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Letter to the editor: Iowa needs a new U.S. Senator


Sen. Chuck Grassley, seated next to Sen. Joni Ernst, discusses derecho recovery with President Trump at the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids, Aug. 18, 2020. — Shealah Craighead/official White House photo

By Ellen Ballas, Iowa City

Iowa needs a new U.S. Senator: Mike Franken.

Americans want gun safety laws. Included in the bipartisan Senate bill: closing the boyfriend loophole and expanding background checks for buyers 18-21 years old. It’s a good start.

Voting against the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act,” Senator Grassley seems confused about gun safety vs. Second Amendment rights. His gun lobby award is likely more important to him, “Legislator of the Year”.

In 2021, after a deadly Michigan school shooting, Grassley blocked a gun safety proposal for background checks, foolishly stating, “So-called universal background checks will not prevent crime and will turn otherwise law-abiding citizens into criminals.”

In Switzerland, for example, a country with high gun ownership, gun sellers must follow strict licensing procedures. Background checks are required and Swiss authorities decide who receives a gun permit — no mass shootings in 21 years.

Grassley recently wrote a letter to President Biden objecting to his ATF nominee, Steven Dettelbach, who supports an assault weapons ban and background checks.

U.S. deaths from gun violence are now the leading cause of death among children and adolescents.

Grassley has described himself as, “somebody that doesn’t know much about guns because I haven’t shot a gun in probably 20, 40 or 50 years.”

Proverb: “If you only know a little about something, you may feel you are qualified to make judgments, when in fact you are not.”

U.S. Senate candidate Mike Franken supports gun safety.


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