Joe Manchin (Says He) Supports Raising the Age to Buy Semi-Automatic Weapons to 21

He's also open to an assault weapons ban, apparently??? But there's one big catch.

Politics
Joe Manchin (Says He) Supports Raising the Age to Buy Semi-Automatic Weapons to 21
Photo:Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/For The Washington Post via Getty Images (Getty Images)

Congress is considering finally taking some action on gun control following horrific mass shootings in Buffalo, New York. Uvalde, Texas; and smaller ones that happen every day that are equally tragic even if they don’t generate as much press coverage.

Democrats are pushing the “Protecting Our Kids Act,” which would ban large-capacity magazines and raise the age at which people can buy semi-automatic weapons from 18 to 21. Yes, in America, you can legally purchase a weapon designed to explode human bodies before you can buy a White Claw.

In a primetime address last week, President Joe Biden timidly called for an assault weapons ban: “We need to ban ‘assault weapons’ and high-capacity magazines. And if we can’t ban assault weapons, then we should raise the age to purchase them from 18 to 21.”

Sen. Joe Manchin (“D”-West Virginia)—a man who not once but twice fired a bullet into a bill for a political ad—told CNN today that he not only supports raising the semi-automatic purchasing age to 21 but that he’s also “open” to the idea of banning assault weapons. Manchin also told a local outlet last week that he wasn’t opposed to a ban, but rather “open to a discussion.” That local outlet, WV Metro News, wrote that “Manchin is a long way from supporting a ban, but the fact that he is not opposed to the possibility is significant.”

These statements were music to my ears for about one second until I remembered that Manchin doesn’t support ending the filibuster, so any gun control bill would need 10 Republicans to vote for it in order to clear the 60-vote threshold.

It’s a lesson ripped from The Susan Collins School of Saying You Support Something That You Know Has a Snowball’s Chance in Hell of Passing.

Put up or shut up, Joe.

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