Joni Ernst trashes gun laws most Americans want: 'They won't make a difference'


Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) used a Wednesday town hall to make excuses for why she won't support any laws to reduce gun violence.

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), one of 100 senators in the entire nation, told an audience on Wednesday that she is powerless to stop the epidemic of gun violence ravaging the nation.

"Laws upon laws upon laws; they're not followed," Ernst said during a town hall in Parkersburg, Iowa. "They won't make a difference."

Video of the town hall was captured by American Bridge, a progressive research organization.

Ernst, who faces a tough reelection race in 2020, then mocked the idea of even attempting to reduce gun violence, saying calls to do so were about "scoring political points."

"Instead of trying to score political points by saying, 'I'm going to take away everybody's weapons' or 'I'm gonna put in red flag laws,' we're gonna have to sit down and have reasonable discussions about what actually is going to work."

Ernst failed to mention that the House of Representatives held extensive hearings on gun violence and produced not one, but two bills that passed the House in February and await action in the Senate.

Ernst adamantly refused to admit that access to guns was an issue — instead, she blamed "the degradation of the value of life in this society."

In another fatalistic move, Ernst lamented, "I can't write a law that's going to change that."

Earlier in the town hall, Ernst was asked if she has written a bill to do something — anything — to stop the epidemic of gun violence.

"I don't have a bill," she replied.

On Tuesday, Ernst used a town hall to blame mental health issues for mass shootings, a theory that the American Psychological Association describes as "unfounded and stigmatizing."

Every day in America, 100 people are killed by guns, according to research from Everytown, a gun safety advocacy organization. Almost 1,700 children die annually because of homicides committed with a gun, often at the hands of family members. In early August, a gunman in Dayton shot 26 people in just 32 seconds with an assault rifle. The day before that happened, a white supremacist gunman in El Paso killed 22 people in a Walmart in one of the nation's deadliest hate crimes targeting the Latino community.

Ernst's response is to throw up her hands and say there is nothing she can do to make the situation better. Her opposition to more gun laws lines up perfectly with the NRA, which spent more than $3 million helping Ernst get elected to the Senate.

This year alone, the NRA spent more than $1.5 million opposing the background check bill passed in February by the House. Thus far, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has done the bidding of the NRA and refused to allow a vote on the bill.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.