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. Paul

    "...a fight for everything we care about". Really? Killing animals for sport, allowing criminals to get guns, having children accidentally killing siblings these are less important than having a gun? They are trying to convince people (and themselves?) that registering to buy guns, abolishing machine guns and automatic guns is a threat to freedom. It is true that passing a law does not remove the danger, but we believe that it has an effect: We pass laws against stealing, killing or even buckling up. There are still people who go against them but are we going to abolish them? It's ironic that we can mobilize the entire country if one of our fellow citizen is threatened in a foreign country but we look on with indifference when thousands upon thousands upon thousands of the same citizens are killed every year.

    May 6, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  2. Smitty

    The NRA is a shameful organization, with their board consisting of the owners of gun factories, who only care about generating profit from gun sales, and not about the safety of our citizens. Like any true businessperson, they are not out to "protect our 2nd amendment rights", they are out to make money.

    May 6, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  3. Very Plain Very Simple

    to:H&K MP5:
    Shall Not Infringe....

    Liberal tears are so sweet.

    As for magazine limits, for you liberals who post I don't need 30 rounders " to hunt deer". Are you this dense? The 2nd amendment is not about deer hunting. It's about liberals being kept in check. To believe otherwise is to be a fool

    you are correct the 2nd amendment is not about deer hunting...I am a "Liberal" and to believe the magazine limits is about your 2nd amendment rights....IN YOUR are a fool.....I am all for you to have your guns...all day every day...what I am not for is that you can make and carry ANYTHING you wish.....there has to me some limits...NO the violence may NOT stop but at least with certain things in place...lYes even better HEALTH coverage for mentally ill persons and better system to make gun salers aware of this WITHOUT fringing on thier rights, we can help in a way with slowing this gun violence. Repub as so number one on national security why wouldn't they want this...the terrioist study us on our life styles to get to us on 9/11 now they know we do not check for purchase of guns at shows, or private sales. We are arming them with ways to get us. yes I am aware they work on a massive level with bombs and planes. But why would we even leave one door open for them.....WHY? repubs.....just do the right thing.....

    May 6, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  4. Scott

    Dims need to realize that it is Dims that are shooting each other in the streets, Dims who changed the laws to let the mentally ill wander the streets without treatment, Dims who committed all of the school shootings in Dim gun free zones.

    Dims commit 90% violence. It seems we have a Dim (Democratic party) problem, not a gun problem.

    May 6, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  5. Jc

    This is the same senator that equated our armed forces to Nazi stormtroopers? Go pound sand, Dick.

    May 6, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  6. mouse234

    So what is the answer for all the massacres. Add more guns give everybody one including 5 year olds!! That is like saying to put a fire out just throw more fuel on it will eventually burn out when there is no one to add more fuel.

    The right to bear arm applies to everyone RIGHT, except the ones the NRA disagrees with, murders, assasins, but they are protected under the same 2nd amendment law.

    May 6, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  7. Mike

    The NRA is the largest inion inthis country. They employ union tactics all the time from harrassing and influencing Washington to striong-arming those that oppose them. Break up ALL unions.

    May 6, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  8. Anonymous

    HEY DICK!!!! who's fault is it that felons have guns. Not mine, not the NRA's, not my neighbors. Try the government sending millions of guns to mexico, illegally, people buying guns illegally for convicted felons. Why not adjust the laws to make them appropriate for the crime. A person gets more time for a drug crime than they do for killing a person. That is the problem, the deterent is meaningless.

    May 6, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  9. Ferret out the BS

    The Manchin-Toomey bill had specific provisions establishing law against any registry being started or kept by Govt. to identify gun owners. The Manchin-Toomey set law in place to perform deeper background checks when purchasing a weapon at a gun show, and stopping straw man purchases which, apparently we don't have now. It also went to identifying purchases between exchanges family members to keep track of who can and cannot have unfettered access to a weapon. Currently criminals find ways to acquire weapons, through straw purchases and gun shows by exploiting the loopholes in the law. If the holes in the laws are not plugged then the status quo remains and we continue to experience the carnage that is plagueing us now. To be against any attempt to correct these flaws is self serving and just putting your head in the sand. The issues are here and now and unfortunately to those responsible gun owners they will feel the heat as well as the unresponsible ones and the criminals because they want to tie themselves together and stand as a united front. It's time to lose those bad actors whom your efforts benefit, and work on a solution that is equitable to all of the good law abiding citizens of this country. It can be done.

    May 6, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  10. biggusdickus

    My God given right to live in a society free from gun violence trumps your paper right to own a gun.

    May 6, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  11. AZDesert

    I celebrated when the gun vote failed. We should all celebrate when our rights win.

    May 6, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  12. CF

    hey Paul... go hide begind the kids like that other guy and give your speech. That is the same thing hitler did. check out pictures in history since you probably can't read.
    What it boils down too is not the kids. It is the restriction of rights. information gathering. prying into all our personal rights. But that is what the commies do... you should know PAUL...

    May 6, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  13. Mobes

    "We are in the midst of a once-in-a-generation fight for everything we care about." So guns are "everything we care about?"

    May 6, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  14. Tyr

    I own several firearms and I have no problem with background checks or a registry. Why would I? I'm not a criminal nor do I plan on giving or selling my guns to one. The few that the gov may try to keep me from purchasing because of magazine size wouldn't make that much of a difference anyway either. And since I don't think I'd have a chance in a possible revolution against the U.S. with F16's, drones and nukes I don't see where the problem is. The status quo seems to be working out for me just fine but I understand that it may not be for others. I am no longer a member of the NRA because no one can give me any credible answers about why there is even a fight over background checks and Mr. LaPierre's insensitive attitude toward gun victims in general.

    May 6, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  15. Tom1940

    Sen. Durbin (following party talking points), would rather spend time on a "feel-good, do-nothing" bill than to really fix the problem – i.e. school security, beefing up the NICS background check system by paving the way for mental patient's prone to hurting others (determined by proper authorities). Instead, Sen Durbin, will flog this dead horse, (along with Harry and the Boyz (of the Dem Leadership), until the cows come home. No! Senator Durbin, like all those Senators that have been in Washington D.C. for far too long, needs to be sent home.

    May 6, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  16. biggusdickus

    2nd amendment nuts do not have faith in America; they do not have faith in their government; they do not have faith in their fellow citizens. They beleive that without their guns they are left defensless to the boogie man, which is their fellow citizens. So the little creeps see a bad-bad world in which they are the cowboy heros with thier guns riding to the rescue. All the while the rest of us have to suffer the carnage of a society awash in guns and gun violence.

    They arre holding us all hostage to their boy fantasy's.

    May 6, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  17. Todd Ward

    I voted Democrat for the first time when Obama came in 08 and I'm never doing it again. Obama made me a libertarian in 2012. I am so disgusted by liberals' power-hungry "ban everything" "government must control everything in our lives" agenda. Focus instead on building up your community by teaching and setting examples rather than using the self-serving power-hungry tactics of liberals.

    May 6, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  18. Peoples State of Illinois


    My God given right to live in a society free from gun violence trumps your paper right to own a gun.
    Ummm, no it doesn't.

    May 6, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  19. Rina

    The NRA is a soulless sick organization and they will be irrelevant in a few years.

    May 6, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  20. rs

    The 2nd amendment is not about deer hunting. It's about liberals being kept in check. To believe otherwise is to be a fool
    More proof that the gun crowd is formenting revolution in America- time to shut the wacos down.

    May 6, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  21. rs


    I celebrated when the gun vote failed. We should all celebrate when our rights win.
    Which rights are those? To have loved ones killed by a crazy with a gun? Maybe the right to have our first graders killed and dismembered with an assault weapon? The freedom to die while attending a movie? Of having a public firearm death rate greater than any other 1st world nation, and many third world nations? Or just that great run-of-the-mill freedom of being one of the more than 3,800 Americans who have died from gun violence since Newtown?
    Your freedom is death- thats sick!

    May 6, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  22. biggusdickus

    PSI, so you don't believe in God, just guns? Figures.

    May 6, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  23. mec

    They should celebrate. Liberals need to be put in their place.

    May 6, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  24. JB Cooper

    @lloyd roberts Dogs are not trained to sniff for guns, because owning guns is an right not a crime. That would be like training dogs to sniff for books. It should be easy as pie to transport your own guns anywhere in the country. This is America, not some third world dictatorship where rights are considered criminal.

    May 6, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  25. rs

    HEY DICK!!!! who's fault is it that felons have guns. Not mine, not the NRA's, not my neighbors. Try the government sending millions of guns to mexico, illegally, people buying guns illegally for convicted felons.
    Another ill-informed fool:
    1st, the NRA supports straw sales, criminals and terroists buying guns privately, at gun shows and online.
    2nd- you are a baboon if you thing Fast and Furious was about shipping guns to Mexico. It was about tracking staw gun sales in Phoenix and Tucson wherein the guns wound up in Mexico. Hint geiius: the guns were NEVER in LEO or FBI or BATF possession.

    May 6, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
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