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. It's Me

    Ummm...Mr. Durbin your state of Illinois has required gun owners to register and carry a FOID (Firearm Owner ID) since at least the early 70's and it ISN'T working and Chicago also has some of the strictest gun laws yet also has one of the highest murder rates in the country. Luckily there are SOME peopel in Congress that still support OUR Constitution and the right to keep and bear arms. Go away.

    May 6, 2013 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  2. thomasandeaton

    "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.

    Um, one of the main speeches at the NRA actually criticized the Obama administration for NOT going after convicted felons with guns. They cited that gun prosecution fell 33& in the past 4 years. Apparently, this guy didn't even watch the speeches.

    May 6, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  3. JR

    All this phony, $8M per year scumbag, LaPierre, represents is his $5M home in Naples FL and countless other real estate holdings. All in the name of opulence and greed. He could care less about the morons who pay his outrageous salary, NRA members.

    May 6, 2013 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  4. jaron kadek

    This same 'senator' celebrates a 7.5% unemployment rate, which is likely more than 20%, while many of us suffer in this economy.

    May 6, 2013 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  5. Robert Southerland

    To all those that believe the liberal media, and say things like. "80% of Americans are opposed to guns and/or want much stricter laws", and "The NRA owns the GOP" and so forth, let me give you a little dose of reality. First, in my business all talk to people all over the country every day. I've still yet to find ONE person that thinks new gun laws will change a single thing. Second, I walked over to the NRA convention in Houston just to check out the zoo like atmosphere I was expecting given the way the media hyped up all the "protesters". LOL!! What protesters? There were none!! If people are as fervent about it as the media would lead you to believe, where's the 10's of thousands out there protesting?? The truth is, the GOP did speak for the people. You disagree?, then please tell me where are these supposed "anti gun" people are. It's no one I know, and they certainly weren't "protesting".

    May 6, 2013 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  6. hank stribner

    Does anyone really believe that the continental congress was referring to AR-15s when they wrote the 2nd Ammendment

    May 6, 2013 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  7. Rud

    Durbins comment that "carnage that takes place virtually every day in America because convicted felons have guns" is interesting. It is common knowledge that in the United States it is illegal for a convicted felon, and many others, to own or possess a firearm. There are many laws on the books that state this. I am willing to bet most convicted felons know this. The law requires background checks for all gun sales at shops and gun shows.

    So, please tell me Mr. Durbin, how many mass shootings are committed by convicted felons? Why are we not looking at the mental health aspects as it appears to me that they are probably more responsible for people doing something awful than a "criminal".

    May 6, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  8. Sametestsameresults

    The NRA is a political wing for gun manufacturers. They could care less about gun safety, the average gun owner or hunters needs in general. I grew up when the NRA was an organization like the boy scouts, there to help our society and the community at large. They had a big picture veiw of our country. Now they are nothing but domestic terrorists and anyone with an NRA card should be spit on by true American Patriots! I am a gun owner, I want a safer world for my son. That does not include having access without ID check, large capacity magazines or high powered Ammunition. It is costing our country a fortune. The more of these weapons that are on the streets the more we spend on our local police to have firepower to have an edge on that potential threat. It is an escalation that is a waste of human life and tons of tax payer money. There is NO common sense in the new NRA, There is NO respect for the rest of the constitution except 1 ammendment. It is clear that the other ammendments protect our rights NOT to be killed, NOT to have thugs roaming the streets like vigilantee's. I cannot wait until America learns that Colt, Glock, Winchester, Smith and Wesson care not for the second ammendment they care about sales. Money that is it.

    May 6, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  9. Voter

    New laws will do NOTHING to lessen gun violence. Stop wasting your and our time.

    May 6, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  10. WeeManHank

    hank wrote:

    NRA members are a dumb simplistic lot, who do not understand anything the least bit complicated. Their view of the world is narrow and anything complicated they can not comprehend.
    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Your written opinion is nothing more than a simplistic and narrow view of more than five million people. Your perception is off base and narrow minded, to say the least. I hold two bachelor's degrees, a MBA, and I'm a Level 3 CFA candidate (credentials that would otherwise make your 'dumb' and 'do not understand anything the least bit complicated' arguments moot). I'm also a life-member of the NRA. People like you drive me to donate more money to the organization.

    May 6, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  11. Stimpy69

    So let’s say (new) background checks pass an all of who think it is common sense are happy. What happens when the next crazy goes on a killing spree with a gun? You’re going to come back and say it’s not enough; we need to ban more guns. Then let’s say we ban more guns and you’re happy. Then another crazy person does another shooting and now you want to ban all guns. Where does it stop? How about we deal with why these people are doing what they’re doing and how mentally ill are diagnosed/treated/committed. Under the current system if someone is denied a firearm purchase why they are not detained (finical reasons I am sure, but if we could only save one child)? Why do we allow felons back on the street with plea bargains and reduced sentences? If every firearm was deemed illegal and confiscated you would still have shootings. We need to stop treating the symptoms and dealing with the cause of the issue.

    May 6, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  12. Julie

    These politicians keep talking about "felons with guns". I don't believe any of these major atrocity's have been committed by any felon. Columbine, Colorado theatre shooting, Arizona congress women, 9/11, the elementary school, Boston, Timothy McVeigh, the unibomber and the list goes on and on. As a matter of fact the overwhelming majority of felons in the states or non-violent drug offenders. Current back ground checks prevent them from buying guns and if a felon is caught with a gun they could get 5 years in federal prison. I suppose they have to create a boogey-man at the expense of someone who has made a mistake in their lives. Business as usual.

    May 6, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  13. Steve

    I'll be the first to pry that gun out of your cold dead hand! You gun nuts are out of control, and the rest of us are fed up with the NRA pushing politicians and us around. Those politicians that don't vote the way of the people will soon find themselves out of their position, so you gun nuts can have them all to yourselves when we boot them out of office. When some crazy nut with a gun shoots a family member of yours, or you, whether he was a felon or not, whether he was law abiding or not, only you have yourselves to blame.

    May 6, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  14. Rubis

    I do understand parts of what they are talking about. In order to enforce an all around background check a law enforcement agency will actually have to know who has what. To be able to 100% enforce this they will have to have a nationwide gun registry. That way they can be able to tell if something changes hands and whether or not a background check was done. Others also have a point when looking at the background checks. Until they enforce what is there and provide the information to who is mentally ill then it won't work. That will only stop the bad guys from getting guns legally. If they want to get a gun they will find a way.

    May 6, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  15. Barry

    Yogi in a prior comment: "When you have a gun, you will eventually attract a situation in which you will be tempted to use it. If you live life in fear, you will eventually attract that which you fear. Get rid if your guns and live a life based on love".

    I know in my heart that we all wished we lived in a society that was as such, however because it is not safe to go to the opera, walk down NICE streets in wonderful neightborhoods or even sit in our own homes with our family real bad folks plot against us. Some of us chose to be prepared and guard our families, friends and innoncent from those who choose to harm us. "FEAR" is the emotion of when you can not help even yourself.

    Yogi, you have a right to chose, but taking my choice from me is unacceptalbe, this is the bottome line of the debate. NO LAWS will stop bad folks from breaking any law, I choose to maintain my rights.

    May 6, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  16. Frank

    Durbin makes me sick. HE IS A TRAITOR. Telling Americans they should be ashamed of themselves for defeating their own government from trampling the 2nd Amendment of the U.S constitution!? He and all his liberal / communist democrat buddies should be tried for treason just for bringing this absurdity to the floor FOR a vote much less voting FOR IT!

    May 6, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  17. BCW

    If everyone is armed with guns, US will become the Wild Wild West without law and order.
    No one will like to be a COP because COPs will force to deal with potential gun fight every single day.

    May 6, 2013 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  18. Kris

    yeah, terrible thing to celebrate freedom.

    May 6, 2013 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  19. Doc

    "because convicted felons have guns"
    And who let them go after the conviction?

    May 6, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  20. Todd

    I have some bad news for you Senator. Criminals will do what they want regardless of the laws you make, that's why they are criminals. Convicted felons are not allowed to own guns so apparently they don't want to follow the law. Probably why they are felons?

    May 6, 2013 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  21. TruePatriots

    Thank you NRA for supporting the right of convicted felons and the mentally ill to have guns! Yes, thank you and keep up the good fight!

    May 6, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  22. JayD

    "The background checks would not have stopped the recent mass killings". How shallow and short sighted can you be? We know that making straw purchasers illegal and closing the gun show loophole will save lives overtime. That's a big problem in America everyone looks for an instant fix and forget how it takes time for a process to begin to draw guns away from criminals. Then maybe the good guy with a gun will have the advantage. On another note how about making guns safer? The safety buttom is ancient history and obviuosly pointless if a 5 year old can shoot a 2 year old. Hey gun manufacturers how about stepping into some modern technology?

    May 6, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  23. Vince

    Everyone needs to just relax and let the NRA do what it wants. Just get out of their way and let them say, do, and act anyway they want. The most effective way of getting Romney to fail at being elected president was to just be quiet and let his ideas tumble out of his mouth. Let the NRA do the same, and they'll make themselves about as relevant as Sarah Palin.

    May 6, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  24. bspurloc

    Patriot Act stomps 1st and 4th amendment rights but doesnt thankfully touch my bear arms.

    May 6, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  25. swmatlgen7

    I would have hoped, that one of our Senators like Dick Durbin would know the law. Federal laws prohibit convicted felons from purchasing a firearm. To blame the NRA for putting guns in felons hands is just wrong and silly Mr Durbin. Felons get these guns illegally, as criminals broke many laws all the time.

    Mr Durbin, please read the laws of the land or get out of law making.

    May 6, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
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