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Grassley: Senate Judiciary Committee to hold gun violence hearing

WASHINGTON — Following the nation’s second mass shooting in a week, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley will attend a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning that will focus on preventing such senseless killings.

The hearing is entitled “Constitutional and Common Sense Steps to Reduce Gun Violence” and Grassley says he’s confident he and the other committee members will be unified on at least one thing.

“No one is going to condone gun violence,” Grassley says. “We want guns to be used for personal protection, not for the murder of innocent victims.” Barring any surprises, Grassley, a Republican, is expecting a partisan discussion during the hearing.

“It’s going to be pretty evenly divided between, on the Democratic side, wanting to very definitely restrict Second Amendment Bill of Rights of individuals to arm themselves,” Grassley says, “and that’s a Constitutional right.” Grassley says the Second Amendment is equally as important as the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments, guaranteeing freedom of religion, the press, and speech, and protecting our privacy and property.

“On the Republican side, I think you’re going to have defense of the Second Amendment,” Grassley says, “not meaning that Republicans don’t believe that there can be some legitimate restrictions put in place, but to take a more pure approach to the Second Amendment.” Grassley is the ranking Republican on the panel which is now chaired by Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin.

“I think Democrats wouldn’t care if we did away with the Second Amendment right for individuals to own guns,” Grassley says, “because they use the argument that the Second Amendment only applies to state militia, which today would be state National Guard people.”

Monday’s shooting rampage in a Boulder, Colorado supermarket left ten people dead, including a policeman. It follows last Tuesday’s killings of eight people in three Atlanta, Georgia-area spas. Six of the eight victims were women of Asian descent.

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