It's time to talk about both banning assault weapons and how the nation treats those with mental illness, one of the Senate's most notable "gun rights" Democrats said today.
Friday's mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., "has changed where we go from here," West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said on MSNBC's Morning Joe show.
"Never before have we seen our babies slaughtered," said Manchin, a member of the National Rifle Association and a hunter. "This has changed the dialogue and it should move beyond dialogue. We need action."
He lauded both Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who has said she will introduce legislation to ban new assault weapons, and Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., who has called for a national commission to study the causes of mass shootings.
Manchin, who said he had been deer hunting over the weekend, said he doesn't know anyone who hunts with an assault weapon — and that he never puts more than three rounds into his rifle when hunting. "Sometimes you don't get more than one shot anyway at a deer," he said.