How dare he. His 'friends' at the NRA are in pain? What are the families of the Newtown massacre victims supposed to feel?
Pro-gun Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said Wednesday he is "proud" of the National Rifle Association for agreeing to take part in the debate on gun control in the wake of the Newtown massacre.Sen. Joe Manchin's appearance on MSNBC Monday where he claimed that he would be for an assault weapons ban was basically a head fake.
"We cannot have an open dialogue with meaningful input unless the NRA is at the table," Manchin told MetroNews' "Talkline" in West Virginia. "These are my friends. These are good people. They're hurting. They're in pain the same as every American, what happened to those little children."
The usual sequence of events is playing itself out, where pro-gun rights advocates and lobbyists go into a self-imposed silence immediately after an assault weapons massacre, then creep out after the initial shock and mourning wears off.
Days after the massacre the NRA finally made a statement four days after the fact, claiming they want to make 'a contribution' to help avoid future such instances.
Manchin admits he needs the NRA to tell him what to do:
“I can’t say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to any of the things,” Manchin added when asked if he would support restrictions on magazine size or an assault weapons band. “Because all I’ve asked for, I want the NRA to tell me why we have any weapon you might want. Is there any grounds or any changes or anything they would like to look at? I don’t know. I can’t even get a conversation to have responsible people at the party, if you will, or the table, to finally come out with a conclusion.”
“Seeing the massacre of so many innocent children has changed everything,” he said. “Everything has to be on the table.”But now that he has gotten that talking point out into the broad public via a national TV show, appearing to say all the right things, he is 'clarifying' his statements, quietly on a local radio station's broadcast, where he spews some nonsense about needing to have a conversation with the NRA at the table.
Gun rights advocates have always said that an assault weapon bans would lead to further gun controls and eventually a repeal of the Second Amendment, but Manchin and Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough both commented that the Second Amendment shouldn’t protect the right to own weapons designed for combat.
“I’m a proud outdoors-man and huntsman, like many Americans, and I like shooting, but this doesn’t make sense,” Manchin said. “I don’t know anyone in the sporting and hunting arena who goes out with an assault rifle; I don’t know anyone who needs 30 rounds in the clip to go hunting.”
Manchin said that after the fiscal cliff is resolved, this will be a high priority.
Newtown’s shooting “has changed the dialogue and it should move beyond dialogue, we need action.”
“I’m not afraid to have these conversations and I know I’m going to get criticized,” Senator Manchin said on Wednesday’s MetroNews Talkline. He was a guest on the show for the second time this week to talk about his position on firearm regulatory changes and what should be done after the Newtown.Because, talking about the issue will, of course, be the same as taking action. And the NRA must, of course, be part of the conversation, because they are the most powerfulgun rights lobby in the US.
“I am open to talking about how do we have a better society with less violence and not blame just the gun owner, because if you blame the gun owner, you’re blaming me,” the Senator said.
Host Hoppy Kercheval asked Senator Manchin if he will support California Senator Dianne Feinstein’s proposed bill to reinstate the ban on assault weapons. That ban first took effect in 1994 and expired in 2004.
“I’m not supporting a ban on anything. I’m supporting a conversation on everything,” Senator Manchin said.
“I can’t say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to any of the things because all I’ve asked for, I want the NRA to tell me why we have any weapon you might want. Is there any grounds or any changes or anything they would like to look at? I don’t know. I can’t even get a conversation to have responsible people at the table to finally come out with a conclusion.”
In a statement issued Tuesday, the first since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, officials with the National Rifle Association said the following: “The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.”No word of what that 'contribution' would be, other than gracing the table with their presence.
Back to the usual talking points:
“The gun didn’t shoot itself. It didn’t commit that act by itself. It couldn’t.” The Senator says that’s why the response to Newtown must include large scale reviews of violence in the media along with mental health diagnosis and treatment in the United States.He referred to the video game Grand Theft Auto, "up in New York City" (you know, the Gomorrah responsible for all evil in the world).
And be warned, he will not allow his 'friends' at the NRA to be 'villainized', coining a new phrase. At least he didn't say victimized.
Somehow, I am just not feeling the NRA's 'pain'.
The link to Manchin's interview is here, (audio only), not embeddable.