Radio host Bobby Bones is opening up about gun control, revealing his perhaps surprising view on what the nation needs to do in the wake of recent mass shootings. While the issue remains controversial, Bones doesn't think it needs to be, and hopes more people are open to discussing the challenging topic.
"I grew up in the South, so I have a different relationship with guns than a lot of other people," Bones told PEOPLE. "A gun wasn't always a weapon. A gun was a tool, especially for me because I had to go shoot squirrels to have dinner as a kid. People hear that and think, 'Oh he's a Republican. He must be a gun guy.'"
Bones' view on guns might be different than some, thanks to his upbringing, but he is quick to add that some restrictions need to be in place.
"I believe that there should be stricter background checks and I believe that gun shows should not exist in the way they do now," Bones said. "I believe that if you are going to have a strong gun, you should have a bigger license, kind of like driving a car compared to driving a Mack truck."
The Arkansas native has been open about his political aspirations, which he holds not because he wants the title, but because he wants the influence.
"I didn't come from privilege," Bones explained. "I came from a welfare grandma and a food stamp mom and I suffered through the addiction of my mom and my dad left when I was 5 or 6 years old. I've seen that and I have been the voice of my people and those people that have struggled. I've gone through a struggle, and I feel like if I'm not there to speak for them, who will?"
The reigning Dancing With the Stars champ acknowledges there isn't a party line he falls nicely in, which makes him the perfect political candidate.
"Getting older doesn't scare me but politics does, in a good way," Bones said. "I am so moderate and there are just so many issues that I fall on both sides of. I mean, when you look at social issues like gay rights, I'm like, 'Of course! What are we thinking?' So both sides are oddly and covertly pitching me right now and I'm like, 'What world is this?' So this is why I think I'll do it."
Photo Credit: Getty images / John Shearer