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Congressional representation & gun debate: A tale of 2 districts

Updated: March 18, 2013 6:45AM

Congressional representation & gun debate: A tale of 2 districts

Like many of my fellow citizens, the recent election and redistricting of congressional districts in Illinois has resulted in Tammy Duckworth being my member of Congress instead of Randy Hultgren.

I have to say it has been for the better — not necessarily because Duckworth’s positions are more aligned with mine but because I see a member of Congress who is truly fulfilling her obligation in serving the people of her district.

Let me give you an example to prove my point. The recent outbreak of ruthless gun violence in our country — or I should say the increased awareness of gun violence in our nation (it has always been a problem) — has forced us to reflect on the issues relating to guns in our society.

I know where my member of Congress, Duckworth, stands on this issue because she has stood firm and has given a clear position on this issue. I can cite at least two articles last month in this paper (Jan. 16 and Jan. 20) where Duckworth clearly stated she supports legislation that would help prevent gun violence.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for my former congressman, Randy Hultgren. In the article dated Jan. 16, this newspaper could not get a position from the congressman because according to the article he “was out of town” and his staffer stated the congressman would not comment. He must have been on vacation again. I know spending all that time blaming everything on our president and purposely being obstructionist in the House can be very exhausting sometimes. There is also no press release or statement on his website regarding his position on guns. How does he expect his constituents to know where he stands on this issue?

Both sides of the gun debate should agree on one thing — which is that this is unacceptable. Obviously, Hultgren either doesn’t want to listen to his constituents or lacks the backbone to stand up to the gun lobby.

The American people deserve better. We deserve to know where our elected leaders — whether Democrat or Republican — stand on the issues facing our nation. We need to spend a little less time tearing each other apart and spend a little more time examining the quality of our leaders. Only then can we can we call ourselves true citizens and get to work solving our nation’s problems.

Matthew Meier

East Dundee

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