From Buffalo to Uvalde and now Philadelphia, the nation has been reeling from a string of mass shootings from the last few weeks.
Some Democrats, like President Joe Biden, launched new gun control proposals a few days later. “I deliberately did not engage in a debate about that with any Republican in — when we were down consoling the families in Texas,” Biden told reporters last month.
Now another Democrat is joining the chorus: West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a conservative and frequent Biden rival.
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“We know we can do something that would have prevented this, raising the age, making sure that the age at least gives us a chance to work with that person, seeing, evaluating, having a little maturity to them,” Manchin told CNN’s Manu Raju, who said that he had caught Manchin after a bipartisan negotiation on guns.
Manchin continued, “The second thing is that we know that the red flag laws do work, as long as there’s due process.”
The senator also fielded questions about whether to bar 18-to-21-year-olds from purchasing all guns.
“That’s where it is for everything except for rifles and long guns right now, or if it’s just for these high-capacity weapons. Whatever they want to do, I’m open to doing for something that makes sense,” he said.
“I never thought I had a need for that type of hyper-high-capacity automatic weapon. I like to shoot, I like to go out and hunt. I like to go out sport shooting. I do all that. But I’ve never felt I needed something of that magnitude.”
Take a look —
Manchin told me that a final deal should include two things: Raising the age to 21 for purchasing semi-automatic weapons and standards for state red flag laws. He's also open to an assault weapons ban. On people needing AR-15s? "I never felt I needed something of that magnitude." pic.twitter.com/GYUlx1Nhkp
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) June 6, 2022
While Manchin apparently remains in bipartisan talks, far-left House Democrats have unveiled a slew of gun bills.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., tweeted that the House would soon vote on a “red flag” bill authored by Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Ga. McBath has become outspoken about gun violence since the gun-related murder of her son.
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Meanwhile, Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., remains at work on the Protecting Our Kids Act.
The bill seeks “to provide for an increased age limit on the purchase of certain firearms, prevent gun trafficking, modernize the prohibition on untraceable firearms, encourage the safe storage of firearms, and for other purposes.” However, it also opens the door for exceptions.
Nadler’s staff described it as a complicated mix of eight previous bills, while speaking to CNBC last month.
Other Democrats have produced even more radical bills.
On Twitter, Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia claimed to be writing a bill for slapping certain rifles with a 1,000 percent tax.
These bills stand a slim chance of overcoming Republican opposition in the Senate. A gun bill would likely need 60 votes in order to overcome a filibuster.
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Congress must act to prevent mass shootings.
I’m writing a bill to restrict the flow of weapons of war into American communities – including AR-15’s and high capacity magazines – that could bypass the filibuster and pass with just 50 votes in the Senate:https://t.co/dXFRFftYxu
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) June 5, 2022
Congress must do more to #EndGunViolence. During the first week of the June work period, I will bring @RepLucyMcBath’s bill to the Floor to establish a national “Red Flag” law to prevent those who pose a threat to themselves or others from being able to legally possess a firearm.
— Steny Hoyer (@LeaderHoyer) May 25, 2022
Of course, all these bills are moving through the Congress in the wake of the most recent mass shooting on South Street in Philadelphia.
Gunfire from several shooters killed three people and wounded at least 11 others in a popular Philadelphia entertainment district late Saturday night, authorities said.
Police officers were patrolling the area on South Street in central Philadelphia at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday when they heard multiple shots. Racing to the scene, they found several people with gunshot wounds lying on the sidewalk and in the street and began to render aid, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said.
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Another responding officer saw a man on a street corner firing a handgun into a large crowd about half a block away, Outlaw said. The officer drew his weapon and fired several times, and police believe the man was struck before he dropped his handgun onto the sidewalk and fled, Outlaw said.
A police statement said the dead were 34-year-old Gregory Jackson, 27-year-old Alexis Quinn, and a 22-year-old man who was not identified. Investigators believe one of the three killed was involved in “a physical altercation” with another man, and those two began firing at each other, with both struck by gunfire, Outlaw said.
The other two people who were killed and a number of wounded, who ranged from age 17 to 69, are believed to have been innocent bystanders, Outlaw said. She called it “a dark day” for the city when many people out enjoying a beautiful evening were victims of “horrendous and unthinkable acts … in a very popular local and tourist hangout.”
“People were coming off the street with blood splatters on white sneakers and skinned knees and skinned elbows,” Walsh said. “We literally just were balling up napkins and wetting them and handing them to people.”
The Horn editorial team and the Associated Press contributed to this article.