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. Az

    Thank a free gun owner for the pause that keeps the dictator in check! Guns do not kill people, people kill people and it is not necessarily by gunfire!

    May 5, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  2. ben rich

    I love to hear all the people on here cheering the defeat of "liberal" views.....have you stopped to look at political trends around the country and around the world....the tide of liberalism is getting stronger every year.

    May 5, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  3. dc

    Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois – The tightest gun control in the nation AND THE WORST MURDER RATE is in Chicago! How's that gun control workin for ya? People are terrified in their houses. Do you have armed security, Senator?

    May 5, 2013 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  4. yogi

    When you have a gun, you will eventually attract a situation in which you will be tempted to use it. If you live life in fear, you will eventually attract that which you fear. Get rid if your guns and live a life based on love.

    May 5, 2013 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  5. Sizzle

    GOP/NRA/Tea party all the same and are like a bunch of rats from a sinking ship jumping from one piece of driftwood (aka. emotionally charged issue) to another. First it was Bengazhi, then jobs, now guns. They've been circling the drain for a while just like a Gigantic turd.....can some please get the plugger and finish them off already. Tired of their hate laden rhetoric and self serving pocket lining lobby driven agendas.

    May 5, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  6. The Other Bob


    The majority of Americans do NOT support gun control. That 90% figure was just made up by obama. OUR country is based on the RIGHT that "shall not be infringed" for the INDIVIDUAL to own guns. Besides, nothing they are doing will stop gun violence. Voting this down was a blow for FREEDOM.
    ALL polls have shown that the vast majority of Americans support stricter gun laws. The continued misrepresentation of the 2nd amendment by you and those of your ilk is tiresome. You so conveniently overlook the rest of the amendment. You know, the part about a well-regulated militia.This was a vote for the tyranny of the minority, a minority of questionable mental stability and ability to reason.

    By the way, the majority of the Senate voted FOR the measure.

    May 5, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  7. The Other Bob

    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 !
    Please tell us what law-abiding citizens would have their guns taken away by this measure.

    May 5, 2013 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  8. yogi

    Get rid of the second amendment, it is completely outdated. Whoever starts screaming now, I feel sorry for you, because it will happen once we really attempt to pursue civilization.

    May 5, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  9. Ah Merican

    Put your own house in order, Senator Durbin.

    Your gun-control Paradise known as Chicago leads the nation in gun murders, yet it's the NRA's fault?

    May 5, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  10. Scott

    I've asked this question ALOT, and NEVER gotten a reasonable answer, so I'll ask it here...
    The NRA is complaining about universal background checks, saying they won't help, why are they so against something they claim to be so pointless? If it doesn't adversely affect anything, why bother trying to block it? Ask yourselves this... What does the NRA know that they aren't sharing? What are they afraid of? The UBC bill doesn't eliminate any weapons, no limit on clip size (like there should be), so why complain about UBC?

    May 5, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  11. Chuck Henry

    So basically the NRA has declared war on the US. That is the terminology this demagogic criminal used. The NRA is in fact now a terrorist organization, and as an American I fear them. This is the kind of rhetoric that emboldened McVeigh to blow up the federal building and kill the kids in a daycare center. If advertisements can get people to buy cars, then making these kind of speeches can get anybody with a chip on their shoulder (not just nuts) to start shooting kids (see Norway). Conversations and speeches kill , and the NRA leadership is guilty of treason and sedition.

    May 5, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  12. TalG

    Just remember, the NRA doesn't care about rights or freedoms in this country. Their sole aim is to turn the US into a version of Somalia, and make us the most deadly place to live and visit. Otherwise they would realize their rights wouldn't be infringed on with legislation that simply makes it more difficult for those least deserving to have weapons to be able to purchase them.

    May 5, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  13. DJL

    @spkliewer: what a wonderful, level-headed, well-spoken post. Everyone should print it out and send it to their representatives in Congress.

    May 5, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  14. JIMM

    H&K MP5

    Shall Not Infringe....

    Liberal tears are so sweet.

    As for magazine limits, for you liberals who post I don't need 30 rounders " to hunt deer". Are you this dense? The 2nd amendment is not about deer hunting. It's about liberals being kept in check. To believe otherwise is to be a fool

    Where in the 2nd amendment does it mention the number of rounds? That gets regulated.

    May 5, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  15. JIMM


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

    Where is the infringement?

    May 5, 2013 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  16. Deni

    I'm a liberal, a law abiding citizen, and a gun owner. I have no problem with back ground checks. I do take issue with ignoramuses and bigots that change the topic and make this into something it isn't (i.e.the NRA and their lemmings). Certain medications that were once over-the-counter you now have to get a physician to write a prescription for, show your license to the pharmacist, and sign three different electronic documents while they check your background before you get said medication. If you have nothing to hide then it's a temporary inconvenience. Get over it and quit your damn bellyaching.

    May 5, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  17. Vic7

    Who will be in charge of deciding who is mentally ill and who are the "law abiding citizens"? The NRA? Law enforcement? Who will know? NRA Republicans and some of their Democratic counterparts don't want any sort of background check so who will know?

    May 5, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  18. RP

    "Dick" Durbin needs to stick to what he knows – keeping blacks poor, aborting babies and making Illinois the worst place in the nation to live.

    May 5, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  19. DJL

    Background checks do not "infringe" on your rights to own a gun. It's about closing loopholes to keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn't have them. Remember, at some point, every illegal gun on the streets was purchased legally.

    'But criminals will find another way.' Fine, then you FORCE them to find another way. Why would you want to make it EASY for them?!? That's apathetic.

    If you hold people who make legal purchases accountable for turning around and selling it to someone with a criminal record, then you WILL cut down on the number of illegal gun sales.

    The only reason the NRA is against it is because it might cut down on the number of guns sold by the manufacturers who back this lobby. Boo friggin' hoo.

    May 5, 2013 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  20. AEP

    NRA is the South's revenge for loosing the civil war. What I saw on the news from Houston, kind of proves my point....

    May 5, 2013 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  21. Roger

    Mass gun homicides will continue, so gun control is not only necessary, it's a forgone conclusion. It's only a matter to time.

    May 5, 2013 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  22. blue dog

    @splikiewer has it right. This not about right or wrong or logical thing to do. As a gun owner why would I not ask for background checks for all. I went through that. I had nothing to hide on my record, no problems with law. I'll hate to see a felon get as gun from a private seller at a gun show. As I understand, this for my own safety.

    May 5, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  23. blue dog

    This country is great because of its innovations, free market economy and enterprising spirit, not because of its guns.

    May 5, 2013 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  24. justanotherreader

    Here's an idea – why don't all the sane and stable gun owners get together and for a new Gun Association? Let the crazies keep their NRA.

    May 5, 2013 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  25. Harlon Katz

    To start with, I am not a member of the NRA, but Durbin just does not get it. His beloved 1st step towards banning weapons would do NOTHING to keep the guns out of the hands of criminals, it would have done NOTHING to stop what happened in MA. The only thing the democrats initial step towards grabbing guns would have done is make people "feel good" about "doing something". Illinois and Chicago are examples – some of the most strict gun control laws on the books – we need to get the whole background check and have a permit to purchase and actually own weapons, yet these laws have no affect on the criminals in Chicago. They don't even bother charging the gangbangers with not having the FOID card (ILs gun license).

    May 5, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
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