'This is on you': NRA-backed Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst blasted following mass shooting at Iowa church
Moments after President Joe Biden finished delivering a primetime address to the nation on Thursday evening about the unending plague of gun violence, the 235th mass shooting of 2022 occurred outside Cornerstone Megachurch in Ames, Iowa. Two women along with the gunman were killed in the attack, which left another 13 people injured, according to WHO13.
"The church was hosting a Salt Company Kickoff event tonight for college-age individuals to worship together. A Facebook posting says the event was scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m.," the outlet noted, adding that law enforcement will host a press conference at 10:30 a.m. on Friday to provide further details.
At 10:37 p.m., the Hawkeye State's senior-most national lawmaker, Republican United States Senator Chuck Grassley, posted the following message on Twitter:
Barbara and I are lifting up Cornerstone Church community in prayers tonight Churches shld b a place of worship not violence. Violence is always wrong /Im closely monitoring developments in Ames as we learn more details
\u201cBarbara and I are lifting up Cornerstone Church community in prayers tonight Churches shld b a place of worship not violence. Violence is always wrong /Im closely monitoring developments in Ames as we learn more details\u201d— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) 1654223857
"Lifting up" communities along with "thoughts and prayers" have become the boilerplate reaction by right-wing politicians who refuse to take meaningful action to prevent firearm bloodshed. Grassley, for example, personally filibustered a unanimous consent request filed by Senator Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) last December intended to enact universal background checks. On Wednesday, frustrated constituents confronted Grassley at a town hall and lambasted him for it.
Grassley offered an array of excuses as to why he opposes modest restrictions on gun ownership, such as raising purchasing age requirements, limiting high-capacity magazines, or expanding background checks. He admitted that while he is not a gun enthusiast himself, he nonetheless believes that he has a duty to "protect people's constitutional rights."
Incidentally, KWWL has reported that Grassley has raked in more than $225,000 in donations from the National Rifle Association, which recently awarded him an 'A+' rating and enthusiastically endorsed his campaign for an eighth Senate term.
The organization's "Political Victory Fund" also named legislation that Grassley is responsible for tanking:
Opposes Anti-Gun Supreme Court Justices – Voted against anti-gun nominees Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan for the U.S. Supreme Court. Furthermore, as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Senator Grassley is leading the fight against another Obama anti-gun nominee to the nation’s highest court.
Supports Right-to-Carry – Voted for Concealed Carry Reciprocity legislation, which would ensure that law-abiding Americans with the legal right to carry concealed would be able to carry their firearm for self-defense in any other state.
Opposes Semi-Auto Ban – Voted against Senator Dianne Feinstein’s failed semi-auto ban that would ban commonly owned semi-automatic firearms used for hunting, recreational shooting and self-defense.
Opposes UN Gun Ban Treaty – Voted for legislation that would prevent the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty. He also signed a letter opposing any international treaty by the United Nations or other global organizations that would impose restrictions on American gun owners.
Opposes Government Blacklists – Voted against legislation denying persons on secret government lists their Second Amendment right to purchase or own a firearm without due process.
Opposes Gun Confiscation – Voted to prohibit gun confiscation during states of emergency, as happened after Hurricane Katrina.
Opposes Ammo Ban – Authored a letter to the Obama Administration opposing its flagrant attempt to ban the most popular and widely used ammunition in America.
Supports Manufacturers and Dealers – Voted for legislation that prevents the American gun industry from being sued into bankruptcy through frivolous lawsuits.
Supports Veterans’ Second Amendment Rights – Voted for legislation that would protect veterans’ Second Amendment rights.
Heller Case – Signed the pro-gun congressional 'friend of the court' brief in the landmark Heller case, arguing that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to Keep and Bear Arms and that Washington, D.C.’s gun ban was unconstitutional.
McDonald Case – Signed the pro-gun congressional 'friend of the court' brief in the landmark McDonald case, arguing that the Second Amendment guarantees the fundamental, individual right of all Americans to Keep and Bear Arms and that Chicago’s gun ban was unconstitutional.
Opposes Criminalizing Private Transfers – Voted against the Obama/Bloomberg/Clinton so-called 'universal' background check system that would criminalize the private transfer of firearms which, according to the Justice Department, is only enforceable through federal gun registration.
Opposes Washington D.C.’s Gun Ban – Voted for legislation to repeal Washington D.C.’s draconian gun control laws and restore the right of self-defense to law-abiding individuals in our nation’s capital.
Opposes Magazine Ban – Voted against a ban on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.
Opposes Anti-Gun Bureaucrats – Voted against the nomination of Vivek Murthy to be Surgeon General of the Public Health Service due to his history of political activism in support of radical gun control measures.
Thus, after yet another multiple murder and suicide (the most frequent type of gun death), the palpable rage directed at Grassley by his fellow Iowans tore through the Twitterverse on Thursday night.
"The lifting up is not working," one user wrote to Grassley.
\u201c@ChuckGrassley I believe the lifting up is not working.\u201d— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) 1654223857
That was echoed by a second person, who rejected Grassley's "thoughts and prayers."
\u201c@ChuckGrassley Chuck\u2019s constituents are unhappy with him. \n\nTake your \u201cthoughts and prayers\u201d to the funerals of the innocent children who were slaughtered.\u201d— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) 1654223857
\u201c@ChuckGrassley I mean you literally JUST had a town hall with your constituents where they begged you to do something and you said you had to wait until the report was out about Uvalde. When is #EnoughIsEnough?\u201d— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) 1654223857
Another reminded the 88-year-old conservative that there have been more than 20 mass shootings since the massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, a little over a week ago.
\u201c@ChuckGrassley While you\u2019re monitoring Ames, also monitor: \n\nPhiladelphia \nStanwood\nAnniston\nMemphis\nColorado Springs\nMalabar\nFresno\nChattanooga \nChicago\nHenderson\nPhoenix\nHouston \nMerced \nTaft\nBenton Harbor\nCharleston\nWaco\nTulsa\nRacine\n\nAll sites of mass shootings since Uvalde.\u201d— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) 1654223857
The theme, best summed up as, "you could do something but choose not to," continued throughout the night.
\u201c@ChuckGrassley Buuuuuut you're not going to actually do anything meaningful. Wash, rinse, repeat.\u201d— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) 1654223857
\u201c@ChuckGrassley If only there were something you could do to help\u201d— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) 1654223857
\u201c@ChuckGrassley its your fault chuckles\n\nyou could have stopped this if you wanted to\n\nyour thoughts and prayers don't stop bullets\u201d— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) 1654223857
\u201c@ChuckGrassley If only you were in a position to do something more than pray \ud83e\udd37\u200d\u2642\ufe0f\u201d— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) 1654223857
\u201c@ChuckGrassley Save the prayers. You have the power to fix it. Do something positive for America instead of blocking everything for a change. You were elected to represent the people\u2026the people want sane gun safety regulation. Do it!\u201d— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) 1654223857
\u201c@ChuckGrassley If Jesus loves America why doe he never answer all these thoughts and prayers\ud83d\ude44\u201d— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) 1654223857
\u201c@ChuckGrassley I agree churches should be safe from violence as should ever other place on every other acre in the world. Prayers are not enough. Advocate for gun legislation now.\u201d— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) 1654223857
\u201c@ChuckGrassley I\u2019ve seen so many of these tweets from GOP lawmakers in the last week that I think I see the format: always comes from lawmaker and spouse, involves praying for families, condemns the violence without mentioning the obvious common cause, copy/paste/REPEAT. REPEAT. REPEAT. REPEAT.\u201d— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) 1654223857
\u201c@ChuckGrassley @SenJoniErnst and @ChuckGrassley how many people have to die from gun violence for you to stop taking NRA donations and help do something to end this gun violence endemic? Do you really need $3 + million to win elections??\u201d— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) 1654223857
Like Grassley, she tweeted that she was "praying" for the victims of Thursday's mass shooting:
I’m closely following the situation in Ames. I’m grateful for our first responders and am praying for all involved and the entire Cornerstone Church community.
\u201cI\u2019m closely following the situation in Ames. I\u2019m grateful for our first responders and am praying for all involved and the entire Cornerstone Church community.\u201d— Joni Ernst (@Joni Ernst) 1654224812
It was not well-received.
\u201c@SenJoniErnst no you're not. You're just figuring out how you can help people feel afraid that dems are coming for their guns so they vote more republicans.\u201d— Joni Ernst (@Joni Ernst) 1654224812
\u201c@SenJoniErnst Did you and grassley send the same tweet? Did pid'gin write this? How much do you average per life lost from senseless gun violence when you divide them from the amount you take from the nra? Does the republican senate have a contest? Who's winning so far? I guess romney.\u201d— Joni Ernst (@Joni Ernst) 1654224812
\u201c@SenJoniErnst Instead of praying for them, pass meaningful common sense gun laws.\u201d— Joni Ernst (@Joni Ernst) 1654224812
\u201c@SenJoniErnst Thanks for the prayers senator. Can you please clarify the next thing you'll do? By that I mean, please make it clear that you'll do nothing. I suppose you might blame doors, or mental illness, or suggest more guns would help, which is to say, you'll actually do nothing.\u201d— Joni Ernst (@Joni Ernst) 1654224812
\u201c@SenJoniErnst You have a +$3mil contract with the NRA. \n\nThis is on you.\u201d— Joni Ernst (@Joni Ernst) 1654224812
\u201c@SenJoniErnst But still not enough dead people on your watch to do anything about it, right?\u201d— Joni Ernst (@Joni Ernst) 1654224812
\u201c@SenJoniErnst By \u201cclosely following\u201d do mean counting the doors in the church? Or finding out where their security officers were? Or finding out why the pastor/staff weren\u2019t armed? \n\nEvery Iowan knows you will not act. You have over $3 million reasons to just sit back & watch us all be killed.\u201d— Joni Ernst (@Joni Ernst) 1654224812
\u201c@SenJoniErnst @SenJoniErnst and @ChuckGrassley how many people have to die from gun violence for you to stop taking NRA donations and help do something to end this gun violence endemic? Do you really need $3 + million to win elections??\u201d— Joni Ernst (@Joni Ernst) 1654224812
\u201c@SenJoniErnst Your prayers aren\u2019t working.\n\nYou need to work with President Biden to bring an end to the senseless slaughter of innocents.\n\nhttps://t.co/oRXwORSjMV\u201d— Joni Ernst (@Joni Ernst) 1654224812
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