Rich Anderson has been “representing” us in Richmond since 2010, so we’ve had a while to get to know him. I’m constantly struck by the fact that, over the last seven years as our representative, Rich has gone to Richmond not to vote for our interests, but for big donors and lobbyists like the Chamber of Commerce and the National Rifle Association instead.
Anderson’s refusal to take action to prevent gun violence is unacceptable.
Hardly a day goes by in America where there isn’t an incident of gun violence. Though last week’s tragic attack was the deadliest mass shooting in American history, it is an all too common story. Many people in our communities are afraid to live their lives because gun violence can happen at any time and in any place.
Our politicians, including Delegate Rich Anderson, decry these attacks as senseless acts of violence, but they continually fail to do anything to prevent them from happening.
For Anderson, it could be because, over the course of his time as a delegate, the NRA has donated to his campaigns and awarded him an A rating. That A rating means that, much like other politicians who are scared to run afoul of the NRA, when Rich Anderson votes in Richmond, he votes for the interests of the gun lobby rather than the interests of the people he represents.
Rich Anderson takes no action to prevent gun violence because the NRA pays him not to.
Politicians like Rich can get away with mere platitudes of thoughts and prayers for the victims and no action because they pay more attention to the NRA than their constituents. We’ve seen these politicians fall back on the old talking points that this is meant to be a time of mourning only, that we not politicize the issue by bringing up common sense gun laws to prevent further attacks because no one forces him to do otherwise. These politicians will also squawk about how all this gun violence prevention talk is just political opportunism by liberals who want to take away your guns—all while they continue to bask in the NRA’s support and vote against any laws that can prevent more shootings.
It’s a safe bet that if Rich is elected Delegate again, he will continue to vote to allow anyone and everyone to own a gun while voting down common sense bills that keep us safe—including those that call for background checks.
But we have something the NRA doesn’t.
I’m not OK with living in a world like this. These horrifying tragedies happen over and over and over again, and representatives like Rich Anderson continue to jeopardize our safety by doing nothing. Rich Anderson is scared of making an enemy of the NRA, but really, he should be scared of making an enemy of the voters who keep him in office.
Enough is enough. We won’t stand for this. We shouldn’t be afraid to go to the mall, the movie theater, a concert, or even to work any longer. We, the voters, have something the NRA never will—the power to vote.
So when I go to vote on November 7, I’m sure as hell going to remember that Rich Anderson continues to do nothing when innocent Americans are killed in mass shootings. I’ll vote for taking a stand against the NRA.
Photo credit: By Cory Doctorow (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons