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. allens

    the nra is no longer a organization for supporting shooting and teaching about firearm use. the are now a political extremist group

    May 6, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  2. Todd

    So Senator Dumbin, you are saying that your side wouldn't be celebrating if you had been successful? Come up with a REAL effort to address our violent society and maybe we'll listen.

    May 6, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  3. nomoretraitors

    Isn't this the same Dick Durbin who compared our troops in Iraq to Nazis?


    May 6, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  4. Puddin

    What a farce. Those dumb-bunny members of the NRA didn't even get it that the so-called leaders of the NRA were getting them riled up just so they will go buy another gun. Thousands of guns have been sold since this farce began. These people are a disgrace to this country, and they should all move to Syria. "The love of money is the root of all evil."

    May 6, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  5. nomoretraitors

    I wonder how he feels about his socialist savior saying to Planned Parenthood "God Bless You"


    May 6, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  6. daveinla

    Dick Durbin is possibly the least effective Senator in Illinois history. His state 9my fprmer state) has lost thousands of manufacturing jobs and all this dolt can blabber about is the NRA and guns? Illinois already has some of the most idiotic gun laws in the nation.

    May 6, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  7. nomoretraitors

    WeeMan, hypocrisy is a liberal specialty.

    I recently signed up with NRA myself

    May 6, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  8. LiberalJoePlumber

    He's upset becomes someone is celebrating the fact that our rights were upheld? Wow.

    May 6, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  9. Rud

    And for those who say "no one wants to take your guns away", Senator Feinstein actually stated it was her wish to go door to door to confiscate semi automatic weapons owned by civilians. Look it up.

    Also, yes, at the time the Second Amendment was written, there were only muzzle loading rifles. However, those were some pretty smart fellow, and what the intent was parity in armament. So, I don't see why a semi automatic is not OK when the government has fully auto weapons.

    May 6, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  10. Greg

    how does limiting magazines or universal background checks take away your 2nd amendment right. Also the 2nd amendment was put in hundreds of years ago and times change as well as the types of weapons.. By looking at your NRA president he looks like he was a wimp when he was younger and a gun makes him feel like a big shot. pretty pathetic

    May 6, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  11. James

    Once again, biased "reporting" from CNN. Additionally, a number of people on this thread talking about guns when it is clear they have little to no useful knowledge on the subject.

    May 6, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  12. Terry

    Let's not confuse this, the end game is a national gun registry so they can come take our guns away. It's that simple.

    May 6, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  13. jboh

    Rud is wrong. There is a thing called the gun show loop hole, that allows felons to purchase guns legally w/o a background check. The NRA should stop telling lies, but that is something they have never shown a capability to do.

    May 6, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  14. Georgia Wolf

    So, If the gun bill had passed, the anti-gun groups wouldn't have been celebrating and dancing in the streets? They say the politicians are bullied by the NRA that they won't be elected/reelected. The NRA doesn't cast the votes, the citizenry does.
    If the voters didn't agree with at least part of what the NRA stands for, then it would be a non-threat. Getting pretty sick of the media being so one sided.

    May 6, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  15. NRA has bought and paid for the GOP

    NRA = GOP

    GOP = NRA

    90% of the American electorate get the shaft.

    May 6, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  16. Oakspar77777

    Freedom wins over Control and Dems whine about it. No shock in that.

    Felons who get guns now would have no more trouble with the Toomey compromise – since UBCs are unenforcible on private sales without a central database (which is currently illegal to create).

    May 6, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  17. john wetjen

    When will you people realize the senators that voted against the gun law changes were representing the people who voted them in. Its a good thing. Politicians should represent the people not the President or and or his cronies !!!!!

    May 6, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  18. scieng1

    Senator Durbin should get on board with ideas to reduce gun violence. His liberal policies promoted the mass killings and more of the same is not what we need. The innocent are those who need protection from violence, and are not the cause of it. More penalties against the innocent simply enable more and more violence like it has in the UK, Australia, and other countries. The NRA should celebrate standing against the evil ideas that enabling criminals is better than freedom. All of us should be saddened that libs like Durbin decided to promote violence instead of finding ways to promote safety. It is time for responsible people to vote out the liberal crime promoters like Durbin and vote in anyone responsible enough to try to make us safer.

    May 6, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  19. buckeyechucke

    The NRA is nothing more then a terrorist organization, they want more Americans dead by guns. 31,000 gun death a year is not nearly enough for their blood thrust, question is how many dead Americans will satisfy them?

    May 6, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  20. Paul

    Steve, YOU NEED TO GET A LIFE!! You whinney little boy! If someone was to shoot someone in my family, I would not blame the gun. Guns require external manipulation in order to fire. Do you understand that!?


    Gun Nut


    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 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  21. wireknob

    Demagoguing tragic events and demonizing those you disagree with is probably not going to be an effective way to garner more support for your agenda, Dick.

    May 6, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  22. SPOT

    If all of this talk about being in love with guns and the 2nd amendment is for
    real then the American people can never give up the fight for more gun control. Those that fight against it can never complain when the bullets start hitting the fan.........

    May 6, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  23. MilitaryAF

    As a gun owner, I'm all for stricter background checks, waiting periods, etc. We can't kid ourselves into thinking that criminals buy guns from traditional gun shops, they get them on the streets. Criminals don't care about the law, that's why they're considered criminals!

    May 6, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  24. JB Cooper

    hank stribne@ does anyone really believe that the continental congress was referring to the internet when they wrote the first amendment?

    This is not the first article I have read that paints the annual meeting as a celebration of the vote on April 17. Never-mind the fact that the annual meeting was planned years in advance of the proposed legislation, and takes more hours than exist between April and May to plan and execute such an event.

    May 6, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  25. brasstacs

    When the biased liberal media and the gun grabbers used the propaganda ploy that 90% wants background checks,... that part is was true...most of us don't want guns to get in the hands of criminals and wacko's But the part that the gun grabbers leave out is that most were not in favor of the proposed background bill that failed...and this is especially true when the people knew how poorly this bill was written in key area's and key area's that were not clearly defined...and we already do have background checks,but by far, most thugs get guns through the straw gun buyers and illegal gun traffickers like what's happening in Chicago Durbin should know this ...The so called gun show loop hole accounts for only around 10% of gun sales,in the nation and not the 40% that the gun grabbers have used including Obama, and the gun shows are not the problem and by far most guns bought at gun shows have background checks ....And if someone buys a gun online those guns are not sent directly to the public..they're sent to a federal licensed gun dealer in their area, who by law runs a FBI NICS background check. The NRA is not the enemy,and they have fought hard against those who want to feast on the guts of the 2nd amendment..The NRA is perhaps the last of the civil rights groups in the country and they're patriots.

    May 6, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
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