On a scale of 1 to 100, 1 being the most liberal of liberals (think Lenin), and 100 being the most conservative of conservatives (think Limbaugh), I would put myself at...how about 38. The typical 700 Club viewer won't agree with many views, but neither will the typical purple-haired WTO protester. You be the judge.
Gun Policy - This is an issue that comes up again and again in American politics. I believe, as nearly all other Americans do, that guns used home defense and for hunting are permissible, and generally protected by the Constitution. I do not like the gun lobby though (the NRA specifically). They are the ultimate demagogues. They tell their members that people are trying to take away their handguns, and that the government needs background checks so they can get lists to collect their guns at some future time. They essentially tell their members everything and anything that they want to hear, in order to get more money. This money is then sent primarily to Republicans, so that they can supposedly stand up for what they believe in, against those "people that want to take their guns away".
Essentially, gun control legislation comes down to where you draw the line. Do we let people have nukes? No. Tanks? No, tanks! (Sorry, bad joke!) Bazookas? No. Flamethrowers. Hey, that actually sounds like fun at the firing range, but alas, no. Handguns for self-defense? Yes. Hunting Rifles? Sure. Shotguns? Sure, home and field dual usage, buy several! The problem comes with that in-between zone which includes primarily "assault weapons", generally military-style guns capable of dozens of rounds per minute. The NRA argument on this is threefold. They say it is potentially the first step on the slippery slope of banning all guns. They also say it is only hurting the law abiding "high-powered weapons enthusiasts", since criminals will get them anyway. Lastly, they say that the Constitution protects them. Is it a slippery slope? Hardly. I have yet to find a national political figure in either party that is in favor of doing away with anything I included above as guns currently considered legal and reasonable to own by all. It won't happen, but there are lots of "tin-foil hat wearers" in the gun lobby that swear that the Feds will be coming to take away their guns eventually. Will criminals get them regardless of the law? Possibly, but I can absolutely guarantee that there will be lots more available for them if they become widely available for everyone else. There are lots of guns stolen in the US every year, and when you're selling at a gun show, are you really going to ask the buyer a lot of questions when you're about to make a sale? Doubtful. Does the Constitution protect it? Well, since we of course have to draw the line at some point in weapon power, it still is going to come down to interpretation. When they wrote the Constitution, the musket was king! Yes, I've read the Second Amendment, and I know it says "shall not be infringed", but I don't see anyone lobbying for me and my right to see if I really can cook a chicken breast in 30 seconds from 20 yards with a flamethrower.
Additionally, a topic that has just come along as a "serious" issue recently is whether people should able to sue gun manufacturers for gun deaths. There are a lot of gun deaths in this country, far, far more than in any other industrialized nation. Our murder rate in general is at or near the top as well. I just don't understand though how people can seriously think that suing gun companies is somehow going to help. It's a culture problem, not a hardware problem, and it's not going to bring back the dead. Unless they were selling something that had unintended side effects like addiction leading to lung cancer and so on like with tobacco, then they should be protected as long as what they are selling is legal and not mechanically defective, just like any other product. The same goes for fast food by the way, but that has already been laughed out of court I think.
Taxes - According to John Edwards, taxes are a moral issue. It was interesting that he said this when he did, because I had sort of come to that conclusion myself just a couple weeks before he said it, and I was trying to figure out if I was the only one that thought so. When I say moral, I mean that judgments are made regarding who deserves what, and as soon as you start talking about who "deserves" something, it is a moral issue. It is hard to make the standard objective, though we should and do try. I believe that Edwards believes the same thing. This is of course a complicated issue, and will need to be broken down into parts.