Guns In The Workplace: Gun Shop Owner And Legislator Face Off [VIDEO]
The only things in life that are certain may be death and taxes, but two issues certain to divide this country are abortion and guns. And with heart rates running high over gun control proposals and how to curb gun violence, AOL Jobs' Lunchtime Live video show featured two unusual gun rights defenders: Debra Maggart, a former Republican lawmaker and Second Amendment champion, who landed on the National Rifle Association blacklist last year; and Michael Cargill a gun shop owner, who is also black, gay and a Democrat.
Cargill told Maggart that guns aren't the problem. "They'll tell you your most heated debates take place on a college campus. I say bollocks," he said in the video (see above). "Your most heated debates take place in the Texas State Capitol. They argue about bills until one, two o'clock in the morning. They all have guns. They all hate each other. And nothing bad has ever happened."
The Blacklisted Pro-Gun Republican
Maggart, former chair of the Republican caucus of the Tennessee House of Representatives, previously had a A+ rating from the NRA. But when a piece of legislation crossed her desk that would make it illegal for employers to ban guns on their property, her commitment to property rights trumped all.
The NRA wasn't very pleased with Maggart's opposition, and spent over $200,000, Maggart claims, to defeat her in her primary. It succeeded.
Cargill owns Central Texas Gun Works in Austin, Texas, and teaches gun safety classes. But he didn't grow up with guns, he said, and only applied for a concealed handgun license when he was 21, after his grandmother was mugged and raped. He doesn't think his passion for gun rights is in conflict at all with his liberal politics, and is planning on running for a Texas House seat in 2014.
Despite their pro-gun principles, Cargill and Maggart have very different views on gun rights and regulations. In their conversation, they argue over the responsibility of gun sellers, the right to take guns to work, and whether teachers should be allowed to bring concealed firearms to school. Watch the full discussion below; then tell us what you think.
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Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.
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