This awful massacre has changed where we go from here. Our conversation should move beyond dialogue.—
Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) December 17, 2012
While many are calling for an outright ban on all guns in the wake of last week’s massacre in Newtown, Conn., many more are asking only for a national “conversation” on the Second Amendment. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is adding his voice to that second group, much to the surprise of those who remember his as a staunch pro-gun politician.
Many pointed to Manchin’s “A” rating from the NRA as proof that the organization needed to follow suit and evolve in its views. (Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid is also endorsed by the NRA and has himself earned a “B.”)
It’s the sort of move that many would call a “flip-flop” under less tragic circumstances.
We weren’t aware there was ever a ban on gun “dialogue,” but if there was, Manchin’s been making up for lost time, appearing with Fox’s Joe Scarborough, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell and others to announce his conversion.
Manchin tweeted that “everything” needs to be on the table in this conversation.
Sitting down on Capitol Hill and talking about our “culture” seems no more specific than the president’s call for “meaningful action.” In a matter of a weekend, though, vague statements like those are being hailed as the “strongest call for gun policy change in a generation,” and Manchin is being praised for standing up to the increasingly demonized NRA.
…or used to believe in.