U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, Democrat of West Virginia, generally shies from anything that smacks of liberalism. Last fall, for example, he declined to say publicly that he would vote for Barack Obama. He also campaigned in 2010 by broadcasting a commercial in which he literally shot up an environmental bill, and has earned an A rating from the National Rifle Association for his past opposition to gun-control efforts.
So this means something:
For those unable to view videos, Manchin embraces the idea of renewing a ban on the sale of assault weapons and banning large-capacity magazines, among other steps.
“We’ve never been in these waters before. We’ve had horrific crimes throughout our country but never have we seen so many our our babies out in harms way and their life taken from them, and the grief. I mean, that’s changed me, and has changed most Americans I would think. And with that, let’s look at ways that we can bring a common-sense reasonability to this discussion and bring all the adults to the table.”
Among those whom Manchin wants to invite to the discussion are leaders of the National Rifle Association. “These are good people and they need to be at the table,” Manchin says.
NRA involvement could indeed by useful in forging a compromise. But nothing in its modern history or rhetoric suggests that it was any interest in playing such a role.
– Jay Bookman