Sen. Pat Toomey is avoiding talk of gun control but fellow firearms supporter Bob Casey seems to be easing his stance in the wake of Friday's schoolchildren massacre. From Colby Itkowitz at the Morning Call:
In response to a question on whether he would support a ban, Casey's office issued a statement saying addressing violence "will require a comprehensive strategy that acknowledges all of the factors that contributed to this tragedy and takes every appropriate step to protect our citizens, especially our kids."
West Virginia's GOP chairman, Conrad Lucas, isn't happy about Joe Manchin going on TV yesterday to say he's rethinking gun control:
"This event should not be politicized. Our nation is in mourning for the tragic and senseless loss of these young souls. Joe Manchin's classless timing reveals both how insensitive and opportunistic he is. How dare Senator Manchin use a horrible situation to gain favor with liberal Washington insiders. The West Virginia Republican Party will absolutely not bring up platform stances on such a hot button issue while funerals are being planned. We strongly urge Senator Manchin to retract his comments, consider the needs and emotions of the families involved and leave politics for another time. A national discussion on preventing such catastrophes should and will take place later. Announcing such a position is cold, heartless, callous and embarrassing for West Virginia. Before Senator Manchin plans any trips to Iowa, he should reflect on how he has humiliated himself and our state."
Paramount delayed the Saturday premiere of Pittsburgh-filmed "Jack Reacher" due to the shooting but Tom Cruise will be back in town today for a subdued curtain-raiser. Cruise was on Letterman last night, writes Barb Vancheri:
"Pittsburgh looks fantastic," David Letterman said last night in talking to guest Tom Cruise about "Jack Reacher." The talk show host said he noticed more and more films were being shot in Pittsburgh – as Cruise called it a beautiful city with more bridges than Venice – and then asked about Iron City beer and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Quote of the day -- and maybe the year -- goes to Range Resource's Matt Pitzarella, in response to fracking criticism actor Mark Ruffalo, who is also filming in Pittsburgh:
"It's hard to react without also knowing where Iron Man, Thor and the rest of the Avengers stand regarding clean-burning natural gas," Mr. Pitzarella said. "We have to assume that Captain America supports domestic energy."