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. ST

    This man LaPierre said "call me crazy". I will say you are totally first class crazy. Is this the way you honour the little ones who were slaughtered by the guns you are advocating? You are calling more guns so that more kids could die. Once more time you are crazy. You are not there for the interest of the kids who want to live like you do. You are there just for money. Please do not spoil our holidays, we are still angry of what your guns did to our young ones.

    December 24, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  2. Kevin Barbieux

    What give the NRA the right to even submit a plan? They are not a part of government in any stretch of the imagination. They have their own agenda, which they are entitled to have, but in having an agenda, they admit that they do not have America's best interests at heart.

    December 24, 2012 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  3. Tom J

    ALL LapIerre offered was nothuing more than a membership drive for NRA and a talking Advertisement for Gun Makers.Close the Gun Show loophole ( in fact close the gunshows down all together ).The NRA is a storefront for hate groups.Whate Aryan Nation,KKK,Seperatists groups ALl hide behind the banner of NRA to collect their gun cache.You Wont see a deer hunter using a AR-15 Semi or fully because he would have to pick the metal out of the meat to eat.

    December 24, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  4. Patty

    I don't understand why this had to happen to spark a more robust conversation, smh

    December 24, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  5. essmeier

    I figured the Republicans would jump on the plan and offer to fund it by cutting unemployment benefits, Social Security, Medicare or education funding.

    It's sort of how they roll.

    December 24, 2012 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  6. Jay

    LaPierre = stupid and wrong!!! It is time for all Americans to stand up for what is right.

    December 24, 2012 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  7. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    The Republicans claim to be "pro life", yet promote the manufacture and distribution of assault weapons. Their solution to gun violence, is to demand that those who teach our children, have access to a handgun in the classroom, and be willing to "stand their ground" to shoot and take the life of another human front of the children. Because that's what teachers do....

    December 24, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  8. peakprofit

    This seems indicative of the contemporary neo-con thinking: 1) Take a good idea 2) water it down so that it is barely recognizable then 3) criticize the idea for not working. This was the strategy with the original assault weapon ban, and is currently the approach with the still to be implemented health care reform bill. It is a brilliant strategy, really. What we need are common sense legislators who will stop this nonsensical cycle.

    My daughter's high school has a full time, current county police officer as part of their security. My daughter's school has somewhere in the area of 100 doors that reach the outside. Does that school need 100 full time police? What is the assailant comes in dressed like a police officer? Do the 100 armed police shoot at each other? Can they guarantee that no stray bullets hit a student. Can they guarantee that it is not the 'good guy cop who just caught his wife in bed with his est friend?

    The most amusing part of this whole tragedy is the way that the far right now wants government intervention. They want the federal government telling local school districts what to do. They apparently want some sort of federal mental health test, because it is only the mentally ill that do this. How would that work? Why isn't Sarah Palin all up in arms about 'Insanity Panels'? You can bet she will be screaming when the first person is found to be mentally unstable, and their current guns locked away. That would be an example of the federal government overstepping its bounds. Which, of course, would probably qualify for Sharon Angle's 'Second Amendment Remedies'.

    December 24, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  9. Steven Capsuto

    " But while Democrats advocate new legislation making it harder to obtain military-style firearms, Republicans claim such measures have proved ineffective in the past."

    No, what has proven ineffective is banning them in only part of a country: state-level or municipal bans in the U.S.

    The borders between states and between cities are open, so these sorts of regional bans are meaningless. What *is* effective is national gun-control laws, which have brought down murder rates dramatically in countless countries.

    December 24, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  10. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    So the "pro life" Republicans solution to gun violence, is to have a handgun in every classroom. Our teachers will now be expected to "stand their ground" and take the life of another human front of the kids in their class?

    December 24, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  11. Craig Moulton

    These people usually wear body amour – meaning these guards would have little chance of stopping them and would end up dead themselves.

    December 24, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  12. Hugh Rope

    Let's have petition to declare NRA terrorist organization. This will allow to deal with their leaders appropriately.

    December 24, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  13. Chaffee Monell

    Why should non-gun owners have to subsidize the cost that guns bring to our society? (police, security, regulation, lives lost, people maimed) Gun owners could pay a yearly tax for every gun they own. Then they would have an incentive to support taking unregistered guns off the street and a host of other controls that reduce the cost that guns bring to our society. As the controls bring down the gun damage, the gun owners' tax would correspondingly go down. We already have similar copncepts out there, mandatory liability insurance for car owners, cap and trade, cigarette taxes, etc. Seems emminently fair.

    December 24, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  14. harry Baxter

    As long as the NRA keeps the donations to the GOP Legislators flowing, theyll fall into line right behind LaPierre, no matter how many Women, Children and other innocents are sacrificed.

    December 24, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  15. NY Repub

    I'm a gun owner and use the weapon for hunting. Let's make us gun owners get insureance for each gun. The more dangerous and deadly the weapon the higher the insurance cost. You will need to show the insurance card before picking up a weapon or purchasing ammo. I know criminals will not purchase insurance for their illegal guns but most mass murders are committed by legally purchased guns.

    December 24, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  16. Gyrogearloose

    The Republicans are turning me into a Democrat, much to my chagrin.

    December 24, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  17. Anonymous

    To me, this National Shield seems self-serving for the NRA, a way to exacerbate its power over our society. Guns are not the answer, the answer is fewer guns, especially assault weapons, and a shift in our culture, away from violence and denial of the problems of mental illness.

    December 24, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  18. Anonymous

    "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!!!"

    You must have missed the part of the story where Ms Lanza was killed by her own weapon - not a video game.

    December 24, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  19. tom wittmann

    1) No, this man as other NRA bosses are not crazy: MERELY BOUGHT BY THE GUN LOBBY

    2) The 2nd Amendment, incorporated in the Constitution in time when the USA were a rural country where people was until then forbidden to own arm by the Colonial Authorities and therefore needed protection again marauding bandits, allowed MILITIAS, NOT INDIVIDUALS to be armed with FRONT LOADING 1-SHOT GUNS.
    The constitution also allowed for nearly 80 years SLAVERY, did not allow woman, NEGRO and non-Property owners to vote, forb

    December 24, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  20. Whammybar

    I believe in my gun rights and I am a gun owner and advocate, but why are we listening to the NRA? Most of the guys I know that used to belong to the NRA stopped because they are only a money making machine. These are people that hunt and shoot and grew up doing so. The original intent of the NRA is long gone. Who cares what the NRA says or wants. Right now they are doing more to harm my freedom of gun ownership and hunting then they are doing good.
    NRA can shut up for awhile as far as I'm concerned. We sure have'nt heard much from Uncle Ted since the Secret Service had a little talk about the birds and the bees with him have we now.

    December 24, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  21. Hanksalot1

    Of course the GOP is reticent to embrace this course of action. They have already stripped public education budgets down to bare bones. This would cost money, and we know they only want money to flow to their billionaire handlers.

    December 24, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  22. kbh

    So previous restricitons on assault weapons have been ineffective in the past??? If an assault weapons ban stops just one more mass shooting in our schools, it will be more than worthwhile.

    December 24, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  23. PhilG.

    I actually favor teaching safe gun storage,usage and competency in schools early on.

    Discussions in class could debunk the rampant media gun lust that infects some people to think they have any right to go on mass killings.

    I also favor letting some teachers train themselves to arm themselves to protect the school from people like the Conn mass murderer.

    I think that 'gun free zones-should all be outlawed.

    Any parent should be allowed to bring their lawfully concealed carry weapon (ten round mag capacity max) on school grounds to help protect their child where ever they may be.

    What a wonderful thing to happen if a woman with a lawful concealed carry weapon in the school had put three rounds right in Lanza's face as he squeezed through the front door with his rifle.

    But NONE OF THAT detracts from the fact that we need to drastically lower the number of bullets a person can fire without reloading at one time.

    I could care less whether a gun looks like a military rifle or not.

    All I care about is that one guy cannot stand in a class room and shoot enough bullets to make sure nobody can escape.

    Ten rounds in a gun mag is enough.

    After that,you are just arming crazy people to do more mass killings.

    December 24, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  24. Anonymous

    There already is an assault weapon ban. We can't get assault weapons. An AR-15 is not an assault rifle. Go after the people, not the tools. Just last week a man killed his neighbor with a hammer. Columbine happened during the last ban. Criminals don't believe in following the law. They will do what they want with what they can get illegally. Enforce the laws we already have with increased vigor and treat mental illness as it should be treated and insure people that suffer mental illness are put into a data base that can be accessed for background checks. Hold people that keep other peoples mental illness's secret accountable. And yes, that includes parents, counselors and teachers.

    December 24, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  25. scarf

    Previous assault weapon bans were ineffective because they grandfathered in all the assault weapons which were already in the public's hands. To determine how effective or ineffective the bans were, you need to look at how many assault weapons obtained after the ban went into effect were used in these massacres.

    December 24, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
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