Americans, and should be outlawed and disbanded.

    May 6, 2013 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  20. VVVVV

    You can look at the states successfully creating more restrictions and it's a steady piece by piece chiseling away of gun rights. I wouldn't mind if the rules were based on science but they are based on emotion and studying the issue shows homicide rates have many other factors that are influencing them and the availability of guns is a very minor issue.

    The polls mean nothing, because our news is very agenda pushing in this time and age. Have the news networks spend a couple of months showing these restriction wouldn't make a difference, and I'll show you polls that go another way.

    May 6, 2013 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  21. Dean Borchert

    In every case of a "Gun" crime, the perps were idiots.

    I could have killed and injured more with the front bumper of my truck.

    This is not about "Guns". This is about a run away, ineffective, government.

    The focus should be on the "Person". We need to be aware of each other, help each other, Be a little kinder to each other. Mental health issues are behind 80% of the violence in America. Not just guns. So, the next time you feel the need to "vent" all over a co-worker or employee, remember that what comes around-goes around.


    May 6, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  22. John

    "...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

    Says the guy who is proposing a bill that does nothing to impact convicted felons from keeping their firearms. No credibility.

    May 6, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  23. Sid Stewart

    And since the vote, how many law-abiding citizens have stopped theives from stealing or murderers from killing?? It is all about freedom and the authority of the Constitution.

    May 6, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  24. T. E. Lawrence O. A.

    THE NRA is an UNPATRIOTIC, shameful organization with decent, law-abiding members. It's leadership is beyond the pale – they invited a man who called both The President and First Lady near-obscene names and he was celebrated!

    I am ashamed of the NRA and feel ashamed of Congress for siding with them, time and again. Lifetime Gun Owner; Concealed Carry Permit Holder

    May 6, 2013 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  25. Cooper

    These NRA people are out celbrating the defeat of expanding background checks at their meeting. Mean while, a 5 year old child shot his 2 year old sister with hiw own gun. "HIS OWN GUN"? These same conservatives were trying to put McDonalds out of business over a cheeseburger and toy. It was immoral to market a high fat food to children. Yet you insist there be no regulations on guns. You allow a Gun Manufacturer to not only make and sell guns to pre-school children but to actively market these guns by making them in all colors including pink and blue. No child should have access to or for God's sake own a gun until they are at least 16 years of age. The argument that it was the parents fault only goes so far. If a 5 year old didn't have his own gun, he couldn't have shot his sister with it. Two innocent lives distroyed because you fanatic gun people won't regulate your own and have bought the government so you can just keep up the killing. This is not about government control. It's about saving our children. No Child under 16 should have access to a gun. Period, no possible justification.

    May 6, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
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