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. steve-0

    Columbine had an armed guard–didn't help. The Giffords shooting took place in the most gun crazy state there is–didn't help. The Giffords shooter was tackled by an unarmed man, while the gun holders were wetting themselves like gun holders do. There is no reason for a sane civilian to have an assault rifle. If you have one you are nuts and part of the problem.

    December 23, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  2. Are you kidding me?

    I wonder what the right wing would say if this came from our president? They would say he was moving the country towards a police state.

    The NRA shows no intelligence nor willingness to compromise. I call on every member of government to disavow this organization.

    December 23, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  3. Daniel Krell

    So, if by some cosmic incongruity this NRA plan is adopted, who will be paying for all the personnel costs (armed guards, needing multiple shifts to cover extended days, sporting events, dances and plays, graduations, etc.), firearm training courses, firearms, and massively increased insurance costs in schools staffed by teachers carrying heat?

    I vote for the NRA funding it, rather than increasing the size of government, cutting other services, or raising taxes.

    December 23, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  4. Gregory M. Newbold

    Every government action [local / state / federal] has a COST. It is spending. To the extent they endorse it, Republicans are engaging is wasteful spending . . . . transferring the societal cost of NRA gun "enthusists" hobby onto all Americans.

    Democrats must get in the habit of PRESSiNG the "so how are you going to pay for that" question to expose the fiscal irresponsibility of Republicans. If gun proliferation means we now have the added costs of armed police at schools then maybe the cost avoidance of banning and collecting assault weapons and high capacity clips needs to become part of the cost benefit analysis.

    December 23, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  5. L.Sanfod

    We have in the country about 125,000 schools, mostly large, many entrances and exits, corridors, rooms, staircases, parking lots,athletic fields, gyms etc. One guard? Even 2? Really? Exactly where is he or she situated? This NRA suggestion is meant to do one thing sell guns for greed and profit. That's it! The logistics and costs are impossible. You would need a minimum of 250,000 trained guards.Who would guarantee their psychological profiles? Who would make sure they field tested every few months? (Trained police miss their targets in real attack situations.)Who would pay their salary, insurance,for their guns, ammo, uniforms etc.? No way. This is the NRA in action just following it's creed to sell more and more guns to anyone at all. Governor Christie's and Murdoch's statements are a sign of sanity. One more question,how exactly does this go hand in hand with thousands of teachers, police and firemen losing their jobs every month due to politics and budget cuts?

    December 23, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  6. D

    Ha! this...first the Tea Party, then the NRA...perfect...ideolgical extremes are slowly ripping apart the republican party...with each ignorant blurb another brick is out of the wall...theyve done more damage on theri own to their own than anything the democrats have evr done! Brilliant...keep up the show republicans!

    December 23, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  7. Canuck

    At least we're not hearing about American exceptionalism any longer.

    December 23, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  8. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    All the NRA has to do is "grease the palms" of Republicans and they will be jumping for joy to the NRA's gun plan, it's always worked before.

    December 23, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. AK_steve

    if your are a Republican and you don't agree with the NRA you can kiss your seat good bye. The NRA takes names and holds grudges. Say hello to more TEA Party candidates who will serve as puppets for all things ultra right wing. If there is any candidate that can be bought it's a conservative one.

    December 23, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  10. Canuck moose hunter

    I respect hunters, being one myself,..and i also respect their right to own a firearm, as per second amendment,.but i do not respect paranoid individuals, who think the constitution, and particularly the second amendment belongs to them,..there are 4 million NRA members,..what about the rights of the other 300 million odd citizens, who might wish not to confronted by lunatics with an assault rifle and a 30 round clip. Real outdoors people can get along just fine with an ordinary rifle,..both for sport and for protection. There is no room on the streets for military artillery.

    December 23, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. Peter

    I am open to the idea of trained security guards, but the decision should be at the state level.

    As far as arming teachers go, what next? Advocating arming the clerks at Macy's because of all the mall shootings?

    December 23, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  12. Vpcam

    As long as GOP and NRA are around, it is disaster for Americans at large. Add to that the news media which give platform to these domestic terrorists groups, you have created an atom bomb.

    December 23, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. William Robinson

    Here's a suggestion that would allow people to own assault and semi-automatic weapons, provided they are stored at a gun club under lock and key. And they can only be removed to shoot in competitions at other gun clubs provided the owner obtains a permit from the local police to remove it and must return it within 48 hours from the end of the competition. The weapons cannot be kept in a person's home or possesion other than described above. Also pass legislation banning the sale of high-capacity ammunition to other than the military or law enforcement agencies. Passing such legislation should prevent mass shootings.

    December 23, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |

    Does anyone have a list of sponsors of the NRA? Or a website that lists them? Time to BOYCOTT until this clown is removed and sent to pasture...

    December 23, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. Kweso

    Teachers are trained to educate. Students are sent to school to learn the skills that make them productive citizens. We, the tax payers pay to achieve this goal. Our government should make laws that protect teachers and their students to train and learn in a safe environment. Gun laws are needed, not armed guards.

    December 23, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  16. always wright

    Republicans are owned and operated by the NRA. They are just puppets.

    December 23, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  17. yogi

    "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."
    Some changes? The the pockets of the NRA and the guns industry.
    The only way you can end gun violence is to get rid of all guns. Guns is a weapon of death. Enough is enough!

    December 23, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  18. Real Alaskan

    The best and most immediate solution is to secure the buildings themselves. There is a company in Colorado that specializes in Entrance security systems for Courthouse, Banks, military bases etc. They have a system consisting of a turnstile that incorporates a metal detector and a CCTV system. A Bad guy tries to gain access and he goes NOWHERE. We will still need armed guards to operate they system but they would NOT be the primary means of defense. Windows and any other points of access will have to be secured and a separate system designed for the quick egress of the students and teachers in the event of a fire or some other emergency will have to be included. This WILL work. If the school in CT had a system like that those kids would still be looking forward to opening their presents on Christmas.

    That Turnstile system sells for $15,657. The company is designing a similar system specifically for schools with an eye to lowering the costs for school systems. But it WILL be expensive! How do we pay for this?

    We instigate an excise tax on the sale of all firearms and ammunition and mandate 100% of the revenues derived be applied to securing our schools.

    December 23, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  19. milwtalk

    More taxes, more taxes, bigger government.

    December 23, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    "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?"

    Ironic isn't it? The group most vocal for upholding their gun laws is now concerned there might be too many guns in the hands of the bad guys. Those same bad boys who got their guns to begin with because of the irresponsibility of the gun manufacturers and gun advocates such as the NRA. All of whom (NRA & gun manufacturers) who did nothing, absolutely nothing to keep guns out of the hands of the bad guys.

    And now they are demanding the United States government protect them from any harm the bad guys might inflict upon them and theirs by funding more guns, and now armed guards, while still allowing the bad guys the same access to the guns they enjoy and will, according to Republicans, continue to have every right to enjoy. Forever and ever.

    December 23, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  21. Colin

    I do not have a gun but I have common sense. It is a FACT that crime rates are lower in states where people, AFTER passing a skill test, can be licenced to carry a hand gun. This is because criminals do not know if possible victims are armed .It is a FACT that when it is known that a school is a "gun free zone", a person who decides to commit murder can attack without worrying about an armed response. If there are teachers who have passed a "right to carry" and after some training on how to handle situations, they should be allowed to (volunteer to) carry a weapon at their school. How many teachers or staff are armed and who they are should only be known to the principal and the police.

    December 23, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  22. Brandon Green

    Using Columbine to bolster a position on the ineffectiveness of the assault weapons ban raises an interesting comparison to Netown which is worth examining:
    -The Columbine shooters were not using assault rifles with 30 round magazines, they used shotguns and pistols with 10 round magazines.
    -With TWO shooters firing for a longer period than Netown, they were able to get off 188 rounds
    -Police are still counting the shots fired in Netown but, clearly, more than 120 rounds were expended by a single shooter using 30 round capacity magazines.
    -At Columbine TWO shooters without 30 round magazines murdered 13 people and wounded 21 others, including the use of pipe bombs
    -Newtown – one shooter murdered 26 people, only one wounded.
    While the military style appearance of the weapon is irrelevant, the ability to use 30 round magazine compared to 10 round magazines allows a gunman to be far more lethal.

    December 23, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  23. daveb

    Columbine had 2 armed guards, Virginia Tech had their own armed police force, Ft. Hood is a U.S. Army installation. What do these all have in common? Easy – armed guards that were not capable of stopping or reducing the insanity. Hmmm, so a couple of guards couldn't do it, a trained police department couldn't do it, the frigging ARMY couldn't do it with the 1st Cavalry Division and other front line units consisting of thousands of well-trained, battle tested and well-armed personnel. So maybe putting armed guards in a school isn't the answer.

    December 23, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  24. tony

    And shooting crime rates are astronomically lower still in European Countries with stricter gun control. I.e no sales to anyone not needing them.

    December 23, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  25. Illusion1256

    90,000 schools * $100,000 per police officer = 9billion dollars, but no new taxes. Lock up all mentally ill untold billions but no new taxes. Somebody has to figure out some new math because the NRA's math is pretty bad.

    December 23, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
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