Republicans not jumping onto NRA's gun plan
December 23rd, 2012
01:49 PM ET
10 years ago

Republicans not jumping onto NRA's gun plan

(CNN) – Republicans on Sunday were reticent in voicing support for the National Rifle Association's scheme to place guards with firearms in American schools, though they also appeared to find little common ground with Democrats, who want tighter restrictions on purchasing assault weapons.

Lawmakers from both parties have agreed that some changes are needed following the Newtown, Connecticut, shooting on December 14 that left 28 people dead, including 20 children. But while Democrats advocate new legislation making it harder to obtain military-style firearms, Republicans claim such measures have proved ineffective in the past.

The NRA, the top lobbyist for gun manufacturers, asserted on Friday that armed guards in schools were the best prevention against a similar tragedy. That proposal, along with vows from Democrats to reintroduce bills banning assault weapons and high-volume ammunition clips, was met with skepticism Sunday from Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican.

"We had an armed guard in Columbine, we had an assault ban. Neither one of them worked," Graham said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"We're talking about preventing mass murder by nontraditional criminals, people who are not traditionally criminal, who are not wired right for some reason," he continued. "And I don't know if there's anything Lindsey Graham can do in the Senate to stop mass murder from somebody that's hell-bent on doing crazy things."

Another Republican, Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, also cast doubt on the NRA's proposal, saying a national effort to place guards with guns in schools was misguided.

"I think decisions about schools ought to be made at the local level," Barrasso said on "Fox News Sunday." "I would not want a national effort to say you have to do this in schools. I think local education decisions are best made at the local level."

On CBS' "Face the Nation," GOP Sen.-designate Tim Scott said Americans shouldn't "rush to judgment" on the NRA's plan, but didn't offer an endorsement of the plan himself.

And Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a conservative from Utah, said on NBC he was worried about arming educators since he "had science teachers in high school who can't negotiate a Bunsen burner for goodness sake."

"I wouldn't suggest necessarily that we give everyone a gun. It's not for everybody," he continued. The NRA has specified it is not advocating teachers carry guns in school; rather, the group suggests schools could follow the example of malls and movie theaters that employ retired or off-duty policemen.

Nearly every Republican appearing on the Sunday talk shows agreed that new gun restrictions were the wrong path to take in the aftermath of the Connecticut shooting - though some expressed an openness to hearing all options put forward.

Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia said he wanted President Barack Obama's newly formed team on gun violence to look into every aspect that could lead to a massacre like the one in Newtown, but that previous bans on assault weapons had done little to stop senseless killing.

"Bans alone don't solve the problem," he said on ABC's "This Week," pointing to a prohibition on military-style weapons that was in effect in 1999 when the shooting at Columbine High School claimed the lives of 12 students and one teacher.

Barrasso said Americans "can get false sense of security from Washington, and in passing more laws. But we need real solutions to a significant problem in our country, and I'm not sure passing another law in Washington is going to actually find a real solution."

And Graham wondered how a ban preventing him from purchasing another AR-15 semi-automatic rifle would thwart another tragedy like the one in Newtown.

"If you deny me the right to buy another one, have you made America safer?" he asked.

Democrats say yes. Sen. Joe Lieberman, the retiring independent senator from Connecticut who caucuses with Democrats, said bans making it impossible to buy the type of weapon used in Newtown would reduce the chance of similar shootings in the future. While Republicans' intransigence on the issue means such a ban won't come easily, he said, the public is ready for new laws.

"It's going to take the American people getting organized, agitated, and talking to their members of Congress," Lieberman said on CNN's "State of the Union."

Filed under: Gun rights • NRA
soundoff (274 Responses)
  1. sqeptiq

    Hard to imagine teapublicans supporting anything about weapons that would cost money....except of course, more unneeded multibillion dollar weapons systems for the military.

    December 23, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    An assaults weapons ban might not make it impossible for such tragedies to occur, but it does make them less likely. Honestly, an assaults weapons plan does not even preclude the NRA's plan from taking fruition though I would simply suggest local and sate governments to try to put more police in school districts. I find it troubling that all the REpublicans are against a ban. It seems like its going to be another gridlock issue. I am doubtful anything will be able to be done anyway because of Republican and conservative Democrat opposition.

    December 23, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. Michael

    Do the people opposing a ban on assault weapons ever have to answer the question "Why not?" Is there any reason why there SHOULDN'T be a ban on assault weapons, whether it solves this mass-murder problem or not?

    December 23, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  4. Dnick47

    Whoes going to pay? The gun lobby should and the level of protection should be the same everywhere therefore the plan and the tax to pay for the plan should be at the federal level. Let them keep the loving weapons, if they can afford to that it.

    December 23, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. A.J.

    'For God so loved the world that He gave ... American civilians the right to possess and use military-grade firearms?' Not.

    December 23, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  6. huh

    It is amazing that they are using columbine as a reason for the assault ban not working. Only 12 students died from TWO gunmen. Not TWENTY from ONE.

    Columbine is proof that the ban worked. Literally immediately after people could buy assault weapons and large clips mass murders broke records. Its insane that they are saying it didnt work, absolutely insane and disgusting.

    December 23, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  7. urownexperience

    We have to isolate the republicans on this one and use it in 2014. Thgey are always wrong on every issue. Just look at history. These goons are making America a terrible place to live.

    December 23, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  8. Gambi

    Sometimes I wonder why I live in South Carolina!!!!! Lindsey, please tell me why it is important for you to own an AR-15 semi automatic rifle? Make no mistake I respect the 2nd amendment and I respect every man, women and child's right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But there is no right in 20 children and their teachers being murdered by a maniac with an assault weapon. Too many precious lives lost, too many families shattered. There is no liberty and there is no happiness when these horrific events continue to happen.

    December 23, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  9. fslh123

    Lindsey Graham asks, "if you deny me to buy another AR15 semi-automatic rifle have you made America safer". My answer is yes. A stricter gun law will make it more difficult to obtain assault weapons capable of mass killing will make sure that God forbid should a family member of Lindsey Graham goes lunatic and suddenly slapped for whatever reasons, he or she would only have the weapon or ammunition to finish Graham's family and himself/herself and NOT the innocent people in a shopping mall, in a movie theater, or kids at schools.

    December 23, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  10. Denis Burke

    Id rather have a gun and not need it at all than to need one and not have one....

    December 23, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  11. nevadasmith

    The Republicans seem to be pure obstructionists,they neither take suggestions from the left,the right, or the center.

    December 23, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  12. Old Cyclist

    NRA Plan:
    Thousands of schools +
    Thousands of Guards +
    Thousands of guns +
    Millions of rounds =
    Windfall for gun & ammo manufacturers

    Wayne knows who butters his bread.

    December 23, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  13. Dustin Goldsen

    I feel for the Republicans. It's hard when reaching into your bag of ideas from the 19th century to find one that fits "school age kids with semi automatic weapons".

    December 23, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  14. dreucalypt

    LaPierre's statements will do a great deal of damage to Republican efforts to rebuild their party. They need to separate themselves from him as far as possible as soon as possible.

    December 23, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  15. CanadaONE

    armed guards in schools ?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW !!!

    third world country antics

    NRA = No Rational Answer

    December 23, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. Sam

    What the gun nuts don't understand is that GUNS ARE THE PROBLEM in the country today period!

    December 23, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  17. CaliforniaAc

    The GOP has been on the wrong side of most issues which are of importance to the American people. They cannot afford to jump on the NRA's side now. We do not want to do away with guns, but we do want WAR WEAPONS off our schools. The NRA wants to arm our teachers with assault weapons. RIDICULOUS!

    December 23, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  18. Pete/Ark

    If republicans go along with this they'll have to figure out how to pay for it. NRA board member Grover Norquist opposes new taxes and new government spending. OK there's a dilemma here. Maybe Wayne and Grover can choose thier seconds and thier weapons and meet on the field of honor at dawn 20 paces apart.

    December 23, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    So all the bills that the NRA opposed that they claimed wouldn't work are now claimed to be needed by that same organization. I love when LaPierre keeps stepping on his own hypocricy.

    December 23, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  20. CaliforniaAc

    The USA is the biggest war zone in the world with 5% of the world's population holding 50% of the world's weapons. Now the NRA wants to arm our teachers with ASSAULT WEAPONS? ENOUGH!

    December 23, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  21. plain&simple

    Stop the sale of weapons at gun shows,# 1, #2 stop the sale of military semi automatic weapons to private parties. Every weapon used improperly to be destroyed. This does not restrict hand guns that fire less than 10 shots before reloads,same with rifles. Pay cash for old weapons to remove from circulation. None will solve the issue immediately ,but going forwards and staying involved with the issue will help.

    December 23, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  22. Lindsay Graham

    I want to apologize for my very stupid question "If you deny me the right to buy another one(AR-15), have you made America safer?" When I should have asked, "If there are fewer AR-15's on the streets, would America's children be safer?" A no-brainer question to be sure......I also believe .223 and other caliber's designed by the military to "more effectively kill humans" should be banned. I also would like to comment on Wayne LaPeeU's comment that referenced "Bonnie and Clyde", just to remind him that Bonnie and Clyde had to break into athe U.S. Armory to access those weapons. Also, I keep hearing people say that fully automatic weapons are "against the law" to own when in fact, many Americans own Tommy Guns, BAR's, and a host of other fully automatic military weapons, see Knob Creek Gun Range... Lastly, I understand we will never stop completely, such horrific actions in America. But I am committed to trying to "minimize" the possibility of such crimes. Would Adam Lanza's mother had access to a .223 or other military grade caliber weapon if the assault weapon ban had still been in place?

    December 23, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  23. Russ

    I listened to this idiot on meet the press or some news show and he argues any limits on guns will dismantle the 2nd amendment. Really? I don't see anyone banning guns entirely. Just a few limits on a few guns. His other argument was get guns out of the hands of crimminals and get criminals off the streets. That would be nice, however not one of the mass murders in this country were done by criminals. They were all carried out by persons with little or no criminal history. What a freaking moron this guy is. The NRA like the Republican party has outlived its usefulness.

    December 23, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  24. SandRich

    How many of our 'highly trained' military have been killed by "friendly fire"?
    Does the NRA want to add innocent bystanders caught in a firefight in our schools to that list?
    Does the GOP sanctioned NRA want to cough up funds for this out of their campaign war chests?
    Seems to me the GOP-NRA is determined to take us back to the 1800's wild west era vigilante days.

    December 23, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. 111ken111

    Anyone can understand the ones who want assault rifles are living in fear and their fear will bring the country down unless there is a change in them. Sad they need much more to change and this will only happen if these seek the truth instead of acting in fear.
    A law to arresti all public who have assault guns is a must to save the USA.

    December 23, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
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