McCain, Manchin agree — assault-weapons ban going nowhere

posted at 12:31 pm on January 14, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

CBS reports that opposition is “hardening” to the proposal to reinstate the so-called “assault weapons” ban in the Senate, and that the White House may be seeing the enthusiasm for its gun-control push ebbing away.  Yesterday, both Republican John McCain and Democrat Joe Manchin opposed the idea of reinstating the ban while on Sunday talk shows, although Manchin hedged his opposition a bit.  McCain, however, gave a flat-out “no” to Bob Schieffer’s questions on Face the Nation about whether the Dianne Feinstein bill would pass, and whether it should:

Manchin told Candy Crowley on CNN’s State of the Union he would oppose the bill if offered as “stand alone” legislation, arguing that the problem requires a much more comprehensive solution:

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said Sunday that a stand-alone ban on assault weapons would not win passage in Congress, and that the effort to curb mass shootings must include a broader discussion involving the entertainment industry and mental health issues.

“An assault weapons stand-alone ban on just guns alone, in the political reality we have, will not go anywhere. It has to be comprehensive,” Manchin said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

This morning, Major Garrett toldCBS This Morning that the rush to legislate has started to decelerate, and that Biden’s failure to mention the ban as an option sent an interesting signal:

One day before Vice President Joe Biden is due to present his task force’s recommendations on how to deal with a culture stained with escalating gun violence, it’s growing increasingly dubious whether that report will include a plea to reinstate a ban on assault-style rifles. Even if it does, opposition is hardening on the right.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Sunday on “Face the Nation,” that he does not think an assault weapons ban can pass Congress, nor should it, according to McCain. “That’s not the right way to do it, ” he said.

And, some of President Obama’s Democratic allies — like West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who sounded off on the urgency of gun control measures after Newtown — are now seeking a slow-moving Washington commission. …

Monday on “CBS This Morning,” Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, said it’s “interesting” that Biden did not mention an assault weapons ban in his various press moments last week while meeting with groups to approach the issue of gun violence. But, King qualified, “it may be in the recommendations ultimately.”

CBS also took note of Chuck Schumer’s call for retailers to voluntarily stop selling so-called “assault weapons” in advance of Congressional action, but … don’t expect them to pay much attention.


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