West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, repeats his pledge from earlier today to seek changes in our nation's gun laws in response to the Sandy Hook shooting:
"I don't know anybody that needs those multiple clips as far as ammunition in a gun," Manchin said. "The most I've ever used in my rifle is three shells. Usually you get one shot, and every seldom ever two." The belief that you need more, "doesn't make a lot of sense."
Full transcript below the fold.
JOE MANCHIN: Andrea, it's changed me.
I don't think there's a West Virginian that I know, and not a person living in my state that hasn't been moved by this horrific crime against our children, and we've never seen this happen before, nor could we ever expect anything like this to happen. So, I think it has changed, from the standpoint of we as adults should come together.
One of the promises we make to our children—one of the five promises Colin Powell talks about—is every child should have a safe place in their life, where harm cannot enter or do them any danger. And sometimes it's not always at home. Usually it's always the school, and that's been taken away from us. So we have to reevaluate.
As you said, i'm a life member of the NRA, and proud member. And i want to bring all my friends in the NRA in on this discussion. They need to be part of this dialogue of how we move forward. can protect the Second Amendment rights. We definitely can protect it and we will protect it. But we can also look at ways we can make our country and our children more safe. I really believe that we can sit down and have that dialogue and hopefully movement on that.
ANDREA MITCHELL: How is this going to be different?
MANCHIN: Andrea, never before in my lifetime—I've seen a president get assassinated. I've seen attempts on a president. I've seen Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy get assassinated. I've seen the violence at the other schools. Never have we seen this many children—babies of ours—ever be in this horrific, horrific crime against them, and a tragedy. I can only imagine the pain, the suffering, families are going through. How do we reach out and help them? This has affected all of us different than anything has ever affected me, and I'm sure other people. But this is bigger than just guns, Andrea. We're talking about how we deal with mental illness. How we protect our children. How do we change this culture of violence?
My friend Joe Lieberman, just a beautiful person. And Joe's right when he says this should be looked at in a bigger. How do we even glorify some of the violence that we promote? And we sell games encouraging these types of, everything needs to be evaluated and talked about, who we are.
MITCHELL: On the narrow issue of guns, are you willing to work with Dianne Feinstein and try to do something about these semiautomatic, these weapons of war, as Mike Bloomberg called them on Meet the Press?
MANCHIN: Well, what I've said, Andrea, as you know, I'm a hunter, I just came off of a hunting trip with my family—deer hunting. And I don't know of anybody that goes hunting with an assault rifle. I don't know anybody that needs those multiple clips as far as ammunition in a gun. The most I've ever used in my rifle is three shells. Usually you get one shot, and every seldom ever two. This doesn't make a lot of sense, and this has to to be brought to this level, and it's a shame. An absolute travesty to this country and who we are as Americans to bring it to this level, but I'm going to speak on it. And yes, we're looking at everything, not just the guns, but yes, Dianne Feinstein, Chuck Schumer talking about the multiple clips as far as rounds and clips, Joe Lieberman talking about putting a blue ribbon panel together, all this needs to be done. And it just really has changed us. It's changed me.