I am a proud West Virginia gun owner. I have never been a member of the NRA. I believe Americans should be free to own guns. However, I do think that there ought to be laws governing what guns are available and who can own them. You, sir, could also state, "My bill will not require that we paint Mars blue." Or, "My bill will not require elephants to swim the English Channel." Either of those provisions would make your bill equally effective in curbing gun violence.
Can't we pass a law that bans the sale of big clips and new assault rifles without making anyone turn in their guns? You, sir, could take a stand for reasonable gun owners. You, sir, could make West Virginians proud by spearheading a movement that actually takes logical steps to curb gun violence.
I was proud of you on Dec. 17. I really was. I bragged about you to my friends all over the country. Now I am eating my words.
Your new position seems to be that there is no need to legislate gun purchases or clip sizes because regulating such sales would infringe on the rights of responsible citizens and only responsible citizens buy guns and big clips.
By that same logic, you should introduce a bill that simply outlaws all laws. After all, only irresponsible, non-law-abiding people break laws, so responsible law-abiding people don't need laws. If we pass a law outlawing laws, then only outlaws will obey laws.
I agree with you that we need to keep our Second Amendment rights. I believe Americans ought to be able to own guns. I want to be able to pass my guns along to family members, and I do not want a national registry. But banning the sale of new assault rifles and big clips will not instantly create, nor perpetuate a sudden and unavoidable fascist state. Somewhere between the NRA and Diana Feinstein there lies a solution to this problem, and that solution could start with you, Sen. Manchin, if you would just muster the courage.
Good luck with my mother.
Lepp, of South Charleston, is a storyteller and writer.