Come on, have a heart. You have to feel for Senator Joe Manchin. At least a little. It’s been so hard for him since Sandy Hook. Put yourself in his shoes for a minute. He sold himself to the red-trending voters of West Virginia as someone with whom their gun rights would be safe, Democrat party affiliation or not. So to show his independence from his party’s orthodoxy, he plugged a copy of the Obama-supported cap and trade bill with his real-gun-owner huntin’ rifle to soothe all those Mountain State coal miners. And he wore his NRA A rating like Hester Prynne. Mission accomplished! Joe managed to get himself elected to the Senate, filling Bobby “I’m Moving As Much of the Federal Government to West Virginia as I Can” Byrd’s seat. And he was reelected to a full term in November. Then came Newtown . . .
That’s when the cracks appeared. A-Rated Joe began to waver in his much-touted Second Amendment support. He said he was “changed” by the horror that was Sandy Hook and signaled that no matter what he he may have posted to YouTube during that long-ago campaign, he was open to “common sense” gun control measures. For the children.
There was only one problem with his little epiphany — it didn’t sit well with the home folks. And they let him know about it in no uncertain terms. So Ol’ Joe, who can’t be accused of not knowing which way the wind’s blowing, tacked back the RKBA way. The most dangerous place in Washington suddenly became the space between the Senator and anyone who even looked like a member of the press who’d quote him as saying he won’t take away West Virginians’ guns.