Rudeness < Dead Children

The murder of twenty young children and their teachers at school is, rightly, forcing the United States to come to terms with its gun problem.

Yesterday we moved past the purgatory of the “we should do something” phase into the “we are doing something” moment.

Which brings this reminder: while we may like some of our public servants, do not let that affection weaken your bargaining position as a voting citizen of this country.

New Hampshire is a small state. As a result political activists and advocates tend to be more familiar with our elected officials.

This familiarity can come at a cost to good public policy. In this case – murdered children – the cost is too high.

No matter how much we may like them, always remember – our public servants by definition work for us. And every two years we get to hold many of them accountable for their service.

Tell Barack Obama, Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte, Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster that the moment to do something meaningful to prevent gun violence is now. Do it publicly. Refrain from money and support until you are satisfied with their efforts. Ditto for our state level government.

Don’t be bullied by “the House is GOP controlled” or “SCOTUS will just overturn it” or “the next election is the most important of our lifetime.” Don’t accept the empty gestures and theater that Washington DC is so expert at. When public opinion is on your side, and matched with public will, there is nothing that cannot be accomplished in a democracy.

Being a little rude to those who serve us is a far smaller price to pay than a country that isn’t safe for five-year olds.

(Re-posted from birch paper.)

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