West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin has made no secret of the fact that he’s frustrated with his time in Congress. A recent article at RealClearPolitics reports that the Mountaineer solon and former two-term governor considers the time he’s spent in the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body “the most unproductive years of my working life.” Between his failure leading the left’s Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble style charge for gun control in 2013, and now the president of his own party vetoing the Keystone XL pipeline bill (which Manchin strongly supported — how’s that for thanks?) Joe’s had a tough row to hoe . . .
If you’ll excuse my mixed metaphors, these setbacks apparently don’t mean that Sancho Manchin has stopped tilting at the gun control windmill. Lately, the Huffington Post tells us, he’s taken to commenting on matters that are up for consideration back home in West Virginny:
Joe Manchin…is a self-described “law-abiding gun owner, hunter, card-carrying life member of the National Rifle Association and Second Amendment advocate.”
But on Thursday, he said he “strongly” opposes an NRA-backed bill in West Virginia that would nix permit and training requirements for people carrying concealed guns.
“I have always supported a West Virginian’s right to bear arms,” Manchin said in a statement. “Senate Bill 347 would allow a person to carry a concealed gun without a permit or requirement of safety training and that is irresponsible and dangerous to the people of West Virginia.”
The bill passed the state House earlier Thursday, and the state Senate on Wednesday. Still, Manchin said it was a bad idea.
“There is not one West Virginian whose Second Amendment rights will be infringed without this bill,” Manchin said. “In West Virginia, we believe in gun sense, which is common sense, and it only makes common sense for concealed carry applicants to receive proper training. I commend the brave legislators who voted no and represented their constituents who know that this is irresponsible.
I suppose the bill is “irresponsible” or “dangerous” only to the extent that a training requirement is all that stands in the way of violence perpetrated by gun-wielding Mountain Staters. Of course, open carry without a license (and therefore without a training requirement) is already the law of the land in West Virginia. As it is in neighboring Virginia.
Does Senator Manchin think that ‘constitutional’ open carry in both Virginias is irresponsible or dangerous? If so, why isn’t he pushing to outlaw it? If not, how does he make a distinction between the two? Because surely if walking around with a mousegun in an open, but easily missed cellphone-sized holster without training is somehow dangerous and irresponsible, how does covering the gat with a jacket improve things?
Of course, one only needs to head north from West Virginia into the Keystone State to encounter a place where constitutional open carry exists (in all but Philadelphia), and licenses are shall-issue, cost $20, and require absolutely no training whatsoever.
Does Senator Manchin mean to imply that the Keystone State is a more dangerous place to visit than West Virginia? Or are Pennsylvanians somehow more morally and mentally able to cope with the responsibility of carrying a firearm without state-mandated training?
C’mon, Senator. I know you’re frustrated and pining for the days when you were a successful governor rather than a failing U.S. Senator, but these were prepared remarks. Think them through next time.