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. wgf

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

    Well, if you want to get all statistical about it,the answer is Yes. Fewer guns means fewer opportunities for guns to be stolen, mishandled and misused.

    The argument that we need to keep guns out of the hands of the bad guys misses the point. Mrs. Lanza would certainly have been considered one of the good guys. Perhaps she even purchased the weapons because she rightly feared for her safety. But look where the guns end-up and how they were used. This happens all the time.

    Obviously we're not going to get rid of guns in our country. But anyone who denies that more guns means more gunfire is simply immune to the mathematics.

    December 23, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  2. donna

    The Republicans LOVE the idea of putting police officers in schools.

    They would like everyone who is on public assistance to be responsible and not engaged in illegal activity on the taxpayers dollar.

    Therefore, police in schools would ensure that locker searches, patdowns and metal detectors would prevent gun violence and drug use in schools.

    December 23, 2012 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  3. w5cdt

    The NRA is probably soliciting contributions from its 4.3 million members as I write this. I'll bet they raise over $20 million to "lobby" Congress on gun rights.

    December 23, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  4. DogHaus

    The NRA just proved they are not smart enough to be part of the solution.

    December 23, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Considering how many of these crazies end their shooting spree by shooting themselves, do you really think they are going to be scared off because someone at the school might be carrying a concealed weapon....If you want to argue that someone might be able to end a shooting spree quicker, o.k., but as a preventative measure, I don't think so..

    December 23, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  6. sam

    So the NRA is a branch of the government? It is only a lobbyist group. I am for owning guns but there needs to be a new policy on assault weapons,you don't need a 60 bullet clip to go hunting.

    December 23, 2012 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  7. wgf

    "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"

    The problem with the "armed guards as deterents argument" is that it assumes that mass murders are like other crimes, where the criminal hopes to avoid violence and would like to be alive at the end of the crime. Mass murderers expect to die - It's part of the plan. Someone who expecst to die is much less likely to be detrred by an armed guard who can be easily surprised and over taken. It might actually present a greater challenge.

    December 23, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  8. Just what I thought

    I said it on Friday, republicans have been hell bent on getting government money out of schools, no way in the world they would ever support spending a dime to either educate or protect. These republicans get a great deal of money from the same gun makers that supports the NRA.
    Lindsy Graham takes yearly trips to exotic places all paid for by gun makers. He is hardly unbias in his views.

    December 23, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  9. Truth Today

    If arming everyone reduced violence, why have our police depts not eliminated all gun violence. The NRA should be rejected at every level. The idea of armed people in all of America's schools is ridiculous. Turning this nation into an armed state is not what the founding fathers intended. However, when you are driven by greed, such ideas make sense to those profiting from the sale of fire arms. If America allows the NRA to dictate the outcomes of the debate, then America deserves exactly what it will get from infusing our schools and communities with more arms.

    December 23, 2012 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  10. SoObvious

    No matter what happens PLEASE just don't violate my "right" to own a nuclear device. I realize that it's only practical use is that of mass death and destruction, but it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling to own one... just in case. I don't care how many people are annihilated when one gets misused, just don't take MINE.

    December 23, 2012 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  11. calripson

    Had Adam Lanzo gone to Sandy Hook armed with a Mossberg pump shotgun (9 round capacity) and two six shot .357 magnum revolvers – would the result be any different ? Probably not. Banning magazines or semiautos does not remove the risk – plenty of other firearms out there provide similiar lethality and fire just as rapidly. The NRA in this case is actually correct – only an armed security could prevent, or critically, slow down the attacker long enough for police to arrive. Where weapons like AR-15s (or any rifle for that matter) do provide the attacker with an advantage is against other armed people. It is really the police or armed security that have a much more difficult scenario dealing with an attacker armed with an AR-15 style rifle versus a shotgun or a handgun.

    December 23, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  12. josh

    reality is the nra has more mebers than obama had votes over mitt romney. I'm not bias but this will be a tough fight. If you want to know why congress is getting no where it is because republicans aren't a small minority. A large number of citzens subscribe to their ideas. The election wasn't a football game its politics where winner take all doesn't happen. Obama and republicans will have to make peace. He will also have to find a workable deal with them to get anything done. The reality is roughly half the nation doesn't subscribe to your theory.

    December 23, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  13. chaz8181

    Do not believe the NRA. They are only in it for the money and greed. Can you imagine the principal of an elementary school. packing two six shooters on their belts walking around the halls and a second grade teacher with a shotgun on her desk. or an assault rifle on her desk. What is next? Arm the high school and college students with six guns or assault rifles. Then next , put concerntina rolls around the schools. and station SWAT teams at each school. BAN ASSAULT WEAPONS . IF YOU WANT TO SHOOT AN ASSAULT WEAPON, JOIN THE U.S.ARMY. THEY WILL ISSUE YOU ONE AND TEACH YOU HOW TO USE IT AND MAYBE YOU WILL BE ABLE TO USE IT IN AFGHANISTAN.

    December 23, 2012 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  14. cricket

    Republicans: The party of one! They're afraid of everything because their minds don't work like ours do so they're afraid of everything! They are truly clueless as to what to do next so they stick by the things that worked in the time of Hitler!

    December 23, 2012 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  15. Juliemac

    You guys roll assault weapon off your tongues like you know what you are talking about. But you dont. WE CANNOT OWN ASSAULT RIFLES.
    Like putting a wing on a Honda does not make it a race car. You parrot what you have read with out understanding.
    People that own rifles and pistols, being vilified, try to defend their hobby and it falls on deaf ears. You show a very narrow, predetermined voice, directed by the media.

    December 23, 2012 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  16. aaron

    Who's going to pay for the NRA's ridiculous plan to put armed guards at all schools? The ones that will benefit are the gun manufacturers, who the NRA works for, in gun sales. But, these gun nuts are also the same nuts who don't think they should have to pay any taxes, so will the next cause be to throw out any elected officials who want to raise taxes to pay for the armed guards, their weapons, and ammunition? Of course it will be. Perhaps the solution is to put the gun nuts on Prozac, let the pharmaceuticals make an extra load of money.

    December 23, 2012 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  17. AR-15 Owner

    Why don't we just make murder illegal? That would solve everything.

    December 23, 2012 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  18. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I saw the interview he did on MTP. He failed to understand the idea that magazine sizes do make a difference. If he doesn't understand that, then he is truly clueless. If there is any one thing that could be done, I believe that changing magazines sizes is the good first step. I wonder how he plans on having these armed guards and paying for it. There are other factors that can be improved as well.

    December 23, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  19. Ross

    Where does it stop ? What about school busses ? They are also vulnerable to shooters. Should we replace them all with armored personnel carriers ? The NRA proposes an unlimited domestic arms race feeding the gun manufacturers and dealers. This is the NRA's business objective. Never forget, they are a business using fear and division to maximize profits. Boycott Walmart, the prime gun dealer in the nation, and a promoter of corruption and poverty world-wide.

    December 23, 2012 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  20. whta

    Im republican and I support the NRA 100%.

    December 23, 2012 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  21. findley quay

    They should be extremely wary because the Right Wing is being revealed for what it is. If this stuff continues it will finally be possible to save Americans from their agenda of total dominance, power, and control in the name of the ever loving dollar bill (and their plastic white-chocolate Jesus and his motel bible).

    December 23, 2012 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  22. tkret

    Some people, not all, like guns, or NASCAR, or wrestling, or Baseball, or Football, or shopping, or jewelry, or poetry, or stamp collecting, or astronomy, or diving, or trading stocks and bonds, or donating time and service to an organization, or being doctors or lawyers or downhill skying, or driving an 18 wheeler, or being a pilot, or doing a crossword puzzle. There are a number of people in this country who like guns. It's an adrenaline rush, but then doing any of the other options can also be considered an adrenaline rush.
    Most people who like guns own them legally. They have been taught how to use them, and virtually never have caused trouble of any kind because of the guns. Many politicians are now calling for reinstatement of the assault weapons bill. On the outside this is not a bad idea, but in reality, it doesn't change anything. (Colorado allows carrying of a legally concealed weapon). The first and most recent case of this non-reality is the shooting at Columbine, H/S in Colorado. An assault rifle was used and the date of the shooting comes close to the anniversary of the assault gun bill. Another example is the shooting at the Batman movie in Aurora, CO. This particular theater had posted a sign stating 'No Concealed Weapons'. The killer chose this particular theater because he was relatively sure no one would return fire with their concealed weapon. This theater was not the closest one to the killer's home, but rather the only one with the concealed weapons notice posted.
    Banning assault weapons is not the answer. Nor is the high capacity ammo clip. Banning all guns is not the answer either. By merely passing a law, you are not fixing the problem. Doing that is tantamount to putting a band aid on a finger when you have a broken arm.
    I don't profess to have the answer to this problem, but I do know that law abiding citizens do not use (any type of) guns in a careless or malicious manner. The people who do these shootings are criminals. Chances are also good that they are mentally unstable; and they couldn't care less about any law that is currently on the books, or might someday be on the books.
    If you feel it necessary to get rid of guns (which is not the answer), then fine, but how will you do that? Without taking away our 2nd Amendment rights?
    The answer is education. Following some of those who seem to look at life, a bit differently from the "perceived" normal. might prove to stop some future mass murder, but, not all people with a mental problem, can be diagnosed; ergo the conundrum.
    The effects of smoking can cause cancer and or death. The effects of excessive drinking can cause great personal problems, including death. The effects of driving fast can also cause death. Of these three examples, all are true, but I have yet to hear a politician write a bill to ban any of those 'problems': with the possible exception of "prohibition' (which by the way was the main reason for the birth of what came to be known as NASCAR) – and we all know how Prohibition ended up.
    You can pretty much use the same logic for any of the other activities shown above. Again, no one is demanding the end of this or that. Calling for the end of semi-automatic weapons does nothing but make the politicians feel they have accomplished something, which in reality is not true. Putting certain people in the hospital who are considered 'a danger to themselves or to someone else', might ease the number of massacres, but will never eradicate the problem completely.

    December 23, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |

    So let me get this straight.. the NRA wants to flood the streets with all types of guns, and then ask the taxpayers to foot the bill to pay for extra protection from same guns.? Not only is Pepi Lapierre out of his mind,..he's also an arrogant cretin.

    December 23, 2012 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  24. BILL

    It wasn't reported much by the media, but the Oregon mall shooter was stopped after a person with a conceal carry permit pulled their gun and aimed at him. There are plenty if instances where armed civilians have stopped mass shootings.

    December 23, 2012 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  25. Ken Bunker

    By far the most violence of this type in the world to go along with by far the most guns in the world. On what planet do the folks exsist who believe more guns will lessen the violence. Dumbing it down I ask how much gun violence occured before guns exsisted – answer none. Common sense provided to those without by believe it or not a hunter of over thirty years.

    December 23, 2012 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
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