This morning, Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), who has received an "A" from the National Rifle Association, said this morning on MSNBC that there should be dialogue on changing gun control policies, "I want to call all our friends in the NRA, sit down and have this discussion. Bring them into it. They have to be at the table. We all have to."
Manchin was appearing on Morning Joe, and explained, "I just came with my family from deer hunting. I’ve never had more than three shells in a clip. Sometimes you don’t get more than one shot anyway at a deer," adding, "I don’t know anyone in the hunting or sporting arena that goes out with an assault rifle. I don’t know anybody that needs 30 rounds in the clip to go hunting. I mean, these are things that need to be talked about."
While the massacres at Aurora, Fort Hood and Tucson were terrible, Manchin says the Newtown shooting, which claimed the lives of 26 educators and children at a Connecticut elementary school, was the absolute limit for him, "I think opening up and seeing a massacre like this, of innocent children, it’s changed things. It’s changed America... Never before have we seen our babies slaughtered. It’s never happened in America that I can recall, ever seeing this type of carnage. Anybody, anybody that lives in America, anybody that’s a proud gun owner, anyone that’s a proud member of the NRA, they’re also proud parents, they’re proud grandparents. They understand this has changed where we go from here."
It's believed that suspected shooter Adam Lanza used a Bushmaster .223-caliber semi-automatic rifle to kill the 20 children and 6 adults at close range (many have multiple gunshot wounds). While some want the rifle banned, gun rights advocate Philip Van Cleave told the Washington Post that it's "absolutely a blast to shoot with... [Bushmasters are] fast. They’re accurate," adding, "Guns are fun, and some of them are much more cool than others. It’s just like we have television sets that look cool, and others are much more boxy."