Connecticut senator: 'This is not your father's NRA'
January 13th, 2013
11:44 AM ET
10 years ago

Connecticut senator: 'This is not your father's NRA'

(CNN) - Sen. Chris Murphy doesn't share the National Rifle Association's assessment that Congress won't pass an assault weapons ban.

"I think (the NRA) is wrong," the Connecticut Democrat said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union." "I think that this issue is going to continue to move."

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On the same CNN program, NRA President David Keene said earlier he doesn't think there's enough support to get an assault weapons ban, or restrictions on high-capacity magazines, through both chambers of Congress.

Murphy, however, shot back, saying when the "president puts the full weight of their office behind legislative change, that certainly means something." The freshman senator was speaking on the show from Newtown, Connecticut.

Following last month's shootings at the Newtown elementary school, President Barack Obama tapped Vice President Joe Biden to lead a task force that would come up with proposals no later than this month to reduce gun violence. While meeting with a wide variety of stakeholders in the gun debate last week, Biden cautioned that "the president is going to act" and mentioned that executive orders could be issued.

READ MORE: NRA president says gun control efforts will crumble in Congress

Murphy said he does see movement on Capitol Hill toward wanting serious change in federal gun laws. He pointed to pro-gun Democrats with high ratings from the NRA, such as Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, both of whom have been outspoken on a need for change. He also mentioned conservative Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia, who recently said he favored some forms of gun control.

"That's a sea change if people like that in the Republican House Caucus are willing to look at this," Murphy told CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley. "Newtown fundamentally changed things, and the NRA just doesn't get this. They've got to come to the table on gun control, just as they're saying they're coming to the table on mental health, because their previous allies and backers in the House and the Senate aren't with them anymore."

He took aim in particular at the lobby's influence.

"The NRA does not represent gun owners anymore. This is not your father's NRA. It represents gun manufacturers," Murphy said. "They make tens of millions of dollars off of purchases of guns."

Since the shooting last month, the NRA has added 100,000 new members, bringing its total membership to 4.2 million, NRA officials told CNN. Because of the increased attention on the issue, the officials think the group will soon hit 5 million.

Murphy pointed to the organization's "roundup" program, which encourages customers to round the cost of their purchase up to the next higher dollar amount and give the difference to the NRA.

The NRA's Keene, however, argued with that notion earlier on "State of the Union," saying manufacturers are "not our constituency."

"Our constituency is twofold," he said. "It's the American people who want to own guns and use them legally, and it's the Second Amendment itself."

While the NRA sharply disagrees, Murphy maintained that an assault weapons ban would help stop more mass shootings, and he vowed to vote for such legislation if it comes to the Senate floor.

"There would still be little boys and girls alive in Newtown today, I believe, if you had banned assault weapons and these high-capacity magazine clips," he said. "And that's something we can do and do now."

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: Chris Murphy • Congress • Gun rights • NRA • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (146 Responses)
  1. TN grad

    Re: "this slop hog of the public trough" is so constructive and gives so much credence to any argument. I would much rather have a "slop hog of the public trough" representing me, as a member of the public, than a "slop hog" of the private trough claiming to represent me. The appearance is that many senators and congressmen are too afraid of losing the support of the "campaign trust fund" established by the NRA and others to actually find a common path for the good of the country that meets the need to keep our rights while finding a solution to the current issue. Maybe it involves some restrictions, maybe not, but emotional name-calling and drawing lines in the sand sure won't help. Too bad all the gun-rights advocates that have popped out of the woodwork to take a hand in this discussion are not so passionate about other pressing issues, such as women's right, the environment, and just generally how to make this a better country, and planet, for the future generations.

    January 13, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  2. Jason

    The NRA DOES represent me! I will not register my guns nor will I ever surrender them. Try passing a law requiring muslims to register and submit to monitoring due to the radical murders by some of their extreme members. See how that sits with Americans and the world. The founders knew that arms are the last resort to protect people from oppressive governments which is exactly where ours is headed. Any compromise is heading down the slippery slope towards total confiscation.

    January 13, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  3. dreamer96

    On Piers Morgan's show Alex Jones looked to mentally unstable to own a deadly weapon...He should be put on the no gun ownership list for mentally unstable...

    January 13, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  4. HenryMiller

    Since I've never killed anyone with any of the dozen guns I own, I refuse to be punished for the misdeeds of a crazy 0.00001% of gun owners who abuse them.

    And it's utterly contemptible of the Left to try to capitalise on a tragedy in order to promote an agenda that has at its core contempt for, and distrust of, half the population. It's a cynicism on the order of that of Rahm Emmanuel: "Never let a good tragedy go to waste."

    January 13, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  5. heliocracy

    "Not your father's NRA..." Yeah, because your father wasn't an irrational, paranoid m0ron.

    January 13, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  6. JimmyC

    the direction of this country is clearly twoard change. If not now, then later. If no change at the moment, a couple more of these tragic incidents will move things along toward a more sane society. This country will not be ruled by extremists.

    January 13, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  7. smithdp

    Making it more difficult for disturbed mass murderers to get ahold of these incredibly efficient killing machines won't make us a communist country, just a smarter one.

    January 13, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  8. Chat Pata

    NRA is right. Both NRA and Congress is financed by gun industry, so they know Congress is with them and will not pass any law that would be against their campaign contributors.

    January 13, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. alf564

    ruffsoft,and your information comes from where??

    You should try to remember that liberals like this senator believe that if they do not like something, anything, then no one should be able to have it

    January 13, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  10. freya

    The NRA has added 100,000 members since Newtown, so how does this idiot left-wing Democrat think the NRA is losing it's relevance. This liberal Chris Murphy doesn't know how to even define an "Assault Weapon".
    So What do you define the weapons that kill the Children in Newton? Because you know we knew what it is. As for being define as idiot then what are you worse than an idiot I suppose?

    January 13, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  11. The Right Left

    All gun owners should undergo a mental and pysicla check up every year to ensure these weapons are in safe hands. They should also be photgraphed and finger printed. Guns should not be sold privately. The Seller does not know the buyer's criminal background.

    The NRA bribed politicians to the tune of $20 million during the last elecetion. They dont have as much of a clout as they posture to have. The county cannot be held hostage by the NRA or the KKK or any other organization of such kind. The tobacco lobby was far more powerful and better funded than the NRA. The tobacco lobby is now shunned by most politicians becuase of the stigma it carries. The same will happen to the NRA in the long run. Only 38% of the adults in the US own weapons. Most Americans dont. Dont let the minority scare you.

    January 13, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  12. Ramrod

    A simple solution is a tax on every gun and every bullet manufactured to establish a fund to compensate the innocent victims of gun violence. This would be similar to the tobacco tax.

    January 13, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  13. tonyh110

    The official NRA membership current over 3 million is the tip of the iceberg. They represent millions more legal safe gun owners who simply dont bother joining the NRA with reasons from 'cant be bothered' to 'think government will mark them'. We saw 100,000 realize the importance – many more will too the further this goes. Also there are many other Gun suportting organisations out there too – most prolific is the GOA. If there were only 3 million gun 'nuts' we'd have no lobby and would have gone the way of the UK ages ok

    January 13, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  14. Smart Man

    The children in Newtown would still be dead no with the proposed changes on assault weapons and hi-cap mags. This dude needs to watch video of how fast people can change out a mag.

    January 13, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  15. Daily Llama

    I used to hunt with an AR-15. It was light, easy to carry for hours on end, accurate enough for medium-sized game. Not terribly reliable, however, as it had problems auto-loading / ejecting. Hardly an "assault weapon"! If our troops had the mass-produced, sub-military quality you gun-haters despise, they'd be better off swinging it as a club because relying on a "semi-automatic" weapon, they'd all be dead in 10 seconds in a bona-fide combat situation.

    Like Kommiczar Feinstein's paranoia about the sheer appearance of the AR family, it has a lot more "bark" than "bite". It was horribly loud, absolutely filthy to shoot b/c of the design, required constant and precise maintenance and, again, wasn't reliable. After the Aurora, CO shooting by the crazy orange-haired goof, I sold it – with all the gizmos I'd bought for it – for a small fortune; HUGE profit! Had I known, I'd have bought several more as "investments"! Ha! Ha!

    Bought a Ruger "ranch rifle" instead and it's 10 times more reliable and accurate than the over-priced AR group of "wanna-be bad-azz soldier" rifles ...

    Feinstein is a delusional goof who doesn't know an assault rifle from a legitimate sporting firearm. But she's a 79 year-old, hormone-deprived, angry maniac who wants to keep getting re-elected bybthe same mental-midgets as before – and she's stoked with a Senatorial "hammer" in her hand. Problem is, when you're an idiot with a hammer in your hand, EVERYTHING looks like a nail .....

    January 13, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  16. mike Lake Orion Michigan

    This idiot and the rest of his colleagues which are the least respected part of our Country just don't get it. Guns are not the issue. It is people who are unbalanced and undisciplined. They fail to realize these massacres happen in gun free zones! These Liberals live in fantasy land with Reid and Pelosi! One size fits all is always the Government cure trust me I've worked in Government for 30 years and happy to wash my hands of them!

    January 13, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  17. rasPutin

    What most people don't realize is what terrible damage these .223 bullets do. When they enter the body they slew, and create a shock wave inside the flesh that rips muscle and organs into mush. That's why there were no survivors at Sandy Hook, and why no police force will use them.
    Weapons that can do this kind of damage have no business in civilian hands.

    January 13, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  18. gr

    Assault weapons, assault weapons.......So much talk of assault weapons and the terrible tragedy in CO and CT but am I the only person that saw the "assault weapon" that was supposedly used in CT pulled from the perp's trunk of his car by the police? Watched them take it out of the car AFTER the fact. Now what's the real deal here. He fired those bullets from two pistols as he was walking through the halls and classrooms in that school and the police and news media are allowing this assault weapon hysteria to go totally unchecked.

    January 13, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  19. permafrost

    it is self-evident that 100% of gun owners do not consider themselves unfit to own guns while the general public would undoubtedly agree on a much lower percentage. the gentleman from Tennessee being a perfect example.

    January 13, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  20. Name Scott

    “There would still be little boys and girls alive in Newtown today, I believe, if you had banned assault weapons and these high-capacity magazine clips,” he said. “And that’s something we can do and do now.”
    If you really believe that, then you are a fool. A homicidal maniac can do just as much damage, with a revolver if unchallenged.

    January 13, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  21. GP

    The money and power of NRA are not controlled by the commoners who may have only a label. That shouldn't control freedom of people to live freely. The question is, which is best for all, allowing assault weapons or controlling it. Let people think themselves and come forward and decide it. I don't think all of the ~5 million of NRA is killer minded.

    January 13, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
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