Iowa politicians react to weekend mass shootings in Ohio and Texas

Iowa’s Congressional delegation and state politicians reacted on twitter to weekend massacres with condolences. Democrats called for the Senate to resume.



Carmen Roldan brings some flowers to honor the memory of the victims of the mass shooting occurred in Walmart on Saturday morning in El Paso on Sunday, August 4, 2019. [LOLA GOMEZ / AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

Sarah Watson, Politics Editor

After two shootings left 30 people dead this past weekend in Texas and Ohio, Iowa politicians reacted with gratitude for first responders, and Democrats called for the U.S. Senate to reconvene.

Authorities have accused a gunman of killing 21 people and wounding many others in an El Paso, Texas, Walmart on the late morning of Aug. 3. Around 13 hours later, in Dayton Ohio, authorities said at least nine people were killed and many wounded in a shooting in a nightlife district.

Some Iowa politicians used Twitter to call for more stringent requirements for owning a gun including enforcing universal background checks.

Rep. Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa, wrote on Twitter on Aug. 4 that it was not “too soon” for measures such as universal background checks or closing the “Charleston Loophole” — a reference to a provision in U.S. law that allows a gun sale to go through if a background check takes longer than three days.

She also wrote that she grew up in a state that supported the right to own a gun as well as “the right to go to church, to a movie theater, to a concert, or to send your kids to school without the fear of not coming back home.”

Iowa’s Democratic delegation in Congress (which are all in the lower chamber) also called for their Senate counterparts to return to Washington from an August recess to vote on gun-control legislation that the Democratic-controlled House approved earlier this year. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., didn’t bring the package to a vote. The legislation included universal background checks.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, on Aug. 4 tweeted a thank-you to law enforcement and first responders in El Paso.

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, tweeted twice referring to the shootings, saying she “continue(s) to grieve with all Iowans & Americans across our country over the horrendous acts of hate we’ve seen the last 24 hours.”

State politicians also weighed in on Twitter. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds tweeted early on the morning of Aug. 4 that the shootings left her and the rest of the state “heartbroken.”