May 5th, 2013
11:37 AM ET
2 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. hank

    NRA members are a dumb simplistic lot, who do not understand anything the least bit complicated. Their view of the world is narrow and anything complicated they can not comprehend.

    May 5, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  2. gun nut

    @h&k mp5
    "a well trained militia" If you live the 2nd then you support the "Draft" all 18 years old should be drafted into the military so we can have a well trained militia. Lets not gut the 2nd.

    May 5, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  3. J

    Liberals will NEVER infringe on our Second Ammendment. NEVER! Barack Obama you CAN'T win this battle. Period

    May 5, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  4. Frank Landa

    GEE you could not fool them with your bait and switch nor your exploitation of grieving victims. Victims of a government that cannot control the mentally ill and allows them to have guns and then tries to take guns from LAW ABIDING CITIZENS when the mentally ill commit a crime. obamas FAKE TEARS and BAD ACTING was the lowest form of political pandering to the lowest information voters out there. The smart did not buy it !

    May 5, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  5. reader10

    Durbin is a joke.
    He should clean his own state first.

    May 5, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  6. Kris

    Like the Democrats wouldn't be celebrating had the measure passed....

    May 5, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  7. eric stanway

    giving guns to Americans is like giving hand grenades to chimps. You can do it, but it's not a very clever thing to do.

    May 5, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    What would the bill have done to begin with? The purpose of gun laws is to keep guns from criminals. None of these proposals in fact does that. All these proposals go after law abiding people. And speaking of being outraged at actions, what about the appalling use of vistems who in there grieving will reach out and grasp at whatever appears to stem their grief. Posing and using children was comptemptable.

    May 5, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  9. AgrippaMT

    The NRA is again proving that it is nothing but a terrorist organization.

    May 5, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. Sheepleherder

    It was OK for them to celebrate when they thought they had it in the bag, now it's not OK when their opponent's have actually won??

    May 5, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  11. NorCalMojo

    Poor loser

    May 5, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  12. bbk

    How can a "gun safety" organization shoot themselves in the foot so often?

    May 5, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  13. Frustrated Conservative

    Great post spkliewer! Read it below. Wake up conservatives and republicans and make your voice heard. Don't let the NRA use fear simply to hold onto their money and power. In what universe does it make sense not to require a background check to buy a gun? That has nothing to do with the Second Amendment , it's just plain stupid! Nuts! Make your voices heard folks.

    May 5, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  14. Vic7

    Who determines the mentally ill from the so called "law abiding citizens"? The NRA? The crazy holding the gun? Don't blame the president for doing what the majority wants. Criticism is a great thing–threats are criminal and very serious to this nation's future.

    May 5, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  15. jack

    Which cities have the greatest gun violence? The ones in which law-abiding citizens cannot own a gun, like DC and Chicago. Hmm.

    May 5, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  16. nadsgf

    Durbin is insane.

    May 5, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  17. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Let the NRA and the GOPT/D gun lobbyists celebrate cause this is their last dance. Their party would soon be over at the voting booth. COWARDS!

    May 5, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    You will never get the mentally unstable or criminals to submit to background checks or register their illegal guns, so how is it “Sound Policy” to demonize law abiding gun owners in violation of their 2nd Amendment rights? Background checks will not stop the “carnage done by convicted felons” because they steal guns or buy them on the black market. Public opinion is not “overwhelming” in favor of removing 2nd Amendment rights. Citizens have called their representatives and convinced them to defeat more gun controls. It is done. Senator Dumbbell Dick Durbin wants to compromise our freedoms for his left-wing totalitarian dystopian dream. He spews the same totalitarian lies and propaganda that all liberals pitch to us.

    May 5, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  19. Edward Hazzard

    The Senator from Illinois seems to be OK with publically complaining about the legislation not being passed. The Senator from Illinois, on the other hand, seems to be upset that others are happy that the legislation was passed. Typically there is a winner and loser in every conflict. One would hope that the Senator understood this but I guess not.

    May 5, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  20. sonny

    You will never get the mentally unstable or criminals to submit to background checks or register their illegal guns, so how is it “Sound Policy” to demonize law abiding gun owners in violation of their 2nd Amendment rights? Background checks will not stop the “carnage done by convicted felons” because they steal guns or buy them on the black market. Public opinion is not “overwhelming” in favor of removing 2nd Amendment rights. Citizens have called their representatives and convinced them to defeat more gun controls. It is done. Senator Dumbbell Dick Durbin wants to compromise our freedoms for his left-wing totalitarian dystopian dream. He spews the same totalitarian lies and propaganda that all liberals pitch to us.

    May 5, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  21. NJMan

    Why would the Senator fault or insinuate the NRA wants felons to have guns. The carnage is not by most legal gun owners. NRA only wants responsible Americans to not be denied their Second Amendment rights. Felons having guns is not the fault of the NRA. The founders of this nation stated "the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed". Every year US Senators attempt to chip away at Second Amendment.

    May 5, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  22. Thomas J.

    “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,”

    Dick, that's already against federal law. If you can't even make existing laws work to stop the 'bad guys' why should we trust you to write -more- laws that will only stop the law-abiding who choose to follow them.

    Murder is already illegal, and that didn't stop Adam Kwanzaa from doing it.

    Get a clue.

    May 5, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  23. bearitstrong

    The rabid members of the NRA [not all] are doing a dis-service to our country by blocking progress towards a more peaceful and violence-free society.

    May 5, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  24. Peter

    "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."

    And The NRA is against this? Why?

    Hint: May have something to do with pressure by gun show organizers who see their attendance dropping if private sales at gun shows require conducting a background check.

    Much easier and more profitable to just look the other way and not care who buys a gun.

    May 5, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  25. ST

    NRA are acting like laymen. Anyone who is thinking right, can not allow: mentally disturbed, kids, criminals, unable to operate the guns, play with firearms whenever, wherever, however, they wish as if there is no law exists in this world. I think Mogadishu, Somalia are doing better than NRA, leave alone they have no government.

    May 5, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
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