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‘I am not separating myself from the NRA’: Sen. Joni Ernst responds to questions about March for Our Lives

Sen. Joni Ernst reaffirmed her support for the NRA on a CBS news program on Sunday, while claiming she is not beholden to the NRA for the almost record-setting amount of money it has spent supporting her since 2014. […]

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An open letter to Emma González and those who doubt her

Your name is Emma González. You are 18 years old, Cuban and bisexual. You’re so indecisive that you can’t pick a favorite color, and you’re allergic to 12 things. You draw, paint, crochet, sew, embroider — anything productive you can do with your hands while watching Netflix. And all of this matters. […]

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An open letter to Iowa representatives on gun control

My name is Ellie Brown and I go to West High school in Iowa City, Iowa. I love school and I love learning, but everyday I wake up terrified to go to school. I tell myself that nothing could happen in a little old town in the middle of Iowa, but I have to face the terrifying fact that my school could be the next school that we hear about on the news, being sent thoughts and prayers. […]

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Gov. Reynolds doesn’t have a plan to address school shootings, but thinks students and the federal government could do more

At her weekly press conference on Monday, Gov. Kim Reynolds said the federal government needs “to take the responsibility to do some things” to prevent future mass school shooting like the one in Parkland, Florida last week. She also called on “parents and students, school faculty and staff and members of the community to be especially vigilant for signs of potential violence.” […]

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Letters to the editor: New Iowa and U.S. gun policies threaten public safety

The 2017 legislative session brought sweeping changes with the passage of what some have called the most comprehensive pro-gun bill in Iowa’s history. Although a number of these changes are concerning to public safety proponents, two fundamental pieces of regulation have been retained under the gun omnibus bill—background checks and permit to carry. These measures are critical to saving lives—data show that states that require background checks on all handgun sales have 47 percent fewer women shot to death by intimate partners, 47 percent fewer suicides by gun and 53 percent fewer law enforcement officers shot and killed in the line of duty. Similarly, research shows that states that weaken their permit systems and limit the ability of law enforcement to deny permits to dangerous individuals see a 13-15 percent increase in violent crime. In short, these two policies are a critical part of maintaining public safety and reducing gun violence. […]

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With the legislative session closed, activists respond to the Iowa Legislature’s conservative turn

Gov. Terry Branstad heralded this year as “one of the most significant and productive sessions in our history.” And it certainly did produce a large volume of wide-ranging, impactful bills. But for some, those bills represented a sharp lurch to the right and an abrupt end to bipartisan Iowa politics. Among the measures that left Iowa organizations and activists gearing up for a fight are laws impacting women’s access to abortions, reducing union bargaining rights, expanding and protecting access to guns and decreased support for public education.

Some measures, including a 72-hour waiting period for abortions and restrictions on collective bargaining rights for public employees, have already been challenged in court. […]

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WRAC hosting evening vigil for Orlando

The Women’s Resource and Action Center (WRAC) will be hosting a candlelight vigil in light of the mass shooting that claimed the lives of 49 people and injured 53 others at a gay nightclub in Orlando, FL Sunday. The vigil will commence at 7 p.m. in the Ped Mall in downtown Iowa City. This tragedy […]

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Iowa City to ‘Wear Orange’ for National Gun Violence Awareness Day

In our country, 36 people will lose their lives today as a result of guns, according to the independent nonprofit organization The Trace. That average seems troubling, because it is, but there are effective and peaceful ways to work for change. Thursday, June 2 is National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and a demonstration will be […]

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Opinion: Expanding legal gun use for minors isn’t Iowa Nice, it’s Iowa Insanity

I try to see things from the other perspective. Even though I don’t agree with — nor do statistics bear out — the need for handguns in homes, I believe I have some understanding of what motivates gun owners. They want protection. They want to feel power in a world that sometimes makes us feel […]

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