On Tuesday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) faced questions about his recent gun control push in West Virginia and the growing divide him and the NRA. He responded to these things by claiming the NRA used to pro “gun culture” but now it is pro “big business.”
In other words, Manchin suggests it is no big deal that the NRA opposes him because the NRA isn’t what it used to be.
According to The State, Manchin also defended his massive 2013 gun control push by suggesting NRA members are actually pro-gun control — on some things — but the NRA is “afraid” to ask them about it.
To be fair, Manchin did not use the word “gun control” but referred instead to “gun safety.” This is a shift Salon magazine began teeing up in an interview with Moms Demand Action’s Shannon Watts following the shellacking gun control candidates took in the 2014 mid-terms. In that interview, Salon printed “gun safety” instead of “gun control” as a way to show the language has to be changed from something the American people have already rejected to something that sounds less nocuous to freedom.
Manchin is doing the same thing with his purposeful use of “gun safety.” He says the NRA was once known for “promoting gun safety and gun culture. [But] it’s moved from that now to be big business.” Yet Manchin stressed that he “is still a proud member of the NRA.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.