Vote Republicans out of office! You might assume this suggestion came from a Democrat. It didn’t. It’s from former Florida Republican Congressman David Jolly. Jolly was interviewed following the latest Florida school massacre. He believes the only way to end the gun mass murders is to vote Republicans out of office.
“Republicans will never do anything on gun control,” Jolly told CNN. “If this is the issue that defines your ideology as a voter, there are two things I would suggest tonight. First, flip the House … Republicans are not going to do a single thing after this shooting we saw today.
Jolly suggested the National Rifle Association (NRA) is controlling these Republicans through both financial contributions and lobbying efforts. At least two Iowa Republicans owe their elections in part to the huge NRA financial support.
Congressman David Young ranks third in the House of Representatives in total career NRA funding, including donations or spending to benefit the candidate. He has benefited with $707,762 from the NRA. Only two other House Republicans have received more help from the NRA. Republicans like Young downplay the NRA by citing the relatively low direct contributions. Young received under $5000 in direct contributions in 2016. However, it’s the total outside NRA spending that balloons the amount spent to swing elections. In the 2016 cycle, the NRA contributed over $54 million in outside spending.
Senator Joni Ernst has also benefited with a whopping $3,124,273 in total NRA funding support. Ernst ranks number seven in the Senate in total NRA funding support. Can we assume many Republicans are held hostage to this massive NRA spending?
“The idea of gun policy in the Republican Party is to try to get a speaking slot at the NRA and prove to that constituency that you’re further right than generations past of Republicans have been on guns,” Jolly said. “Democrats could, and we might be better off as a republic if they take the House in 2018.”
Jolly has credibility on gun safety because he attempted to get gun safety measures passed before he was defeated for reelection. Jolly introduced a “no fly, no buy” gun control measure in 2016. It failed to get Republican support.
The bill would prohibit people on the FBI’s terrorist watch lists from buying a gun. Jolly explained that if Republicans wanted to pass any reasonable gun safety they would have supported his “no fly, no buy” proposal.
In a CNN interview Jolly expanded on his criticism of Republicans on gun safety. “They don’t have the courage to stand in front of the American people and actually admit that they don’t have solutions to these issues and they are hiding from the American people on it. They are weak-kneed ideologues.”
Jolly’s description of Republican weak-kneed ideologues certainly fits both Congressman Young and Senator Ernst. They offer their prayers after each gun massacre but refuse to act on any reasonable gun safety legislation.
Jolly described the Florida Republican Legislature that appears to be a template for Iowa Republican legislators as they attempt to erase all Iowa gun safety laws.
“Last year in the state of Florida, Republicans tried to pass open carry, not concealed carry, and guns on campuses,” said Jolly. “Students could walk into a classroom, lay their gun on their desk. Fortunately, that got killed. Those are the politics of the (Florida) Republican Party right now.”
The Des Moines Register in an editorial by Kathie Obradovich predicted that this year’s Republican controlled legislature may pass permit free carry and strip the last gun safety measures from current law.
“Last year’s legislation made it fine and dandy to carry guns in courthouses and the state Capitol. It allowed children to use handguns under adult supervision. It allowed a gun owner to shoot someone in public if he felt threatened by the person, even if it turned out there was no actual threat,” wrote Obradovich.
Jolly believes Republicans are too intimidated by the NRA to act on any gun legislation. He explained why the public must vote Republicans from office if they want action on gun safety. Jolly’s recommendation applies to Iowa Republicans as well. As long as Republicans control the Iowa legislature, Iowans will see no gun safety measures passed.
“I’m a Republican and I wish Republicans would address universal background checks, responsible gun control measures,” Jolly said. “But they’re not doing that…Only the Democrats are speaking to reasonable gun control today. Republicans are hiding from the American people.
by Rick Smith