NRA says Biden meeting missed the target
Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association executive vice president, made a statement to reporters after the Newtown shooting.
January 10th, 2013
05:09 PM ET
10 years ago

NRA says Biden meeting missed the target

(CNN) - The nation’s largest gun lobby left a Thursday meeting with Vice President Joe Biden and his gun control panel “disappointed” and perceiving little ground for compromise and said it would move forward on the issue independently.

“In a sense, they were checking a box,” National Rifle Association President David Keene said on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.” “They were able to say we've met with the NRA, we've met with the people that are strong Second Amendment supporters.”

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His group issued a statement saying it was “disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment.”

Representatives from the NRA and at least five other firearms associations joined Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder for an hour and a half long meeting on Thursday, White House officials said.

In the wake of the mass shooting that left 20 students and six adults dead at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, President Barack Obama appointed Biden to head a panel on gun control and report back this month.

The NRA has proposed putting armed guards in "every single school in America that wants it," as well as considering best practices for training programs and school design.

It has steadfastly rejected compromise on outlawing certain weapons, types of weapons or accessories.

“We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen," the NRA statement read. "Instead, we will now take our commitment and meaningful contributions to members of Congress of both parties who are interested in having an honest conversation about what works - and what does not."

Were the president to propose a certain restriction on who could legally purchase firearms, Keene indicated his group would side with Obama.

“We have for years urged that those who have been adjudicated as potentially violently mentally ill ought to be included in the national database of those who are not allowed to buy firearms,” he said. “Twenty-three states don't do that.”

One group that said it was not invited to the Thursday meeting, Gun Owners of America, charged that the Obama administration is driven by an "antipathy to the Constitution and its disdain for the God-given right of self-defense that all gun owners enjoy."

Reporters were not allowed into any portion of the meeting, but earlier in the day, Biden said, "We realize this requires all the stakeholders to give us their best ideas to what is, as I said at the outset, a complicated problem. There is no single answer."

He said his group was meeting with a broad spectrum of organizations, including experts on health, education, and the law; leaders of religious and social communities; proponents of gun rights and gun control; and advocates against domestic violence.

The NRA described Thursday's conversation as largely one-sided.

"While claiming that no policy proposals would be 'prejudged,' this Task Force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners - honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans," their statement read. "It is unfortunate that this Administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation's most pressing problems.”

About a week after the Newtown shooting, the NRA announced its proposal to put armed and trained guards in schools nationwide and unveiled a project called the National School Shield Emergency Response Program.

"The only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection," the group's executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, said in a statement to reporters. "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

Biden said he would offer proposals to Obama next week and indicated Wednesday that there are both legislative action and "executive orders, executive action that can be taken" on the matter.

Other gun groups present at the Thursday meeting included the Defense Small Arms Advisory Council, Firearms Import/Export Roundtable, Independent Firearm Owners Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation and National Association of Arms Shows. Biden met separately with members of the entertainment industry and groups representing sportsmen.

- CNN's Jim Acosta, Kevin Bohn, and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report

Filed under: Gun rights
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. A

    So much insanity in the NRA.

    For one thing, these anti-tyranny people who are always lecturing us about communism want us to have a "national database of lunatics"? Have they thought for a moment how easily this could be politically abused? Let them have it and then throw them all on it. They deserve it, the idiots. And they think they're libertarians.

    And in what universe is Hollywood the problem? That complaint is not only hackneyed, it's practically obsolete. Hollywood's on the wane as a commercial force, and their output has never been more bland and toothless (with the exception of a few reliable provocateurs like Tarantino).

    Not to mention, they can thank the gun culture they're decrying in film and video games for the fact that people want the ghastly weapons they peddle in the first place. Think the NRA would be half as big if every bald potbellied loser in America didn't fancy himself Rambo or Dirty Harry?

    January 10, 2013 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  2. ericblair55

    Biden missed the target because he is dumber than a box of hammers.

    But Joe's pal Eric Holder will pick up the gun confiscation slack–the guy who ran combat weapons to Mexican drug lords and got our two brave front-line agents killed.

    January 11, 2013 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  3. Seksi Vitez

    The Founding Fathers were just fine with it's citizens to own the most powerful firearms of that time. You people who are so eager to rip this Right from people with your fake concerns to protect kids have a rude awakening coming.

    January 11, 2013 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  4. Henry

    Mr. President,

    Screw the wild west crazy people and the NRA. Put an executive order to save lives on gun issues before your term is over. Bush used many executive orders on stupid things.

    January 11, 2013 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  5. CthulhuRising

    Implying I need the government's or some court's permission to own the means to defend myself and my family, especially when I'm defending myself from them. With more than 250 million firearms amongst a population of 300+ million, in a country of ~3,794,083 square miles, the US government doesn't have the manpower or resources to do anything about guns. Instead of having an honest discussion about the causes of violence, many on the far-right have taken the same tired line about violent media while the far-left wants to blame inanimate objects.

    January 11, 2013 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  6. kevin

    Somehow lost in this "conversation" is saying you want to stop criminals from having guns, the issue is your not a criminal until AFTER you have committed a crime, to say that we need to stop the mentally ill from having a gun forgets that to have that check up some part of your medical record needs to be made puplic for sellers to access so say you were trated for depression a mental illness or have chemical depression or chronic depression does that disqualify you because if it does 3/4 of Americans who have been on some form of anti depressent medication will be SOL plus the fact that medical records are confidential for a reason do you want your neighbor to know you have had an STD I think not. What ever way you want to look at this some form of gun regulation (control) will be needed Your right to own a gun does not supercede my right to live in a safe neighborhood or send my children to a safe school or go to work not thinking about does the guy beside on the subway have a gun did he have a bad day You want to stop bad guys with guns come up with a plan that is pro active not re active

    January 11, 2013 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  7. Michael NRA Life Member

    Didn't Chairman Mao say that political power grows out of the barrel of a gun? Thats why Obama and Biden want firearms taken away from the people, so there will not be any resistance to their "ideas" by the bitter people clinging to their Bibles and guns. Why not hold a trial for treason for Eric Holder for allowing drug cartels to have guns to murder American law officers? Obama should be impeached for not firing Holder. Better yet, send them to Mexico without security to deal with the drug lords.

    January 11, 2013 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  8. Michael NRA Life Member

    By the way, a musket in 1776 was an assault weapon.

    January 11, 2013 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  9. AM

    America has always had guns, but it didn't always have school shootings. The increase in school shootings seems to correlate more with the rise of Liberalism than gun ownership. Perhaps we need to start looking more closely at Liberals. Perhaps subject them to more random searches, and given more compulsory psychological testing and therapy.

    Only way to be sure.

    January 11, 2013 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  10. kris

    how about GPS tracker on every gun? If it is found near schools or any place where gun is banned, police should be notified automatically and permit should be revoked. It is simple, high tech solution for a high tech country.

    January 11, 2013 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  11. Craig R B

    The 2nd amendment is out of needs to be fixed. Also, why do these fanatics have to bring God into the discussion? Do their infantile minds really think that it validates their cause?

    January 11, 2013 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  12. Smeagel4T

    That's right everybody... be sure to protect the profits of the gun industry. That's the primary job of the NRA. Promoting the profits of the gun industry. The NRA receives more money from the gun industry than they receive dues from members.

    The NRA has yet to provide an argument for why people need to own military style weapons and high capacity clips. Even if there were guards at every public location, people would STILL be safer if there were no military style weapons with high capacity clips readily available. Police are safer if there are no military style weapons and high capacity clips readily available. The ONLY reason the NRA bothers to advocate for such weapons is because they increase the profits of gun manufacturers.

    January 11, 2013 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  13. Smeagel4T

    Want to play with a military style weapon? Want to play with a high capacity clip? FINE. Go to a shooting range and play with one, but the toys remain securely at the shooting range. There is no reason for people to have them laying around.

    January 11, 2013 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  14. Kartoosh

    Gun violence is a horrible thing, but the protection of the 2nd amendment ALWAYS comes first.

    January 11, 2013 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  15. Matthew

    "Missed the target"? Really?

    January 11, 2013 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  16. aaron

    When you're dealing with uncompromising, unrealistic bodies like the NRA and the teabaggers, what's the point in trying to have a serious discussion with them? The murder of almost 2 dozen children doesn't even phase them.

    January 11, 2013 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  17. Getoverit


    What is the difference between a "law-abiding citizen" and a "criminal" or "madman"?

    Sometimes nothing more than having a really bad day.
    And I'm sure you have scientific evidence to back up your statement.........

    January 11, 2013 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  18. Tom

    The commission heard the nra suggestions and it now must move forward. The idea that we need more guns to solve a to many guns problem is not the answer. Lets be honest, we now have a private gun ownership inventory of over 300 million guns and has it resulted in more safety. Answer, no. It has given us more gun related violence. The nra answer is more violence more guns, more violence more guns, more violence more guns. That is no answer, that is more insanity. It is an ever increasing murder rate. And with that level of inventory, the nra has saddled our country with a level of violence that will be with us for a long, long time. It is up to the members of the nra to support this reasonable action and reject their leaders call for inaction.

    January 11, 2013 04:48 am at 4:48 am |
  19. Marie MD

    The NRA has proposed putting armed guards in "every single school in America that wants it," as well as considering best practices for training programs and school design. As far as madmen . . . . lapierre looked like a rabid animal on Meet the Press.
    Are you going to pay for the extra protection? You know how many cities have had to fire their police officers for lack o money?
    The nra keeps shooting itself in this foot (too bgad it's not lapierre's) "gun appreciation day"?
    Guns that we have now are nothing compared to those pesky muskets of old. The rules HAVE TO CHANGE.

    January 11, 2013 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  20. Marie MD

    If lapierre was ever in a position like this . . . . .Wayne LaPierre, said in a statement to reporters. "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." I hope he left his gun (in a locked cabinet) at home.

    January 11, 2013 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  21. jkane sfl gop mascots the blubbering slobs allen west rover nitwitquest rick scott ,carl rove and donald dump ??????

    The nra is just another crooked lobby that buys your congressmens vote similar to grover norquest selling the gop votes to the highest bidder .the nra only has four million members out of a population of 330 million ,so the only speak for a fraction of Americans .

    January 11, 2013 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
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