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. Nodack

    We Americans love to fight. We can't survive without hating somebody. When we have no enemy to fight we fight ourselves. Lets just divide America down the middle and start fighting. That seems to be what everybody wants. Those evil Democrats fighting against those evil Republicans to decide who wins the war to destroy ourselves.

    May 5, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  2. Mike

    Hey Joe, I guess you missed Obama's speech about banning semi-auto rifles and people having to turn them in when the owner dies. That is taking guns away.

    May 5, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  3. Pat in IL

    All this conservatie/liberal, etc. talk is irrelevant to the issue. Durbin is right. No celebration is warranted, because the majority of people want background checks. Intelligent Republicans do, too. For our lawmaking bodies to vote against the wishes and safety of their constituents is political suicide, which they will soon discover. Having background checks in no way threatens to take anyone's guns away, but it keeps unqualified people from buying them. People who can't pass the drivers test cannot get a license, for heaven's sake.

    May 5, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. The fact of the matter

    " ...because convicted felons have guns,” Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said Sunday." When will these bozos learn that LAWS WILL NOT STOP CONVICTED FELONS FROM HAVING GUNS!!! Geeze, anyway!!!

    May 5, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  5. Greg Clapton

    One of the biggest things NRA supporters can do is BOYCOTT hunting in states that pas these ridiculous laws. One of the biggest impact groups is out of state hunters. I am from Colorado and did not vote for the Liberal Governor or either of the Liberal Senators. I will not buy any hunting licenses this year. Hitting Liberals in the pocket book where they live will have a significant economic impact and voters will respond. A 20-30% or drop in out of state Hunters will be felt all the way to the Liberal pockets. Keep your hunting dollars and stay home this year in PROTEST of Colorado's Liberal gun laws.

    May 5, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  6. Veritas

    Submitted for your approval: a list of notorious murderers, (#) killed, and whether they were NRA rednecks or NRA rednecks.
    1. Adam Lanza – Sandy Hook (26) – NRA redneck
    2. Klebold/Harris – Columbine (13) – NRA redneck
    3. Lee Boyd Malvo – DC Sniper (10) – NRA redneck
    4. Jared Loughner – Shot Giffords (6) – NRA redneck
    5. Seung Hui Choi – Virginia Tech (32) – NRA redneck
    6. James “The Joker” Holmes – Aurora, CO (12) – NRA redneck
    7. John Wayne Gacy – (33) – NRA redneck clown
    8. Sirhan Sirhan – Shot RFK – NRA redneck
    9. Lee Harvey Oswald – Shot JFK – NRA redneck facist
    10. John Hinkley – Shot Reagan – NRA redneck
    11. Marc Chapman – Shot Lennon – NRA redneck
    12. George Hennard – Luby’s (23) – NRA redneck
    13. Sulejman Talovic – Salt Lake (5) – NRA redneck
    14. Jiverly Wong – Binghamton (13) – NRA redneck
    15. James Pough – GM (11) – NRA redneck
    16. Andew Engledinger – Minneapolis (5) – NRA redneck
    17. One L. Goh – Oikos Univ. (7) – NRA redneck
    18. Scott Dekraai – Seal Beach, CA (8) – NRA redneck
    19. Robert Hawkins – Mall Killing (9) – NRA redneck
    20. Jeffrey Weise – Red Lake H.S. (9) – NRA redneck
    BAN NRA rednecks, SAVE LIVES!

    May 5, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  7. Dark Poet

    Hey the same loop hole that caused Sandy Hook was in the new bill. Use your brain people...... it was good it got voted down!

    May 5, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  8. truthbetold

    yes senator, we will celebrate our rights and our defeat of overreaching politicians who would steal our rights from us, like you......

    May 5, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  9. Carolyn M

    The NRA can espout John Wayne holding his rifle high - but remember he didn't need an OOzie or a machine gun, & he never killed good guys, or their families. Same goes for Charlton Heston. I believe every American has the right to own as many guns as they wish. Leave the heavy artillery to our armed forces – they do not belong in our homes or streets.
    People, if you can't relate to the surviving parents and loved ones of those killed or wounded in our land by reckless individuals, you should be ashamed. If we don't do all we can do to help stem the killings, things will only get worse.

    May 5, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  10. Jim Beranis

    This war on guns can only be as effective as the war on drugs was.

    May 5, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  11. hypatia

    Oh look the faux noozies are doing a production number.

    May 5, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  12. plain&simple

    @@ plain &simple2....Gun laws have been in existence for some time and some good laws allowed to expire... Background checks should be a point of agreement. Nothing to do with liberal or any label...just everyday common sense!!!

    May 5, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. AK_Steve

    The NRA celebrated because they still have the power to buy off the GOP. And the GOP wonders why they have such a bad image and are seen as evil?

    When a special interest group needs to buy a politician they go knocking on Republican doors.

    May 5, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  14. Nemo007

    senator Durbin, considering the oppressive state of Illinois you representing, your response is quite fitting and totally meaningless – THANK GOD!

    May 5, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  15. Keyser

    Please leave the NRA alone....they are not smart people.

    May 5, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  16. allenwoll

    If EVER a weapon is found under MY pillow, it will have been placed there NOT to protect myself from the government, but rather from the KNUCKLEHEADS - The rogue Gun Owners, Right-Wing Extremists and NRA-Brainwashees which JOE cites above ! !

    May 5, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  17. Yooper57

    Truly what is the big deal about back ground checks? You are under surveillance by cameras, drones, CIA FBI local law enforcement. No one wants your guns that is all right rhetoric. Gracious ....common sense has taken a back seat in this country. i am Sad for the doomsday folks life is passing you by. Relax enjoy!

    May 5, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  18. Ryan

    The NRA was celebrating the fact that they won the battle where lawmakers were trying to punish law abiding citizens for the actions of criminals. The NRA was celebrating the preservation of the 2nd amendment **gasps**... anything but the upholding of a foundational principle of the country. The NRA delebrated that despite overwhelming media bias, and even many omissions of pro-gun statistics that they didn't want to report, that the law abiding citizens didn't suffer. The NRA was celebrating the fact that people like Piers Morgan now has to find something else to talk about. The recent ruling should be celebrated. The politicians should be focusing on how to attack the criminals who are actually murdering people on the streets of the United States. They should be going after the gangbangers, the gun runners, the black market dealers. The day you wish to go after the criminals, you'll have the NRA right beside you in that fight.

    May 5, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  19. abnguy

    Dick Durbin, Senator from Illinois the liberal bastion of gun control and safety. All your schemes have not helped your biggest city. Why do you believe they will help the rest of the country?

    May 5, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  20. mogran

    The people have spoken, liberals don't like ain't that just too darn bad...freedom working as it should...when will dems and liberals realize there'll be no new gun control laws...for a long, long time...let 'em whine!

    May 5, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  21. lottie

    if over 80% of Americans support back ground checks does that make them all liberal?? NRA thumbing their noses at 80% of the American population. That's going to cause them some problems.

    May 5, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  22. plain&simple make more sense than 90% of the people posting today. The simple truth is what no one can dispute!!!!

    May 5, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  23. Bill

    Conservatives hate America. The elites treat it as nothing more than an ATM and their loyal followers in the lower/middle class are too stupid and ignorant to understand how little the GOP and conservative special interests such as the NRA actually care about anyone who isn't a big business or one of the 1%.

    May 5, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  24. fred

    GLad to see the gun nuts out in force. Only a moron would be against expanded background checks. I'll never underestimate the power of paranoia.

    May 5, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  25. Marc

    Don't legislate, let the insurance companies deal with the gun owners, high premiums, no coverage for auto and/or home, make them have them a bond of $50,000 too. Not a thing they could do about it too. The courts would uphold the side of the insurance companies. Problem solved.

    May 5, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
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