Dear Senator Grassley: Recently, on your recess from activity in the United States Senate, you came to Decorah, among other sites in Iowa, to engage in dialogue with concerned citizens about various issues under consideration in the Congress. I limit my comments to only one question asked by a concerned citizen that day. It concerned your views about, and your probable vote concerning, gun-control-reform legislation before the Senate.
Your answer was shockingly terse and blunt. You simply said you favor the Second Amendment to the Constitution as the overriding, and therefore sufficiently compelling, basis for rejecting current gun-control initiatives before the Senate. This included your anticipated no vote against requiring background checks for all gun sales within this country.
There were many of us in Decorah who were in utter disbelief that you could have answered the gun control question as you did. Let me speak for myself and tell you why I was among those in shock. I wish to anchor the following reasoning in my sense of the legislative process itself, and what that process implies for how our elected representatives carry out the duties of public office.
Wise citizens of whatever political persuasion assume that most questions worthy of searching debate in the Congress prior to a vote emerge out of underlying concerns which variously derive from specific moral, cultural, economic, political and (sometimes) religious commitments and loyalties. These concerns come into the mix by ascribing weight to divergent perspectives and preferences.
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