The nation is coming to terms today with yet another horrific mass shooting at a school, this time in Parkland, Florida. Will anything substantive on gun laws change now that we’ve had our 18th mass shooting in just the first month and a half of 2018? As long as Iowa Congressman David Young is office, that answer will be no.
As the New York Times found in a story during the aftermath of the Las Vegas massacre, Young has received the third-most financial support from the NRA than any other member of the U.S. House – $707,662 through mid-last year in direct and indirect support. The NRA often helps out Republicans in swing districts and despite Young’s projected moderate persona, his voting record on gun control has been exactly what the NRA is looking for.
Just last year, Young voted in favor of House Joint Resolution 40, which overturned a new rule that would have allowed the National Instant Criminal History Background Check System to keep people with serious mental health issues from obtaining a gun. He also voted a few months ago for a bill that would overrule local government’s laws on concealed carry permits.
And despite Congress’ insistence that they would seriously address outlawing bump stocks following the Vegas shooting, where a gunman slaughtered 58 people using an automatic-like modification, nothing has been done on the topic in the months since.
“I can’t think of a good reason why these things are existing,” Young said about bump stocks last October.
Young’s solution was to write a letter to the ATF, but it does not appear that the ATF is going to end up acting on the matter. But Young did have time to visit a gun store whose owner was very concerned about Young’s comments on bump stocks, and wanted to show him why they were fine.
A longtime political staffer and former Chuck Grassley chief of staff, the two-term Young was strongly supported by the NRA during his initial run in 2014 when the seat was open. The gun rights organization touted his opposition to universal background checks.
The NRA has spent an outsized amount of money on Iowa Republicans like Young, and they seem to have gotten what they paid for – members of Congress who will vote lock step against any kind of meaningful gun safety reform in the face of non-stop massacres happening around the country. Senator Joni Ernst also benefited from $3.1 million from the NRA, the seventh-most among members of the Senate.
Six Democrats are vying for the chance to take on David Young in November – Cindy Axne, Pete D’Alessandro, Austin Frerick, Theresa Greenfield, Paul Knupp and Eddie Mauro.
by Pat Rynard