When a child dies from a school shooting, the NRA knows it is going to have to up its GOP campaign contributions to keep its GOP allies from succumbing to compassion. So exactly how much is the NRA willing to spend per dead child to keep Republicans from supporting sane firearm legislation? It turns out the answer is $698,000 per dead child. In 2015 and 2016 — the most recent years for which we have campaign information — GOP candidates, including presidential candidates, received more than $38.3 million from the NRA, while 55 children died in schoolhouse shootings during those same years.

Every candidate who takes NRA money is receiving the very worst kind of blood money, and now we know how to price it. If they have any honor, Sen. Susan Collins and Rep. Bruce Poliquin would declare immediately and publicly that they will not accept one more penny from the NRA and that they will return any funds in their campaign coffers that came from that source.

If they do not, every voter will know exactly how little their honor is worth, and how much they will accept for a murdered schoolchild.

Dennis J. Perkins

Winslow