U.S. Senator Joe Manchin says he is just trying to have a discussion about ways to prevent future mass shootings like the one, last week, that lead to the deaths of 20 kids and more than half a dozen adults in Newtown, Connecticut.

“I’m not afraid to have these conversations and I know I’m going to get criticized,” Senator Manchin said on Wednesday’s MetroNews Talkline.  He was a guest on the show for the second time this week to talk about his position on firearm regulatory changes and what should be done after the Newtown.

“I am open to talking about how do we have a better society with less violence and not blame just the gun owner, because if you blame the gun owner, you’re blaming me,” the Senator said.

Host Hoppy Kercheval asked Senator Manchin if he will support California Senator Dianne Feinstein’s proposed bill to reinstate the ban on assault weapons.  That ban first took effect in 1994 and expired in 2004.

“I’m not supporting a ban on anything.  I’m supporting a conversation on everything,” Senator Manchin said.

“I can’t say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to any of the things because all I’ve asked for, I want the NRA to tell me why we have any weapon you might want.  Is there any grounds or any changes or anything they would like to look at?  I don’t know.  I can’t even get a conversation to have responsible people at the table to finally come out with a conclusion.”

In a statement issued Tuesday, the first since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, officials with the National Rifle Association said the following: “The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.”

NRA officials will be in Washington, D.C. on Friday for a news conference focused on the organization’s response to calls for additional gun control legislation in the wake of the Newtown school shootings.

Senator Manchin, though, says what happened in Newtown, when Adam Lanza, 20, opened fire at the school before killing himself, was not just about the weapons used.

“The gun didn’t shoot itself.  It didn’t commit that act by itself.  It couldn’t.”  The Senator says that’s why the response to Newtown must include large scale reviews of violence in the media along with mental health diagnosis and treatment in the United States.

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Comments

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  • Brian

    Mac you need to read the federalists papers so that you can understand the intent of the second amendment. Also the security of a free state, just imagine if you will we are invaded by a foreign military. Would you want to have a kitchen knife to protect your homeland, or a single shot rifle, or a smile. Would it not be better to have a high capacity magazine in a modern rifle. You can't ever rule this out we have made a lot of enemies over the years. Obama, and Bushes policies are almost identical and this in itself creates enemies. Wake up my friend, support you're constitution before its too late.

  • Brian

    John if it where not for the normal citizenry having guns in 1776 you would not be a free man today. A gun in the hands of a good law abiding citizen is a good thing. Just look at cities like Chicago where law abiding citizens can't have on and look at how many people die there due to thugs. Stop drinking the communist koolaid and go get you a gun to defend yourself with. I've never been the victim of a deadly home invasion, and pray I never do. If I ever am a victim I stand ready to protect my family. Shouldn't you? You won't have time to call the police and wait for their arrival if you are ever in this situation. Shouldn't you have the right to protect yourself and you're family? Don't you love them? If one of the educators would have been armed in New Town we not have seen all this calamity. Wouldn't it been better to here how a teacher killed this phsyco before he killed all those kids?

  • Brian

    The lunatic in New Town used two pistols to kill those kids and then shot and killed himself. Investigators found the AR 15 in the trunk of his car. Ask yourself how could have killed himself and then place an AR 15 in the trunk of his car. Then ask yourself who could have stoped him if he used a knife, or club, if no one had a gun to stop him. Is you're solution to outlaw all knives, forks, guns, and baseball bats too. wake up

  • brian

    In China where only communist regime has the monopoly on force, a mad man attacked a school and killed 17 with a knife. Common sense would tell you that if a grown man wanted to kill 6 year olds he would not need a gun. The bottom line is you will always have these sick and twisted types in every society. To pretend like you could do away with crime by doing away with guns is stupid at best. Just look no further than Detroit, Chicago, and new york city where guns are illegal, and the answer will answer you're own question. Just think of the outcome if the principal would have had a gun in Con. You should also getva gun to protect you and you're family. You never know when you will become a victim of violent home invasion. Criminals always want the path of least resistance no gun no fight.

  • B. Brown

    Michael you need not to look no where but at you're self for short sightedness. Even though breaking the law is illegal you will always have people breaking the law. In other words you will always have criminals the best way to deter them is with a gun. Lets say you're a victim of a home invasion by a group of thugs armed with baseball bats. Would you prefer to have a bat you're self, or wait 10-15 minutes on the ploice or would you prefer to have a gun to defend yourself. Answer honestly you never know when you will find yourself in this situation. I pray it never happens to you. Also you can take guns away from law abiding citizens but the criminal will always have one. The main stream media never covers stories where guns have saved lives. WAKE UP MICHAEL stop drinking the communist propaganda .

  • B. Brown

    I agree with you Mr. Simmons, educators should be armed. Our tax dollars pay to have AR 15's in Israeli schools its a shame that we can't take the same aproach here. Secondly the 2nd amendment is not up for debate Manchin is bound by law to uphold it and that is what he needs to do. Common sense would tell you that someone could come into a " GUN FREE ZONE" with a baseball bat and kill just as many kids. I call for the removal of all politicians attacking our freedoms.

  • Tyler

    @Mac if you do not like the 2nd Amendment you are free to move elsewhere. If the banning of firearms is so important to you may I suggest moving to a country whom already has this ban. There are 2 countries that have this ban that speak English and should make your transition easier. Have a Nice Day.

  • L Gill

    Gun FreeZones don't work we should already have conceald carry in schools. Police and armed guards in all schools is to expensive. Many of our school personal are already proficent with guns and have conceald carry permits. Give them the OK and start training others that want too. Our childern are sitting ducks while we debate and pass useless laws that don't do anything but punish law abiding people. Mass killers have mental problems and the only way you will stop most is with a gun.

  • Allen

    The citizens of this country have no business owning assult weapons. They should not be sold. They should be taken away. Anyone found in posession of one should be thrown in jail. There, I said it. Let the bashing begin.

  • Mike

    Hey Mac, another four people killed in Ohio this past weekend as result of a drunk driver. Driving the wrong way on the interstate. By your theory, all highways, cars, and booze should be outlawed.

  • WVEd

    Too bad no one has called out the fine Senator from West Virginia on his obfuscation of the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is not about duck hunting Senator, it is about all of us protecting ourselves from the likes of you!

  • richard

    Waffeling "JOE" is out for himself, his wants , his greed.
    Worthless as teets on a boar hog!!

  • richard

    Face it Hollywood is probably more responsible than anything else for this deal. The horror movies and the fact that nobody dies is a direct cause for the cavalier thinking of young minds. Shootings without consequences, fights with no injuries, show these young minds there are no consequences for violence. This deal was an inept child trained by an inept parent wthout a father in the family to temper the training.
    The do gooders will scream but remember the guns did not fire themselves.

  • J. R. Turpin

    The only way that we can prevent such tragedies is to allow school administrators to have a concealed weapon. My wife and I both have a concealed weapons permit.
    Wicked people will always find a way to kill or harm others, if by guns, explosives, knives or chain saws.
    Since God has been removed from the classroom we have raised up a generation without morals. Put God and His teachings back in the classroom.
    On the subject of assault rifles, as any hunter knows, there is no difference between an assault rifle and a hunting rifle except clip capacity. Both are semi automatic. Clip capacity can be reduced however the shooter could have additional clips. This may slow them down.
    Lets not mess with the right to bear arms. Get some ideas from the NRA if you want to pursue this further.

  • J. R. Turpin

    I am not a member of NRA, however I think it is a good organization. I agree with Mr. J.B. Simmons, administrators in all schools should carry a concealed weapon. So called assault rifles (I don't own one) are only semiautomatic just as hunting rifles are. They only look dangerous. Clip capacity can be decreased if necessary.
    My wife and I both have a concealed weapons permit.

  • Mac

    Well, I was hoping you could at least find something from this millennium... One incident in 25 years vs 16.. oops 17, this year. 3 people were killed (plus the shooter) with 2 PA Troopers shot just today.

  • Don Jr.

    You speak as I once thought. That was a couple weeks ago. It is too late now. You're either conservative in values or not. Our newly elected Senator is proving that he don't really know for sure what he is. If he had any higher aspirations he can put those to rest now. Voters on both sides of the aisle do not like flip flopping, they'd rather see a steady candidate.

  • John

    "The purpose of the 2nd amendment is to provide for national defense... "a well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State..." That speaks of defense of the State, not one's person. That defense is now secured by a professional military."
    Mac, that is wrong, wrong, and wrong. Do some research. The words body of people were actually seriously considered. There was no "military" and militia meant citizens armed and ready to defend this country. "Regulated" means disciplined and trained. The 2nd amendment was written to clarify the right not give it. It was written to clarify the God given right to protect from invasions by a foreign enemy and a domestic enemy such as a rogue government, and personal protection. All the bill of rights were individual rights, but the liberals try to pick the 2nd amendment and say it means state. Wrong.

  • Mike

    You asked, you received, and it only took about 30 seconds to find it. I'm sure there are plenty more of instances of DUI related mass casualties if I really wanted to find some more; however, if found, you would only come back with one more jab of I'll (you) always be right and you (me) will always be wrong. One last thing, for now, does the Fast and Furious debacle upset you? If so, what bothers you most about it? If not, why?

  • Mac

    The purpose of the 2nd amendment is to provide for national defense... "a well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State..." That speaks of defense of the State, not one's person. That defense is now secured by a professional military.

  • Mac

    Again, CHINA!!!!! The Chinese government would just as soon roll a tank over one of their citizens as save them.

  • Mac

    Well, I was referring to in the US. I think we all know how much the Chinese value life.

  • Mac

    More likely that he didn't want to face prison as he killed himself when police arrived.

  • Mac

    So there has been one such incident in the last 25 years. How many mass shooting have there been in that time?

  • Tim

    Can't wait to vote ol Joe out next election.

  • John

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=415028788565606&set=a.178324995569321.42684.178303555571465&type=1&ref=nf

  • John

    Four out of five of the top "mass shootings" in the history of the world happened in countries where no guns are allowed. That is a fact. How is taking guns away from law abiding citizens going to change that? The liberals don't want that fact exposed. The cities in the US with the highest violent crime rates are the ones with the most stringent gun laws. How's that gun control working out for you Chicago, Detroit, New York, and Los Angeles? Crime rates are actually lower now than when the assault weapons ban was in place. One of the first things Hitler did was disarm the public. The other was socialize medicine. That ship has sailed. Australia has seen a dramatic increase in violent crime since they outlawed guns. It doesn't work. And it won't work here. Take the citizen's guns and all that will be left are subjects. Don't even mention hunting. Hunting is but one use for guns and has nothing to do with the reason for the 2nd ammendment.

  • John

    Four of the top five "mass shootings" in the history of the world took place in countrys where no guns are allowed. That is a fact and one the liberals don't want exposed. So how is taking my guns going to fix anything? In the US, the cities with the highest crime rates are the cities with the most gun control laws. How's that gun control working out for you Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles? This isn't about keeping anyone safe. It is about controlling the subjects formerly known as citizens.

  • Dave Jackson

    All the talk, all the platitudes, all the gestures of mourning......we go through this spasm every time something like this happens, and nothing comes of it, but we somehow feel we have done our part for having done so.

    This latest occurrence will conclude itself no differently. We will merely add to the lists of massacres.

    We need to change our hearts and put the better angels of our nature back into our lives, our homes, our families, our conversations, our places of work, and our society. Only One can do that if we allow Him. No law can change human nature, save One.

  • James

    Not 27, but there have been many recent mass murders in China where an axe or sword was used. What are we going to do when we start facing IED's here in the states, ban fertilizer and diesel fuel, and the likes?

  • tomd

    joe does not have the truth in him but knows he can be re-elected for life if he wants to.

  • Stan

    Mac,

    Please do a little research and see how many children died this year as a result of assault weapons versus drunk drivers. You will quickly learn how invalid your comment is.

  • Jeff

    There is only one new piece of legislation needed to prevent this type of incident. And that pertains to the background check system created with the original Brady Law.

    Currently there is no way to verify, if in fact a person is telling the truth on the purchase background form regarding mental illness or conditions. The issue of a database regarding medications and or treatment of mental illness needs to be looked at. I say this to mean.....that there needs to be a way when purchasing a firearm.

    If someone is on these mood altering meds (paxil, ritalin, or even more powerful) or seeks mental health intervention there should be a system that flags them.

    As for Privacy and Hippa.....make it a requirement that the right to check is given by the person wanting to purchase for it to be checked. If they are unwilling.......Then they will just have to become a criminal, and steal one before they can possess it.

  • Jennifer P.

    I agree, you cannot legislate evil. We had a gun ban from 1994-2004 and that did not stop the Columbine shooters in 1999. Also, in 1995, we witnessed the Oklahoma City bombing which took 168 lives, including 19 children. Did they ban fertilizer, Ryder trucks, or nitromethane? My point is that evil doers will continue to do evil things. No way to legislate that. Only law abiding citizens will follow the laws put in place.

  • srober

    No, I've never heard of a drunk driver killing 27 people at once. Nor have I heard of a mass stabbing.

    But I have heard of mass bombings. Oklahoma City ring a bell? 168 people, including 19 children died. Don't think for one second that banning ARs will solve these problems. These sick individuals will always find a way to cause destruction. Whether it's guns, bombs, anthrax, etc.

  • Chalkdust

    As a matter of fact, the same day as the Conn. killings, a man in China stabbed 22 young children to death in school.

  • Kevin

    No constitutional right is absolute. None. Even the precious rights of the First Amendment do not permit complete unchallenged freedom of free speech, religion, press, assemble; they come with limitations. Laws are in place, have been, and are supported by the SCOTUS to guard against these absolute privileges.
    I hate to break it to you but that means the Second Amendment right to bear arms. The right to arms is not above reproach and it doesn't mean you have a right to own every conceivable weapon known to man and to always have a weapon in you.
    When gun advocates can get past this notion that the Second is somehow a sanctimonious right, the the senator is right, real intelligent conversations can take place. And there is now a time to do this, to listen to all parties. But taking the stand that there is no room for discussion is arrogant and foolish.

  • Chalkdust

    Really....."a gun is like a car". "A gun is made for death". I'm sure you have given this unfortunate incident in Conn. your best 10 seconds of thought. At some point the damaged young man looked at HIS revenge plan and thought, "what have I done"? The thought of it so horrorfied HIM, he shot HIMSELF.

  • Chalkdust

    Madam ..you seem profoundly ignorant about guns. Just what is an "assault weapons"? Come-on, give us the cool-aid drinker's best guess on the appearance/function of an assault weapon. Did an assault weapon make a material differences at the Conn. school or did the shooting just fall into Obama's creed, to wit; "never let a good crisis go to waste". Joe Machin is a camera hog and will say or do anything, even if he knows full well it's stupid. Don't encourage him.

  • zerotolerance

    You can not legislate human behavior! Gun laws are as ineffective as ATV helmet laws. Unenforceable and the only true intent is score point politicalys with the liberals of the party and those who vote for the party.

    All it will do is make it more difficult for law abiding citizens to make a purchase. The criminal element and mental heath deficent do not go to Wal-mart, Dicks, or the local gun shop to buy a weapon.

  • Bll

    While the nation focuses on gun control. Where is the discussion on the desensitizing of America as a whole? Scroll through the movies, televsions shows, video games, music videos that come out every day. We have no problem with these, and most of us on this discussion probably turn the channel. But what about all those that enjoy this type of entertainment? We tolerate this entertainment even when It diminshes the value of a human life but then are horrified when it manifests itself into a real life tragedy. Why should we be surprised anymore? Sen Manchin, while I applaud you for wanting a discussion on guns, let's have the entire spectrum opened for discussion, then action.

  • ShadyGrove

    A gun is a tool, just like a hammer, or a screwdriver. A person can kill you with anyone of the three if they choose to misuse them.

    As far as Joe goes, he is like any politician, you can't trust them any farther than you can throw them. Joe is always about Joe.

  • John Chase

    Florida has almost 900,000 responsible citizens carrying concealed weapons. While there have been a handful of abuses, crime rates have gone down faster than the national average. In the recent mass murder in Connecticut, the principal might have prevented it if she had had a weapon and the training Florida requires to issue such a license.

  • John Chase

    Yes, concealed carry should be part of the conversation. It baffles me that it is not.

  • Don Jr.

    The principles of the constitution are still good, they are very good in fact. They are timeless. We, in this country, have the right to self defense. I certainly do not want to be holding a musket when being threatened with the AR-15 you just mentioned. As usual, when trying to solve problems, the government is going down the wrong road here. We cannot tax, spend and LEGISLATE our way out of these messes. We need some real leadership from people who want to preserve our heritage and way of life as it is based in the US Constitution.

  • Mike

    In the United States the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 17,941 people died in 2006 in alcohol-related collisions, representing 40% of total traffic deaths in the US. NHTSA states 275,000 were injured in alcohol-related accidents in 2003.[1] The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimated that in 1996 local law enforcement agencies made 1,467,300 arrests nationwide for driving under the influence of alcohol, 1 out of every 10 arrests for all crimes in the U.S., compared to 1.9 million such arrests during the peak year in 1983, accounting for 1 out of every 80 licensed drivers in the U.S.[2][3]

    It appears cars do kill as many, or more people, every year, as guns. And here's the kicker, Nobody has the right to bear cars.

  • Mike

    A bus driver with a string of motor vehicle offenses and a history of substance abuse was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs Monday after his casino-bound charter bus ran into a ditch, killing eight people.

    Investigators also said the bus had an invalid license plate, and they were looking into whether the driver had proper permits to operate the vehicle. The bus ran off the road Sunday while taking passengers to a Sacramento gambling hall. About 30 people were injured.

  • Stan

    The bottom line is that one unstable person murdered those kids and teachers. Unfortunately, this is just the world we live in and we have to move on. Anyone who feels that gun control is the answer is both naive and ignorant. It's a Constitutional right. Check your emotions at the door please and let's have a rational discussion.

  • Mike

    A church bus—a former school bus—full of children riding home from a theme park was hit by a drunk driver named Larry Mahoney, driving a pickup truck near Carrollton, Kentucky in 1988.

    The impact of the pickup did not even wake some of the sleeping children on the bus, but the fire and panic that erupted did. The accident caused the front right leaf spring of the suspension to puncture the unprotected fuel tank, next to the front door. The leaking fuel caught fire and the front door was instantly engulfed in flames. Most of the 40 people who survived the crash—some severely burned—shoved their way out the back rear exit. 27 people, mostly children, were not able to make it out the only exit and were killed by the fire.

  • Shadow

    So isn't Life!

  • johnny

    i bet you don't believe in the death penalty either.letting criminals out of the pen for good behavior is a crock of bull. they did the crime they should have to pay for it. the justice systems should take any assets they have to pay for there time behind bars. it should not come from tax payers money.

  • Mac

    The constitution was written in 1783. This was before the center fire cartridge was invented, let alone the AR-15 with 30 round magazine. The writers of the constitution could not have possibly imagined a weapon that could discharge 30 shots in a handful of seconds. One man with an AR-15 would be more than a match for an entire colonial regiment....

  • Mac

    When is the last time a drunk driver took out 27 people in a single crash?

  • Mac

    No. It would be like a drunk driver killing 27 people. When is the last time you heard of a mass stabbing where 27 people were killed by one person in a span of minutes?

  • Don Jr.

    I take issue with the Senator not understanding that guns are also used in self defense and as a deterrent to crime, as well as, hunting and recreational target shooting. This is a basic and fundamental right afforded to us by our founding fathers in the US Constitution. We have to protect all of our rights as set forth in this document. I find it disturbing that our Senator and so many Americans do not understand this.

  • hillbilleee

    Is there any possible way we can get him impeached for misrepresenting WV

  • d. kennedy

    Mr. Manchin is missing the great opportunity. He should stand by the constitution in the RC Byrd manner and partner with the NRA to make the effective changes. With J. Biden in charge of this issue, Mr. Manchin's chance of staying in the spotlight will wain. He should take the High Ground on this issue and do that from a conservative stand point, not a liberal one. He has a calm manner about him and the general public needs to hear his voice. I feel he could use this issue to gain the recognition that is necessary for a run at the Presidency. The Clinton's and Obama have great power, but it's time for them to be moved aside and let the real people of this country rule. Mr. Manchin's strongest constitutient is the sane, common sense citizen...couple that with his strongest contributor and order will prevail. Again, partner with the NRA and put together a plan...the high ground is not relinquished to the victor...it is taken... good luck.

  • johnny

    Of course there is a problem. But not with the guns. That was just his tool of choice. If a gun was not available to him he could just as easily used a knife or some other weapon. Blaming the guns is like blaming a vehicle for a drunk driver killing someone.

  • John Maddox

    A gun was made for DEATH no matter how you try to cover its reason. For being.

  • John Maddox

    A GUN IS LIKE A Car. It becomes a agent of death when not respected for its real power.

  • Barbara

    I have been behind you for years. Don't back down now. Stand your ground. Now of all times. NO one need an asasult weapon. they are of no use. Look what it has done. How many more has to be killed. For God sakes stand your ground.

  • Kathy

    Jay on the fence again, surprise, surprise.

  • Michael

    I applaud Joe Manchin for breaching on this subject. I can't believe that you people are all so short sighted that if something is not done these things will continue to happen. Picture yoursef standing at the Newtown Fire Department waiting for your son or daughter to come out and they never do. You still not willing to at least try something or admit there is a problem?

  • Jim

    Addendum to previous post: IMO,Joe appeared on "Talkline" for two reasons. The first is as I stated in the previous post. He's "walking back" on his national TV comments after the backlash from West Virginians. Secondly, the Liberal media would not give him airtime on national TV to "walk back" on his comments because it doesn't fit the Liberal media's mold of pimping for Obama and the Liberals of his party.

  • Jim

    It appears that Sen. Joe is "walking-back" his comments on national TV. Maybe, just maybe, he and his various offices received the backlash that was directed toward him for his comments. The demonstration planned for Saturday in front of his Charleston office will not play well for him and he's trying to "soften" it. The true Joe shows up just as it did when he was governor. He will say anything or do anything and pander to any group to get reelected then, when he's successful in getting either reelected or called on his stance of panding instead of representing the people that (re)elected him, he vascilates and "walks-back" on his position.
    Maybe one of the most dangerous places in DC may be getting between Joe and a camera. We may see Joe & Charlie Schumer have fist fights for camera time in the hallowed halls of Congress.

  • CaptainQ

    No one and I mean NO ONE backpedals better than Joe Manchin. Remember how well he 'moonwalked' away from supporting President Obama during this year's Primary and General Elections? He along with Earl Ray Tomblin and Nick Joe Rahall even went AWOL during the Democratic National Convention so they wouldn't be seen voting for him on the convention floor.

    Mojo now has realized he did the old "open mouth, insert foot" drill with his earlier remarks promoting gun control. The words "Gun Control" are even MORE poisonous to WV citizens than the words "Barack Obama." As least Jay Rockefeller, to his credit, has remained silent on the matter (he's up for reelection in 2014).

    GO JOE! Show us how well you backpedal! Give us all that famous "Joe Shuffle!"

  • protechcpa

    The idea of additional gun laws is knee jerk arising from a political agenda on one side and a desire not to appear unsympathetic on the other. Additional gun control will come from this, but with no positive effect. You cannot legislate sanity. Someone lacking mental balance will not be deterred by new laws. Even if Congress could waive a magic wand and make all the guns disappear, does anyone believe a mentally unstable person would not just move on to using a vehicle or something explosive or setting fires in order to reign terror on large numbers of innocents? This is a much deeper issue and taking guns from the hands of law abiding citizens, which by the way are the only ones obeying gun laws, does nothing more than leave us all more vulnerable to this kind of madness.

  • J.B. Simmons

    I love to hunt and I love to shoot. I'm also the principal of a school. If Senator Manchin really wants to help, please give a SRO or allow administrators in the state to carry concealed as they do in some states. I'm allowed to shoulder the responsibility for the safety of my students, but I have no way to help them if a person bent on doing harm enters my building. Am I supposed to hold them off with my pencil? Thank you.