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Two pro-gun senators say it's time to rethink our gun laws
IMAGES of innocence, pictures of the fresh faces of the victims of Sandy Hook, remind us that we never, ever want to see another such horror. Prevention, however, is a multi-faceted job--and one of those facets must be a hard look at current gun laws. Two pro-gun senators agree.
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., has been a strong supporter of the Second Amendment rights, with an A-minus rating from the NRA to prove it. But after the slaughter of 20 small children with a military-style rifle, he now says that "the status quo isn't acceptable."
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., agrees, even though he's an NRA member and a gun-rights advocate from a gun-friendly state. In a recent campaign, he demonstrated his abhorrence of cap-and-trade legislation by producing an ad that showed him shooting a copy of the proposed law--a dramatic example of his comfort with guns.
But Mr. Manchin says that, after Newtown, it's time to take action on gun laws--and that the gun lobby should be part of the fix. "Never before have we seen our babies slaughtered," he said. "Anybody that's a proud gun owner, anybody that's a proud member of the NRA, we're also proud parents. We're also proud grandparents."
A new Reuters/Ipsos poll indicates that the senators' changing views may reflect those of the general population:
50 percent of those polled support stronger gun laws (up from 42 percent in previous polls).
60 percent support a ban on automatic weapons (up from 54 percent).
84 percent support background checks for all gun purchasers (up from 77 percent).
One way to honor the Sandy Hook victims--and lower the odds of another mass killing--may be a willingness by many of us to rethink long-held views on guns, especially those that can kill so many so quickly. Kudos to Mr. Warner and Mr. Manchin for leading the way.
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