Turning Point USA to host Iowa legislators


Iowa State Turning Point USA hosted a legislative discussion with Iowa state representatives on Dec. 2 at the Memorial Union. 

Josue Aceves

Turning Point USA hosted a legislative forum featuring Iowa legislators to answer questions from Iowa State students with topics including the Second Amendment, mental health and the funding of public services. 

The legislators included Iowa state Rep. Kristin Sunde (42-D),  Rep. Eddie Andrews (39-R), Rep. Ross Wilburn (42-D) and Iowa state Sen. Herman Quirmbach (23-D). 

When asked about firearms and the Second Amendment, all the legislators agreed on the idea of there being “common sense” gun control. There was also support to keep the right to own firearms. 

The Second Amendment is there to protect your family, your property and we are guaranteed the pursuit of happiness which refers to the right to property, Andrews said. 

When asked about mental health, Sunde and Wilburn focused on providing mental health services for children at a young age when their brains are early in development. 

“Getting in front of the issues like creating healthy brains at a really young age before a lot of times trauma and other things happen that change how your brain is wired,” Sunde said. 

Andrews said he wants to focus on strengthening the state’s relationship with hospitals and implementing the 988 hotline to help better mental health services. Quirmbach touched on the amount of funding mental health services are receiving, noting that Iowa needs to put money behind these services in order to keep up with inflation. 

When law enforcement officers were asked about, the legislators agreed that there should be body cameras on them at all times. Others mentioned that mental health services and advocates should be better funded at police stations as well.

Legislators were asked about what they thought was the biggest issue affecting Iowa right now. 

“I always like to start with what’s right in front of us and the pandemic has been right in front of us,” Wilburn said.

Wilburn also said the state needs to start managing the virus properly, with ways to do so by making vaccine boosters a yearly shot, similar to a flu shot and by taking care of ourselves as individuals. 

As the employee shortage continues, Sunde said employers are having hiring issues, and figuring that out is important to those who are in need of those services.

The issue of job shortages is connected to the pandemic, Andrews said in response to Sunde. 

“I would also add that civil rights, and what I feel like is government overreach, I think that is a critical issue,” Andrews said. “Going from an individual having the responsibility of taking care of themselves to a mandate, it gets at the heart of individual rights and I think that’s a huge issue.”