In considering any legislation on gun control, Congress must make sure to keep in mind the values of gun owners, says former Kansas Democratic Rep. Dan Glickman.
“Based on my experience, we need to recognize that large numbers of Americans view gun ownership as almost tantamount to their citizenship, and their views are deeply held and have strong cultural foundations, especially in rural America,” he writes on Politico
“Political leaders should not be dissuaded from taking action on this issue, but they must recognize the cultural differences that exist in our diverse nation. We should not demonize the gun owner and recognize that the overwhelming majority are decent, law-abiding people.”
As for his experience, Glickman says that a few months before the 1994 election that threw him out of office, he authored a bill that saved thousands of aerospace jobs in his district. But he also voted for the assault weapons ban that year.
While campaigning, Glickman stopped in the home of one the workers whose job he saved. The man thanked him but said he couldn’t vote for Glickman, who later served as Agriculture secretary.
But why, the congressman asked. The answer was simple – guns. “He told me that using firearms provided him a cultural identity and a key element of enjoying his life.” Glickman let the man know that he didn’t want to take his guns, that he just wanted to halt purchases of assault weapons
“He firmly told me that it was not my business to tell him what kinds of guns he should be able to purchase and use,” Glickman says. “Over the next several weeks, that story was replicated many, many times in interactions with my constituents.”
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