gun-violence

Omaha Man Pleads Guilty to Plotting to Kill Joni Ernst
Suspect believed Iowa Republican was connected to ISIS

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, was the target of a potential plot on her life last July. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An Omaha man pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to threatening the life of Sen. Joni Ernst, who he believed was in cahoots with Islamic State terrorists.

Robert W. Simet, 64, told employees at a motorcycle shop near the Nebraska-Iowa border last July that he might kill the Iowa Republican at a speech she was scheduled to deliver there, according to court documents obtained by The Gazette in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

U.S. Needs More ‘Idiot Control,’ Not Gun Control, Kennedy Says
Louisiana senator pans bipartisan bill to strengthen background check system

Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy could be the lone opponent to a bill aimed at strengthening enforcement of national background check system policies. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. John Kennedy on Tuesday took a stand against bureaucratic incompetence in the name of the Second Amendment.

“I don’t think we need more gun control; I think we need more idiot control,” the Louisiana Republican told NOLA.com, blasting a new bipartisan gun control bill that appears to be aimed at preventing more of those so-called idiots from purchasing firearms.

Trump: ‘VOTE ROY MOORE!’
President goes all-in on alleged child predator ahead of evening rally

Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, right, is welcomed to the stage on Dec. 5 by Steve Bannon, a former White House chief strategist. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Friday issued an emphatic endorsement of accused child predator Roy Moore, diving back into a special Alabama Senate race just a few days before voters there head to the polls.

“VOTE ROY MOORE!” the president tweeted eight hours before a much-anticipated campaign rally in nearby Pensacola, Florida, which bleeds into the southern Alabama television market.

NRA, Pro-Gun Lawmaker Exchange Fire Over New Bill
Kentucky GOP Rep. Massie says bill, which NRA supports, advances Obama’s agenda

Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., is at odds with the NRA over his criticism of a bill that seeks to address deficiencies in the national gun background check database. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie butted heads with the National Rifle Association Thursday over a new bill in Congress that addresses deficiencies in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), the database of people who are not allowed to buy firearms in America.

The NRA, which has given more than $4,500 to Massie’s campaigns, said on its website the congressman was spreading misinformation about the bipartisan bill.

Bump Stocks Get First Hearing in Senate, Dealt Another Blow in House
ATF has begun process to re-evaluate bump stock classification, lawmakers told

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, held a hearing Wednesday that addressed bump stocks, making good on a promise after the Las Vegas shooting. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

More than two months after the Las Vegas shooting, the deadliest in U.S. history, the Senate Judiciary committee held a long-awaited hearing addressing the bump stock devices the shooter used to kill more than 50 people and injure hundreds more.

“ATF’s authority to regulate firearms is of course limited by the terms of [the 1934 and 1968 firearms laws], and they do not empower ATF to regulate parts or accessories designed to be used with firearms,” Thomas E. Brandon, the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), told lawmakers.

A Gun Rights Vote Only the GOP Base Can Appreciate
Expansion of concealed carry permission will die in the Senate, but the NRA really wanted the vote

Majority Whip John Cornyn has some doubts that he can get a bill passed that would improve background checks for gun purchasers but doesn’t make it easier for gun owners to carry concealed weapons across state lines. A House bill passed Wednesday would do both. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

One government shutdown may be narrowly averted, but another looms right around the corner. The stain of sexual misconduct at the Capitol continues to spread, and an alleged child predator is days away from possibly joining the Senate. Middle East destabilization seems assured as Congress gets its wish to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Public support dwindles daily for a loophole-encrusted, deficit-busting tax package that would be the year’s biggest legislative achievement. The push for presidential impeachment has gone far enough to necessitate procedural pushback in the House.

A week such as this one — already chockablock with headlines touching the Hill — seemed to the Republicans who run the place like an ideal time for making a bold hiding-in-plain-sight move.

Congress’ Gun Massacre Caucus
Dealing with mass shootings is becoming all too familiar for many members

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, center left, with Rep. Mark Sanford to his right and then-Gov. Nikki Haley, second from right, attend a memorial service commemorating the anniversary of the 2015 mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images file photo)

On Dec. 14, 2012, Elizabeth Esty was attending a social media workshop for new members of Congress at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She had been elected to represent Connecticut’s 5th District a month earlier.

“I raised my hand and I said, ‘Here’s an example right now — I’m getting texts and alerts that there’s been a shooting and we don’t know what happened,’” she said.

Lawmakers Still Sending Thoughts and Prayers, Despite Criticism
Outcry over expressions of sympathy symptom of deadlock on guns

A small memorial near the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Wednesday, three days after a gunman killed more than two dozen people during a Sunday service. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Criticism of lawmakers who send “thoughts and prayers” to victims of mass shootings has attracted a lot of attention in the media. But it doesn’t appear to have caused many on Capitol Hill to find something else to say.

Roll Call reviewed statements by lawmakers after Sunday’s mass shooting during a church service in Sutherland Springs, Texas, which left 26 people, including an unborn child, dead, authorities said. The analysis found that dozens of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle reverted to some form of the expression, sparking an increasingly familiar backlash from gun control advocates and other critics who said the words have become meaningless in light of congressional inaction.

GOP Knocks Casey for Supporting Assault Weapons Ban
Casey is running for re-election in a state Trump narrowly won

Sen. Bob Casey, Jr., D-Pa., is co-sponsoring a bill banning assault weapons. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Bob Casey was the only Democrat in a competitive 2018 race to sign onto a bill banning assault weapons, and Republicans wasted no time criticizing the move. 

The Pennsylvania Democrat has evolved on gun control issues since he was first elected in 2006. And Republicans are accusing him of misleading Pennsylvania voters.

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