|Joe Manchin (Photo by Mike Theiler, UPI)|
"Never before have we seen our babies slaughtered," Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a lifetime National Rifle Association member, said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." He told reporters in a conference call, "I believe everything should be on the table. We should be talking about everything." He specifically mentioned "assault rifles" with "multiple-round clips," like those used at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Noting that he went hunting last weekend, he said, "I never had more than three rounds in my gun. I don't know any people who go hunting with assault rifles with 30 rounds in their guns."
Manchin wouldn't say if he would suppoart an assault-weapons ban being introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif, but said, "We will be anxious to see it. We want to see if it is a responsible way to move forward." Nyden reports, "West Virginia Republican Party Chairman Conrad Lucas issued a statement late Monday afternoon calling Manchin's statements 'classless' and accusing him of trying to politicize the Sandy Hook deaths." (Read more) Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell didn't comment on guns in a floor speech, but said the shooting "stands out for its awfulness." Feinstein said on the PBS NewsHour that the incident is "the straw that broke the camel's back" on the issue. "People have had it." Here's a screen shot of an interactive map of mass shootings from The Daily Beast; click here for the active version.