Senator Chuck Grassley’s town hall meeting in Manchester on Friday afternoon was a heated one.
Around 200 people packed the Delaware County Courthouse courtroom from wall to wall – that’s twice as many as the room usually holds. And the general sense from half the room was anger – with moments of shouts and booing as Senator Grassley answered questions about gun control and gun violence. The Senator told KMCH he hadn’t encountered that kind of anger at any of his other town halls that week, but says he understands why people are passionate about the issue.
During the town hall, Grassley touched on those four areas, which include eliminating bump stock and working on a bill to get money into schools.
One person at the town hall wanted to know how Grassley could justify AR-15s.
A student from Johnson County who said she fears for her life at school asked Senator Grassley if he could promise her that he wouldn’t take money from the NRA… Grassley responded by saying he “will take any money that is legal with no attachment to how he votes”. A teacher also expressed her concern to the Senator about the possibility of being armed to protect her students… Grassley told her “if we’re going to have guns in school, I don’t want it to be up to Washington – I want it to be up to your local school district”… to Grassley’s surprise, that wasn’t what she wanted to hear.
Grassley also took questions about the Farm Bill, DACA, Russia sanctions and education funding.
Friday was Senator Grassley’s first Delaware County town hall meeting in several years. He visits the county each year as part of his annual 99 County Tour, but says he didn’t receive any invitations this year to meet with local businesses, organizations or schools, so that’s why a town hall meeting was scheduled in the county instead.