Cash in your clunky Congressman

You've seen those buy-back programs where some nanny group wants to get guns off the streets by buying them back. One such program offered $250 per gun, no questions asked. (Since you can buy a new gun for less than that, a couple gun dealers showed up with their trunks full of cheap new guns to sell back at $250 a pop.) Just this past Halloween, a group of dentists even offered a candy buy-back program. But we face a danger greater than guns, or even sugar. Let’s go after the real danger on the streets. So I'm announcing the first

Congressional Buy-Back Program

Sponsored by CUSS and CRAP

CUSS (Citizens United for Safe Streets) and CRAP (Committee to Restore America’s Peace)

1. Who: Any registered voter may exchange their Congressman for cash.

2. What: Any member of Congress is eligible for buy-back, regardless of original selling price.

3. How much: it may seem like a problem deciding how much cash to offer to anyone who brings their Congressman in for redemption. But just like the gun buy-back programs, the cash offered need not bear any relationship to the actual value of the item, and in fact, a higher price will yield better results. So, let’s not be stingy here. We will offer a cash payment that is well above the actual worth of even the best Congressman. We suggest $10 for Representatives and $20 for Senators. Any residual bribes found on the person of the Congressman may be retained by the voter.

4. Limit: One per voter.

5. When: ASAP, especially before the next session of Congress.

Additional rules: As soon as Congress gets wind of this buy-back program, we expect many of them to go into hiding. So to improve the effectiveness of the program, we have analyzed actual features of successful gun buy-back programs in order to adapt them to our Congressional Buy-Back Program.

6. “Only weapons in working order will be accepted.” This presents a real challenge to adapt to Congressmen. In testing a small sample of Congressmen, we found none of them were in working condition. So we will accept all Congressmen, no questions asked.

7. “The MPDC works with the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to trace the weapons and track their involvement with previously unsolved crimes.” This should be relatively easy; we can to use The Congressional Record to track the Congressmen’s previous criminal activity.

8. “All the weapons accumulated during gun buy-backs in DC are melted down and destroyed at an area foundry.” There might be environmental problems caused by dumping Congressmen into a foundry, so we will simply export them to France, which will raise the average IQ of both countries.

9. “No identification required.” This means you, not your Congressman. We may still require your Congressman to have valid ID or a passport (see #8 above).

10. “No gun dealers.” Since the people who regularly buy and sell guns are ineligible for gun buy-backs, we think, to be fair, we will have to declare lobbyists ineligible to sell back a Congressman.

11. “Those turning in weapons are granted amnesty from any gun possession charges that might apply.” Any voter who turns in a Congressman will be granted amnesty from such charges as tampering with the witless or obstructing injustice or transporting a moron across state lines.

12. “The program will not accept BB guns, air pistols, long guns and replicas.” Genuine elected Congressmen only, please. No coroners or school board members.

13. “Guns brought by car must be transported in the trunk and unloaded, and placed in a plastic or paper bag or shoe box.” This makes sense. We think Congressmen can be safely transported in the same manner.

14. “Bury our guns, not our people!” Burying Congressmen requires a hazardous waste permit from the EPA, which would take too long. We think the France option will work fine. However, as a back-up option, we have arranged for a 1-to-1 swap as Gitmo is emptied.

15. “Stolen weapons will be returned to their legal owners.” Actually, we have not seen a problem with anybody even wanting to steal a Congressman. However, some Congressmen who have been bought won’t stay bought and repeatedly resell themselves to the highest bidder. So, under the “doctrine of prior corruption” we will honor receipts for bought Congressmen based on earliest date of purchase rather than highest amount of purchase to determine legal ownership of the Congressman.

16. “Make our streets safer by taking unwanted guns off our streets.” We think that we will all be safer when we reduce the number of Congressmen roaming the streets. So, gather up your Congressmen and bring them in.

17. Critics of this buy-back point to the fact that gun buy-back programs have never shown a reduction in crime as a result. But why take the chance with something as dangerous as a Congressman? Even if only one law is prevented, wouldn’t it be worth it?

Drew Clark of Erie is a former member of the Colorado House of Representatives, where he was never for sale at any price.