May 5th, 2013
11:37 AM ET
12 months 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. DJ Reality

    Iceaxdave – Where is your proof that these people held those views? No where! These people were no driven by ideology but by the desire to hurt people. Grow the heck up! Your comment is pretty weak..

    May 5, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. Cliff

    He's from Illinois, is a democrat and just lost a gun control battle. Of course he is mad.

    May 5, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  3. Calcommuter

    I applaud the NRA, Sarah Palin and Grover Norquist. As long as their nutbag right wing ideas and tactics stay in the news, the Republicans will never get the White House and majority in Congress. Please continue.

    May 5, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  4. Sammythebu11

    Why don't you look how well your gun control is working in your state before you open your mouth????? more people die in chicago than in iraq every week

    May 5, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  5. Joe

    The problem is left wing extremists who use scare tactics to fuel the theory that there is going to be a government takeover by right wing nut jobs and we we will need all the weapons confiscated to protect ourselves against this action. How on God's green earth can one be so stupid? I am 46 yrs old and a gun owner and in my lifetime there has been only one president who advocated taking anyone guns or right to carry on away: Obama. Think about it knuckleheads-why are you being brainwashed by the liberal media and left wing extremists who are tricking you into thinking it's be great to be the govt's slave.....

    May 5, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. Charlie

    I wonder if Durbin will have the same comments when the automobile industry has a convention? By his logic, they kill a LOT more people.

    May 5, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  7. Michael

    Dick dustbin has an agenda to disarm the America people . This is the first step of many planed . Be aware of the zombies like that - the little steps head some ware .

    May 5, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  8. BVH

    Please explain to me a logical reason why there should not be background checks for the purchase of deadly weapons at gun shows and online, but only at gun shops. And, I don't except the argument that they would not have prevented the tragedies at Sandy Hook and others or the diversion argument that there needs to be more done regarding mental illness. And, could someone tell me why if the NRA is against background checks at gun shows and online, why don't they come out and argue against background checks at retail outlets? Give em an inch and they'll take a mile; wouldn't be surprised if the gun NRA begins to argue for the open sale of hand grenades and RPG's

    May 5, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  9. JDL

    Iceaxdave,:
    Did you make those so called facts up all by yourself or would you care to share your source ?

    Joe is exactly right !

    May 5, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  10. aslantld

    Hey Bill Davis, not sure where you are getting your data, but according to the FBI, Chicago's murder rate in 2011 was 15.9 per 100K. Dallas' was 10.9. Your argument is invalid.

    May 5, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    The NRA is an embarrassment to America.

    May 5, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  12. aslantld

    The problem with the background check bill was that it added rights infringing baggage that had nothing to do with background checks. It stripped veterans of their right to due process by giving the Secretary of Veteran's affairs authority to unilaterally revoke a vet's right to own a gun. It creates a commission to "study gun violence" that appears would be dominated by democrats. Strip out the extraneous crap and limit the bill to enhancing the effectiveness of background checks and I will support it. Until then, the NRA is protecting all of us from insidious legislation.

    May 5, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  13. Strongbad

    It's so cute when Democrats try to act like they are serious about getting tough on criminals.

    May 5, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  14. Chutzpah

    The answer, of course, is a more effective NRA on the ground.

    May 5, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  15. Jeb

    The NRA is interested in protecting gun industry profits and nothing else.

    May 5, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  16. whitepine

    So Texas why do you have a border problem if you have all these guns? Why are there so many murders just south of the border with American made guns? Let's talk about how you maybe supporting the Mexican drug cartel and their world with your guns!

    May 5, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  17. Chutzpah

    Gun confiscation, ultimately, IS going to be the only avenue left, after all REASONABLE attempts to deal with the problem are blocked by the NRA.

    May 5, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  18. thatgrlinaz

    NRA – PIGS!!! All of them. They have brainwashed Americans by manipulating the true meaning of the 2nd Amendment to protect gun manufacturers ONLY! Profit over lives. THAT is UNAmerican 100%. Already cancelled my NRA membership and all TRUE Americans should do the same!!

    May 5, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  19. donchild

    Sadly, I think the NRA is becoming the new KKK. Wish they would go back to being a gun safety organization. Meanwhile, how about no one under the age of 120 being allowed to purchase a gun?

    May 5, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  20. Cole

    Stop sell guns to criminals, the mentally ill, terrorists and Mexican drug cartels.

    May 5, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  21. ronjayaz

    Our representatives in Congress dont get it. Gun control is really a minor issue. See recent events in stabbings and bombings from pressure cookers. The fault Horatio duznt rest in our stars but the culture. It's out of control. There's no more unity in the US or us for that matter. We shall never coalesce. Hopeless!

    May 5, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  22. HenryMiller

    “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,”

    And felons are going to go on having guns, no matter what laws Congress passes. The only the Left's brain-dead proposals would do would be to make it difficult for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves from the felons and the crazies.

    The NRA was right to celebrate—and I joined them in their celebration by sending them a rather large donation to help make sure there will be more celebrations in the future.

    May 5, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  23. foxcdr

    Crying over spilt milk

    May 5, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  24. Chutzpah

    blackhawkmom... thanks for an intelligent comment. everyone knows this to be true, but just won't admit it.

    May 5, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  25. aslantld

    If the majority of the American people are in favor of banning guns, as some here are asserting, then the Dems could easily accomplish that by proposing an amendment to the Constitution to revoke the 2nd Amendment. If the vast majority of Americans support this, then it should be a slam dunk to get the votes needed to repeal the 2A. So why don't the dems do it? I will tell you why, because the majority of Americans DO NOT SUPPORT banning, or even restricting, ownership of guns by law abiding citizens. And a constitutional amendment to do away with the 2nd would be soundly defeated. That is why the gun grabbers go after sneaky, underhanded, attacks on gun rights: they know they are a very small minority and the best they can do is sneak rights-infringing legislation in where no one is looking.

    May 5, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
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