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. Chat Pata

    NRA proposal, "Replace all professionally qualified teachers teaching math and science with professionally qualified soldiers teaching gun usage". Counter plan. "Replace all guns with books that educated NRA lunatics that guns do not protect, they kill. Just like gun of the killer's mother did not protect her, it killed her". What will stop the school guard from turning berzerk and start killing school children? Did it not happen in Fort Hood?

    December 24, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  2. tom wittmann

    1) No, this man as other NRA bosses are not crazy: MERELY BOUGHT BY THE GUN LOBBY

    2) The 2nd Amendment, incorporated in the Constitution in time when the USA were a rural country where people was until then forbidden to own arm by the Colonial Authorities and therefore needed protection again marauding bandits, allowed MILITIAS, NOT INDIVIDUALS to be armed with FRONT LOADING 1-SHOT GUNS.

    3)The constitution also allowed for nearly 80 years SLAVERY, did not allow woman, NEGRO and non-Property owners to vote, forbad BEER DRINKING, etc. All this was changed by subsequent amendments in more modern times

    4) The glaringly obsolete 2nd amendment was not amended because of an irrational idolizing of firearms by
    certain sector of the modern US Society, intentionally misinterpreted as individual right largely due to corrupting influence of the Gun Lobby AT ALL LEVELS.

    5) The absurdity of the 2nd is demonstrated by that as how it is formulated, anybody could own an 50on M1 tank with a 88mm GUN!!. Common law states THAT AN ABSURD RULE IS AUTOMATICALLY INVALID!!

    6) By the way, the absurdity of the homicide complicit NRA "PRESCRIPTION" to put armed guards in schools is also demonstrated that aside all the other reasons, only a small fraction of the mass shootings is related to schools (even if the most outrageous sentimentally, the vast majority happens in CHURCHES,SHOPPING CENTRES, THEATRES, CONVENTIONS, PARKING LOTS, ETC. ETC. HELLO, MORE ARMED GUARDS??

    The school guards proposal is a distraction intent delivered to the retarded Gun Idolaters, and the corrupt politicians supporting them.

    December 24, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  3. Andrew

    The cost to tax payers would be enormous if such a plan was implemented.. training costs or just paying well trained security guards in all schools. Also you must consider the psychological effect it would have a kids.. they'll grow up thinking we are a police state and everyone is a suspect even them. It's an interesting dilemma for the conservatives.. since they like gun rights but do they want to be associated with the first plans to create the very armed state and anti-privacy rights of the people's children. The true issue is our own self deluded perception that we are all perfect and evil from an unknown place takes over and create these violent people. Yet, it's not evil, the devil.. the gun .. it's "us".. each individual is a combination of society, socializing, experiences.."good" or "bad".. our own decisions to either project respect and understanding or act in a manner which disrespects and discriminates against those we either don't approve or are told to have a negative association. All in all the brainwashing started early .. but we can change it for the better. So on this day and tomorrow.. reflect on the good and the bad you have done.. don't let it bring you down .. learn from it and make the right choices to make it right.

    December 24, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  4. jj Jones

    Ithink a gun tax to help pay for school guards is appropiate. The gun industry should be taxed to help with the problem with guns. Gun owner and gun manufactures of semi automatic weapons should be taxed annually. Also movies and video games with violence rating should be levied a violence tax as well.

    December 24, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  5. Anonymous

    Ah, yes. Blame everything but the gun logic. Never the gun. Never gun ownership. Never gun safety.

    Just. Add. More. Guns.

    And problem solved.

    December 24, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  6. Marie MD

    @defending liberty – so you think isolating your children with home schooling is the best for them? I have a neighbor whose child has been home schooled for most of his life and the parents are now running all over town looking for tutors because the child does not know enough to get into college.
    Does your family go to the movies (Aurora), do you go to a mall (Oregon), do you go visit the US Capitol (DC).
    You can't keep anyone safe anywhere because stuff happens but MORE guns IS NOT THE ANSWER.
    Can somebody please tell lapierre to drink some water while being interviewed. He looked and sounded rabid.

    December 24, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  7. Blackcurry

    The NRA should NOT be running this country. Congress and the President should be running this country. It's time for all Americans opposed to assault rifles and clips being bought and sold in this country to make their voices heard loud and clear over the warped mindset of the NRA. Call or write your congressman now and tell them the NRA does not speak for you. How many children have to die before we finally get it?

    December 24, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  8. CanadaONE

    Make 2013 the YEAR you get back on TOP USA

    Ban the NRA
    Restrict guns
    Ban the Tea Party

    Put them all in ONE room – give a gun each ( automatic) and tell them you will give a free gun to the last person standing

    lol – smile and have a happy holiday

    oh by the way I was just kidding about the "room" don't try it as many of THEM would likley show up i.e. not sain

    December 24, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  9. tom

    Armed air marshals and a gun accesible to the pilot in the cockpit have prevented domestic hijackings since 9/11. Armed guards protect the President. If you can't understand the logic of deterrence you've got your head in the sand.

    December 24, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  10. Fish Fingers

    It is time to hold the Gun industry and its insane clown posse to the same standard as the automobile industry.

    Start with registration, licensing, taxing, and requiring insurance on for all new gun sales period.

    Enact a requirement that all previously purchase weapons be be registered during a short grace period. Same taxes, same insurance, etc.

    Heavy fines with heavy prison sentences for those that disobey.

    December 24, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  11. jj Jones

    George W. Bush signed in 2005 with a republican lead Senate and House of Rep an ban on suing gun sellers and gun manufacturers. It was apart of a tort reform Bill. This needs to lifted. Also the NRA gun industry should be taxed to establish a fund for the family of mass gun killing and for the placement of guards at schools. Also the Movie and video industries should be taxed fo the same reasons...

    December 24, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  12. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Let me train to explain why Lapierre and the GOP are dead wrong in assuming that a ban on assault weapons won't prevent more deadly mass shootings like the one in Newtown. First and foremost, there are 300 million people in this country but approximately only 4% of our population owning assault weapons. Now, with that being said, if there was an immediate ban on assault weapons in our society and a young man who is going through some sort of depression suddenly decides to go on a mass shooting spree but he's one of the majority of Americans who doesn't own an assault arsenal, then chances are he would be deterred or distracted from carrying out his assault simply because there's a ban on the weapons he needs to carry out his assault.

    Now lets look at scenareo two which is a typical case often made by gun advocates. Gun advocates say if you ban assault weapons, people would get them on the black market. However, that is easier said than done especially when someone intends to carryout an immediate attack and he has to search and exhaust his time to find a black market dealer.. For example, it was reported that the gunman in the Colorado theater shooting was able to purchase some 4,000 rounds of ammunition on the internet. However, if there was a ban on assault weapons and a ban on sales of ammunition on the internet, I would presume that if someone who intends to carryout a shooting an immediate shooting rampage were to go online to purchase his ammunition, the first thing he'd see is that such items are prohibited from sales on the internet. Now, if he was to decide to go on the black market to purchase his weapons and ammunition, just remember that there are no web links to a "black market" weapons and ammunition sales on the internet. Therefore, this individual would not know where to look on the black market or where to find a black market dealer to find his weapons and ammunition. As a result, he becomes frustrated and eventually decides to abandon his plot to go on a shooting rampage. Again, this is where Mr. Lapierre and the GOP are dead wrong.

    December 24, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  13. jorge washinsen

    There are not enough real Republicans left to agree to anything.Tea Party screwed up the system and turned a half working 2 part system into non working mess.

    December 24, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |

    While the video game industry and the movie industry has to shoulder some of the blame for the gun violence, make them the culprits and scapegoats by the NRA is total denial of the facts,.. virtual guns do not kill,.. real guns and the proliferation of such, is what's causing the massacres.

    December 24, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  15. Slightly Left O'Center

    Let's see if CNN posts this one!!

    I must agree with a few of the posts here.
    Bannister: about the inaccurate reporting and labeling of 'assault weapons'.
    juliemac: about those who let 'assault weapons' roll of their tongue as if they know what they are talking about.
    Keith: about those who know nothing of firearms trying to legislate that which they don't understand.

    Pass all the laws you want and see how that works. Laws are meant to provide punishment for breaking said law. As such, it only works with those who abide by the law. Anyone engaging in criminal behavior doesn't care what the law is and is not deterred by it!!!!!

    I, too, am tired of being vilified for being a gun owner. I am tired of the extreme views from both sides. Enough of the Republican vs Democrat arguments. Enough of the 'no guns at all' vs 'more and more guns'. Enough of the 'laws, laws, laws' vs. 'no laws at all'. Neither extreme has the answer. The answer is somewhere in the middle.

    I'm all for getting these things out of the hands of criminals. I'm all for closing the loopholes. I'm all for proper training and education. But stop trying to punish the millions of for the acts of a few.

    December 24, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  16. Wes Scott

    Tom Wittmann, apparently, you did not study Constitution law, and your interpretation of history and the definition of "militia" are both seriously flawed, or as Mitt Romney might say, "severely flawed."

    A militia, in Colonial times, was merely the able-bodied men of a community getting together with their hunting arms and forming a loosely confederated military unit that was commonly led by a wealthy man of importance who was the "Colonel" or "General" of his band of merry men. The ownership and possession of firearms was hardly forbidden, as you so erroneously claimed. A militia was NOT some "well regulated" military unit that drilled and studied tactics of warfare. Militias usually formed just as their enemy was approaching their town or general area.

    The sole purpose of the Second Amendment was and is to give American citizens the ability to defend ourselves from our own government if and when it becomes too tyrannical and oppressive. It is just as relevant today as it was 230 years ago. And, it has nothing to do with suffrage, slavery or any of the other straw man arguments you posited in a failed attempt to equate them.

    Technically, you are correct that, according to the Second amendment, there should be NO prohibitions against citizens owning and possessing ANY type of weaponry. Personally, I disagree with those limitations that are already placed upon us, but the simple reality is that while lifting such restrictions might allow me to own and possess a Thompson submachine gun, I would never be able to purchase an Abrams tank, an aircraft carrier, an F-18 or a nuke because (1) I don't have enough money and (2) I wouldn't have any place to store them, and neither would you!

    I agree with you that the NRA recommendation for armed guards in schools is nonsensical. It is their own knee-jerk reaction in an attempt to make themselves look better than they do whenever Wayne LaPierre (is that name French, or what?) speaks about gun issues publicly. You are correct that only a very small fraction of gun deaths are related to schools, and it does send otherwise rational people up the wall. But, that is about the extent of my agreement with your statements.

    Get some education. It's free, and widely available on the Internet. Learn about the history of our country before making patently false statements about how it was back then, because it was radically different than the way you portray it.

    December 24, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  17. Anonymous

    "Armed air marshals and a gun accesible to the pilot in the cockpit have prevented domestic hijackings since 9/11. Armed guards protect the President. If you can't understand the logic of deterrence you've got your head in the sand."

    Stringent laws were put in place to keep guns (and other paraphernalia) out of planes prior to folks entering the plane. Including full body searches and removal of shoes. And, yes. The President is guarded. On a 24/7 basis. His each and every move is guarded. Hard to guard 315 million Americans on a 24/7 hour basis. Then again, not all Americans are so afraid of their shadows that they are demanding armed guards to protect them from the bad guys. Nor do all of us relish ... indeed, pray... for a moment where we can reenact our childhood with a Clint Eastwood "make my day" mentality. Chances are we'd miss the "target" and end up killing innocent bystanders. Not every individual is equipped mentally to kill on demand. One would think killing another human being would be an awful experience. Unless one is mentally imbalanced to begin with.

    December 24, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  18. Scott O' Canada

    Whose running your country down there anyway? The people or the lobbyists. More guns in schools, more guns in your homes, more guns in church? Like putting out a fire with gasoline. Half the segment of your population have become hysterical and pananoid, driven by fear rather than logic. How many criminals were shot dead breaking into homes last year vis-a-vis the number of innocent bystanders shot dead for no other reason than for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. C'mon man.

    December 24, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  19. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Its too bad George Washington and the rest of the Founding Fathers aren't here to reiterate what they really meant when the passed the second amendment. If a well regulated militia was meant to defend and protect our sovereignty and supplement our growth, then our Founding Fathers lost that campaign from day one. God help us.

    December 24, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  20. Randy, San Francisco

    Latest news is that four fire fighters were shot going to the scene of a fire. What now? Will the NRA suggest 50 caliber machine guns mounted on fire trucks? How about armed soldiers on humvees escorting every fire truck? Let's come up with some sane common sense gun control ideas and stop the nonsense talk about taking away guns.

    December 24, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  21. wgf

    Let's assume for the moment that the NRA is correct that it is possible to have guns in school without creating a risk to students, and let's also asume that they are correct again in stating that armed guards will deter attacks in school.

    All that means is that the deterred shooter will carry out his shooting someplace else. The shooting is still going to take place. It's the location that is being debated.

    Of course the NRA would then argue that everyone should be carrying a gun everywhere, and when the shooter begins firing, a couple of dozen people will be able to return fire. Then other people, hearing the gunfire will arrive on the scene fire upon whomever they presume to be the correct party. The NRA's solution for our society is ultimately nothing more than a pecking party.

    December 24, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  22. ghostriter

    Wes Scott, you don't agree with any restrictions on weapons because most folks couldn't afford a tank? I would think you would be a bit more afraid of those that could.

    As to why the second amendment isn't really necessary for the intent of giving us the ability to defend ourselves against our government, it's because what could we really do? We sat back and let them build the best and biggest military in the world. IF the military were to be involved, there is nothing we could do. Even if we armed every citizen, they have tanks, jets, advanced high powered weaponry. They have drones. They wouldn't have to leave the office. Maybe we should have thought about that before allowing the juggernaut to get this big.

    December 24, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  23. Chuck

    Acutually it is not an original idea. In 2000, on the first anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School, President Bill Clinton requested $60 million in federal money to implement the "Cops in Schools" program that provided 452 officers in over 220 communities.

    December 24, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  24. ghostriter

    120,000 schools. $50,000/yr for a security guard. $6 billion a year.

    December 24, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  25. Lance Sephyr

    Gun control does work as is shown by Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Sweden, and every other industrialized country with gun laws.
    The NRA seems to be saying that every child should be allowed to take a gun to school for their own protection re. the inanely stupid argument being that guns don't kill kids, kids kill kids so ergo let them all have a gun for their self-protection...I hear the sound again kookoo kookoo from NRA wingnuts.
    The NRA kooks have so disgusted me that I just burned my NRA card as it has become clear to me that the right to life of children over-rides the Second Amendment rights of NRA crazies.
    Taken literally, the Second Amendment right to bear arms applies to musket and ball weapons that have to be manually filled with gun powder.
    The NRA types should be given the right to bear these type of arms given that this is permitted by the Second Amendment (which does not give individuals unrestricted access to any type of weapon that a person wants).
    If that was the case, we could all have rocket propelled grenade launchers in our garages, and tanks and artillery in our driveways and that is not the case.
    It is time for all decent Americans to start taking on the NRA and begin phoning in and demanding that their Congressional and Senate representative take severe action on gun control and to uphold the First Amendment rights of children of the right to life.

    December 24, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
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