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. dreamer96


    Timothy McVeigh...Honored Vet...For manning a machine gun while under heavy fire...But was disgusted by orders to shoot unarmed Iraqi troops trying to surrender no highway out of Kuwait back to Baghdad, began to view our own government as evil..Bush41's government.. as evil...Was a NRA member.. He also quit the NRA, viewing its stance on gun rights as too weak..

    McVeigh killed 168 people, injured over 800 people...
    Including 19 Children...

    May 5, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  2. ajw3

    Durbin should bring in the Hollywood money men for questioning. They seem good at buying off Congress, they are never mentioned whenever we see these shootings, bombings etc.

    May 5, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  3. Name

    Thank you, NRA!!

    May 5, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  4. Chutzpah

    "Felons would have guns regardless"

    Pretty darned easy to get guns when there are so many millions of them floating around this old USA.

    May 5, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  5. logikflux

    Whatever. Let them celebrate, they won this round. Now shut-up and bring better legislation. You know they would have been celebrating if they won.

    May 5, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  6. J

    So many posters doing the bidding of the gun lobby – you realize the NRA isn't for YOU right?

    May 5, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  7. James Van Riper

    Whenever I read the insulting comments made about those who support the Second Amendment I add to my NRA contributions. It makes you wonder why the anti-gun citizens choose to call other Americans such things as "knuckleheads." Can they not carry on a serious dialogue about a serious matter without name calling? Do they believe that name calling will draw others to their point of view? Doesn't work that way for me–I just open my wallet to support what I believe!

    May 5, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  8. stevetall

    Think about this: The NRA has less than 5 million members. That's chump change compared to the rest of the 300 million of us who favor better background checks and better control of weapons. These idiots need a better, more positive and constructive hobby to improve America. Bleating about the 2nd Amendment as if they're some kind of Constitutional experts isn't fooling anybody who can think. It's all about the money they make from militarizing our country, and if there is a God, I'm sure he has a toasty future in mind for them.

    May 5, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  9. cardog

    To the very first post from (iceaxdave) why do you feel it's appropriate to list all those who are dead as being liberals? They still were violent people and they are still dead. You gun nuts simply do not have the brain capacity to get the idea that guns in this nation are a national disaster. I could argue the gun point with you until kingdom come and you still won't get it. But I can tell you this. Come 2014 and again in 2016, the American people will assist you as well as your "no back-bone senators and congressmen/women", when they vote them out of office for ignoring the people's wishes.

    May 5, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. MakeThemEatCake

    When did 60 votes became the requirement to pass a bill in the Senate? If that is a requirement, there is no need for the VP. The only reason for that vote was to break a 50-50 tie..

    May 5, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  11. Joan

    Noted in an obit on Roane County News, Kingston, Tennessee, web site, person who died last week listed his life long affiliates... The Baptist Church and the N R A!!! OMG!!! Is this the new America????

    May 5, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  12. wonderabout

    The NRA cares NOTHING for your gun rights - they care about their funding, the gun manufacturers, importers, exporters, ammo, accessories – WHICH BTW because of their slight-of-hand, smoke-n-mirrors has been a huge boom (no pun intended) for the personal weapons industry, just try buying a nice rifle in prep for the coming hunting season – it will cost you 50-times what it should or did before Sandy Hook (just as they prices did after Regan was shot)! Along with the millions they rake in from mis-guided, so-called patriots – they receive much more from corporations.... Has anyone actually seen their headquarters in D.C.? If not, it's BIG, really big, glassy and in your face! I believe in the right to own firearms for hunting and if need be protection – I don't believe ANYONE beyond the military or law enforcement needs or should have a weapon that can fire 100 rounds in a matter of seconds – I don't believe that anyone beyond law enforcement or military should have armor-piercing ordnance .... all you conspiracy theory freaks out there keep giving these lunatics your money, they are cowards and opportunists and very well paid shills for Smith-n-Wesson,

    May 5, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  13. Morons on the RIGHT

    Hey there were no school shooting until NRA showed up. Now I wonder why that is???? Hmmmm.
    IceaDave I think you have it all backwards. Those criminals were ALL RIghteous Red Conservotard traitors, as ALL GOP and Conservatives are...traitors through and through. You should all be arrested, tried and hung for your treason of supporting the traitors Bush/Cheney et al. and Raygun the master traitor.

    NRA = Pro-Criminal

    May 5, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  14. Just a thought

    I guess the part of all of this I don't get...... Everyone thinks this is all new and because of the Obama administration, got news for y'all, this has been on going very since I can remember........ Back into the 60's off and on some one wants some sort of gun control. It has also been started by both sides not just libs or cons, just another distraction from real issues.

    May 5, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  15. Az

    Typical. Ignore responsibility and promote free stuff in exchange for votes. From sweet talk to promises, liberal politicians are no different than our liberal population of convicted criminals, except maybe the cologne they wear.

    May 5, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  16. PortOurTroops

    To Iceaxdave: -Ban guns-save more lives!

    May 5, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  17. rnebel

    The NRA can also go to Springfield and celebrate their victory, Dick. I grew up there and I know they would find a lot of support. You might want to think about that.

    May 5, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. Ellen

    These NRA people are getting creepy. Kind of like those religions that keep knocking at your door and want you to follow their beliefs.

    May 5, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  19. TucsonBill

    Mr Durbin, the American people will indeed not give up. The Constitution must always supersede useless, feel-good legislation by people either with no sense of history or with an ugly agenda to promote. Wanna save kids? Ban liberals, cars, pools, baseball bats. Leave the guns alone, they save far more good guys than they kill.

    May 5, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  20. Patrick in Wisconsin

    lc, you obviously have not done ANY research into ANY of those shooters. Jared Laughner was a neo-Nazi (his favorite book was Mien Kamph), same thing with Timothy McVeigh and at least half the other people you mentioned.

    May 5, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  21. Dinesh Sharma

    To low-IQ gun nuts – Instead of whining about someone taking away your toys, spend time protesting how democracy has been taken away from you. The congress has simply been paid off by gun-sellers for whom the NRA shills. No you dont have a halo around your heads because you talk of tyranny and patriotism. you're just not smart enough to know what is really going on

    May 5, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  22. Patrick in Wisconsin

    I'm seeing a pattern here. All the conservatives on here are either 1) simply vying for a remote excuse to attack Obama et all with NO legitimate claims or 2) Claiming all the statistics are conspiracies. Nice going guys, you're sure to become relevant again with that crap.

    May 5, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  23. Bob Martino

    "We're in a once in a generation fight 'for EVERYTHING WE CARE ABOUT' – Wayne LaPierre

    Everything we care about... Wow. Not the daily shooting and killings of humdreds of Americans. Not the carnage of school children in their classrooms. Not anything other than their assault rifles. Not even in keeping such weapans out of the hands of felons and the mentally deranged, which was all that the legislation was about. Background checks for all gun purchases. Nothing else. These folks are so far off the wall as to be a threat to our society and safety.

    May 5, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  24. John

    The problem as I see it is there is no more folk with common sense, just knee jerk reations to everything. If we would look at the facts objectively we would certainly want to keep guns out of the hands of those mentally handiecapped, along with felons. yes there are guns that are easy to get, but we can work to get those off the streets-hard but possible. we have gun laws right now that haven't taken any ones rights to own away so we can see that the arguments by the NRAare really bogus. Yes we DO need to inforce the laws we have now. But we also need to make sure that large magazines don't fall into the hands of nut cases. That goes for handguns and semi and fully automatic rifles.I'm sure as Americans we cherish not only our rights but also each other enough to stop this bickering and work together to find senseible solutions to this 30,000 a year killed problem.

    May 5, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  25. MagicPanties

    Everyone needs a bazooka.
    Otherwise, only bad guys will have bazookas.

    May 5, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
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