Joni Ernst needs to act on the Violence Against Women Act

Lesli Nesmith found that Senator Joni Ernst has little to show for repeated promises to move forward on one of her stated priorities: reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. -promoted by Laura Belin

Congress enacted the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 1994 as part of a large crime bill. The law created a system to provide support and programs for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, as well as a framework of legal enforcement against perpetrators.

In the ensuing 25 years, VAWA has been strengthened and expanded, as policy-makers recognized gaps in the law and changing societal needs. Sadly, this legislation fell victim to the budget battles of late 2018 and lapsed without reauthorization by Congress in December.

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Gunsmokescreen

Ira Lacher: “Bump stocks and assault weapons notwithstanding, if we seriously want to reduce the number of gun deaths in this country, we need to have a come-to-Jesus debate about guns. But we’re not seeing that debate.” -promoted by Laura Belin

So, Republicans are finally and grudgingly moving forward on gun control. Consider these headlines:

    From USA Today: Trump: Congress discussing ‘meaningful’ gun background checks

    From Breitbart: Mitch McConnell: ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban ‘Front and Center’ in Senate

    From the Washington Times: Trump on gun legislation: ‘Common sense things can be done’

Wow! Guess the public is getting to the president and Congressional Republicans after all. We can breathe easier, now that it seems we’ll be getting some commonsense laws that will at least severely restrict gun violence in America.

Except, no.

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A trip to Walmart will never be the same

John Hale is an independent Iowan — thinker, writer, speaker, advocate, consultant. -promoted by Laura Belin

I was inexplicably drawn to a central Iowa Walmart Monday night. I didn’t need to buy anything, but I needed for some reason to be there – maybe to pay homage to those caught in the carnage in El Paso, and maybe to reflect a bit on what this nation has become.

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We've abused it. Repeal it.

Ira Lacher: “If there were ever a real right to own a gun, it has been abused by the number of persons who die by gun in America — 100 times each day, 365 days each year. And like anything we have abused, it is time for it to be taken away.” -promoted by Laura Belin

“Lets eat, Grandma!”

Ignore the comma and the speaker becomes a cannibal.

“… the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

Ignore the comma, as millions of Americans do, including our illustrious Supreme Court, and you have what we experience uniquely among all developed nations: repeated mass carnage at the point of a gun.

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Eleven times Chuck Grassley or Joni Ernst opposed reasonable gun limits

Two more horrific gun crimes devastated American cities this weekend. Hours after an attacker fueled by anti-immigrant hate killed 20 and wounded dozens at a shopping center in El Paso, Texas, a shooter using a high-capacity magazine in Dayton, Ohio killed nine people and injured 26 in less than a minute. Last weekend, a famous annual garlic festival in California joined the long list of venues where shooters have killed many people in minutes.

While no one law would would end all mass shootings in the United States, a few gun violence prevention policies could reduce the carnage that is almost unknown in countries with stricter limits on firearms ownership or access.

Iowa’s U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst have consistently opposed those policies.

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The importance of youth in politics

Alexandra Dermody is a candidate for Davenport City Council. -promoted by Laura Belin

I turned eighteen years old in November 2018. By then I had already experienced an existential crisis due to the state of our world today. My family pulled me from high school in freshman year due to the impermissible increase in school shootings. They feared for my safety. I grew up with the horrifying and crushing reality of what our world is today, continually bombarded with the news of shootings, stabbings, ignorance to the highest offices, and a failing economy.

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