Manchin: Gun Control ‘Made Sense’ in 2013, And ‘It Makes Sense Now’

File photo of Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
Dave Martin/AP

During a Monday appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) defended his post-Sandy Hook gun control push as something that “made sense” in 2013 and something that “makes sense now.”

Host Joe Scarborough approached the subject by talking about how he and Manchin came from different backgrounds — one a Republican and the other a Democrat — yet they found common ground in “[talking] about the need for background checks” and about how they “disagreed with the NRA” post-Sandy Hook.

Scarborough said to Manchin: “You caught a lot of flack in your district and in your state for [pushing expanded background checks]. Are you going to campaign supporting background checks in [the future]?”

Manchin replied:

It made sense. For me to dodge, it would have been easy to just keep quiet on that coming from a gun cultural state and not saying a word and getting the wrath of anybody. But the bottom line is, it made sense. Treat me, as a gun person that I am, treat me as a law-abiding citizen. Don’t look at me that I’ve committed a crime just because I own a gun and like to go shooting and hunting. On the other hand, I’m going to make good gun sense decisions. I’m not going to sell to strangers. And if I go to a gun show or on the internet, I want to know who that person is and vice versa. That still makes sense. It made sense [in 2013], it makes sense now.

There’s only one problem: Manchin’s gun control push did not make sense in 2013 nor does not make sense now.

It did not make sense in 2013 because background checks weren’t even part of the equation in Adam Lanza’s heinous attack on Sandy Hook Elementary — Lanza stole his guns.

That’s why Manchin admitted the very gun control legislation he was pushing in response to the Sandy Hook attack would not have stopped Lanza from carrying out his slaughter in the first place. Manchin made this admission a mere three days before his bill was officially rejected by his Senate colleagues.

Manchin said to Scarborough: “Treat me, as a gun person that I am, treat me as a law-abiding citizen. Don’t look at me that I’ve committed a crime just because I own a gun.”

This is the exact sentiment the American people, including West Virginians, have been trying to get across to Manchin for over two years. Quit treating us like criminals just because we own guns, and quit assuming we are not smart enough to know when we should or shouldn’t sell a gun to our neighbor if he wants one, or to a co-worker if we need the extra money. Quit assuming we need government intervention to sell a gun to a fellow church-goer whose daughter needs a revolver for self-defense on her college campus.

Remember, nearly all the high-profile gun crimes referenced ad nauseam by the media during the past nine years were not committed by people who bought their guns in private sales. They were committed by people who bought them through the very same checks Manchin wants to require for every sale in the country.

Jared and Amanda Miller (Las Vegas), Aaron Ybarra (Seattle Pacific University), Elliot Rodger (Santa Barabara), Ivan Lopez (Fort Hood 2014), Darion Marcus Aguilar (Maryland mall), Karl Halverson Pierson (Arapahoe High School), Paul Ciancia (LAX), Aaron Alexis (DC Navy Yard), James Holmes (Aurora theater), Jared Loughner (Tucson), Nidal Hasan (Fort Hood 2009), Seung-Hui Cho (Virginia Tech), and Naveed Haq (Seattle), all passed background checks for their guns.

How does pushing more background checks make sense?

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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