Manchin's 2nd Amendment: Moderate Dem Offers Alternative Gun Reform Plan

By Charles Susswein | Friday, 20 May 2022 10:40
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On Monday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) reiterated his backing for legislation to expand gun background checks while further calling for “mental illness reform” in the wake of the weekend’s mass shooting in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo.

Manchin mentioned the bipartisan legislation he and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) first brought up years back when prompted on Monday about recent calls made by lawmakers for gun reform in the days since the Saturday shooting, which ended in 10 people dead and three wounded.

“We can’t even get Manchin-Toomey, which didn’t violate anyone’s rights. It just said there should not be a commercial transaction unless there’s a background check,” Manchin announced. “It’s the most, I think it’s the most agreed upon, it’s the most accepted in the country and we can’t even get that done.”

“So, I don’t even know what to expect. Are we going to another vote for the sake of taking a vote? Let’s do some mental illness reform. My goodness,” he stated before stressing he is “for Manchin-Toomey.”

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Manchin is referring to legislation he and Toomey first introduced roughly a decade ago — only months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting — that attempted to mandate background checks for all gun commercial sales.

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His remarks come after Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) declared on Monday that he would be heading to Buffalo along with President Biden after the shooting. Schumer said he’ll be visiting the families of the victims and local officials still investigating the attack.

Schumer called the shooting the deadliest in the history of the city, and the “worst mass shooting in America this year.”

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Officials have announced the shooting was motivated by racist hatred, after the suspect, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, was found to have pointed to the so-called great replacement theory in writings before the shooting. Eleven of the victims were identified as Black in the shooting, while Gendron is White.

Meanwhile, Republicans strongly rejected the notion that their party’s rhetoric added to the shooting this weekend. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said Schumer’s comments were “a vile attempt to use a tragedy to score political points, it sounds like to me,” while Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) called the Democratic leader’s speech “sick.”

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“You had at the same time in California a Chinese immigrant targeting Taiwanese people. Who are we supposed to blame for that one?” Rubio stated. “No one is promoting a theory of going in and shooting up a place. I don’t know anyone who’s called for that. And frankly, they turn everything into a political weapon.”

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