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. bomma

    Of course the GOP ( do nothing congress) would not have a solution – to do as NRA says would cost money and of course they will not go for a ban on certain type weapons or ammunitions because it would mean they may face a primary. So if up to them answer seems to be DO NOTHING or wait until some have answers and then shoot them down!
    I do not often agree with Lieberman but in this case he seems to makes sense.
    "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."

    December 23, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. Cindy

    The first thing we should do is ban assault weapons. Second thing is to put security in the schools. Even if there was an armed guard there how many bullets could the shooter have gotten off before the guard was called for? The shooter didn't come in through the front door so an armed guard wouldn't have helped. If the shooter didn't have an assault weapon he would have had to switch guns or reload which would have been time to stop him but since he had an assault weapon he was unstoppable.

    December 23, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  3. 111ken111

    Do we trust in a God given USA or do we run in fear needing personal assault guns. If latter our country will DIE an early grave and us also.

    December 23, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    This idiot is bunch of bull. I think this nation needs to ignore these crooks–pass gun-control laws. Enough of these idiots involvement–nation came to this far. Pass Gun-Ban Laws now. Do not be sold out to these ctooks. We are in Electronic era–not 3rd century nor 549 BC,.

    December 23, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. tp1776

    "We had an armed guard in Columbine, we had an assault ban. Neither one of them worked,"
    can someone tell me how long were semi-automatic weapons were available to the general public before the ban went into effect?

    "If you deny me the right to buy another one, have you made America safer?"
    Senator, it's not one person; I trust you; it's the other million people we don't know squat about, buying these weapons and making the weapons available to bad guys

    December 23, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    When people like Seung-Hui Cho, who was declared mentally ill, can slip through a background check and still get his firearms legally and then kill 32 people, THAT is where the focus should be. If the system that is already in place is so deficient, how will further laws or new bans help? Sure, ban "assault rifles" and high capacity magazines and you'll still get Chos out there getting guns and killing more people.

    December 23, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  7. Name lynn

    i dont blame the republicans for not jumping to the nra plans first they need to decided about the tax plan its getting to the of the year

    December 23, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  8. Jay

    We have seen the true color of the NRA and gun manufacturers and it is GREEN!

    December 23, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  9. Sirned

    Gun nuts keep saying banning assault weapons would be like banning cars. Both have killed people is their argument. The difference is the car is designed for the purpose of getting one to work and back home again. As soon as I hear a car is designed for mass killing or defense you have no argument just an illogical rant....

    December 23, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  10. Tampa Tim

    LaPierre looks almost Hitleresque. The party who brought us a depression and a near depression now wants bigger government with paid armed guards in our schools. I wonder if that would add to the debt that unfunded wars and tax cuts for the wealthy created.

    December 23, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  11. noteasilyswayed

    No one is looking at the parents of disturbed and socially maladjusted children that have ended up committing these atrocious crimes. These parents did not know what to do and at least in a couple of instances facilitated their children's access to semi-automatic weapons and very high number of rounds. These parents need real help in dealing with their children and they need to also accept such help when it is available. Columbine had at least one armed guard and this did not prevent the massacre, so the NRA's recommendation is BS. I was not there, but my theory is that in order to enhance her child's self concept Ms. Lanza took him to the firing range and encouraged him to use semi-automatic weapons. She also seems to have provided him with a man-cave where he was able to spend God knows how much time playing violent video games and watching violent movies, thus becoming immersed in a fantasy world where he was a very powerful person; unfortunately, he decided to act out his fantasy when his mother told him that she was going to have him committed to a mental health facility.

    December 23, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  12. Sirned

    We want Government out of our lives. So lets become a military state with millions of new Government armed guards on every street corner. Because after all the reason for the 2nd Amendment is to make sure the Government doesn't get too powerful. Crazy right wingers gun nuts.. Think about you flawed and down right stupid logic. Take your paranoia to Syria where they think like you....

    December 23, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  13. 1608®

    I've talked to family n friends, not one wants guns n schools.

    December 23, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  14. Michael Lee


    usually republicans do alot of jumping when special interest groups like the NRA...make the call

    December 23, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  15. tony

    Message from the National Knife Association. All the recent mass fatality stabbings that have occurred in "knife free zones", such as schools, can only be avoided if the government will station security knife fighters at all locations. Declaring a building or area a "Knife free Zone" is just inviting legal knife carrying nut jobs to attack everyone there.

    December 23, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  16. marita

    I am not Republican, neither am I a member of the NRA. I am a mom + grandmother! The horror over what happened in Ct. will be with me forever + my heart breaks for the victims + families! It is incredibly hard to stay objective at this traumatic time! Instead of bi-partisan posturing, lets try being objective! We have air-marshalls on planes! We have armed security in many of our shopping-malls, movie-theaters etc. Many schools across the country already have armed security! I would agree, it's a deterrant! Since the Obama-girls are protected by heavily armed guards, it's save to say, the school they attend is save for all! I believe, we should concentrate on more comprehensive back-ground checks which include mental-health profiles!There should also be a ban on assault-weapons! No need for anyone to carry them, other than military/police! – @ Marita.

    December 23, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  17. Jay

    300 million guns isn't enough to protect us from the government and crimminals. We need at least 100 million more! Maybe that will be enough. So goes the NRA propoganda machine. Did you really think they would say something credible? There stance has to be one that promotes guns, protects there industry and insulates them from the next mass shooting.
    If gun owners were so righteous then they would promote regulations (licensing and continuing education classes) so that they could protect there hobby and allow them to continue buying there toys. How about the good guys working on taking the guns away from the bad guys, instead of trying to play hero and fantasizing about actually having to be put in a horrific situation.
    Who going to pay for the lawsuits that are going to come when a gun accidentially goes off or when a teacher or guard gets jumped by students intending to cause chaos? What about the security guard who doesn't hit the bad guy and hits an INNOCENT CHILD? Who going to pay...the taxpayers and the student/teachers. Most of you gun advocates want smaller government and less taxes, but when it comes to guns your all for more money for guards, more money for mental health. etc. as long as we don't have more gun regulations. Nice Hypocrisy.
    For those of you who say taking guns away will stop mass killings. When mass killings happen without guns let me know. Right now we know, we have the evidence and it is guns!

    December 23, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  18. Randy, San Francisco

    Not surprised the GOP/Tea Party is out of step on another issue with a majority of Americans. Rebranding of the GOP/Tea Party does not come easy, especially when their politicians accept blood money from so many special interest groups.

    December 23, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  19. Chris

    So the NRA's answer to the school shooting is we need armed guards. No matter the problem, the NRA's answer always is we need more guns. America has more guns per capita than any country on earth – and yet according to the gun lobby we never seem to have enough guns.

    December 23, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  20. don

    Mass shootings of innocents in public places are acts of domestic terrorism and the media are being used to deliver the message of these terrorists to the public. These are troubled, unfulfilled young males desperately seeking the attention they have been denied by peers and authority figures.
    Uh....does anyone think depriving these perpetrators of all that personal attention might cause them to just quietly kill themselves in the privacy of their own bedrooms?
    Courts can limit pre-trial publicity for survivors( to avoid bias in potential jurors) and halt interference with investigations for accomplices for those deceased.
    It's a start.

    December 23, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  21. Canuck

    I find it interesting that government-hating gun-nuts are now asking the government to protect their kids from attacks by gun-nuts.

    December 23, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  22. G2

    If more of the same is the best the NRA can come up with, then it is time for the NRA to go away. If you really have any family values as a Republican, then you should pull your membership and send a message that these extreemist should not dictate legislation in Washington.

    December 23, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  23. jvance

    I don't know where this all will go but the GOP is correct to stay cautious. The moderate heart of America isn't in a "more guns" state of mind at present.

    December 23, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  24. Brandon T

    Actually, bans on assault rifles worked GREAT in Australia. Look it up if you think I'm lying.

    December 23, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  25. Are you kidding me?

    Here is a suggestion- have each member of the NRA and supporter in congress unwilling to enact change sign a binding agreement stating they will receive and accept the same punishment the next mass shooting gunman will face (up to and including the death penalty). They have to put their our skin in the game.

    I am all for reasonable rights to arms but there has to be protective measures put in place. Putting guns in schools, shopping malls, and movie theaters is not a viable or sane option. I want my child and other children protected and they should be allowed that through trained members of law enforcement.

    December 23, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
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