West Virginia generally has a pro-gun culture and is fertile ground for the NRA. That's why this statement by Senator Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat and NRA member, is so important.
“I dont know anyone in the sporting or hunting arena that goes out with an assault rifle,” Manchin told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” ”I don’t know anyone that needs 30 rounds in a clip to go hunting. I mean, these are things that need to be talked about.”WaPo: Joe Manchin: Time to act on guns
The massacre, Manchin said, “changed the dialogue, and it should move beyond dialogue. We need action.”
“Never before have we seen our babies slaughtered,” the senator said. “Anybody that’s a proud gun owner, anybody that’s a proud member of the NRA, we’re also proud parents. We’re also proud grandparents.”
This is progress. There can be common ground between gun owners and others on regulating assault weapons and magazines, and hopefully reducing the level of violence.
I wrote a diary last week after the shopping center shooting despairing that nothing would happen and more would die: Normalizing Gun Violence In Our Society
Little did I know that the next massacre would be so horrifying and so soon.
We cannot accept the massacre of children as normal. President Obama last night:
"No single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society,” he said. “But that can’t be an excuse for inaction.” He added that “in the coming weeks I’ll use whatever power this office holds” in an effort “aimed at preventing more tragedies like this.”NY Times
“Because what choice do we have?” he added. “We can’t accept events like this as routine. Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage? That the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?”
Update I: Upon further research, Manchin did not come right out and endorse the ban, but he came very close and said all such restrictions "should be on the table." It's progress and he seems to be moving to support of such a ban. Otherwise, his comments make little sense.