This article first appeared in Liberal America.
Yesterday, as the country was still reeling from the thirtieth mass shooting in the first 45 days of the year, the eighteenth school shooting, I decided to look up how much the Republican, John Faso (NY-19), who represents my district accepted from the National Rifle Associate (NRA) leading up to his 2016 election.
Now, that doesn’t even come close to placing him in the top 20, but it’s still money, and if there’s one thing we know in a post-Buckley vs. Valleo, McCutcheon vs. FEC, Citizens United America, it’s that politicians (mostly Republicans) will contort themselves into pretzels defending positions their wealthy campaign contributors buy their loyalty to support.
According to page 10 of the Indivisible Guide, members of congress (MoC) care about local press and editorials much more than tweets and Facebook posts, so I decided to compose a letter to the editor of my local newspaper, as I have been wont to do myriad times since my representative was elected.
This is what I wrote:
“This week we saw yet another individual who never should have been allowed to obtain a gun walk into another school with another assault rifle and perpetrate the eighteenth school shooting this year–and it’s only February.
“It’s been five years since the horrific massacre in Newtown, CT. Since then, there have been 239 school shootings where more than 400 people have been shot.
“And who’s to blame? Members of Congress who accept obscene amounts of campaign cash from the National Rifle Association, and can only offer “thoughts and prayers.”
“According to Open Secrets, our very own Rep. Faso received $8,200 from the NRA.
“I call on Rep. Faso to publicly condemn the NRA and return that money.
“Only through the repudiation of the gun lobby can we have a chance of ending the terror it is complicit in inflicting.”
Like you, I’m fed up with the “thoughts and prayers.”
So why don’t we all send our elected officials a similar message? Send it to your local newspaper, and make sure you call out your MoC by name as well as the figure she or he received from the gun lobby.
This may just be the tipping point. We can hope. The “Me Too” Movement, the Women’s March, and thousands of organic local protests all over the country indicate progressive change is in the air.
The pressure is on.
According to a piece in Politicususa:
“The NRA is getting scared because, after Parkland, Americans aren’t only angry. They are getting organized and ready to primary pro-NRA Republicans…People are coming together to stand up to them, and that is exactly what the NRA fears most.”
The tide is turning.
Image credit: wonkville.net