April 7th, 2013
10:16 AM ET
10 years ago

Malloy: NRA’s LaPierre acts like a circus clown

(CNN) - Responding to criticism from the National Rifle Association over Connecticut's new gun laws, Gov. Dan Malloy argued the pro-gun group's executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, is simply blowing smoke.

"Wayne reminds me of the clowns at the circus - they get the most attention. That's what he's paid to do," Malloy said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

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The Democratic governor on Thursday signed into law some of the nation's strictest gun regulations, following the state's devastating school shooting in December in Newtown, which left 20 children and six adults dead.

The new Connecticut laws include the addition of more than 100 weapons to the state’s list of banned assault weapons - including the semiautomatic Bushmaster rifle, one of the firearms used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. The law also bans the sale of magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, as well as armor-piercing bullets. Buyers will need a certificate to buy ammunition.

It also requires background checks for all gun purchases.

LaPierre said this week that the only people who will follow the new regulations are law-abiding gun owners, not criminals.

"I think the problem with what Connecticut did is the criminals, the drug dealers, the people that are going to do horror and terror, they aren't going to cooperate," LaPierre said on Fox News. "I mean, all you're doing is making the lawbooks bigger for the law-abiding people."

Asked who will be most affected by the new laws, Malloy said they'll be "probably a little tougher on everybody."

"This guy is so out of whack, it's unbelievable," Malloy told CNN's chief political correspondent, Candy Crowley, referring to LaPierre.

Connecticut became the third state to pass tough measures since the December rampage in Newtown. New York and Colorado passed gun control legislation limiting magazine capacity, among other provisions.

Malloy pointed to the fact that the overwhelming majority of Americans favor the idea of more background checks, a proposal found in legislation currently sitting before the U.S. Senate. The NRA, however, opposes that bill.

"I can't get on a plane, as the governor of the state of Connecticut, without somebody running a background check on me. Why should you be able to buy a gun? Or buy armor-piercing munitions? It doesn't make any sense. He doesn't make any sense," he said.

Another controversial measure in the Connecticut law is the requirement to register pre-existing magazines that hold more rounds than the new limit. Malloy said the registry was needed so that there are no new high-capacity magazines in Connecticut, and so law enforcement can tell the difference between the ones that already existed in the state and the new ones.

“If you bring a magazine that you purchased in another state into our state, it's illegal. Period,” he said.

The NRA last week released detailed recommendations for its proposal to train and arm adults to keep watch in schools as a way to protect kids from shooters. It also had proposals for mental health programs.

Asked if there was anything in the NRA plan that he agreed with, Malloy said "precious little," adding that schools need tougher protection barriers from intruders - but not necessarily armed guards.

"What this is about is the ability of the gun industry to sell as many guns to as many people as possible - even if they're deranged, mentally ill, a criminal background, they don't care. They want to sell guns," Malloy argued.

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

soundoff (349 Responses)
  1. Jeb

    Lapierre is a clown.

    April 7, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  2. jb

    He is a Clown!

    April 7, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  3. sciline

    Fear is the great motivator. But it is not the Fear that is being promoted that we should Fear. It is the ulterior motives of those utilizing that Fear, like the NRA, to motivate, that are to be Feared! Be assured that the only thing the NRA is interested in is Selling More, and More, and more, Guns in order to satisfy there employers, the Gun Manufacturers! Real solutions to gun control are the furthermost from their mind!
    The NRA would be calling for 105mm Howitzers on every lawn and in every school yard if they thought it would sell Howitzers! They don’t give a whit for who is safe or who is sorry.
    The only reason I can see for their objection to Universal Background Checks, is that their market analysis might have shown that a large percentage of gun buyers couldn’t pass a Background check -like criminals at Gun Shows!

    April 7, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  4. Tom

    The government are the clowns. Who would entrust their personal protection to a government and police that is corrupt and only cares about its own self-interest and tramples on individual rights time and time again? In many places (not all) the government and police cannot be trusted.

    April 7, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  5. Raymond Labant

    Govenor Malloy IS the clown. He has shootings almost everyday in New Haven and Hartford. ARE THESE GUNS REGISTERED. I think NOT.

    April 7, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  6. jim meiser

    Go get 'em gov.

    April 7, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  7. Trixie

    Malloy made an analogy, comparing LaPierre to a clown and the fact that they do get the most attention at the circus, and, as yet, he's really the only mouth piece for the NRA. One might not like the new Connecticut gun laws, but that's tough. I don't like the NRA's take no prisoners stance – no compromise, no debate.

    April 7, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |

    Finally, a governor who hit the nail on the head. I'm an NRA member, and yep, I agree with the Governor Malloy; however, I'd add that the entire NRA leadership fits the clown bill.

    April 7, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  9. bajadelmar

    @homeboy You're right this is about mental illness. The craziness that exists with the fear mongering NRA and its paranoid and gullible minions.

    April 7, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  10. Tom

    I registered my guns when i bought them by filling out A LOT of paperwork with all my info on it. If the government wants me to register them again because they "dont" have records (which they do)..too bad. The State hasnt enfored the laws that they had before all these new ones, how do you think they are going to enforce this laundry list of laws. Get this idiot mallory out of office !!!!

    April 7, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  11. Rob

    The Governor is right. Lapiere is Bozo, 100%.

    April 7, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  12. eds

    I live in CT and he has no business calling anybody a clown. Our state is now among the most taxed and least friendly state on record. Trust me a a resident of CT the NRA can't hurt me, this idiot does.

    April 7, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  13. Alben

    It may be true that proposed measures to stop the horror of gun violence will not work in every instance, perhaps even in a majority of them. But are some measures not worth taking if they will at least work some time and prevent the dealth of people.

    April 7, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  14. Sasquatch

    If I were a criminal I would be heading for Conn right about now. No one will be able to defend themselves.

    April 7, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm "

    @jhb That would make you one of the dumbest criminals ever. Idiot.

    April 7, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  15. dub273

    True, no law is perfect. But it is always a hoot to hear so-called "law abiding citizens" objecting to actual laws.

    April 7, 2013 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  16. Step out of the Bubble


    "semiautomatic Bushmaster rifle, one of the firearms used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre"
    That rifle was NOT USED. It was found in trunk of his car!!!
    Banning it would have had ZERO EFFECT.

    No it wasn't.

    A shotgun was found in the trunk. The rifle and two handguns were in the classroom.

    April 7, 2013 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  17. harry Baxter

    Things never change. The NRA stalwarts, those guys with low self-esteem, will fight to the death to retain their Pha*lic Symbols. Walking around with a gun sticking out of the front of your pants doesn't make you more of a Man, Guys!

    April 7, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  18. Fizzy

    Would LaPierre send his kids to a school that requires armed guards ? Doubt it. Commen sense has given way to big money.

    April 7, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  19. Paul

    If more guns make us safer then why does the USA lead all industrial nations in shooting deaths?i will bet you that CONN will be much lower in shooting deaths than most states.

    April 7, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  20. Truthis

    II could have not said it better. Looks like a French clown. Mr LaPierre La Te Da

    April 7, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  21. Alex

    @georg004: There is no substance to that argument. If we applied LaPierre's logic consistently then why should we have any laws at all? After all, they don't accomplish anything because criminals break them anyways.

    Here's a scenario, a law abiding citizen sells a gun to a criminal at a gun show without doing a background check. This used to be perfectly legal, and is a great way for criminals to get their hands on guns. That law-abiding citizen didn't break any laws by materially supporting a criminal. Now they have to do a background check, and now that law abiding citizen can't sell the gun to a convicted criminal.

    April 7, 2013 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  22. Dan

    Criminals get their Guns from "Law abidding" citizens.. usually through Burglary. Criminals don't register to buy guns ..never have ..never will .

    The harder it is for law abidding citizens to get them..then the harder it becomes for the crimainals as well.

    April 7, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  23. Dan

    The Bottom Line..the NRA is a Gun Pusher

    "What this is about is the ability of the gun industry to sell as many guns to as many people as possible – even if they're deranged, mentally ill, a criminal background, they don't care. They want to sell guns," Malloy argued.

    April 7, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  24. Anon

    Yes...there are stupid people out there, but it doesn't help anyone when you berate them for it.

    April 7, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  25. Natch

    This country already requires background checks for purchasing of a firearm. Why do we suddenly NEED "universal" background checks?? Why does the ATF need to know who you are AND what you're buying?? Currently, background checks clear the purchaser, which is all that's needed......unless the government suddenly wants to register every firearm that's purchased, which the anti-gun crowd vehemently denies!

    Connecticut, all you did was pass foolish, unenforceable laws, so that you could say, "Look, we did SOMETHING, like you told us to!!" So who's the clown??

    April 7, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
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