The frantic Democratic drive to jam gun control legislation through Congress is meeting resistance in the substantial form of Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
“No, I don’t support what the House passed,” Manchin told CNN on Tuesday regarding two gun bills the House passed this month. “Not at all.”
In the wake of a Colorado shooting Monday that left 10 people dead, Democrats have flooded the airwaves and the halls of Congress with calls to ram home the gun bills.
But Manchin refuses to budge. He told CNN he believes if any such law passes, it should be one he authored with Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania in 2013 after the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut.
“I’m still basically where Pat Toomey and I have been: The most reasonable, responsible gun piece of legislation called Gun Sense, which is basically saying that commercial transactions should be background checked. Commercial, you don’t know a person. If I know a person, no,” the senator said.
Manchin’s stance matters because Democrats cannot afford to have any defectors if they want to pass legislation in the Senate, where each party can summon 50 senators to vote its way with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking any tie in favor of her party. The gun control bills would need 60 votes to overcome a likely filibuster, which means losing any vote at all makes passage even more remote.
Although previous House-passed measures died in the Senate in the days when Democrats controlled the House and Republicans the Senate, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said Tuesday that “this Senate will be different” with Democrats in charge, CNN reported.
President Joe Biden is also prodding Democrats to attack guns.
“I don’t need to wait another minute, let alone an hour, to take commonsense steps that will save the lives in the future and to urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to act,” he said Tuesday.
In addition to tougher background checks, Biden said he supports bans on what he called “assault weapons” as well as high-capacity magazines.
Manchin, however, said he is not in favor of what Biden and House Democrats want.
“I come from a gun culture, and I’m a law-abiding gun owner who would do the right thing. You have to assume we will do the right thing. Give me a chance to,” he told reporters at the Capitol on Tuesday, according to Newsweek.
The Democratic frenzy over guns was shot down by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday.
“Every time there’s a shooting, we play this ridiculous theater where this committee gets together and proposes a bunch of laws that would do nothing to stop these murders,” Cruz said.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) during gun violence hearing:
“Every time there’s a shooting, we play this ridiculous theater … Democrats propose taking away guns from law-abiding citizens … it makes it worse.”pic.twitter.com/yXUHsj6qG0
— The Recount (@therecount) March 23, 2021
“What happens in this committee after every mass shooting is Democrats propose taking away guns from law-abiding citizens because that’s their political objective,” he said.
“Let’s target the bad guys, the felons, the fugitives, those with mental disease,” Cruz said. “Let’s not scapegoat innocent, law-abiding citizens, and let’s not target their Constitution.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.