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. Libertarian_First

    The liberal fear of guns is hysterical.

    Look, they have even resorted to name calling.

    The saddest thing is how ignorant they are of the issue and how little the legislation would do to prevent gun violence.

    May 6, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. rs

    The NRA is an organization consisting of around 5 Million real people. The tactic of making the NRA a single entity to utilize for name calling and hate mongering is a political ploy. Five million people who strongly believe in a single issue are not going away just because some politician uses political rhetoric to try to and turn the rest of the country against them. Members of the NRA have varying views on gun control and legislation aimed at trying to make the public safer but the basic issue of "Constitutional Rights" is shared by all. The Constitution is there to protect the individual from the Government and political parties who don't happen to agree with it. I swear to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
    Some good points. However, first, the NRA has more like 4 million members or about 1.25% of the population of the U.S.. Next, the NRA is pretty much painting itself into a logistical corner. It was the NRA that wanted the background check law in the first place, but in the course of their radicalization, they have now backed away from it. Lastly- this "guns against tyranny" crap they currently promote borders on treason. It has never been held in law or tradition that the citizenry in the U.S. ever balances LE or the military. Talking about your fellow Amercans as "domestic enemies" only demonstrated how radicalized (and potentially dangerous) the nonsesne from the NRA really. Go there if you like- but that is the stuff 90% of Americans are against. At risk , by taking that track may well be the whole of the 2nd Amendment. Frankly if it comes down to public safety vs. the NRA, you guys lose because in the end, there is no "good guy with a gun".

    May 6, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  3. rs

    A thought for Senator Durbin, from Illinois: Statistically speaking, I would be safer walkiong unarmed in Afghnaistan than walking around the South Side of Chicago. Doesn't Chicago have one of the strictest gun laws in the US, and given the homicide rate there, one of the least effective? The South Side used to be off limits for military personnel. because of the danger of being assaulted or killed there. I assume it still is.
    Funny, this year, gun death rates are well down in Chicago- and on a par with any other American city. FOX news won't say that naturally. The gun problem for Chicago BTW can be traced largely to one nearby but out-of-jurisdiction gun shop that essentially "supplies" the gun needs of the criminal element in Chicago- sort of like the Taliban supplying the "rebel" fighters in Afghanistan. Guess which model th NRA supports?

    May 6, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  4. rs


    This article is absolute bunk, and extreme media bias against the average gun owner.
    The gun control bill that failed in the Senate April 17 had nothing to do with the NRA.
    The Senate had 65 votes to pass the bill in the morning, but through procedures rules Harry Reid and the Democrats added 16 amendments to the "bi-partisan bill."
    Speaking of "bunk", if the GOP hadn't filibustered the bill (because of the wet pants they were getting from the NRA over their precious gun-ratings), the bill would have easily passed at a simply 51% majority.

    May 6, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  5. Anonymous

    @pattianne -The Democrats celebrated when they passed Obamacare. What is wrong with the NRA "celebrating " what they worked hard to win. I am all for background checks, but it lost and the majority of no voters in the Congress won that vote. Now we have to listen to the whiners, whether they are independents, republicans, or democrats.
    Actually, the yes votes outnumbered the no's but the 60 vote rule in the Senate killed it. Our system is more than broken – it has died!!

    May 6, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  6. Carl

    The NRA doesn't have the right to celebrate a political victory? This guy wants us to believe that the democrats wouldn't have celebrated if they had succeeded?

    May 6, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  7. AlphaMaryYankee

    News Flash.


    Gulen Schools in Texas and Tennessee.

    These are madrassah schools. Be forewarned.

    Contact your representative. Now you know.

    May 6, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  8. rs

    Your argument is emotional tripe. The pro-gun side could be just as ridiculous as you.
    Which rights do gun grabbers support? To have loved ones killed by a crazy government? Maybe the right to have our first graders officially dismembered by a government firing squad? The freedom to be rounded up for whatever reason and die in a concentration camp? Or just the great run-of-the-mill freedom of being one more of the un-countable millions who have died at the hands of an unchecked, out of control government?
    Freedom is not safe, any death is tragic. However, freedom is much safer then serfdom, slavery, and blind loyalty.
    Wake up
    First- you realize the nonsesne you spout hasn't happened in America- and it never will. What crazy government are you referring to? Who have they killed recently? How does having a gun stop them? Show me our concentration camps and the people there. You're just spouting paranoid fantasy. As a patriot my friend, I DO believe in the American form of government, and the American people. I do not support tin-pot crackheads like La Pierre, or your survivalist crap for one minute. You are out only for yourself- and as such are of no benefit to our great nation.

    May 6, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  9. calamity jane

    What the NRA is telling us is more 2 year olds need to die.

    May 6, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  10. rs

    I note that when (un-armed?) persons perceive a criminal act against them, they call for someone with a gun.

    I recognize it happens because they lack the moral fortitude to protect themselves.

    Or, perhaps easier to recognize, "emotional".
    Correct- we call law enforcement- not the NRA-

    May 6, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  11. Voter

    A Victory for the Second Amendment deserves to be celebrated! I also went out and purchased a new AR15.

    May 6, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  12. B.

    The American people will win this argument in the long run and the NRA is on the wrong side of this effort.

    This is going to be a defining point in 2014 midterms and common sense will win because Americans can see this country turning into a -civil War zone -and our kids are caught right in the middle of it!

    30K murders a year is not a price we want to pay for unregulated second amendment rights.

    May 6, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  13. calamity jane

    Putting guns in the hands of more 6 year olds not only shows admirable parenting, but would solve the bully problem. Little Johnny, don't forget your lunch money and your AR15. Don't worry about books, it's good enough for mama and daddy not to be educated, it's good enough for you too.

    May 6, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  14. Aaron

    The NRA is a joke. I am a gun owner and I hate the NRA. I quit in 95. Lapierre is an extremist and the lap dog for gun manufacturers. The NRA stooges are laughing all the way to the bank. It used to be about gun safety. Now its about making as much money as they possibly can. Not my money.

    May 6, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  15. TommytheT

    Freedom and the protection of the Constitution should always be celebrated Mr Durbin. Sad as a high ranking Senator you don't understand that.

    May 6, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  16. WillB

    Dick Derbin is a crybaby. He's always been the guy who loved to bully everyone else when he could and then go whining for his momma when he can't. Anybody who has followed his career has seen him as a loser, and most of the time as a poor loser. If he had any spine at all, he'd introduce legislation to ban guns in his own State and then be voted out of Congress....i,e. stop whining because you lost, show some courage...........

    but that has never happened in the past, won't happen now either.

    May 6, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  17. Peoples State of Illinois


    I note that when (un-armed?) persons perceive a criminal act against them, they call for someone with a gun.

    I recognize it happens because they lack the moral fortitude to protect themselves.

    Or, perhaps easier to recognize, "emotional".
    Correct- we call law enforcement- not the NRA-
    And by the time law enforcement responds, "its to late," law enforcement's own words.

    May 6, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  18. pliny

    The NRA is doomed.

    It's only a matter of time.

    Eventually, there will be another school massacre. And another. And another.

    And the NRA will react to each of these the way they reacted to Sandy Hook.

    And the 90% of Americans who want 'common sense' gun legislation will become 92%...and then 95%.

    And the cowards in Washington will continue to support the NRA.

    And the voters will eventually kick the cowards out of office.

    And the NRA will be doomed.

    It's only a matter of time.

    May 6, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  19. ugh

    Dick Durbin is confused....

    May 6, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  20. OldSchool


    News Flash.


    Gulen Schools in Texas and Tennessee.

    These are madrassah schools. Be forewarned.

    Contact your representative. Now you know.

    lol oh no, "school schools"! Heaven forbid any religions other than yours are permitted to teach their ignorant nonsense to the impressionable.

    May 6, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  21. calamity jane

    I wonder who won the pen-is measuring contest in the bathroom at the NRA convention? Probably Sarah.

    May 6, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  22. jeremy

    Here it is in a nut shell.. People who want gun control are going about this the wrong way. Stop emphasising that broader backround checks will help lower mass shootings and focus on what it reall stops. Hold ups, gang related shootings, rapes, childeren with guns... Look at the bigger picture!

    May 6, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  23. Mark

    Will we be able to sue the NRA when innocent bystanders start getting hurt by idiots carrying guns they haven't been trained to fire? That's all we need is more stupid people "defending" themselves by firing away in a crowded public area.

    May 6, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  24. jl12

    Does the NRA keep a list of it's members who presumably own guns? If so, could that list get hacked? How is that different then a gun registry?

    May 6, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  25. patNY

    The real loosers are all Americans because the fact that everything in the Senate now needs 60 votes means that nothing will get done in Congress until the filibuster rule is overhauled, by requiring the filibustering senator to be physically present at all times in the senate chambers for the entire time he/she wants to block a bill.

    May 6, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
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