As a lifetime member of the NRA and proud Second Amendment supporter, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) issued the following statement about the need for public action in the aftermath of the tragic shooting in Newtown.
"This awful massacre of our youngest children has changed us, and everything should be on the table. We need to move beyond dialogue -- we need to take a sensible, reasonable approach to the issue of mass violence. I ask all of my colleagues to sit down with a seriousness of purpose to address the causes of these tragic crimes, including mental health treatment, military-style assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and our culture, which seems to glorify violence more than ever in our video games and movies.
"Furthermore, this conversation needs to include those of us who strongly support the Second Amendment of our Constitution, because we, too, are proud parents who want all our children to have a safe place to learn and play. All this can be discussed while still protecting our Second Amendment rights.
"Finally, I know that all Americans will continue to pray for comfort for the families of these children and the women who gave their lives to protect them at school. They will always be in my prayers, Gayle's prayers and the hearts of the people of West Virginia."