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Bryan Preston

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January 14, 2013 - 8:27 am

On The Andrea Tantaros Show with Jason Mattera, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) tangled with host Andrea Tantaros on the subject of new laws that Congress may consider in the wake of the Newtown, CT mass killing. Manchin, who describes himself as a lifelong gun owner and member of the National Rifle Association, said that while he believes strongly in the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, “everything is on the table.” He refused to answer whether he would vote for or against any proposed new gun laws or bans. Vice President Joe Biden is expected to recommend new gun measures tomorrow.

“To all of the lawful gun owners like myself…the Second Amendment is not going to be in jeopardy,” Manchin said. But he continued: “They’re talking about what types of magazines, they’re talking about registration. These are all conversations that have to be had.” Gun owners fear that registration can lead to confiscation, as happened in Australia. They also noted that registration can be abused, as happened when the New York Journal News published a map showing the home addresses of all the registered hand guns in two counties in its reading area. That map has now been implicated in a burglary, and it exposed the home addresses of several law-abiding citizens who obtained firearms to protect themselves from stalkers. Democratic leaders like New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo have said that gun confiscation could be an option.

“Do you think there should be more gun control laws?” Tantaros asked Manchin directly.

Manchin responded, “I believe that you have to have an approach, to where everything is on the table. Now, when you say ‘gun control,’ I just don’t think it’s a one-issue problem. That’s why people keep talking about that, and people keep wanting to say ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ ‘are you for this or against it?’ We’re in an environment in Washington where your guilty by conversation.”

Manchin continued, hinting that he would favor a renewing of the “assault weapons” ban: “I don’t have a so-called assault weapon. I’m a proud gun owner. I have many guns, I don’t have that type of a gun.” Manchin acknowledged that he used one of his bolt action rifles to shoot the cap and trade bill in one of his campaign ads.

“I want to hear from the people that do have these guns, ” he said.  “I don’t have anything that has more than a five-round clip. People that want more than ten rounds, that’s a conversation, they need to be at the table. Right now Andrea, they’re not even at the table.”

Last week, a 15-year-old Houston boy used a so-called “assault weapon,” an AR-15, to fight off two burglars who broke into his family’s home. He wounded one, and both were captured by police. The boy defended himself and his 12-year-old sister.

“Would you ban any weapons, Senator?” Tantaros asked. The senator refused to directly answer.

“I can’t say what I would ban or what I wouldn’t ban,” he replied. “But I’m willing to talk about anything that’s out there. If it’s a military-style type thing that was for military use, should it be talked about? I think I want to hear from those people that believe they need those weapons. Am I going to vote to ban? I can’t say until I see a piece of legislation.”

Manchin, a Democrat, represents conservative West Virginia. He has joined the “No Labels” movement as its co-chairman to as he says try and get “dialogue” on guns and control moving. Membership in that movement also helps Manchin obscure how often he tends to side with President Obama and the Democratic Party’s leadership, both of which are unpopular in his state.

Listen to the full interview below, exclusively at PJ Media.

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The Andrea Tantaros Show with Jason Mattera is produced by The Fox and Rice Experience.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.
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