U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, accused President Barack Obama on Wednesday of trying to do an end run around the 2nd Amendment and existing law in opposing the White House’s new gun control proposals.

Grassley’s forceful response is a sign of the obstacles the president faces in Congress as he seeks to deal with the aftermath of a string of school shootings, the latest at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut where 20 children were killed.

“Unfortunately, the president seems to think the 2nd Amendment can be tossed aside,” he said.

On the other side of the aisle, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, praised the president’s approach and said it adequately safeguarded 2nd Amendment rights, while dealing with violence in a comprehensive manner.

“As a hunter, I know that the recreational use and collection of guns is important to many Iowans, and as this debate advances, I will work to protect the legitimate rights of law-abiding American gun owners,” Harkin said. “But we cannot continue down a path of unlimited access to any arms, including those capable of shooting hundreds of bullets in a very short time.”

Reps. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, and Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., declined to take a stand on the president’s approach or any specific proposals. The plan included a ban on assault-style weapons and ammunition magazines with more than 10 rounds, requiring background checks on most private sales of weapons, putting up to 1,000 new resource officials in the nation’s schools and taking steps to identify and help young people at risk of mental illnesses. The White House says three quarters of mental illnesses appear by the age of 24.

“I will take time to study the details of the proposals put forth by the President and continue my ongoing conversations and outreach to the people of my district, including to law enforcement, in the coming weeks,” Bustos said in a statement.

Loebsack held an hourlong conference call with about a dozen law enforcement officials Wednesday, the first of what he says will be a series of meetings with parents, school officials and mental health professionals to try to gather information about how to deal with school violence.

Several of the sheriffs and police chiefs on the call expressed skepticism of the benefits of an assault weapons ban and some about limiting the availability of high-capacity gun magazines. Loebsack has supported putting limits on magazines in the past.

The law enforcement officials instead pointed to mental illness as a key concern, improving background checks and improving safety in schools.

“With 300 million guns in the United States, I think we’re just spinning our wheels. People are going to get guns,” Muscatine County Sheriff Dave White said.

In the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, some mental health professionals have objected to putting too much emphasis on people with illnesses, saying studies show they commit relatively few violent crimes and are more apt to be victims themselves. They also say identifying those who are apt to commit violence is exceedingly difficult.

Still, among the dozen or more law enforcement officials on the call, it was a consistent concern.

“It’s not the gun itself that’s killing people, it’s the person that’s possibly mentally ill that’s not thinking correctly,” Fort Madison Police Chief Bruce Niggemeyer said.

It’s not clear when lawmakers will vote on the president’s plan. But the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee that Harkin chairs plans to hold a hearing next week on mental health issues, and he praised the president’s inclusion of mental health issues in his plan.

Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he is committed to exploring “all aspects” of this violence that is within the panel’s jurisdiction. But he said the president’s approach is inviting mistrust and inviting court fights.

He particularly raised concerns about the president’s pursuit of executive orders.

The White House said 23 executive orders would be pursued in addition to changes in the law.

Many had to do with the nation’s background check system. But one of the executive orders directs the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to research the causes and prevention of gun violence. Congress prohibited such expenditures for those purposes in 1997, according to Grassley’s office.

Another, the White House says, would clarify that the new health care law doesn’t prohibit doctors from asking patients about guns in their homes. Grassley’s office pointed to parts of the law it says could conflict with the order.

(34) comments

Joseph DuPont
Joseph DuPont

The White House's claim that Obama 'Has a Strong Record of Support for 2nd Amendment Rights is as true as Obama's statement that Hillary was for mandatory health insurance and he wasn't! King Obama can take any American out of his house in the dead of night without a trace and can order anyone expunged/assassinated with out a trial. Only God knows when King Obama will fulfill this statement:" We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded."
(The media and our Congress won't ask him for details !)

Like a Boa Constrictor that tightens every time the victim exhales, The NEW WORLD ORDER (Goldman Sachs, The Federal Reserve, and the Worlds Banking Families) expands the burden of the national debt on every living human born in the USA. And now Obama's radical supporters are questioning relevancy of the only document that stands between us and slavery: the US Constitution! Wake Up America!


The more I hear arguments AGAINST gun regulations from people who own guns, the more concerned I get about the type of people who own guns.

pta mom

Redjack: I bet it's quite difficult to "dress" a deer that has been vaporized by an AK. Plus, anyone that needs such a weapon to hunt must be a pretty sucky hunter.


Sorry my point was there two sets of standars for Mr. Grassly He believes the way he reads the constisution is the law so he has the right to have a gun . Thats fine I have no problem with that. OUR laws say if our agriculture bultd you a pond every one has the right to fish in it. I bet Grassly wouldn't obay that law if the pond was on his land or why their not listed with the farm bureau and made available.where these ponds are.

pta mom

I hope Senator Grassley reads this:


These guns not only aren't "well-regulated," I doubt our Founding Fathers would even recognize them as guns.


Mr Grassley, You are on the wrong side of history on this one. Why do you choose to make such demonstrably untrue statements? Do you have such a small amount of respect for those you represent that you believe you can make untrue statements and no one will call you on them? “Unfortunately, the president seems to think the 2nd Amendment can be tossed aside,” As you know, that statement is a bald faced lie. You make it, not because it is true, but to incite those who want no gun control, at all. As you know, gun control is already a reality, many restrictions already exist. What is wanted is reasonable limits on very dangerous weapons with no other purpose but to kill people. Please stop towing the NRA line, stop looking to their monetary donations to you, and instead consider what is best for your constituents.


What is best for America is to have a sensible conversation about this issue and bring facts to the table instead of emotion.

I want the same protection for myself and my family as the President has. His daughters have armed guards at their school, I want my daughters to have armed guards at their school. Obama has security officers who have more than 10 bullets in their clip, I want to have more than 10 bullets in my clip securing myself.

Stop being a hypocrite. Obama's children are NOT more important than my kids, or your kids. Period!


I agree with the first sentence you wrote. I reject the rest, and resent you calling me a hypocrite. I see you willingly and without any independent thought follow the NRA line. You know very well that the children of the president are very desirable as targets for terrorists. You know our presidents, and certain other high visibility persons, are protected by the Secret Service, for the same reason. You know attempts on the lives have been made, and some succeeded, on our presidents. Yet you and Mr LaPierre are willing to sacrifice the presidents children I guess, to make a point. To me that is the epitome of hypocrisy.

If you want the same protection for yourself and your family I suggest you do one of the following. Run for president and get elected. Or hire armed guards for yourself. Until then, I would also suggest you stop blindly following an association which is owned "lock, stock and barrel" by gun manufacturers. It might be a good idea, as well, to expose yourself to less biased information.

The Anarcho-capitalist

"What is wanted is reasonable limits on very dangerous weapons with no other purpose but to kill people"

Really? There are millions of AR's out there. How many deaths last year due to this one weapon? If the only purpose of this weapon is to kill people, shouldn't there be a lot more deaths? My point is that there are plenty of other uses for this gun. You're good at calling other people out on their "lies", I would hope that you'd hold yourself to that same standard.


Mr Grassley's statement that Mr Obama wants to toss aside the second amendment is a "bald faced lie". An untruth. What word would you prefer I use? He "misspoke"? He accidentally said something he didn't really mean? It is what it is. Mr Grassley intentionally said something which is not true, and which he knows is not true. That is a lie in my book.

Please enlighten me as to what other uses these guns have. Hunting? no. Skeet shooting? no. Target shooting? If that's the other "reason" make it a law the ammunition used be kept at the gun club where this activity is done.


Just because YOU say these firearms have "no other purpose" doesn't mean it's true. It just shows your closed minded thinking, lack of education in the matter, or outright lies. These firearms are used for hunting, competitive shooting, collecting, etc. on top of personal defense. Note that I said personal defense. That is not the same as criminal activity. So before you start accusing others of making "bald faced lies", you better look in the mirror and evaluate what you are saying. Now that you have been educated on other perfectly legal uses of this weapon, we will all expect an apology for not knowing anything about the subject you so easily speak out against without any real knowledge of it. Of course, you will not do that. So your credibility here is destroyed. One of the other sheep posted in a similar article that every single law enforcement agency is for this gun control, which is also a lie. But don't take my word for it: http://www.officer.com/news/10854497/sheriffs-push-back-on-obamas-gun-control-plan?utm_source=Officer.com+Newsday+E-Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CPS130111003


Oh, come on. In your opinion I have never had any credibility at all anyway, and you know it. Please reread what I wrote. I stand by it. Mr Grassley's accusation that Mr Obama is trying to "toss aside" the second amendment IS a lie. And it is one Mr Grassley knows he is telling. People don't hunt with these weapons. Please. I grew up with lots of guns in the house. I grew up with avid hunters, and still have them in my life and family. I have a stock of venison in my freezer as I write this. I have more than one family member working for the DNR in Iowa. They do not hunt with "assault weapons". They do collect guns however, and none of them are assault weapons. You sure as heck do not need one of these for protection. Despite your hope and wishes, I am not uneducated about guns.

Now I am to be held accountable for what others say? That's a bit of a stretch, isn't it?


I have vension in my freezer that was harvested with an AR15 clone. A friend of mine in Nebraska can only afford one gun, and that is what he hunts with. Using a heavier bullet, it meets the requirements for engergy to harvest a deer in Nebraska.

Another uses a PSL (firing a 7.62x54R cartrige) that is clip fed, pistol gripped, with a bayonet lug underneath. He gets his deer every year with it (though finding ammo is a bit harder).

For that matter I know of a gentleman in Iowa who uses a Sagia shot gun for deer hunting. It is based off the AK, and can accept a high capacity clip.

So they are used for hunting, by more than you think.


Of course redneck, you are correct. Any weapon can be used to hunt a deer. I have a friend who uses a crossbow. Several who use bow and arrows. But as I suspect you know, those using assault weapons are few and very far between. Banning these weapons would not significantly impact hunters in the US at all. There was a lot of hunting before assault weapons, and there would be a lot after. Why is it such a terrible thing to ask these folks to use a different weapon, for the good of the whole? In this country we seem to be all about the individual and his/her rights. What about our rights as a whole? What about the good of the whole? We have an obligation not only to ourselves, but to each other. No one is trying to stop hunting. Or to come into your home and confiscate weapons. Why do we cow tow to the fringe element, who constantly predict armageddon as a reason to want assault weapons? Why not listen to the vast majority, who loudly and clearly tell us they want more gun control?



It's good to see some law enforcement officials that are using their head instead of caving to political pressure to be "politically correct" when giving responses. Those of you that think any kind of a "ban" on weapons will do ANYTHING are just succumbing to the "feel good" idea's that will NOT work in the real world. If banning guns would solve issues with mentally ill people, then banning drugs will solve the drug use problems in this country. You can see how well that works...


@QC Father: Perhaps you think Harkins, in standing by Obama, is better. I have to dis agree with you on that.l If anyone has been in office too long it is Harkin. I remember his pork in bills. And one stands out. Almost 2 Million dollars for a study on PORK MANURE. Talk about wasting money. Harkin said he was PROUD of the PORK he added to bills. Well, as a tax payer who lives in Iowa I am not proud of his manure. Both Senators from Iowa have been in office too long. But like all members of congress too many people keep voting for them! So if anyone is to blame for their actions it is people who keep on voting for their worthless behinds.


Tom Harkin is Iowa's junior senator. That should put into perspective just how long Grassley has been there.


Two of the first three words of the Second Amendment read "well-regulated," Chuck. How about reading the Constitution before embarrassing yourself by commenting on what you wish was in it rather than what is.

The Anarcho-capitalist

Yeah... and let's ignore the last 4 words, "shall not be infringed". Maybe you should brush up on the English language. The term “well-regulated” meant something quite different two centuries ago. It is not today's definition of “controlled,” “limited,” or “restricted” but was instead defined as “having proper kit and provisions” or in the case of objects or machinery, “properly maintained and kept in good repair.”


As has been discussed ad infinitum, your right to bear arms has already been infringed upon. So to say we can not make a law against certain weapons is factually incorrect. Try to go but a machine gun. They were banned in the eighties.

Fraa Orolo
Fraa Orolo

Not true. All one needs to purchase and possess fully automatic weapons is a Class III Federal Firearms License.

QC Father

Straight party lines.....I cannot wait to throw Mr. Grassley aside the next time he is up for re-election. He has become one of the worst offenders, in my opinion. He has been in Washington WAY too long. He has worked his way up the ladder, and is now on several high powered committees, and the partisan politics have got to end at some point.....and it won't with Chuck in office. I am a gun owner, and I do not feel represented by Mr. Grassley anymore. I have voted for him every time since I was 18 (now 42) and I will NOT be voting for him again. If your not part of the solution, your part of the problem......buh bye Chuck.

billy hoyle

Hey Arnold,
My nabors pond have a brige over it, and the tr*ll that lives under is named Klaatu

Roy Munson

I think the funniest part of the article is Loebsack and Bustos refusing to comment about their guy Obama's executive orders. At least Grassley has a spine.


They want to actually read what is in the proposal.What a novel idea. Read rather than knee-jerk.


Now that's funny. Considering the "Fiscal Cliff" bill showed up less than 1 hour before that vote and they had no problem voting on that did they?


Grassley just keeps getting dumber, left to parroting Grover and LaPierre.


Obama is just blowing hot air. After all the yap he comes up with 23 executive orders that are just parroting existing laws. As if His Majesties decrees will change anything. Why isn't his Justice Dept. prosecuting Federal gun crimes? There are already existing laws covering almost all of it. He is a propagandist, using the blood of children to advance his agenda. He is the clown that sold thousands of semi-automatic weapons to Mexican drug gangs. He is a supreme hypocrite, just like every democrat I know. He can't order a ban on "assault rifles", as if the idiot would even know one if he saw it. That has to go through the Congress, and neither the House or Senate will pass it. Not even Harry Reid will bring his moronic gun ban up for a vote. Meanwhile gun sales are skyrocketing. People who never considered a gun are buying them. I never owned one until the idiot Obama was elected. Now I belong to the "gun of the month" club. I will buy them just to make stupid control freak liberals mad.


Once again, federal employees did NOT sell thousands of semi-automatic weapons to Mexican drug gangs. They did not stop the private sale of them. HUGE DIFFERENCE. Quit lying, Klaatu.


Youre right Aequitas federal employees did not sell any guns at all to the cartels, but they did operate a couple of gun walking stings that failed miserably. The ATF TOLD the gun dealers to sell guns to known straw purchasers (people who buy guns for the cartels and smuggle them across the border) in hopes to track them to the cartel leaders in hopes to dismantle the cartels. the let over 2,000 guns walk across the border and only have recovered about 700 as of October 20, 2011. these 700 guns have been linked to violent crimes on both sides of the border and the only reason it became public is because a U.S. Border guard was shot and killed by one of these guns. so technically youre right, Federal employees did not sell any guns, but they did allow thousands to be sold to people knowing that they would be put into the hands of the cartels.

Fred W

Quit whining, Mr. Grassley! Tell us you're certainly going to support legislation for universal background checks and limit the capacity of magazines. For beginning starters, these are no-brainer common-sense remedies. And if not, you better provide an explanation. As for the President circumventing the Second Amendment with executive orders - nonsense, and you know it! For once, quit cow-towing to the extreme nutjobs in your party and start acting like you have a pair!


We are talking about the second amendment of the constitution and you are talking about farm ponds. Ya you probably shouldn't own a gun.


If the Senator thinks that the Obama initiatives violate the 2nd Amendment, then he lacks the intellect to be a United States Senator. Not one single Executive Order has anything to do with interfering with the right to "keep and bear arms."

Maybe its just that he's too old to be a senator.


If Mr Grassly has any goverment paid for ponds on his land it's
to be open to the public for fishing. But I bet he won't let you IT'S ALSO TO BE LISTED WHERE THEIR AT BUT THE FARM BUREAU WON'T PRINT ONE OR MAKE ONE AVAILLABLE BECAUSE THEIR AFRAID OF THE FARMER AND GET FIRED FOR DOING THEIR JOB.. I know i ask them and thats what they told me. Try it yourself if your a fisherman see how far you get..Start with the farm bureau in Mr. Grassly county AND TOWN and his nabor farmers . Lets see what Mr Grassly has to say about that law.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.