Monday, Dec. 17, 2012 | 12:01 p.m.
Sen. Harry Reid echoed President Barack Obama’s strong signal Sunday night that Congress has a responsibility to address Friday’s massacre of 20 children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., by changing some laws.
But what specifically, neither Reid nor the president is saying.
“Part of the healing process will require Congress to examine what can be done to prevent more tragedies in towns like Newtown, Conn., Aurora, Colo., Oak Creek, Wis., or Portland, Ore.,” Reid said. “As President Obama said last night, no one law can erase evil, no policy can prevent a determined madman...but we need to accept the reality that we’re not doing enough to protect our citizens.”
Reid called for a change in the “laws and culture that allow this violence to continue to grow” and said “every idea should be on the table as we discuss how best to do just that.”
He stopped short, however, of calling for a national discussion on gun control.
In the few days since the Newtown tragedy, several Democratic lawmakers and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg have come out with impassioned pleas to address gun control at the federal level, at least with a bill to revive the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004.
According to authorities, gunman Adam Lanza used a semiautomatic Bushmaster .223 rifle when he gunned down his victims. The weapon, and the other firearms used in the massacre, were registered to his mother, Nancy Lanza, who was shot to death at her home.
The latest voice to join the call for a debate on gun control is conservative Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, an avid sportsman who maintains an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association.
He told the hosts on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” this morning that it was time for everybody, including NRA members, to have an honest discussion about gun control.
“I don’t know anyone in the hunting or sporting arena that goes out with an assault rifle,” Manchin said. “I don’t know anybody that needs 30 rounds in the clip to go hunting. I mean, these are things that need to be talked about.”