Big Bird will get no support from me. The National Endowments for the Humanities and the Arts aren’t on my charitable donation lists either. And I’m not giving a cent to another politician, not even the liberals.
I am giving my money to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. I am giving them money because dead children can’t watch Sesame Street, study the humanities or create art. I am giving money because I, and other supporters of gun control, have been yapping and moaning for years and nothing has changed. I am putting my money where my mouth is.
Nothing happens in this country without money. The latest presidential election cost more than two billion dollars. That’s a hell of a lot of lettuce with not much sandwich to show for it. If you think money doesn’t matter in the gun control debate, look at what’s happening on the other side. Blake Zeff, at CapitalNewYork.com wrote:
The N.R.A. has an estimated yearly budget of $220 million, and spent $64.5 million over the last decade to influence federal elections, targeting wayward legislators for defeat and providing an implicit threat to others that they mean business.
The leading gun control group, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, spent $3.1 million in 2010, the most recent year for which they have an annual report online. Its spending over the last decade on federal elections? Just over half a million dollars, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
In other words, in the last decade, the NRA has out-spent the Brady Campaign by more than 2000% in federal elections. Yes, 2000%. With clout (read: money) like that, is it any wonder candidates are afraid to piss off the gun lobby? Clearly, gun control doesn’t have a big gun in this fight.
I don’t want to debate the fine points of gun control right now. You can read a thought-provoking piece by Nicholas D. Kristoff of the New York Times that addresses the issues and offers some possible solutions.
I don’t want to debate the fine points not because I’m a chicken. I don’t want to debate the fine points because there is no sense debating the fine points if we don’t have the financial backing to scare the crap out of our elected officials.
My dinky donation won’t make a huge dent in the 2000% disparity. Remember, though, that donations of $250 or less make up the greatest part of financing for almost every campaign and non-profit organization.
Right now, the Brady Campaign has a form you can fill out to send condolences to Newtown. Don’t do it. Instead, click to make a donation. Hugs may feel good, but they won’t change policy. In politics, it’s money that talks.