Will Joe Manchin Pose a Threat to Gun Rights?
The common perception heading into the Biden presidency is that West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin will be one of the most powerful Senators in the next few years.
Given the conservative nature of Manchin’s West Virginian constituents, he has had to take several moderate positions and not move lockstep with the Democrats’ leftist faction. For example, Manchin has already gone on record against getting rid of the filibuster — an idea that is popular among progressives in the Democrat Party.
However, on the Second Amendment, Manchin will likely fall in line with his anti-gun Democrat colleagues, As Cam Edwards reported at Bearing Arms, Manchin told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he is willing to move gun control in the next congressional session. However, he wiggled his way out of Tapper’s question about banning modern sporting rifles.
“There has to be responsibility in gun ownership. I’m not going to eliminate people having their gun,” Manchin answered. “They shouldn’t be scared to death of Democrats on their Second Amendment, taking their guns away. … So no, we’re not going to take people’s guns away, but there are things that we should not have in people’s hands.”
West Virginia is known for having solid gun laws that make it easy for lawful individuals to possess and carry firearms. In light of this, Manchin has to take a measured approach to wedge issues like gun control lest he wants to face the wrath of West Virginia’s rabidly pro-gun voters.
However, we shouldn’t forget that Manchin teamed up with Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook massacre to push a universal background check bill. Grassroots pro-Second Amendment activists were able to defeat this anti-gun scheme, which left Obama and company disappointed. Additionally, pro-gun organizations such as the National Association for Gun Rights made a name for themselves in 2013 by exposing this bipartisan gun grab. Manchin can go the anti-gun route like most of his Democrat colleagues and he’ll try to find squishy Republicans to help propose “reasonable” forms of civilian disarmament.
Gun owners will likely have to step up again to confront another set of gun grabs. Democrats are now much more radicalized and they’re looking to exploit nationwide hysteria following the January 6th incident to ram through gun control. As always, right-wingers will have to remain vigilant.