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Shell-shocked U.S. Senator: ‘Time to change gun culture’

December 17th, 2012
05:28 PM ET

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin has an “A” rating from the NRA (National Riffle Association), which is the most powerful gun-rights lobby in the United States. But the massacre at a Connecticut elementary school last week has prompted him to call for “total change” in American gun laws.

 

 


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soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. NRA Member

    Well I guess that his 'A' rating is going to go down as is his campaign contributions from gun owners and the NRA. Knee jerk reactions are not what is needed here.

    Keeping the nut job from getting his 15 minutes of fame is.

    December 17, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Reply
    • catatomic

      Not sure a call for dialogue is a knee-jerk reaction. And since this is not the first massacre to happen in the recent past, I don't think that discussing the topic is an overreaction. At what point do we try to do something about these killings? Next time? The time after that? Is the opposite of a knee-jerk reaction the same as never doing anything?

      December 17, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Reply
      • ChrisM106

        When the issue is preventing mass killings and the proposal right out of the gate is gun control, it's pretty obvious the discussion is already rigged.

        December 20, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  2. Plication

    Words, words, words! Obama and the rest of the politicians don’t have the guts to ban guns. They will talk, pray and attend church services but that is all they will do until the next massacre happens in a few months and will do it all again. They are frightened of the gun lobby even though the majority of Americans would be quite happy with a total ban on guns.

    December 17, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Reply
    • Angela Birch

      A politcian doesn't have the power to ban guns. If Congress voted to do so and the president signed it it almost certainly would be overturned by the court.
      Would it be good idea to clamp down hard on many weapons owned by private citizens? yup. Can it happen? doubtful.

      December 17, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Reply
      • Plication

        How about having a vote to repeal the Second Amendment? I think most people would support it. If not, then we, as Americans, are basket cases and the laughing stock of the developed world.

        December 17, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
  3. Ed

    OK Congresional DEMs.......your boss kept his job by not promoting gun control BEFORE the election. He is "safe" now. The days will be counted up to NOVEMBER 8, 2016, we will remember who advocates gun control. Republicans included. The killer broke 4 laws (murder of his mother, stheft, minor possessing handguns, gun on school property)before he entered the school building, now will we see knee-jerk proposals? Our country was not built on mindless emotion....NOR WILL IT BE TORN DOWN WITH SUCH.

    December 17, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Reply
  4. veteran who hates media bias

    1) The rifle used in the killing was not a military weapon – it was a semi-automatic rifle which looks like, but does not operate like a military weapon
    2) Semi-automatic rifles are not assault rifles – assault rifles are capable of fully automatic fire
    3) Semi-automatic hunting rifles and shotguns have been around much, much longer than the "black guns" currently being demonized – the black guns are ugly and high capacity clips are available but that does not make them assault rifles
    4) Ms. Amanpour is incorrect in her statement regarding gun violence in areas with strict gun control laws. Cases in point Washingtion DC and Chicago – pure propaganda on her point
    5) If one wants to kill innocent masses there will always be a way to do so – e.g., T. McVey in OK City

    December 17, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Reply
    • Angela Birch

      Don't really care about the senamtics of gun classification. Some call them semi automatic and some do not.
      What matters is keeping any of these weapons out of the hands of feckless careless gun owners who fail to decure their weapons and insane homicidal idiots. For all I care you can call them blueberry pie. But hunters do not need them. Any "hunter" who needs to have this sort of weapon to hunt deer or turkeys is too inept to be out with a gun.
      Yes there will always be people willing to kill and able to find a way to do it, but I prefer not to make it easy for them.

      December 17, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Reply
      • veteran who hates media bias

        I do care about semantics – having been on both sides of automatic weapons I would much rather deal with the business end of a semi-automatic as opposed to an automatic. And for that matter, the second amendment has nothing to do with hunting. Again, more than just semantics. Unfortunately the loss of the second amendment will be followed by loss of the first amendment.

        December 20, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
      • ChrisM106

        Yep, hunters tend to use scoped bolt-action rifles like Charles Whitman did when he murdered 13 people in Texas, or shotguns of the type used by Huberty or Clyde Barrow.

        December 20, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Plication

      You can never stop all those who are determined to kill. Timothy McVeigh constructed quite a complex bomb that required weeks of preparation. With a gun, in a flash of an emotional moment, a person can take out the lives of countless people. If guns were totally banned, as they are in most civilised democracies in the world, it just makes it harder to commit mass murder.

      December 17, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Reply
      • Ed

        Nope.

        December 17, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
  5. Ed

    November 8, 2106. We will vote out those who work to take our gun rights. The laws are in place already. That election begins today.

    December 17, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Reply
    • John

      Ed, what you don't realize is that you are in the minority, and a shrinking minority at that. The majority of Americans want more gun control. And it is us, not you, who will vote out politicians who are bought and paid for by the gun lobby.

      December 17, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Reply
      • Ed

        You are incorrect, John. Read unbiased news and realize it does not require higher math to see your error.

        December 17, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
  6. Ed

    How dare Obama capitalize on this horrible tragedy to further his gun control agenda. How dare he.

    December 17, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  7. Ed

    Obama is using this horrible tragedy to further his pre-existing gun contol agenda. How dare he.

    December 17, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Reply
    • Plication

      Do you support the right of citizens to own flame throwers, rockets and other military hardware? If not, why not as the same arguments that the gun lobby uses would apply to them as well.

      December 17, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Reply
      • Ed

        To answer your question.....no.

        December 17, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
  8. Sean

    This is stupid... ban the crazy people..l think every law abiding citizen should be armed to prevent things like this happening.wake up people, go to your local gun store take classes on how to safely use your gun and carry it with you..I do...

    December 17, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Reply
    • Paul

      Sean – "Ban the crazy people" – are you serious? ... I hope you have no people with mental illnesses and/or other neurological disorders that make them different (and seriously stigmatized) in your family. These are the people you call "crazy" in many cases. This is a tragedy that has deep consequences and gun control and mental health are both probable root cause issues. But lack of mental health is not something you choose, carrying a gun yes. But, actually, let's listen to you, tell me how you will ban "crazy" people? and tell who these people are please, and how you will identify them.

      December 17, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Reply
    • Angela Birch

      OK you think wandering around with a gun is somehow safe??? So did this killer's mother. She was a gun enthusiast who failed to secure her weapons.
      You can't ban crazy people however anyone who failes to secure their weapons at ALL times is definately in the crazy catagory. I own weapons and unless I am currently using them they are secured in a safe bolted to the house with the ammunition kept in a seperate safe. They are only loaded at the range. If I had a mentally unstable child, or any child fro that matter the weapons would not be kept at home. No I am not worried that the bad guys are going to break into my home nor am I worried about the "big evil government". I just like to shoot at targets. I consider the legal owner of these weapons as contributing to the deaths.

      December 17, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Reply
    • Angela Birch

      OK you think wandering around with a gun is somehow safe??? So did this killer's mother. She was a gun enthusiast who failed to secure her weapons.
      You can't ban crazy people however anyone who fails to secure their weapons at ALL times is definately in the crazy catagory. I own weapons and unless I am currently using them they are secured in a safe bolted to the house with the ammunition kept in a seperate safe. They are only loaded at the range. If I had a mentally unstable child, or any child fro that matter the weapons would not be kept at home. No I am not worried that the bad guys are going to break into my home nor am I worried about the "big evil government". I just like to shoot at targets. I consider the legal owner of these weapons as contributing to the deaths.

      December 17, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Reply
    • Jeff

      The day Obama tells his secret service they don't need to carry guns is the day I will consider giving up my guns. The day that all law enforcement including the FBI no longer carry is the day I no longer need to carry. You think these groups will give up their guns? No way. Why? Because they know there are bad people out their that seek to do harm. Why shouldn't I be able to protect myself and my family from those bad people? Why should the government be allowed to prevent me from protecting my kids? I am a responsible gun owner. I have been trained and I follow the laws. The 2nd amendment may be inconvenient to you anti-gun folks, but it was put there by our founders for good reason.

      December 17, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Reply
      • Grow Up

        I got rid of my handgun recently. I am hesitant to get rid of hunting rifles/shotgun, I do like the sense of security; but having kids, I have to be realistic that it is much more likely that they will cause an accident than allow me to protect my family. As I said in other postings, for me this is about trying to grow up, and think for myself, not just own guns because I grew up in a gun-friendly environment.

        December 18, 2012 at 8:41 am |
      • yari

        You do realize that if our police men dont give up their guns is because they are suppost to have them, to protect us....Thats their job, im prety sure that's how our country runs, we give up some of our right in order for officials to represent us, and take desitions for us. Our representatives are not just some stupid people who dont know what they are doing. They have an education, and im sure that they consider your worries, as much as i worry to be in school and getting shot by a sick minded person.

        January 30, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
    • TR4

      Sean that could be the dumbest comment ever and It is obvious your gun laws in the US don't work. The more people that carry guns the more people will die from them. You need to look at the gun laws of other countries. They seem to be working here as our gun crime is exponentially lower than yours. guns are not banned here, just those that we know are not used for hunting and only for killing people.

      December 17, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Reply
  9. Grow Up

    Can't believe that we are sacrificing so much for toys. I shot them when I was young and stupid. But you grow up, and realize the safety risk outweighs any protection benefit. Still have two rifles and a shotgun, but strongly feel we need to ban all handguns and high capacity rifles.

    December 17, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Reply
    • TR4

      Grow Up, that is exactly what is needed. Let's hope your country will wake up and make those changes. If you did make those changes your gun deaths would drop by a huge amount.

      December 17, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Reply
  10. Babak from LA

    I love my guns and collect them. I was a gun dealer for a few years, hunt and love the sport of shooting; with at said my love for children, yours or mine, is greater than my love for the guns. Yes, it is legal to buy but not everyone has the mental capacity to own one. I saw that first hand when I was a dealer. I would be willing to turn my assult weapons in. Not to mention all guns must be locked in a gun safe where they can not be stolen.

    December 17, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Reply
    • Grow Up

      Makes sense to me.

      December 17, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Reply
    • Jeff

      Gun bans won't have any effect on criminals. You think they are going to say "damn, guns are now illegal....guess I will have to go to plan b". Gun bans will only effect law abiding citizens and make us sitting ducks. You people just don't get it, do you....let me repeat... gun bans will not have any effect on people that seek to use guns to kill innocent people. Please familiarize yourselves with the book More Guns, Less Crime by John Lott. He is a Yale professor who actually tried to prove that more guns lead to more crime and ended up finding the opposite.

      December 17, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Reply
      • Ed

        Precisely....thank you Jeff.

        December 17, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
      • Plication

        But if they know they will get an extra mandatory 5 years imprisonment for being in possession of a gun if they commit a crime they may think twice before carrying one. It has worked in other countries. Are we so different that it wouldn’t work here?

        December 17, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
      • TR4

        Jeff your out to lunch. How do you explain Canada's gun crime rate to yours. 12000 in the US and 50 in Canada. I own guns and almost everyone I know has hunting guns. The only difference is our restrictions on handguns and certain guns that have no use other than killing people. Canada doesn't ban all guns. If you get rid of the handguns then it will be much more difficult for criminals to get guns and the police can focus on getting those guns off the streets. Canada has probably just as many guns per person than the US we just restrict the ones used strictly to kill people. I have no need for a handgun or assault rifle and they should be severely restricted in your country as well. That John Lott guy is an idiot.

        December 17, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
      • Babak from LA

        Jeff I disagree & agree with you! I will keep my guns, of course ... Let's face it criminal will get them regardless of the laws ... But a kid (an angrey 20 year old) will not just be able to go into the closet and pull one. It will not stop crazy, but it will make a difference ... not everyone has the contacts to get an illigal assult rifle.

        December 18, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
      • John Ericsson

        Then the Yale professor should have visited another country to benchmark. For instance, we have gun control and less killings per capita then US. Then again, so have the majority of all nations except Afgahnistan, Iraq, Sudan and Ethiopia.

        December 18, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  11. Don

    Why not start by passing legislation that makes any crime involving a gun a capitol offense with no appeal process

    December 17, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Reply
  12. shawn

    I wonder how this affects the American tourism industry. I for one has always admire the amazing natural scenery in america and always wanted to go sight seeing. But the fact that people in america own guns is just very scary and it just shot my desire to visit out of safety reasons. This latest news and news before this just makes the point even stronger. If tourism is a significant source of income to america, changes need to be done.

    I wonder why ordinary people needs to carry guns? If the reason is for protection, I think thats the job of the police/military and the law. I have no objection for hunters, but how about when the hunters die, how will the guns be disposed off or would it be inherited to non-'hunters' family members and open for possible misuse?...

    December 18, 2012 at 12:12 am | Reply
    • Ed

      SUre Shawn, I want to wait 11 minutes for the police to get to my house when I call 911. Say no to drugs, Shawn.

      December 18, 2012 at 12:31 am | Reply
      • Chiwheels

        All the arguments being given here are based on emotion. The hard fact is that you are 100 times more likely to be a victim of a gun homicide in the US than you are in the UK where there are strong gun laws.

        QED nothing more needs to be said.

        December 18, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  13. meghanlq

    Reblogged this on Wild Columbine and commented:
    This is the gun debate we need to have.

    December 18, 2012 at 3:29 am | Reply
  14. sally

    ??? How many more deaths do they need to grow up? If people are shot, was there a change, could the whole story be different? It seems the gun lobbiest are embracing fatalism. But you can't give everything in the hands of everybody!

    Look once the people in stone age discovered how to deal with fire! There was a thunderstome and they manage to save a little bit of this fire to keep it. Someone had to safeguard this at the beginning. Imagine sometimes later fire was privatized: everybody was able to run around with an open fire – Probably there was much confusion and the invention was said to be wrong! Don't you think it is time to come out of stone age and see, that running around with open fire isn't helpful in complex and overcrowded societies? What is a gun? Every cardiac pacemaker is more important for the individual person than a gun!
    I don't understand how people feel safe because of their gun! I would be frighened to use it! Why don't they take a dog? Here in Germany a big dog that can kill people, must even wear a muzzle. The whole argumentation is crazy. You can't controll the insanity of every single thought in a person's mind, you can't controll every movement and crazy plans of everybody. But you can minimize the risks of being killed through the tragic thinking and failing of individuals. That's probably a small platform from which you can start.

    December 18, 2012 at 5:29 am | Reply
  15. roflstomper

    Two words:

    Anders Brevik

    December 18, 2012 at 8:08 am | Reply
    • Grow Up

      We agree it also happens abroad, sometimes in countries with strong gun control laws–but with far less frequency. Banning these toys will not end all mass killings, but it should reduce them significantly.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:31 am | Reply
      • roflstomper

        What troubles me is the direction the debate has taken; a sort of obvious surface level response to a problem that seems to have much deeper roots.

        What problems does American society have that creates these type of killers? Are we to accept that the United States has X number of potential psychos at a much greater rate than the rest of the world?

        I mean let's be realistic. Why does government think it can solve these types of problems with temporary bandaids like "gun bans"? Killing humans isn't that difficult if a person puts his mind to it and is crazy enough.

        Imagine a well built maniac with a logger axe in a closed room with 30 kindgergardners. I know this isn't the type of image want to have in their mind right now; but just use some rationale to really understand what happened here.

        The fact that all we're talking about is banning guns because the weapon of choice happened to be a gun is ridiculous. There is something terribly wrong in this nation for these out of the blue massacres to be occurring.

        The fact that people blame guns is a cowardly way of avoiding the real problems beneath the iceburg.

        December 18, 2012 at 8:42 am |
  16. K lee

    America is like a barbaric country, 20 children got killed and still arguing about this type of semi wont kill etc, the fact has killed 20 children, what else gun incapable of doing killing? If you arm the teacher and the teacher goes insane, who going to shoot the teacher? America should build a school right inside police station or jail to be safe from those freak gun owners. This kid must has been possess by out side force that so hate america and using black magic. Gun owner could turn into terrorist anytime if being possessed because America worship Gun more than worship God specially holy group called themselves a conservative group include churches.

    December 18, 2012 at 9:16 am | Reply
  17. fred maxine

    Congress is a re active group versus a pro active group – don't do anything until something triggers it. We've had numerous mass killings and have we done anything? NO! I bet if a Congressman's son had been a victim things would get accomplished.

    December 18, 2012 at 10:04 am | Reply
  18. Grow Up

    To the anti-assault weapon ban people: what is your proposed solution to reduce incidents of mass killings?

    December 18, 2012 at 11:18 am | Reply
  19. helove

    Some interesting points have been raised in this discussion. I would like to put down what i presume to be facts;
    *I agree with the writer who says Semiautomatic handguns and semiautomatic assault rifles that fire many rounds in a minute were not envisaged by the founders nor do they do much more to enhance self-defense than an ordinary pistol or rifle.
    *There is a direct correlation between gun violence and the higher the number of civilians possessing guns.
    *If i was always armed, i genuinely doubt if i would not have killed a person by now because i have experienced bullying, abuse beyond what i can take, assualt by armed thugs etc. I think a vast majority of People experience temporary insanity at one point in thier lives.
    *Look at the case of U.K and Australia how their changing of gun laws brought down gun violence sharply.
    *People with power who don't want changes are ones of the least likely to experience gun violence.
    *Imagine a world without any tool of destruction

    December 19, 2012 at 7:33 am | Reply
  20. Rogar

    The problem for americans is not guns, it is culture. You love violence and destruction so much that you have developed an industry around that. And for those who are threatening pro-gun control politician, let me tell you that you don't have that political power anymore...

    December 19, 2012 at 9:06 am | Reply
  21. Jonathan onche Edeh

    Of course i am not happy about the fact that innocent young kids have been murdered by an assault weapon in the hands of a mentally deranged man, but shouldn't America and Americans, and President Barack Obama be ashamed of themselves that Gun control is now an issue because the weapons of warfare are now turned against its people. While many more innocents have been killed in many countries by weapons sold to evil men by this world highest gun seller of a country....i ask, what laws should be passed to safe guard the lives of many innocents in other countries...the very kind of evils or death that the weapons of destruction from America has caused...America is guilty of these deaths, and now should also lick her wounds, or rather feel the pain others feel in their countries...however, let me refresh the minds of Americans on the second world war: after Adolf Hitler was done taking away the guns from the people, he pounced on them and was able to carry out his totalitarian evil plans against his people. So let's be careful with how we go about giving the government to much power at the detriment of protecting ourselves.....or one day we will watch history repeat itself.

    December 22, 2012 at 5:43 am | Reply
  22. mac loo

    If we have by far the most deaths by guns in the world then either guns are the cause or the society we have developed is. Either conclusion requires action. The numbers tell the story that the U.S.A. is the most dangerous place in the world for children who live amidst 270 million guns.

    December 22, 2012 at 9:16 am | Reply
  23. Tornade

    The politic men are dolls in the hands of the economic power, they concern just to continue in the power, life of others is just an issue. Here in Brazil is the same, a book with 1000 pages is not enough to write the cases of abuse.

    December 23, 2012 at 11:41 am | Reply
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