While the rash of school and public shootings did little to drive the will of legislators it appears as if the Sandy Hook tragedy just might. For far too long too many politicians have been too afraid to stand up to the NRA about reasonable regulation of guns and ammunition. Sadly it appears to have taken the very public deaths of children to move some in Washington to realize that some things are worth fighting for. Now, a even a Conservative Democrat and long-time NRA member seems to be waking up.
Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who has long opposed gun control laws and has a lifetime "A" rating from the NRA now realizes that we have a definite problem and is calling for all sides to have a common-sense discussion on how to address it:
"I just came with my family from deer hunting," Manchin said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "I've never had more than three shells in a clip. Sometimes you don't get more than one shot anyway at a deer. It's common sense. It's time to move beyond rhetoric. We need to sit down and have a common-sense discussion and move in a reasonable way."
"I want to call all our friends in the NRA, sit down and have this discussion," he said. "Bring them into it. They have to be at the table. We all have to."
"This is bigger than just about the guns," he said. "It's about how we treat people with mental illness, how we intervene, how we give them the care they need, how we protect our schools."
"Never before have we seen our babies slaughtered," he added. "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."
And of course he is right. We once had a Brady Bill that was sensible and did a lot of good but even that was unacceptable to the gun lobby. It went by the wayside.
While all of us here at Hillbilly Report believe in all freedoms for all Americans, including the second amendment I feel that Americans as a whole need to realize one thing. In too many places far too many folks who have not the mental capacity to use them are finding it far too easy to get automatic weapons and all the ammunition needed to inflict massive death. Even upon children.
And this is a problem that did not begin in Sandy Hook. While it has magnified the problem to the whole country for years now children have been getting killed by stray bullets in cities big and small all over our country. These deaths are just as inexcusable as the ones at Sandy Hook.
This time instead of just knee-jerking against anything no matter how sensible that regulates weapons and ammunition I hope that gun owners will come to the table and realize one thing. Our children are more important than being able to buy an AK-47 and hollow-tip bullets with no background check or waiting period on the street corner. None of us want to take guns from law-abiding Americans, we want to keep guns from the criminally insane who would use them to mass murder.
The NRA has issued an exclusive response to Hillbilly Report for all these shootings and the rising need for new regulations: