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. defending liberty

    Here's a suggestion...You can avoid your child from being shot at a public school by taking responsibility as parents to educate your own child. We home educate our child and there is no chance he will be shot by another child in a publc school, which I refer to as government schools. He also won't be bullied, abused, exposed to sex too early, cussing, violent video games, bad teachers, 20% drop out rate, and a lacking curriculum. Government schools are assembly line style centrally controlled instituions producing poorly educated children day in and day out. You have the choice, for now, to protect your child. Up to you.

    December 24, 2012 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  2. Vern

    "Non-traditional criminals, eh?" "People who are not traditionally criminals", you say?

    Know what he's NOT trying to say? He's trying very hard to not say that "these are cases of Mr. 'Law-Abiding Citizen' gone nuts." And that's what this is. It's people who have never committed a crime. Some may never have even gotten a ticket, pulling out a gun some day, and killing a friend over a card game, or killing a spouse or parent over a domestic dispute.

    The NRA and conservatives try very hard to convince the nation that only "criminals"-those with a record-commit crimes with guns. But those of us who can think for ourselves, know that's not true. It's a lie that has been fostered on the American people for far too long, and it's one reason why access to guns-especially military weapons-needs to be restricted.

    December 24, 2012 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  3. defending liberty

    I'll tell you why gun laws don't work. A ban is not really a ban. First is no ex post facto laws. You can't take away something that some bought legally. Any law that

    is written has to define what an "assault rifle" is. California has a current ban on "assault rifles" and magazines that hold greater than 10 rounds. Both are readily

    available throughout the state from gun shops. California has actually given up on trying to enforce these laws because they are impossible to enforce. They tried to

    ban make and models like "Bushmaster AR15" and "Colt AR-15". Courts required California DOJ to publish a banned list. Manufactures just changed the make and model

    references. California DOJ updated the list, but Manufacturers created 1,000's of variations of makes and models. California has not updated this list since 2007.

    They gave up because they could not keep up. They then tried to generically define an "assault weapon" and anything have a pistol grip, flash suppressor, collapsable

    stock, and detachable magazing would be bannned. So manufactures created the bullet button which requires "tool" to remove the magazine. This too was easily defeated

    with magnetic button attachments so any AR15 would not fit the legal definition of "assault weapon". The Norway gunman's rifle (mini 14) shoots the same .223 round as

    an AR15, but would not be considered an "assault rifle" and is legal in California. It is a felony in California to have any magazine that holds more than 10 rounds.

    Every gun show in california and gun stores sell "parts kits", which are the parts to assemble the standard magazines (16, 20, 30 rounds, etc...) They are legal

    because they cannot hold more than 10 rounds...actuall they cannot hold any rounds until assembled.
    Even if people complied with the "inten"t of the law, these firearms and magazines can be converted in a few minutes by some with basic knowledge. All laws have


    December 24, 2012 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  4. Vence

    Everybody should be armed in the United States. I live in Canada anyways! lol

    December 24, 2012 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  5. Benny

    I think the head of the NRA is one of the bad guys with a gun who needs to be examined for mental fitness.

    December 24, 2012 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  6. EveT

    Great idea, NRA. Force our kids to undergo airport-style security every day at school. Turn our schools into a prison atmosphere. If you and the munitions manufacturers that fund you have your way, the US will be a police state.

    A few decades ago, the NRA was all in favor of gun control–especially after a group of Black Panthers walked into the California state legislature carrying guns, as they were legally allowed to do under California law at the time. Governor Ronald Reagan was all in favor of gun control too when that happened.

    December 24, 2012 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  7. Frank Mondana

    The worst soldier on the front line is a green one. They have had mass amounts of very good training, can field strip and assemble their firearms and have been through days of simulated combat. All of this and they are still horrible on the front line. Why? Because they have never had a weapon pointing at them and a shooter determined to kill them.

    Simple learning how to use firearms and tactics is not enough. It takes experience in combat to become good at shooting back. No one knows how they will react to the real thing until they actually experience it.

    The NRA and other gun fans think that training someone for a week or two qualifies that person to react correctly should a gun fight break out. An armed guard could easily make a situation worse if they lock up, panic, run away, or let fear control them. The other side is just as bad. Some blowhard who really thinks of themselves as special forces with 10 days of training could easily end up helping out the bad guy.

    So simply adding a guard with a gun at their hip doesn't help.

    December 24, 2012 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  8. DallasNE

    Sen. Graham is missing the point and I presume that is deliberate. Nobody is claiming that any of these proposed gun measures will prevent an attack like happened in Newtown, CT. And nobody is saying that these proposed gun measures are the only thing that needs to be done. For instance, if those classrooms could have been locked from the inside fewer people would have been killed. And fewer people would have been killed if the shooter didn't have a semi-automatic weapon with a large capacity clip. Would it not mean something if only 6 people were killed at that school rather than the 26 that were killed? Pretty straight forward question.

    December 24, 2012 03:49 am at 3:49 am |
  9. Smokey

    The problem is that in American society, people are going out on these shooting sprees. Putting out guards is not the answer, it goes so much deeper than that. The problem is that we NEED guards at elementary schools! That this is even being talked about indicates that there is a much deeper problem! You can't treat a gunshot wound with a band-aid, and you can't treat what ails our society by putting a guy with an M-16 on every corner. You need to get at what is making people so messed up, so disconnected that they can go and do things like we've seen over the last few years. These people don't understand the value of human lives because our society has gone to such lengths to devalue it. People don't think of each other as anything but water and some sugar, they don't really care, if these people had in their minds how we are all God's children, they would never have pulled the trigger. Only some go so far, but the alienation, the violence, the inability to have fellow-feeling with others, it's a society-wide ailment and armed guards will not fix any of that.

    December 24, 2012 03:51 am at 3:51 am |
  10. Aom

    Here's the problem, remember Oklahoma City, Tim McVeigh. Just imagine after 10 years of war how many guys have come back disgusted and disillusioned with the US Government. All of them with "skills". And just imagine that the government does outlaw these type of weapons. How many owners of black rifles will out of the goodness of their heart will turn them in? Some estimate there are 24 million "Black" rifles are out there and how many millions of owners? One sure bet is that there will not be a mass turn in of weapon unless you make it profitable for them to do so. I dont mean hundreds of dollars but thousands of dollars. Ten Thousand dollars per rifle would at least make many seriously consider it. Otherwise a ban will not stop the illegal possesion of these guns. People have been stockpiling weapons and ammunition for 4 years now. I think the president knows this but is hard pressed to do something symbolic. There no big money to buy back guns, no money for extra Police, no money for extra military internal support. Could a civil war be......possible?

    December 24, 2012 04:08 am at 4:08 am |
  11. Wes

    What a brilliant plan... ! Place armed guards everywhere there are more than, oh, say about 5 people gathered in a place. Also make sure they have the right I.D. and are of proper citizenship. This is sure sounding like a Germanic system of the mid 20th century, led by one of the most maniacal dictators humanity has known. I was an NRA instructor in firearm safety, handgun use, and self-defense. The NRA never seems to get a grasp of reality. I gave up my membership when I was amidst a group of people who were myopic in their world views and saw everything, socially and personally, through a crosshair pair of glasses. I did not want to have my common sense re-wired to the point where I would consider drawing down on anyone at any time. I am armed, but not to the teeth. I believe in 2nd amendment rights, but I also know that the people who wrote those passages had weapons vastly more primitive that what we have now. Even with an extensive background in self-defense and knowledge of all types of weaponry, I would have issues mistakenly shooting someone who is just stealing food. I would however, take a bullet to prevent harm to someone else. I would consider three intervening steps before I use lethal force, then I would; immediately. I don't believe that I need to have an arsenal for defensive methods. This is not neighborhood star wars. We might consider allowing liberal tort claims made against the gun seller or manufacturer if the weaponry was inappropriately provided for such situations as we have witnessed recently. We may consider more directive measures in locking mechanisms that limit the casual use of another person's guns. We could have the NRA actually take a direct interest in advancing the background education that would compliment selling of guns, thereby allowing a "soft" screening of mentally deficient gun buyers. A class for the proper use of a gun, whether it is military or hunting would allow some of the "buyers" to openly demonstrate their non-linear thought processes which could be considered prohibitive and consider notification of authorities by the distributer. What a concept, the NRA actually being involved in making a positive contribution... ! There are a lot of functionally constructive ideas that could be actualized before we allow society to become like a middle east country that shoots their AK's into the sky and thanks god for each little activity, or a dictatorial nation with armed guards watching everyone all the time. Guns should be used with sobriety and prudence, not as a toy. I am firmly against toys that are replicas of military guns, and violent films and games that glorify killing. My parents never allowed me to have a BB gun, but I had my first real gun at age 9. If you are serious, mature, and morally centered, then a gun is not problematic. If someone is not functioning well then they should not be allowed a variety of methods that harm society, ad infinitum. There is a lot we can do to advance the culture of guns rather than just become a group of "meat-heads" that gather to shoot and drink beer.

    December 24, 2012 04:17 am at 4:17 am |
  12. gunlovinfool

    Anyone else notice if you put a short mustache on LaPierre and a swastika armband on him who he resembles. The Now Retarded Assoc. needs to go away. I'm a hunter and gun lover and abandoned the N.R.A yrs ago when this clown and his ilk took over what used to be a great organization back many yrs ago. If we don't rise up against this org. and change the laws regarding this type of weaponry( I also own an AR) by mandating smaller magazines like the Baltimore City police cheif likes as well as many hunters and ban mags on pistols to under 10 rnds ,its only a matter of time till this happens again. I just saw where Brownells a gun distributor said they sold more 30 rd mags in 3 days than the past 3 yrs. I say implement laws banning them and make it a class 1 felony to possess. I'll gladly trade in my 30 rnd clips for smaller ones if they'll do a swap and will just go ahead and turn mine in voluntarily.The time for action is now and Congress needs to quit the foot dragging and blame game and put this into action before some gun crazed psycho goes off on another group of innocent folks.

    December 24, 2012 04:18 am at 4:18 am |
  13. Really?

    I think that everybody over the age or let's say 8 years old should be packing automatic weapons. What could possibly go wrong? The NRA is so blinded by it's obsession with power that it has allowed itself to become a true agent of evil!

    December 24, 2012 04:37 am at 4:37 am |
  14. eleanor

    The population of the U.S. is well over 300,000,000. The NRA has about 4.5 million members or only about one and a half percent of the population. Twenty percent of the registered gun owners in this country own 60% of the guns owned by private citizens. If the majority of people want stricter gun laws and enforcement, shame on us for not being able to make that happen! The Second Amendment passed when the Constitution was written was not a blank check for individuals to own or keep on their person at all times any kind of gun that might be produced at any future time!

    December 24, 2012 05:14 am at 5:14 am |

    They will continue to suck up that NRA blood money. Talk is cheap.

    December 24, 2012 05:49 am at 5:49 am |
  16. fastball

    Anyone who thinks that imposing any kind of gun control going forward is going to make a big difference in the short term is delusional. There 300 million guns out there that could be gotten by any means necessary. But what we have to do is start making some rules out there and ENFORCING them. Gun safes and trigger-locks should be mandatory. We don't need high-capacity magazines for the general populace. Keep those semi-automatic weapons in a gun club, where you can shoot to your heart's content in a safe manner. It's still your can use it there anytime. Responsible gun ownership is FAR more important than gun acquisition. And please...get over the notion that the government is going to suddenly impose a tyrannical regime if any kind of gun legislation is passed. That's pure nonsense, fed to the paranoiacs by the NRA and the tin-foil hat people. This isn't 1776, we're not fighting Indians or the British...and we don't need to hunt daily for our food.

    December 24, 2012 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  17. Dave

    Where do we draw limits on what can be tolerated by a civil society? I am a hunter, and own three shotguns. But I can't understand why people can own AR-15s and high capacity magazine clips. They are not for hunting. They are for killing people. I'm sure that some extreme people in our society would like to own shoulder fired rocket launchers, or stinger missle launchers, but (I think) we don't let citizens own those. What is the difference with an assault weapon?

    December 24, 2012 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  18. fiftysomething

    Republicans speak out of both sides of their mouth. They always leave a plausible deniability so that they can support the NRA (membersip is a very small precentage of our population and most of their funding comes indirectly from the selling of firearms) and point to some little thing they said as proof that they agree with the majority instead of the NRA. It's all about the money and not what the majority wants. Home protection can be achieved with a shotgun better than an assault weapon. There's something wrong with someone thinking they need that kind of firepower. Maybe we need to let the gang members and gun nuts have a shoot out before we ban these guns and clips so that they can prove how bad they are.

    December 24, 2012 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  19. Name lynn

    the republicans not getting involved with the nra is it boehner and the tax high got them going over the cliff wow whats next

    December 24, 2012 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  20. CraigM

    Gun control is not the Senator Graham said these types of crimes are done by folks that don't normally commit criminal acts........on the same day as the Sandy Hook tragedy a guy in China used a knife to stab over 20 school children. Now do we ban knives of all types including kitchen knives?? Why do people snap and do these things? Do violent Hollywood movies and violent video games contribute to these acts? People with fragile mental makeups watch these movies and play these video games from a young age on and become desensitized to the violence and then for some reason try and act them out. It appears in the case of Adam Lanza his mother may have been on the verge of committing him for mental evaluation and also possibly working as an aide for Sandy Hook Elementary and he felt neglected and that she cared more about those children than him??? Banning guns won't stop this type of mentality and carnage..........parents have to do a better job of mentoring and raising their children for one thing. Allowing all these violent video games in the house is not good parenting!!!

    December 24, 2012 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  21. Marie MD

    Glad to see that the repugs are not as dumb as they look and sound.
    The NRA's plan is a military state of our country. Read between the lines folks. Four million members trying to tell the other 300 million that we all need guns.
    @colin, you are as delusional as the rethugs. When all is said and done it's about who has the mind to kill somebody. All the training in the world will make you hesitate and get you killed while the criminal now has your gun.
    BTW – lapierre looked like a rabid dog but uglier and more scary on Meet the Press. Even he can't believe what he is saying.

    December 24, 2012 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  22. jinx88

    The NRA will do and say anything to sell more guns and membership. Pathetic!!!

    December 24, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  23. kbwizard

    I have lost loved ones to gun violence. I wish to GOD that my family member had a gun when he was attacked and killed by armed thugs. Right in good ole Gun free NYC. I have no problem with my child's school having a armed guard.
    I respect the rights of others to have their child left unprotected. If you feel that banning certain types of weapons will insure the life of your child, lets just say I disagree. I have problems with the NRA. This ain't one of them.

    December 24, 2012 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  24. ru serious

    Not one thing will change, the gun nuts will prevail. This is the new norm...the loudest mouths and the biggest screamers walk all over the rest of us. Their "right" to shoot up a practice range is more important than the safety of 6 year olds. To all you nutters out there, the very least you could do is keep your arsenals away from your screwed up kids. . Mrs. Lanza I would guess was a card carrying member of your organisation, I need say no more.....Blood on your hands.

    December 24, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  25. Rosa, b'ham al

    Typical Republicans, lets not so anything and hope it goes away.

    December 24, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
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