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Iowa Voters Give Chuck Grassley F*CKING EARFUL On Why He Won't Do Jacksh*t About Guns
Oh how sad.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) faced a pretty feisty group of voters at a town hall in Columbus Junction, Iowa, Wednesday, and did his level best to avoid saying anything at all about whether he would support any limits at all on guns following the horrific string of mass shootings in the past three weeks. (Yes, the racist massacre in Buffalo, New York, happened on May 14, not several months back.)
A small crown of around 20 voters pressed him on what he was prepared to do about guns, but all he'd say was that there's no point in talking about what he might support until bipartisan negotiations between Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) result in proposed legislation. Politics blog Iowa Starting Line says Grassley framed his vagueness as a principled effort to let the negotiations proceed without pressure, don't you see:
Yesterday, they had a meeting by Zoom and they had very positive results, and they think they have a framework put together that something can be done to stop this violence through some gun legislation and through some school safety issues. To answer your question, I’m going to wait until they report next week before I decide what I’m going to do.
Mind you, Grassley was all sorts of sad about the massacre in Uvalde, Texas, because it's "a sad commentary when we have somebody who can kill all the kids that were killed, you’d think the safest place to go, to send your kids to school is the safest place," he explained, not that he's willing to protect kids by stemming the easy availability of military-grade weapons. Maybe armored stairwells are the answer. Or dugout trenches in classrooms, how about that? Those could have the added benefit of bringing All Quiet on the Western Front to life.
For some reason, some people in the audience didn't seem to appreciate Grassley's commitment to staying noncommittal for the sake of the process. Several objected to Grassley's longstanding opposition to any sort of gun reform, like when last December Grassley blocked Sen. Chris Murphy's attempt to make all gun sales subject to federal background checks. Instead, Grassley offered an "alternative" that would slightly enhance information-sharing used in background checks, while weakening red-flag laws and making it easier to transport guns and ammunition across state lines.
One woman in the audience at the town hall objected, "You have been filibustering gun reform. My daughter’s a teacher, my daughter-in-law is a teacher. You are risking their lives.” She also wondered aloud why Grassley hadn't traveled to Texas to do some thinking and praying with the people o f Uvalde, which was pretty rude since by law, Republicans are only allowed to go to Texas to wave machine guns at Mexico from police patrol boats. (Fine, Grassley hasn't gone on one of those junkets, as far as we know, but it's Friday and we love reliving the Apocalypse Now gags.)
““You are risking their lives,” one woman said to Grassley about her family members who are teachers. Grassley said he’s waiting on the Cornyn/Murphy negotiations on new gun safety legislation to see how they turn out”
— Iowa Starting Line (@Iowa Starting Line) 1654189854
Later in the meeting, Grassley also defended his vote to protect gun manufacturers from liability lawsuits, explaining he believed "an honest business ought not to be sued for something that somebody else does" with its products, although folks in the audience pointed out that's not the case for most products that aren't specifically designed to put lethal holes in people.
Another audience member called for a ban on AR-15s, but Grassley patiently explained to that hothead that there are something like 15 million of them in circulation, so why bother? (Iowa Starting Line points out it's more likely 20 million of the things .)
““You’re still going to have AR-15s even if you stop selling them right now,” Grassley said.
The answer is not to do nothing!” one woman in the back of the room yelled in response.
Grassley, ever the gentleman, did not reply that he's made a career of doing nothing and sees no reason to change that.
The grim old bastard also said, again, that while he wouldn't take a position on anything yet, he loves him some Second Amendment, adding that if a red flag law came up, he'd make sure it protects "due process" — code, as before, for making such protective orders as narrow as possible so that fewer dangerous people lose their guns.
As for his own firearms use, Grassley said that he hadn't shot a gun "in probably 20, 40 or 50 years," although he does own "one little gun" that he hasn't fired since either the GW Bush, Reagan, or Nixon administrations, who can remember? "So you aren’t talking to someone who loves guns, I don’t hate guns, but I do protect people’s constitutional rights.”
Finally, near the end of the meeting, general contractor Max Hilton said that if action isn't taken on guns, things could get pretty ugly in this country:
“Nothing’s progressed I’d say for 40 years. We’ve been in stasis,” Hilton said to Grassley. “We haven’t fixed guns. We haven’t fixed drugs. We haven’t fixed social injustice. We haven’t fixed the immigration system. I’m not indicting you personally, I’m indicting the whole group.”
Hilton added that he felt some people were buying up AR-15s because they’re preparing—and hoping—for a civil war.
“You guys need to get it together,” Hilton said. “Because if you don’t get it together, there’s some people out amongst us that are going to become more violent. And we are this close to that happening. One more election like we just had, and these shenanigans that gone on for two years with people, ‘well I’m not sure it’s a fair election or not’ … that stuff’s gotta stop.”
Grassley replied that bipartisanship is nice, but don't get too worked up about anything passing, because after all there's the filibuster, and well that's just how it goes, not that he is part of the perpetual Republican inertia, assume more schoolchildren dead.
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