Laura Clawson over at dailykos.com is doing some fine reporting with her story on Joni Ernst’s attempt to pull a little shell game by blocking the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and then introducing her own version that stripped out a provision that prohibited convicted domestic abusers from having guns:
“Sen. Joni Ernst is facing a re-election battle in her home state of Iowa, and now she’s facing a series of domestic abuse survivors and family members asking her, publicly and powerfully, why she’s trying to help abusers and stalkers keep their guns. Ernst blocked the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and then turned around and tried to take credit as a sponsor of VAWA by introducing a new version of the bill that stripped out a provision banning convicted domestic abusers from having guns.
Ernst showed her allegiance to the NRA over women whose lives are in danger, and did so despite her own history as a survivor of domestic abuse and rape. In fact, she’s tried to use her status to strengthen her push to leave guns in the hands of abusers, saying, “I do not need to be mansplained to by Chuck Schumer. I am a survivor,” after the Senate minority leader called her out over the “boyfriend loophole.” The survivors in a new campaign called Why Joni? are not having it.”
In case Iowans have a short memory, Joni’s love affair with the NRA goes back to her first run for the senate when the NRA ponied up some $3 million.
“Iowa Senator Joni Ernst is a national darling of the NRA’s effort to eliminate any and all meaningful gun safety laws that might keep children like those at Parkland, Florida from getting blown to pieces on a regular school day. Ernst received over $3.1 million in financial support from the NRA, the seventh-most of any senator, according to an analysis of campaign spending last October. Money from the gun rights organization poured into Iowa to help her get past the finish line in her race for Senate against Bruce Braley in 2014.
The NRA got what they paid for with Ernst, who then voted last February to stop a new rule that would have kept the mentally ill from obtaining guns through the background check system. Ernst voted in favor of House Joint Resolution 40, which sought to overturn a recent decision for the National Instant Criminal History Background Check System that would have kept people who considerable mental health issues from obtaining weapons. Both the House and Senate passed the resolution, and President Donald Trump signed it in February 2017.
The new rule would have added about 75,000 people to the background check list that have been otherwise deemed unfit to handle their own finances due to mental illness. Ernst preferred to guns into the hands of people who had such serious mental health issues that they couldn’t even legally handle their own personal finances.
Shortly after the massacre in Las Vegas, Ernst also expressed her concern over the legality of the kind of bump stocks that were used in the mass shooting. Nothing has been accomplished on that front. “
As Laura Clawson finishes her piece on dailykos:
“Sen. John Cornyn went to bat for Ernst on Friday, but, as it turned out, too many people know what Ernst really did: You don’t get to take credit as a sponsor of VAWA when you’ve blocked a bipartisan bill and introduced a watered-down substitute with a key provision stripped out. Seriously, she’s making a point of allowing people convicted of violent crimes to keep their guns. And there are plenty of survivors and family members out there willing to tell it like it is as Ernst seeks re-election.”
If Ernst’s vote to overturn the constitution by acquitting Donald Trump thereby creating one person in this country who is above the law (and thus a king by definition) wasn’t enough to make you see what she really is, then maybe her blind allegiance to the NRA is. In this case she blatantly chose her allegiance to the NRA over the lives of women – Iowa women who may be your neighbors or daughters.