Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) Acknowledges the Artificially Generated Stampede

images-10Joe Manchin, the recently elected senator from West Virginia has often been viewed as someone who brings a common sense approach to big government.  His town hall meetings throughout our state have been well received.  He has demonstrated a penchant for listening to the problems of everyday Americans.

Senator Manchin addressed my concerns regarding the potential for artificially generated stampedes in this letter.

joe manchin response
Not only did Manchin acknowledge the problem, he demanded answers.  Here is an official response from Joe Thornton, Director of Military Affairs and Public Safety for the state of West Virginia.

Joseph Thornton response
Joseph Thornton response page 2

From his days as a state legislator to his six years as Governor to his current role, Senator Manchin has always been committed to a philosophy of “retail government” – in other words, connecting with all of his constituents and making service to them his top priority.  I can attest to this having personally attended one of his town halls at West Virginia Northern Community College in January of 2011.  This particular stop was labeled as a “Call for Common Sense” with a focus on job creation.  His intention was to hear from citizens outside the beltway.  Manchin, like many others, realize that the mammoth U.S. government bureaucracy is ill-equipped to handle all future challenges.

Manchin has exhibited a willingness to take unpopular stands.  In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, he demonstrated a desire to craft stricter gun legislation.  He reached across the aisle to Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) pushing for enhanced background checks.  Although the bill ultimately died, it was a bold effort championed by the freshman senator.

This came on the heels of an emphatic endorsement from the gun lobby.

Fairfax, Va. – The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) is endorsing Joe Manchin for U.S. Senate in West Virginia.  “Joe Manchin is committed to protecting the Right to Keep and Bear Arms guaranteed to all Americans,” said Chris W. Cox, chairman of NRA-PVF. “His strong dedication and voting record have earned him an “A” rating from the NRA-PVF, and we proudly endorse him for re-election to the U.S. Senate.”

I believe Joe Manchin would be an ideal “point-man” to broach my concerns in the halls of Congress.  Based upon the following:

  • Manchin’s common sense approach to solving problems mired in big government bureaucracy
  • his decision to risk an “A” rating and directly oppose the NRA’s stance on background check legislation
  • his willingness to engage in bipartisanship
  • his determination to buck public sentiment in a very pro-gun state and likely face the backlash and future political consequences

Publicly acknowledging the artificially generated stampede would appear to have a
very limited upside, especially in the realm of political capital.  Considering his
track record, I believe Senator Manchin may be more receptive than his peers in
acknowledging the potential to asymmetrically deliver mass casualties via the
induction of mass panic.

If a politician who became nationally famous for the campaign ad “Dead Aim” is willing to firmly oppose the NRA, he would seem like an ideal candidate to support putting human safety ahead of the government’s entrenched status quo as it pertains to established, outdated stadium evacuation protocol.

Please consider contacting Senator Manchin and airing your concerns regarding this matter.

Senator John Rockefellor who announced plans to retire at the end of his term did not respond to my concerns.