House candidates agree on top social issues

Both candidates for the 1st District U.S. House seat oppose abortion and allowing openly gay people in the military, and they both support gun rights.
But despite the similar stances, incumbent Rep. Travis Childers has the endorsements of the National Right to Life and the National Rifle Association.
State Sen. Alan Nunnelee, his opponent, says that’s just the perks of being an incumbent, and that his positions are just as firm, if not firmer.
Democrat Childers of Booneville and Republican Nunnelee of Tupelo will face off on the Nov. 2 general election ballot with seven independents and non-traditional party nominees.
The winner will represent North Mississippi’s 23 counties in the U.S. House of Representatives for two years, starting in January 2011.
On social issues, Nunnelee and Childers have their perspectives, even when they don’t necessarily disagree.
On gun control, for instance, both are quick to pronounce their support for the Second Amendment. And beyond that, Childers has sponsored legislation to remove restrictions on guns in Washington, D.C. That move has generated criticism from DC Vote, a Washington rights advocacy group that has told Childers to stay out of the district’s business.
But Childers says the issue goes beyond the District of Columbia.
“If the right to bear arms can be denied anywhere, it can be denied everywhere – even here in the 1st District,” said Childers.
In response to the same issue, the Republican challenge said, “If they dislike Travis Childers, they will really dislike Alan Nunnelee.”
Regarding gays in the military, Childers supports the current “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which prohibits openly gay people from serving in the military. He voted against its repeal and said he believes these decisions should be made within the military.
Nunnelee also supports the current policy, which he says is what the military leadership recommends. The military, he said during the candidates’ only debate, “should not be used as a social laboratory.”
Both candidates oppose abortion and Nunnelee has sponsored bills in the Legislature that have made Mississippi’s abortion laws the most restrictive in the nation.
Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@djournal.com.

Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal