Is this really about money? Could we actually succeed at reducing gun violence in America if we cut off the money stream? By that I mean the flow of dollars to the campaign wallets of the people we elect to represent us in Congress.
We read and hear about ideas, little ones, baby steps, such as outlawing bump stocks, raising the age one must be to purchase weapons, toughening background checks. All good but small steps. There’s a song in Andrew Lloyd Weber’s excellent show “Evita” — “And the Money Kept Rolling In.” Here’s an excerpt:
“When the money keeps rolling in you don’t ask how
Think of all the people guaranteed a good time now . . .
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’
“Rollin’ on in, rollin’ on in
Rollin’ on in, rollin’ on in
So far in less than four months of 2018, the National Rifle Association has donated funds to members of Congress at a rate well ahead of last year’s, so our elected representatives are on track for a richer year by the time Christmas arrives.
Money buys votes. That’s the ugly reality. We all know that this is a corruption of the way a representative democracy is supposed to work, but there it is. People with money buy votes that protect their interests, Koch Brothers, National Rifle Association, plenty of others. So, who represents us less-wealthy Americans whose kids are being shot to death in school?
What would happen if somehow we cut off the money flow, made it illegal for an elected member of Congress to accept donations from the NRA? What a radical idea. That’s not just another baby step toward sanity. It would be huge. Is it naïve to even suggest such a thing? Maybe.
But it would save lives. It would work. Do we have the guts?