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? 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.
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.
“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.”
This is not a political issue. This is not a Constitutional debate. This is a pandemic that’s killing children. And it’s perpetrated by hypocrites who preach a doctrine of “life” but take money from a profit-driven gun lobby. @RoyBlunt @SenatorBurr @SenThomTillis @SenCoryGardner
— Bess Kalb (@bessbell) February 14, 2018
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.
Cindy & I are praying for all those impacted by the senseless shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in #Florida. Our hearts are with the victims, their families, all first responders & the entire Parkland community.
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) February 15, 2018
Sen. Cory Gardner from Colorado: $3,879,064 from the NRA.
I am heartbroken for the students & family of those involved in this horrible tragedy & I’m praying for our first responders as they act swiftly to contain the situation. https://t.co/rCn5lFYhHP
— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) February 14, 2018
Sen. Rob Portman from Ohio: $3,061,941 from the NRA.
— Rob Portman (@senrobportman) February 14, 2018
Sen. Bill Cassidy from Louisiana: $2,861,047 from the NRA.
Praying for the students, teachers and first responders affected by the tragic shooting in Florida. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families.
— Bill Cassidy (@BillCassidy) February 14, 2018
Sen. Joni Ernst from Iowa: $3,124,273 from the NRA.
Please join me in praying for the students, faculty, and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, as well as their loved ones. Let us also show our gratitude to the courageous first responders.
— Joni Ernst (@SenJoniErnst) February 14, 2018
Sen. Thom Tillis from North Carolina: $4,418,012 from the NRA.
Tragic news out of Florida. Please keep the victims, their families, first responders and the community in your thoughts and prayers.
— Senator Thom Tillis (@SenThomTillis) February 14, 2018
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.
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.
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