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. Jt_flyer

    The mafia bosses at the NRA won't put up with a Republican rebellion. Who do you think you are?

    December 23, 2012 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  2. AmericanVoter

    I will not vote for anyone who takes money from gun lobbyists.

    December 23, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  3. BigTBone

    Message from the tolerant left:

    Paint someone's house with Norquist's brains. Put the issue in their face so they CANNOT ignore it.

    Pray harder, tax breaks and more guns are the only answers offered from the right and they have failed again and again.

    December 23, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  4. Dan5404

    More guns, more killings, more accidents. Ban assault weapons, force backgound checks on the transfer of any firearm by any means and get the Republicans to cooperate on funding a lot more mental health initiatives. So far, as usual, Republicans are almost silent. Turn America back from third-world status on gun violence. The NRA is nothing but a lobby group helping to sell uncontrolled guns for the manufacturers. They couldn't care less for the 20 children or anyone else for that matter.

    December 23, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  5. MaryM

    The NRA is usually pretty good at deflecting or at least avoiding criticism...They chose a kindergarten shooting to draw a hard line and double down? Wow. They're gonna get run over on this one.

    December 23, 2012 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  6. IDEAS, IDEALS, and not ideologies

    Too many guns does not make it safer. Answer this for me. A crazed gunman opens fire in crowded area causing widespread panic and chaos. Several legally gun carrying citizen converges on the site gun blazing. How do we who the real gunman is? This very scenario happened on a subway platform in NYC a few years ago. The result was a cop in uniform shot an undercover cop, several civilians hurt and the real gunman got away.
    Another question. Why is Atlanta continually ranked near the top of most dangerous cities in the country according to FBI crime statistics. GA has very liberal gun laws. The fact is when the state makes it easy fro everyone to buy guns the criminals will take advantage of those laws.
    Let's be frank, are you going to draw your gun on a someone who has already drawn his? I don't mean to call anyone out but where are all the 2nd amendment nuts during massacres.
    It's my right to vote but I can't seem to those "defenders of the Constitution" willing to take up arms to help guarantee it. These are the same folks doing everything they can to limit my right to vote. It appears that rights are fiercely defended only when there is a buck to make.

    December 23, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  7. Alicia Marie

    I went to Perry Hall High. A student shot there earlier this year. We had two police officers who were positioned at our school daily and still were not able to stop the shooting. NRA, get your facts straight. As a military dependent, I have moved around and went to various off base schools who have officers present. That is their job already. It has't stopped the shooting. Find a Real solution. Better yet, realize the Real problem.

    December 23, 2012 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  8. j

    The higher taxes on the rich can pay for the security guards.

    December 23, 2012 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  9. James

    In my honest opinion, if teachers were allowed to arm themselves and if a shooter decided go crazy:
    1. Is basic firearms training enough to deal with the stress when someone shooting at you?
    2. It would be more than likely that innocent people are going to get shot via crossfire? How would you react if your child was accidently shot by a teacher/security guard/etc

    December 23, 2012 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  10. DocHollywood

    Yes, just what we need. Teachers armed, private security in schools, people opening fire at any and every perceived threat. Let's just get horses and covered wagons and return to those "good old days" the NRA apparently dreams about.

    December 23, 2012 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  11. edddiety25

    These NRA folks i will bet you most of them have overseas bank account they dont give a hute about AMERICA its like a bussiness to them cus they will see this country go down then move to EUROPE and enjoy life

    December 23, 2012 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  12. NavaJohn

    I don't know what the answer is, but I think part of what we need to look at is WHY this generation is so radical with guns. When I was growing up no one came to school and shot people. Heck, I had a .22 rifle as a teenager as did some of my friends. I'm not a gun advocate, but I think there is some underlying issue with kids today.

    December 23, 2012 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    I teach in a school built in the 60s, a time when semi-automatic weapons and 30 round magazines were not easily available. Next year we are cutting 2 full-time teachers, several special educators, and 15% off the top on athletic and extra-curricular programs. Now the NRA wants the schools to fund armed security as well?

    Lets suppose that somehow this is possible, even without further diminishing the quality of education our children receive, or make property taxes even more difficult for the non-99 %, what is next? Where else do we need armed malls, movie theaters, military bases?? Thinking we can simply fight guns with more guns is moronic. The NRA is not addressing the problem. They are accepting a harsh truth that America can no longer accept. It is time to remove guns from the streets and spend money helping sick people, not spending money arming people to shoot the sick people. The NRA represents less than 2% of Americans, and many NRA members agree to some simple laws. WE can change things. If you are in the NRA, please tell them you will not renew until they adopt a sensible gun policy. The key is money. Remove it and Mr. LaPierre and Co. Will have to change their positions.

    December 24, 2012 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  14. Keith

    It's amazing how many people want to ban something they don't even understand. In order to have a serious debate it might help to define an assault rifle's pathetic watching those that don't understand firearms try to write legislation they don't know anything about.

    December 24, 2012 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  15. Anonymous

    the goal should not be to prevent another newtown massacre. that is something that happens rarely and if it is your goal you have narrowed your options too much before you've even begun. there are many more gun deaths around the country every day, whether gang drive byes, suicides, domestic violence, robbery gone bad, car jacking plus many non fatal crimes committed with guns. why should we not look to a policy that would reduce all of theses? i don't know all the answers, but there are several hundred politicians in washington, all with staffs who can brainstorm it.

    December 24, 2012 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  16. Jon

    My area has armed guards in schools. They're safer than they are in areas where there are not armed guards in schools. my daughter goes to a school where there is an armed guard. I feel a lot better about that. If someone is shooting at my daughter, I'd like an armed person shooting back.....period.

    December 24, 2012 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  17. Neilsd123

    Take this test for me. After reading this post, ask your male teenagers to name a manufacturer of a .50 caliber rifle ( he might say Barrett). Then ask him, what's an ACOG (its a rifle scope pronounced AyCOG). Ok, now ask him how many firing modes an AR15 has (he'll answer 3: semi; 3 round burst; and full-auto). Shocked yet? I'm not saying your boys are like Lanza, I am saying they know more about guns and fantasy killing than you think. If you don't like the guards in schools idea that's your prerogative. But, you should listen to to what the NRA is saying needs to be in the discussion before you use your 1st Amendment Rights to take away your 2nd Amendment rights. Fact is that you will be hard pressed to do a thing about 300 million lawfully owned firearms, video games and Hollywoods love of blood, guts and gore. This is not an easy problem to solve.

    December 24, 2012 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  18. BeverlyNC

    ANY Republican that opposes or does not vote to ban assault weapons, large ammunition clips, and more sane vetting of gun buyers should be run out of Congress. Gun violence in America is beyond absurd and this mass shooting CAN be stopped. NO ONE needs a gun that is equal to or larger than a member of law enforcement or the military. You can't hunt with it. There is no sport where assault weapons are used. They are built for one thing and that is KILLING people. BAN ASSAULT WEAPONS NOW and make getting a gun as hard and time-consuming as getting a passport so time can be taken to check the background of the person can be checked. Unlike the views of the NRA, Guns are Not Toys. Go hunt, shoot skeet but NO ONE needs an assault or military style weapon for any reason. We MUST end the violence. We must end the NRA since they will take no responsibility towards gun safety and proper registration.

    December 24, 2012 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  19. J.V.Hodgson

    Now again let me see and try some KISS technique of keep it simple stupid
    Basic fact if no right to a gun existed in the US for individual citizens ( exclude national guard and military serving members while on duty and police) this gets close to Japan where extremely stringent hunting license gun rules including mental health assessments, training needs and results evaluations and gun types allowed and why you need it apply. No hand guns for individual citizens.
    Were gun deaths totally eliminated? No but guess what those that happened were 99% between Yakuza( mafia gangs) members and 1% other criminals. My real point is if guns were totally banned in society ( only exception the military/police) then the USA would be like Japan unmeasureable almost gun deaths either criminal or suicide. Its amazing its rare for a Japanese policeman to shoot or kill a criminal. As long as there is a gun out here you will never have zero gun death even if yo have a zero gun ownership policy in America with same Japan laws. Why because you are not an island like Uk or Japan and have leaky borders especially from Mexico. Neverthe less gun crime would decrease.
    That said its no use using the argument that banning assault rifles did not work.... of course not to many exceptions and those already in circulation were not with drawn nor a ban made on magazine or clip power numbers of bullets.
    The car analogy a car is not specifically designed to kill. I know billions of people and hundreds of millions in the US that never killed anyone, But hunters and gun owning assault rifle owners using multi bullet clips either kill animals or others by intent with an item whose sole pupose can be a killing device. If its recreation gun club shooting fine keep the gun and ammunition there and enjoy yourself
    The issue for me an only longer term solution is not to remove the @nd amend ment rights but to re-define them, based on a technology and society that has after 250 years moved on.
    1) The national guard is the well regulated militia under individual state primary control and can be only partially mobilised by presidential or pentagon request for war outside the US and not within the US other than for natural disaster support all of which require State legislature approval.
    2) Ban gun shows and any sales outlet that does not need a background check and all gun sales outlets to be licensed.
    3) All Guns if not currently licensed are required to become licensed and to be processed with a corresponding owners license and background check
    4) Type of guns permitted and numbers per household to be restricted no semi or automatica or guns that can have bore than 10 bullets in a crtridge or magazine and outlaw the production and modified rifles handguns and Nagazines or cartrigdes that shoot more than 10 bullets.
    No sales of ammunition of bullets cartridges or ammunition other than to licensed gun holders, licensed guns and via licensed shops or gun clubs and hunting clubs Ammunition needs for gun clubs and hunting clubs only via them against club membership and licensed gun and license holder, production.
    The purist 2nd amendment guys will scream blue murder but it is 250 years and historical thought driven much of which is no longer applicable QED the long term solution is an amendment thereto retaining the essentail thoughts, not emotional or irrational ones.
    Colin if you think your right to carry does not force a criminal to be similarly armed before committing a crime then he is an insane criminal. Sorry I would not be an unarmed criminal in the US. its why we have 12,000 plus gun deaths in the US and many more gun suicides.

    December 24, 2012 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  20. Lizard Lance

    The National Rifle Assocaition leaders are plain nuts. Wayne LaPierre should be institutionalized to protect him from himself. He's clearly not capable of rational thought. Secondly, Republican "guns are my god" types such as Lindsey Graham and Rick Perry are just as nutty. The right wing is so out of step with the mainstream that it's tragic.

    December 24, 2012 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  21. sjlucas

    Not only does this notion show that the NRA has no new ideas when it comes to policy, it shows that they aren't creative in any fashion. Their logo is a rip-off of the Fairfield Inn logo. These people are pathetic.

    December 24, 2012 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  22. Rogue351

    The GOP / TeaParty will jump on board ANYTHING the NRA says. If the NRA wanted to make it legal for inmates that are released from prison to be immediately given a gun, the GOP / Tea party would be on board. Point is these guys don't care about who lives and who dies. It is not a moral issue for them. It is a Money issue. If the GOP / TeaParty does not side with them they are going to see millions in PAC money dry up over night. The GOP is always talking about GOD this and Jesus that and those evil, evil democrats, nasty liberals, blah blah blah. But no one can in the NRA, GOP or the Tea party can explain exactly how GOD, Jesus and morals play into the ability for just about anyone to own a gun that if they so desire can possibly hundreds of people. What they will say is that their strong, moral belief in GOD or Jesus will keep them from becoming that evil. That is why, a vote for GOP / TeaParty is a vote to secure the future of the United states on a path exactly as the path militant Islam is currently on, killing in the name of GOD. Right now the GOP and the TeaParty just disagrees with the Democrats and Liberals, But how much longer will it be before Hannity, Limbaugh, Beck and all of these other right wing haters can spin enough lies that everyone who disagrees with them or does not believe in their brand of religion is a target ? Stop them Now. Stop them now with over the top gun control. Listen an nearly any gun advocate, they are preparing for the end of times. Rather they are the actual maker of these "end of times" remain to be seen. But you pound this type of dooms day rhetoric in to these uneducated brains long enough and they will bring on the end of time. The NRA, GOP, TeaParty are not to be trusted. They have a potential to be every bit as dangerous as any over seas terrorist threat if not more so. Stop them Now.

    December 24, 2012 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  23. Rogue351

    Where exactly are the criminals getting these gun ? Answer – They steal them fro legal gun owners. The criminals steal them and the owners of the gun reports it to their insurance and goes straight out and buys another one. Zero responsibility for the security of that gun. The GOP , NRA and the Tea Party want you to think these guns are just floating around on the streets but the truth is a very high percentage of these weapons where originally bought legally. So who's fault is it that these guns are on the streets ? It is the people who purchased them in the first place and did not take the responsibility that comes with owning a gun. They are the ones that have caused this mess to start with. And now their answer to clean it up is more guns ? I think not.

    December 24, 2012 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  24. Mike Morgan

    Some of the comments on here by the left are not only absurd but are are also dangerous.

    Our country was founded on the premise of civilian defense whereas the people have the capability to respond to danger or defend themselves much like a police officer if necessary.

    What's the answer to box cutter violence (9/11)? How about Knife violence? What about the tens of thousands of little kids killed by cars each year?

    Getting rid of the "utility" rifle aka AR-15 and the sort only makes America more dangerous. There's a reason why the police, SWAT, and our military use it to defend themselves.

    There has already been plenty of compromise on gun laws. We have gun laws all over the place and none of it has helped. Stop denying LAW ABIDING citizens access to the self-defense weapons that the president uses to guard his own family.

    This is about FREEDOM and the right to defend yourself using one of the best tools out there. Almost ALL gun violence is called by criminals and repeat offenders. Another large portion is caused by those who aren't even American. If we keep eroding our rights every time a random crazy abuses one of our rights we will eventually lose all our Freedoms.

    December 24, 2012 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  25. dan

    colin your post is the only one that has any amount of common sense to it ,i notice how cnn (liberal medial) completley biased,im really suprised your comment was not deleted. also im not a republican nor a gun nut and was raised around firearns all types, and was taught early on that they are tools that must be respected,and handled properly i would add more but presently exhausted from 14 hr workday,i will add this that all you anti gun fanatics are just as closed minded to reality as any gun toting fanatic that i have ever met and thats a fact,clearly removed from reality

    December 24, 2012 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
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