WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – On Thursday night, U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, said said she supports universal background checks and an assault weapon ban during a town hall meeting at Valley High School.
The event marked her 61st town hall she held in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District since taking office slightly over a year ago.
A West Des Moines resident asked about what she would do to eliminate shootings like what was recently seen in Seattle, as well as, recent shootings in Des Moines.
“Folks, we need universal background checks and the assault weapons ban back on the books,” Axne said to applause.
“Look, I’m firmly in support of the Second Amendment, for goodness sake, I grew up in Iowa. My dad’s side of the family is all hunters. I worked in the DNR, I oversaw hunting and fishing licensing. I know Iowa’s history of gun ownership for sport and protection. So I am not here, I want to make this very clear, I’m never going to attack the Second Amendment. I support our Second Amendment,” she noted.
“What I support is families being able to exercise a reasonable lifestyle, and we’re not seeing that anymore,” Axne added.
She insinuated that our society is gripped with fear over gun violence.
“Parents are scared to send their kids off to school because they’re afraid they might not come home. When you’re afraid to go to church because you think there might be a shooting. When you are concerned about going to a concert because that is a great place to be able to shoot a heck of a lot of people,” Axne explained.
“What kind of country are we living in?” she asked.
“Those aren’t questions that Americans should have to ask themselves. I want reasonable gun legislation put into place. Every piece of data shows that universal background checks are the most impactful way to get there. We had the president say he was willing to look at that last fall. And then the NRA and lobbyists got to him,” Axne stated.
“He knows this is an epidemic.”
She then addressed money in politics, a topic she brought up several times during the hour long town hall.
“What we have got to do is make sure we take money out of politics because it is unfortunately ruining our opportunity to address the issues that we need to today because too many people are beholden to ‘big money.’ I don’t take corporate PAC money because we can’t be in the pockets of organizations that want us to do something if it is not the right thing for our country,” Axne said.
“So I’m sickened that we see this. I’m grateful to see that Iowa hasn’t had any terrible school shootings, but in our neighborhoods we are seeing this everywhere and that is wrong as well. Just shy of 100 people are dying every day from gun violence. We’ve got to take care of this. Our children are accidentally shooting themselves because there is not gun safety at homes. We’ve got a lot of things that we can be doing to save people in this country, including our children, starting with the universal background check, reinstating the assault weapons ban is the first place to start,” she concluded.
Also watch Axne discuss corporate PAC money and “dark money:”
Watch the full town hall event below: