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. rwb1956

    This is so sad. The gun lovers now believe THEY are the victims of Sandy Hook. No one has even said one word about taking their guns away and some on these blogs are talking about overthrowing the government based on their mass delusion. Such Internet bravery! First you'd have to go thru the city, then the state and the few who are left can take on the government. And if you think the Armed Forces are gonna be behind, they'd have to be paranoids too. How sad these kids deaths are overshadowed by paranoid people afraid of their own shadows and their neighbors that they hold guns dearer than life itself. GOOD NIGHT NURSE!!!

    January 10, 2013 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  2. ghostriter

    The funny thing about the NRA's stance is that the only solution they propose is to put security in schools.

    haven't we seen this story before? Complain about what the other side is doing, while failing to introduce actual solutions that coud work.

    Of course, we couldn't stop there as kids do like going to the mall. We should have armed security there as well. Anywhere children could be.

    I really do wonder what would be the response if Obama had suggested putting armed guards in schools. I'm thinking the right would be screaming about indoctrination and what not.

    January 10, 2013 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  3. rs

    The NRA and their so-called "law abiding" gun owners are responsible for the ready access to guns and the lack of viable gun laws they promote. Where do they think criminals and killers get their guns? From people who sell them their weapon: unscrupulous and largely unmonitored gun stores; gun shows, and; theft of unsecured weapons.

    You guys created the problem. Grow up and fix it. If you won't patrol your ranks, the government will.

    The NRA and the GOP- what is wrong with America today.

    January 10, 2013 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  4. Larry L

    Based on the N.R.A.'s reluctance to join in meaningful conversation my own position on gun safety has recently shifted. I personally own five semi-automatic shotguns (trap guns), four semi-automatic pistols (personal defense and plinking), and three semi-automatic rifles (two rim-fire and one mini-14). I am now willing to give up all of those weapons to a government buy-back if we declare semi-automatic weapons unlawful. It seems that's the only language the N.R.A. will actually understand since they won't bring their expertise and influence to the discussion table with serious dialogue.

    January 10, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  5. 2012liberal

    'a bad man w a gun is good man w a gun' there was one of those n the tuson shooting. Just b cuz u may hv one doesnt mean u can use it! And how about gun toting soccor mama that was found dead at hm. More gun deaths happen at hm w own gun by friend or family. Limit guns!

    January 10, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  6. 2012liberal

    Well REGULATED gun control. It's not going away this time. Tobacco companies got theirs, time 4 NRA to also. NRA 4 profit manufactoring. Not 4 gun owners anymore.

    January 10, 2013 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  7. Scott Shaw, Clackamas, Oregon

    @Mitchell, if the 2nd Amendment gives us only the right to a musket, toss your keyboard and grab a quill pen.

    January 10, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  8. Liz the First

    What Biden should have done was arrange for photos of all 20 children killed at Sandy Hook to be in the room with him and the NRA folks, and then asked them point-blank whether they thought folks' right to own assault rifles was more valid than those children's right to grow up! this just shows what a sick society we live in when we place more value on assault weapons than on children's lives. praying enough people come to their senses and put these monsters in their place. i believe 100% in the right to bear arms, but with rights come responsibilities. time we started focusing on the responsibilities of gun ownership.

    January 10, 2013 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  9. Randy, San Francisco

    Will common sense gun control become a reality only when gun related deaths exceed the approximately 35,000 traffic related deaths each year?

    January 10, 2013 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  10. Patti in Dallas

    The NRA is a joke. It's not the least bit serious about real reforms that will benefit all Americans. If the NRA were indeed serious, it would be calling for background checks before ALL firearm purchases - at ALL gun shows and ALL private sales.

    The NRA is LYING when it claims that the previous assautl weapon ban was tried and "did not work" - well, no, it did not work with a FREAKIN' GLARING GIANT LOOPHOLE in it that allowed almost half of those weapons & accessories to be bought & sold on the market with NO background checks whatsoever.

    The NRA is shamelessly insincere here, they're blowing smoke up the backsides of Americans who don't know any better. Fortunately, more Americans see through the NRA's smoke & mirrors than don't. Put more guns in schools? PUH-leeze. That's not a solution. And it's damn sure not "the only solution."

    January 10, 2013 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  11. 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 pays off our congress men ,just like the gop pig grover norquest,the most hated man in America who sells gop votes to the highest bidder .they only have four million members out of our population of330 million , and can't speak for Americans . Gop dopes,do you want their 4 million votes ,or the votes of the rest of us ,you do the math ,we can easily beat the nra crackpots !!!!!

    January 10, 2013 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  12. Yeoomala

    If the NRA wanted to have a meaningful conversation that would be one thing, but all they want to do is push their beliefs upon everyone that doesn't agree with them. I respect gun owners, but some of these whacko groups are another thing.

    January 10, 2013 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  13. The REAL TRUTH...

    @GuestAgain – The obama admin doesnt fix problems just dictates ridiculous solutions or completely denies responibility .....
    On that premise it ranks right up there with the NRA and the Bush 43 Administration... and the issue is?

    January 10, 2013 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  14. Jean2

    A study should be done to analyze why Americans have such preocupation with guns. Why is it so difficult yo think rationally when it comes to GUNS??

    January 10, 2013 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  15. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The problem is that the NRA only thinks of guns as a solution to any problem. I don't understand why they only think yes or no on this issue; everyone should have them or not.

    January 10, 2013 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  16. jinx88

    NRA thinks the government is gonna turn on its people sometime in the future. News flash to the paranoid wacko's, if the government was gonna turn on its people, the people will need bigger guns. Last time I heard the government has planes that shoot real big bullets, tanks, drones, missiles and seal team six. LMAO!! The NRA think we are crazy.

    January 10, 2013 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  17. ted

    The second amendment is fine. The issue is the NRA and their ignorance on guns. I think anyone who wants to buya gun go through a training program, have to fill out reams of paperwork, and have a mental check and back ground check and any other kind of check to delay th eprocess. Those that sell and make guns should be taxed heavily. annual testa and licenses and reams of paperwork need to be enabled.

    January 10, 2013 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  18. Gonzoinhouston

    The NRA likes to play hardball politics, but Obama can play that game, too.

    January 10, 2013 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  19. Mike

    Posted by Mitchell

    "Something the NRA Needs to remember. The 2nd Amendment gives every American the right to own a musket. The founding fathers would not want people carrying weapons that hold 30 rounds."

    Your right – we should also amend the 1st because it gives the right to freedom of the press and the founding fathers would not want any idiot to be able to just "print" anything and have millions read stupid ideas.

    January 10, 2013 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  20. evolve1

    According to the FBI, so-called "assault weapons" are used in only 2% of gun crimes, and in less than 1% of murders, despite the AR-15 being the most commonly owned rifle in the US.

    FBI estimates are that 60-90% of all gun murders are a result of the illegal drug trade.

    The Department of Justice says that 56% of all murderers had a prior conviction for a violent felony when they killed.

    So, if Obama's campaign was about reducing gun violence or saving lives, they'd be discussing ending the war on drugs and passing a national 2-strikes law for violent felonies. Those two alone, according to their own best data, would, at a minimum, reduce gun murders in the US by 65-75%.

    Instead, they want to ban the legal ownership of a type of gun used in less than 1% of killings in the US, which will have no effect at all on gun violence or violent crime in general.

    So, you tell me, is Obama trying to save lives by the most reasonable and effective means at his disposal, or is he just exploiting tragedy, fear, and ignorance in order to pass his wishlist of anti-gun legislation?

    January 10, 2013 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  21. dude

    how many NRA members commit gun crimes? enough said to the people attacking the NRA. The people committing crimes are not associated with the NRA. Ordinary people trying to protect their family are members not thugs and lunatics.

    January 10, 2013 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Wow, the gun nuts want to make everyone as paranoid as they are by encouraging everyone to buy semiautomatic weapons.

    January 10, 2013 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  23. JOEY

    Come on. Really. Our world trade center was taken down with box cutters and hundreds died. Timothy Mcvay never fired a shot and killed how many? If there is a will there is a way. Guns are not the problem. Media focusing on the bad and not the good in people has made things worse. Hold the parents of these deranged kids responsible. They know these kids are messed up. The people who own guns are responsible for the right to keep them out of reach.

    How about a grand Idea.?
    Enforce the laws on the books that are not. Like its illegal to have a gun or ammo if your a felon or have a mental condition.

    Why more laws just do your jobs! We have the laws in place, just nobody to enforce them or take responsibility...

    January 10, 2013 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  24. dude

    hey Randy in San Fran, you all in San Francisco should try a gun ban and let the rest of CA and the country know how it goes. We are sick of your SF politicians' agendas. Pelosi, Feinstein, Lee. No thanks... The rest of CA and the country doesn't want these people attacking our freedoms.

    January 10, 2013 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  25. Bystander

    Wasn't much chance the NRA and Joe Bidet would agree on anything. No surprise.

    January 10, 2013 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
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