Sen. Joe Manchin evolves on gun rights in wake of Newtown shooting

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Sen. Joe Manchin evolves on gun rights in wake of Newtown shooting

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.

@sen_joemanchin Remember this, Senator?

— David Pleasant (@dpleasant) December 17, 2012

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.”)

Thank you @sen_joemanchin, a life-long NRA member, for realizing that it is “time to act.” #GunControlNow

— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) December 17, 2012

Good on @sen_joemanchin. This is a gutsy move for the senator from WV.

— Justin McElroy (@JustinMcElroy) December 17, 2012

Pro-gun commentator Joe Scarborough & pro-gun Senator Joe Manchin come out in support of gun control. how long till their fans realize it?

— Larry Richman (@larry411) December 17, 2012

.@sen_joemanchin was the only Democratic Senator to take money from the NRA in 2012. Now he switched sides.

— Zach Green (@140elect) December 17, 2012

Haven’t seen any stories yet a/b how Harry Reid — endorsed by NRA & in a pro-gun state — must be conflicted on Dems’ gun controls efforts.

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— Ellen Carmichael (@ellencarmichael) December 17, 2012

It’s the sort of move that many would call a “flip-flop” under less tragic circumstances.

Sounds like the people who say “never trust a Democrat who claims to be pro gun,” are right @sen_joemanchin

— Sean D Sorrentino (@sdsorrentino) December 17, 2012

It is a huge disappointment to see @sen_joemanchin support a gun ban and claim the Second Amendment is only about hunting.

— Sebastian (@SebastianSNBQ) December 17, 2012

West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin ran false campaign ads, shooting a rifle, claiming he supports 2nd Amendment, wants to ban guns.

— Mike Robbins-Backup (@MikeRobbinsUSA2) December 17, 2012

Does anyone know if it was an “assault weapon” that @sen_joemanchin used in his ad that he shot through the cap and trade bill? #GunControl

— Dan O’Brien (D) (@danobrien1972) December 17, 2012

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.

Pro-gun Sen. Joe Manchin (@sen_joemanchin) joined us today to talk about gun legislation. Here is our discussion:

— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) December 17, 2012

NRA member @sen_joemanchin on the #newtown shooting says “It changed me” #mitchellreports

— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) December 17, 2012

Manchin tweeted that “everything” needs to be on the table in this conversation.

Everything needs to be on the table, and I ask all my colleagues to sit down to talk about firearms, mental health and our culture

— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) December 17, 2012

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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.

So proud of my @sen_joemanchin for bravely speaking up about #GunControl … Thanks for being a voice of reason in the #chaos! Proud of YOU!

— Erin Iafelice (@ErinIafelice) December 17, 2012

Thank you Senator Joe Manchin for stepping up.I don’t know anyone that hunts with an assault rifle either.#controlhighcapacityshooting

— kim merryman (@kimluvzlife51) December 17, 2012

@sen_joemanchin is all over @cnn today and I could not be more proud ! I support you Joe for stand up for what you believe in ! #wvyoungdem

— Ian Aiken(@ian_aiken) December 17, 2012

…or used to believe in.

Amazing coincidence Manchin JUST got elected to a full six year term…

— Nathan Wurtzel (@NathanWurtzel) December 17, 2012

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