These Lawmakers Sent Thoughts & Prayers To Florida — Here's How Much They Got From The NRA

Photo: MICHAEL REYNOLDS/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock.
Everyone wants to keep children safe at school.
But many Republicans don't want to see the stupefyingly simple cause and effect at play here.
Why? After all, their constituents keep getting massacred. And there's no reason someone like the Florida high school shooter, who has a history of domestic violence and killing animals, should be in possession of an AR-15 rifle.
The answer, of course, is the National Rifle Association, the powerful gun lobby that keeps predominantly GOP lawmakers rejecting gun safety measure after gun safety measure — over 100 since a gunman killed students and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. The NRA donates millions to help elect Republicans, and thus keeps them in its gun-loving pockets.
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Here's an interesting correlation: Lawmakers who offer their "thoughts and prayers" on Twitter after massacres like Wednesday's at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, also tend to receive heaps of funding from the NRA. Which means they do approximately nothing when it comes to actually keeping guns away from our schools.
Comedy writer Bess Kalb discussed this at length on Twitter on Wednesday, although it's been reported before by The New York Times and other publications.
"This is not a political issue. This is not a Constitutional debate. This is a pandemic that's killing children," she tweeted. "And it's perpetrated by hypocrites who preach a doctrine of 'life' but take money from a profit-driven gun lobby."
She went on to quote-tweet several lawmakers' "thoughts and prayers" tweets and point out how much funding they've received from the NRA, information that's available through Open Secrets. And it's remarkable.
Sen. John McCain from Arizona: $7,740,521 from the NRA.
Sen. Cory Gardner from Colorado: $3,879,064 from the NRA.
Sen. Rob Portman from Ohio: $3,061,941 from the NRA.
Sen. Bill Cassidy from Louisiana: $2,861,047 from the NRA.
Sen. Joni Ernst from Iowa: $3,124,273 from the NRA.
Sen. Thom Tillis from North Carolina: $4,418,012 from the NRA.
What's also remarkable is that many of the same lawmakers made almost word-for-word similar statements after the Las Vegas mass shooting in October 2017, where 58 people died from gunshot wounds while enjoying a country music concert.
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We've emailed all of these Senators to ask their thoughts on what should be done to prevent these tragedies in the first place, but have not heard back from any of them.
This is the 18th shooting on a school or college campus in the U.S. this year alone. Scientifically speaking, that's a hell of a lot more than anywhere in the rest of the world.
Kalb was in the media spotlight on Thursday for her to-the-point tweets. But she says that if you write about her statements, she has no comment. "Just donate to everytown.org," she adds.
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