NRA Member Manchin: Time to Talk About Gun Legislation
The senator who once shot a copy of the cap-and-trade bill in a campaign ad called for a "common-sense discussion" on gun control in the wake of the Newton, Conn., school massacre.
"I was raised in a culture in West Virginia like you were in northwest Florida, you know, where hunting and -- learned how to use guns and use them responsibly and safe," Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said this morning on MSNBC. "And I can honestly say I've gone deer hunting -- just came with my family from deer hunting. I've never had more than three shells in a clip. Sometimes you don't get more than one shot anyway at a deer."
"This has changed the dialogue, and it should move beyond dialogue," the NRA member said of Friday's tragedy. "We need action."
Manchin called Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) "a beautiful person" who plans on reintroducing her assault weapons ban.
"Anyone saying they don't want to talk and sit down and have that type of dialogue is wrong. Anybody that says -- that when Chuck Schumer said we shouldn't have more than 10 rounds in a clip, you know, they would be wrong to say that shouldn't be on the table. Everything should be on the table," he said.
"This is bigger than just about the guns. It's about how we treat people with mental illness, how we intervene, how we give them the -- the -- the care they need, how we protect our schools."
Manchin said he's asked his NRA friends "to sit down and move this dialogue to a sensible, reasonable approach to fixing."
"They have to be at the table," he said of the gun-rights lobby. "I'm telling you, I believe this is a time for all of us to sit down and move in a responsible manner. And I think they will. And I think when you look at it, if Dianne's saying that basically assault weapons, I don't know anyone in the sporting or hunting arena that goes out with an assault rifle. I don't know anybody that needs 30 rounds in a clip to go hunting. I mean, these are things that need to be talked about."
"I think what's happened before is it's always been to the point where once you open it up, then you pretty soon -- pretty soon you'll give up your whole Second Amendment rights, taking guns away and people not allowing to have guns," the senator added. "That's not what this should be about. Millions and millions of people are proud gun owners and they do it responsibly and by the law."