No More Words

17 Dec

images-4Big 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.

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11 Responses to “No More Words”

  1. Steven Meier December 17, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    You are right -it is long past time for us to take a stand. I was hoping to be articulate enough to write to our Congressmen and Senators. Maybe you have already started thinking about it. Our elected officials need to get some cojones. There must be a list of who gets support from the NRA, right?

    • jmlindy422 December 17, 2012 at 11:49 am #

      I’m pretty sure you can get that information from Brady. You might also get it from NRA, though they may have locked their site down after Friday. They’ve not made a statement of any kind.

  2. Bill & Paul Hiscott-Zurowski December 17, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    Never mind. Figured it out. Thanks.

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. jo11anne December 17, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    Congratulations on a well-articulated strong call to action concerning the need to bring guns under control in the USA. As a Canadian I have always been baffled by the curious lack of consensus on this deadly issue among Americans. Why any resident needs an assault rifle at home really puzzles most of the rest of us in western democracies.

    Your statistics re the enormous budget that funds the NRA lobbying activities are truly staggering, and it is perhaps only though a massive movement via social media that enough pressure can be brought to bear on politicians to force them to re-think their timid views on gun control legislation. I hope you’ve started a movement to do just that.

    • jmlindy422 December 17, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

      Thanks so much! A friend suggested what gun violence in American needs is a group like MADD (Mother’s Against Drunk Driving); I don’t know if I’m the right person for that! I hope reasonable people in other countries realize that most Americans are also reasonable. As the NRA situation attests, if you’ve got money here, you’ve got a strong voice.

  4. nevercontrary December 17, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

    Money speaks in this country. So true.
    Bravo!

    • jmlindy422 December 17, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

      Thanks. I hope it some some good. This morning, two people had clicked through to the NY Times article and one had clicked through to donate to the Brady Campaign.

  5. Emily @ The Waiting December 17, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

    My husband just told me today that recently the NRA blocked legislation that would have banned the sale in Connecticut of the EXACT GUN that was used in the slayings. It makes me sick. It’s time to put our money where our mouth is. In this country, that’s what gets stuff done.

    • jmlindy422 December 17, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

      I did some research on repeating rifles and, in a nut shell, you only need to hunt with a semi automatic if your aim sucks. Spend a few more hours on the firing range and you don’t need to blow Bambi into the next county. Yup. Money talks. BTW, the image I chose if the exact same weapon–the Predator. Nice, huh?

  6. philosophermouseofthehedge December 18, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    This is a great post.
    They have to be safe before they can learn.
    We need to with hold money from those who glorify violence and profit from that.
    There needs to be real national background checks, forced training, and laws specifying how guns are stored/kept in homes – especially homes with children (there are here – and parents are prosecuted)
    Gun shows should have the same requirements as above.(that’s a big loophole and problem now – probably where some of these guns came from.)
    That shooter should have NEVER had access to any weapon. Bad judgement by mother cost all these lives.
    People must use common sense.
    No. School teachers do not need guns – too dangerous.
    Semi-automatics do have a place.
    WIld hogs/bears usually need more than one shot to stop them ( like human crackheads – seriously- they are nuts and won’t stop). Ranchers and farmers must be able to stop the wild hogs – much agricultural damage
    For home security, semi-automatics give you a chance if you are terrified and one shot may not be accurate. (This is real. Please listen – give victims a chance to live. Law enforcement isn’t working. Protective orders are a joke. The justice system is broken.This is not made up.)
    The problem is extreme anger – and the idea that violence is an acceptable way to solve a problem.
    Another problem is unstable people – or those with mental health issues.Too many refuse to accept that family members are dangerous and cannot be controlled.
    Still another issue which you may not have in your community yet is the fact that some new arrivals come from cultures and societies that are militant and very violent. Many kids have seen their families/ schools/ friends slaughtered in front of them. They do see killing differently – it is survival.
    This is a very complex situation – but solutions must be found.
    Money can make a difference. It’s the only thing that counts any more.
    We must try.
    A mothers against violence group might be worth a try.

  7. philosophermouseofthehedge December 19, 2012 at 8:03 am #

    Hey, grass roots can have impact. You are so right.
    Do you know if your investment funds have holdings in gun companies or companies that produce violent games?
    Call and find out. We did. And move your money if so.
    It’s having an impact. Little things do add up to change
    (Oh, and hope you have a warm merry, but peaceful day!)
    Even saw an article in today’s paper that some big retirement funds are doing it also. People are deciding some things are more important than money.
    http://blog.chron.com/lorensteffy/2012/12/investors-grow-wary-of-gun-makers-after-shooting/

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