Marriages, needless to say, have their disagreements. The union between the Dingells — ex-Rep. John and current Rep. Debbie — just happens to include one over a public-policy issue that's important to both spouses.
One of Debbie Dingell's first major moves as a lawmaker — just the second bill that she's introduced — reveals a key difference with her predecessor. Dingell introduced a bill this month aiming to stop convicted domestic abusers and stalkers from purchasing guns, and she had help from former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords's gun-control group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, in promoting it.
In teaming up with a group that has cast itself as a counterweight to the National Rifle Association, the Michigan Democrat has quickly drawn a contrast with her husband, a notably pro-gun Democrat who served on the NRA's board of directors and received endorsements from the group.
"Let's just say we don't talk about this a lot," she said, when asked if she and her husband disagree on this aspect of gun regulation.
Debbie Dingell wasn't always an advocate for measures like this one, but it does predate her election to Congress. After the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012, Dingell revealed in a Washington Post op-ed that she was the survivor of the kind of incident she's now trying to prevent: When she was in the eighth grade, her father "almost shot" her mother, and she "tried to grab the gun" from his hands, Dingell wrote.