Republicans like Sen. Chuck Grassley are hearing from teenagers across the country.

Survivors of the Parkland school shooting continue to demand action on gun violence and inspire others to do the same. And Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley found out just how dedicated these young people are at a recent town hall.

Grassley, one of the few Republicans willing to face his constituents at town halls, was confronted by 18-year-old Eden Knoop at an event in Manchester.

Knoop described the catastrophic injuries that result from firearms like the AR-15. With those weapons, “the bullet leaves the rifle with such velocity and such energy that it tears through organs and muscle,” she noted.

“Students are afraid, and they are afraid because of weapons like the AR-15,” Knoop continued. “So my question to you is, what are you going to do to prevent, and to protect us from weapons like the AR-15?”

The crowd immediately roared with approval.

Grassley delivered a rambling and indirect response, expressing support for other proposals Republicans are pushing to avoid meaningful action on gun safety. He did not mention the AR-15, and he doesn’t support an assault weapons ban.

And Grassley heard similar pleas from many of his constituents over the weekend. At one event in Burlington, a woman held up a photo of her 5-year-old son and tearfully asked, “Is his life less valuable than a high-power assault weapon? Is his life less valuable to you than the weapons that you defend?”

But Grassley reportedly did not look at the woman as she spoke. “Every life that exists is a life because of God-given life that we have,” was his only response.

Trump and Florida Gov. Rick Scott refused to attend a gun violence town hall last week. But other elected Republicans would do well to pay attention to Grassley’s experience. The questions are only going to get more difficult, and the answers aren’t satisfying anyone.

Public support for gun control is surging, and so is support for the young people who are leading the way.


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