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Joe Manchin, West Va., Democratic Senator, says school shooting 'has changed where we go from here'

7:22 PM, Dec 17, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- The massacre of schoolchildren in Connecticut may be shifting the political dynamic in Washington.

Two Senators who in the past have gotten "A" grades from the National Rifle Association are now demanding a change.

West Virginia's Joe Manchin, a conservative Democrat who famously fired a hunting rifle in a campaign ad, now says its time to consider new gun regulation. "Anyone who's a proud gun owner, a proud member of the NRA, they're also a proud parent or grandparent. They understand. This has changed where we go from here."

Sen. Manchin says no one he knows goes hunting with an assault rifle or a high-capacity magazine. "This has changed the dialogue. And it should move beyond dialogue. We need action."

Manchin's not alone.  Virginia's Mark Warner, a moderate Democrat, says his daughters asked him Friday night, what he's doing to keep children safe. "When these kindergarten kids were massacred, it's time to put aside these Rs and Ds, and come up with a reasonable approach to restrict access to the most violent weapons."

The NRA has taken it's Facebook site private... leaving gun control advocates to take over.

And a petition on the White House website urging the President to act has broken records.

But there are still many in Congress who think more gun rights, maybe an armed Principal, might have saved those children's lives."So when she heard gunfire, she whips it out and takes him out before he hurts those precious children," said Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas)

The question: whether all those funerals will leave supporters of assault rifles and high capacity magazines in the minority.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California says she will introduce legislation next year to ban new assault weapons, as well as big clips, drums and strips of more than 10 bullets.

Written and Reported by Bruce Leshan
9News Now & wusa9.com
Twitter: @BruceLeshan

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