How to Disarm the NRA and Gun Industry Lobbyists

Last year, writes J. Adam Skaggs of the Brennan Center for Justice in the New York Times, the N.R.A. outspent the leading gun control lobby 73 to 1. Senators facing tough re-election campaigns ignore the wishes of 90 percent of Americans because they fear the gun lobby could mount a $9 million ad campaign against them. The solution to this political dysfunction is to empower regular voters as a counterweight to big political money. The Empowering Citizens Act, sponsored by Representatives David Price and Chris Van Hollen, would do precisely that. By matching grass-roots donations from regular voters with public funds, the system would give Congressional candidates an alternative path to victory in which they depend on constituents and voters, instead of deep-pocketed donors seeking political favors.