May 5th, 2013
11:37 AM ET
9 years ago

Durbin blasts NRA for 'celebrating' gun vote

(CNN) – The No. 2 Democrat in the Senate criticized the National Rifle Association for cheering the defeat of a recent bipartisan gun control measure and expressed hope that the “political sentiment” will change in the upper chamber so the legislation can be brought up again.

“The National Rifle Association can go to Texas and celebrate defeating that measure, but they certainly shouldn’t celebrate when they look at the carnage that takes place virtually every day in America because convicted felons have guns,” Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

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He was referring to the organization’s annual meeting this weekend in Houston, where the recent gun control debate was a key theme among speeches by high-profile conservatives. Speakers praised the audience for lobbying their lawmakers to vote against gun control measures and encouraged them to keep up the fight.

"We are in the midst of a once-in-a-generation fight for everything we care about. We have a chance to secure our freedom for a generation, or to lose it forever," NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said Saturday.

"We must remain vigilant, ever resolute, and steadfastly growing and preparing for the even more critical battles that loom before us," he said.

One of the main provisions considered the most likely to pass would have expanded the background check system to include private sales at gun shows and online. In the April 17 vote, however, the Senate fell short of the 60 votes needed to move forward with the measure. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid shelved the overall gun control bill to allow more time for negotiations and vowed to bring it up again.

The defeat was seen as a major victory among anti-gun control advocates and among those in the gun lobby, who argued that the measure would not have done much to help prevent mass shootings like those seen in Newtown, Connecticut, and Aurora, Colorado, last year.

Durbin, the Senate’s majority whip, said the legislation needs five more votes in order to pass but said it can be an uphill battle in the Senate.

"What we need to see is a change in political sentiment within the Senate. We need to pick up five more votes, and that's quite a task, I might add, as whip in the Senate, but we can do this. I hope the American people don't give up. I know the president hasn't given up," Durbin told CNN's chief political correspondent Candy Crowley.

- CNN's Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.

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

Filed under: Dick Durbin • Gun control • Gun rights • NRA • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (498 Responses)
  1. logicnothuff

    Durbin celebrated addressing that great Communist Celebration, May Day. The guns of Americans are the halt-er of Dick Durbin's personal belief system, Stalinism. Durbin needs to buy a 1 way ticket to Moscow. Kissinger told Nixon that Communists' capacity to lie was astonishing, and Durbin's capacity to lie is astonishing. Democrat Party is evil.

    May 5, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  2. TLR

    The NRA has too much control over Congress. Just another radical group with way too much power. Stand up America and get rid of these groups making policy. Enough is enough!

    May 5, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  3. Jim

    Why can't we strengthen the laws already on the books? There has been hardly any prosecution on convicted felons who attempt to buy guns legally. Since society misses this golden opportunity to take a felon off the street the felons rely on the black market. A new background check would not change this reality.

    May 5, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  4. TLR

    and it is sad to say that I am a Republican.

    May 5, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. Dan in FL

    If the NRA leadership believes that we need to do a better job enforcing current laws, then they clearly support existing background check laws. If they support keeping guns away from the mentally ill, then they must also support closing loopholes in these laws as one way to accomplish this goal. In other words, by their own logic they should have supported the recent background check legislation, but they didn't. Nothing in this legislation advocated taking away anyone's guns, so exactly what is the NRA's hidden agenda?

    May 5, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  6. Fubarack

    Turdbin would have no problem if his side were the ones doing the celebrating. Just more hypocritical hand-wringing by the left. I did not see the NRA walking down the road with a gavel in hand, like when the left celebrates a win.

    May 5, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. dnul222

    How do we find a balance between the ability to own a gun for legitimate purposes and also keep them out of felons hands. Would increase background checks help-maybe, but in the end the felon could get a gun from out of the country if necessary....I would love to see more emphasis on mental illness and poverty than going after guns which are not the cause of the problem but the symptom of it. A second amendment supporting liberal....

    May 5, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  8. Jeffrey W Smith

    “The National Rifle Association can go to Texas and celebrate defeating that measure, but they certainly shouldn’t celebrate when they look at the carnage that takes place virtually every day in America because convicted felons have guns,” is it not already aganst the law for felons to have guns? I think I need one to protect myself.

    May 5, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  9. helensadornmentsblog

    As a parent, I am in the midst of a once in a generation fight for everything I care about, the safety of my children. Hell hath no fury like a mother scorned.

    May 5, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  10. CraigRB

    Some say that the legislation wouldn't have done much to curb violence.....well, if that's so, then why were they so concerned about passing the background check legislation? It wouldn't have affected gun owners, those in favor of the legislation would have been happy and the NRA's gun manufacturing clients would still sell lots of guns.

    May 5, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  11. JMH

    Iceaxdave, I'm sure that your list of "notorious murderers" is completely free of sampling bias and that it is absolutely representative of the political beliefs of all killers. However, this article is not about the political affiliations of murderers; it is about the ease of acquiring weapons in this country. Thus, I decided to add a little information to your list:

    1. Adam Lanza – Sandy Hook (26) – Liberal – stolen from mother
    2. Klebold/Harris – Columbine (13) – Liberals – illegally obtained from friend
    3. Lee Boyd Malvo – DC Sniper (10) – Liberal – shoplifted
    4. Jared Loughner – Shot Giffords (6) – Liberal – legally purchased
    5. Seung Hui Choi – Virginia Tech (32) – Liberal – legally purchased
    6. James “The Joker” Holmes – Aurora, CO (12) – Liberal – legally purchased
    7. John Wayne Gacy – (33) – Liberal Clown – did not kill with a gun
    8. Sirhan Sirhan – Shot RFK – Liberal – illegally obtained from a string of private transactions
    9. Lee Harvey Oswald – Shot JFK – Liberal Commie – illegally purchased under false name
    10. John Hinkley – Shot Reagan – Liberal – legally purchased
    11. Marc Chapman – Shot Lennon – Liberal – legally purchased
    12. George Hennard – Luby’s (23) – Liberal – legally purchased
    13. Sulejman Talovic – Salt Lake (5) – Liberal – legally purchased
    14. Jiverly Wong – Binghamton (13) – Liberal – legally purchased
    15. James Pough – GM (11) – Liberal – illegally purchased by lying on background check form
    16. Andew Engledinger – Minneapolis (5) – Liberal – legally purchased
    17. One L. Goh – Oikos Univ. (7) – Liberal – legally purchased
    18. Scott Dekraai – Seal Beach, CA (8) – Liberal – legally purchased
    19. Robert Hawkins – Mall Killing (9) – Liberal – stolen from ex-stepfather
    20. Jeffrey Weise – Red Lake H.S. (9) – Liberal – stolen from grandfather

    Out of 20 killers:
    11 legally purchased, 3 stolen from family member, 2 illegally obtained by lying about personal information, 2 illegally obtained by a friend or through private transaction, 1 shoplifted, 1 did not kill with a gun

    May 5, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  12. don ripley

    Durbin?.....Durbin?.....Durbin?......Right! He's the US Senator that said a few days ago that he "was comfortable with communists." Durbin took an oath to protect and defend.... against all enemies.... and he is 'comfortable' with communists that have vowed to destroy America?? For the love of God, America, WAKE UP!!!!

    May 5, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  13. Vic7

    Enough of the politicians and lobbyists–Get tougher with gun laws or get voted out of office. The American people have spoken. We want restrictions on weapons. Criminals don't. The more guns in circulation, the easier it is for a felon or child to get one. Vote the peoples' will or suffer the consequences in the mid-terms. The Republican Party is going down the tubes. The younger generation will no longer be blinded by old hypocrites and ignorant fools.

    May 5, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. rk

    dnul222, I agree with you that poverty & mental health should be focused on. However, the republican party is continuing to push for spending cuts including education, as well as programs specifically designed to enrich the lives of urban youths, as well as those that provide subsidized care to those who cannot afford expensive treatments. One of the hallmarks to the health care bill which the republicans also rail against, includes forcing HMO's to provide more coverage for mental health indications, which they currently do not do.

    May 5, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  15. frank

    for him to tell all the people in Boston if they wish to have had a gun is totally inappropriate or does he wants for citizens to shot each person they see.

    May 5, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  16. spkliewer

    This is not about guns
    it is about the worship of power, and violence
    it is about fear and paranoia

    as a gun owner I have no problem with background checks
    i don't need a huge magazine to hunt deer
    No one is trying to take away my guns

    This is all about the NRA having money and power
    and about people, who must feel powerless in their lives
    embracing weapons and anger and fear
    to make themselves feel empowered

    In short this whole war declared by the NRA is unnecessary, foolish,
    and promotes the kind of anger and fear that makes it more likely that guns
    will be used by disenfranchised 16-26 year old young men to act out....

    after all, in its own way the NRA is modeling that mentality

    Its a good thing God is a God of love and forgiveness. Wayne LaPierre has a lot to answer to the Sacred for.

    May 5, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  17. michelangelo64

    The NRA has alot of blood on it's hands.

    May 5, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  18. wade

    The liberals tried their best to politicize the tragedy of the shooting at a school. Then they tried to gut the 2ND amendment calling anyone who opposed the idea every name in the book. Then they lost. Now that the American people have won they CRY like little babies. This

    May 5, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. CC

    Our GOP Senators are owned by the NRA, they represent the them, and not the people.

    May 5, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  20. H&K MP5

    Shall Not Infringe....

    Liberal tears are so sweet.

    As for magazine limits, for you liberals who post I don't need 30 rounders " to hunt deer". Are you this dense? The 2nd amendment is not about deer hunting. It's about liberals being kept in check. To believe otherwise is to be a fool

    May 5, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  21. david

    he talks about people being killed every day, but his own state, which has very strict gun legislation, leads the nation in gun murders.

    either way, people have it wrong when they talk about the 2nd amendment being for hunting. the 2nd amendment stands as a litmus test for a government that has too much say in the daily affairs of its citizens.

    May 5, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. Morgan

    I believe in gun rights, but I also believe in background checks and that the NRA is crazy. The things they have said and advocated for are beyond what the average person supports. I don't want them associated with my rights. While I can honestly say I am pro 2nd Amendment I will never say I'm pro NRA.

    May 5, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  23. Donkey Party

    When the GOP succeeds in pushing us into civil war, I'm coming for these NRA cowards first, since many are too stupid to breathe, let alone use a weapon.

    May 5, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  24. Vic7

    LaPierre–Are you Totally nuts? Everyone at the Boston Marathon with 30 round magazines would have made it safer? By some of the comments I've read, everyone there would have been dead. Gun toting crazies shooting everything that moves. What a solution!

    May 5, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  25. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    Relax, senator. Very soon YOU will be dancing on their political grave and the country will dance with you.

    May 5, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
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