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93% of Senators Who Rejected Gun Control Paid by NRA

93% of Senators Who Rejected Gun Control Paid by NRA

When 90% of Americans want increased gun control policies and their elected officials reject even minimal reform, it begs the question, who exactly are our Congress members representing? Well, as usual, the money tells a significant part of the story: 42 out of the 45 Senators who voted no on the recent bill have received significant donations from the gun lobby.

“Politicians are bought!” “Politics are corrupt!” “Corporate interests over the welfare of citizens!” You’ve probably heard it all before and this kind of thing – sadly – no longer surprises you. But even if it’s something you’ve come to expect, that doesn’t make it any less disgusting or any less important to remind everyone how flawed the system is.

With research conducted by the Sunlight Foundation, The Guardian reported on the donations from the NRA and other pro-gun organizations over the last couple of decades. The NRA alone had given $800,000 to the Senators who helped nix the bill.

Among the top NRA recipients are Roy Blunt (Missouri) with $60,550 and Saxby Chambliss (Georgia) with $56,950. Fellow Republican Senators John Thune (South Dakota), Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) and Jim Inhofe (Oklahoma) have each received well over $40,000 apiece, as well.

While donations of this sort are generally made during election cycles, at least two Senators suspiciously received money from the gun industry in recent weeks. During the month of March, Richard Burr (North Carolina) and Dan Coats (Indiana) had donations from an ammunition manufacturer and shooting group. Considering that these donations came at a time when gun control looked more likely to pass, their potential impact cannot be discredited.

In fact, there may be many more donations made by the gun lobby in recent months that we are not aware of yet. Although that financial information would normally have been made public by now, the ongoing Congressional ricin scare has postponed the filing deadline. Since the NRA and gun lobby have certainly been busy positioning themselves politically since the Sandy Hook massacre, it is not unreasonable to believe these groups put their money where their mouths are.

Of course, these groups have enough financial sway that they do not even need to spend it to get what they want. Commonly, the NRA will stoop to fear tactics to keep politicians on their side. Rather than giving money, the NRA threatens to give politicians’ future opponents significant donations to defeat anyone who they feel has slighted them. President Barack Obama blames these threats on the bill’s failure, explaining, “They worried that the gun lobby would spend a lot of money and paint them as anti-second amendment.” Nevertheless, he vowed that “the effort is not over.”

While there are pro-gun control organizations that have raised money to push the alternative agenda, the capital spent is a fraction of what the NRA spends to oppose these measures.

Although Rand Paul is one of the three Senators who voted no without having recorded gun lobby donations, he does have an affiliation with the National Association for Gun Rights, a group that considers itself a “conservative” version of the NRA. The other two Senators, Heidi Heitkamp and Mark Begich, are both Democrats who have no known notable gun lobby ties.

Notably, four people who voted in favor of the bill had also received money from the gun lobby. Senators John McCain (Arizona) and Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania) were just two out of four Republicans who supported increasing gun control, while Joe Manchin (West Virginia) and Tim Johnson (South Dakota) followed their Democratic party over their former benefactors’ wants.

As much as we have a gun problem in this country, lobbyists and private interest campaign money may prove to be a more dangerous threat. So long as our political system enables a powerful group’s interests to take precedence over the will and well-being of the American people, our safety is constantly at risk.

 

Related Stories:

4 Congressional Relatives Who Are Well-Paid Lobbyists

Poll: Americans Back Gun Restrictions

States Allow the Mentally Ill to Regain Gun Rights

 

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626 comments

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1:15AM PST on Mar 7, 2014

When rich politicians like Bloomberg dictate softdrink size & pour $100M's into anti-gun propoganda, then I'm infinitely thankful to the NRA, NAGR, & others who stand for our Constitution! Or pretty soon, politicians will change laws at whims (oh wait, BO does it already w/a phone & a pen!) so no one has a voice to counter them!God help us ALL! I'll bet over 93% of all anti-gun propoganda headlines are paid for by our taxes; politicians use as scare tactics! People whine that AK/AR/etcs & Uzi's(!?) are used in 7-11 hold ups? WTF!? I've NEVER heard of an uzi used in such a crime. I'd have to Google to see what one looks like. AK/ARs? F___ing SPARE ME! Makes as much sense as a square bowling ball! Carry something that big under your coat to hold up a dime store for a few hundred $. Yeah...RIGHT! Let's move on to important things for now- like jobs. REAL unemp's >14%. Our UNhealthcare policy has cost us billions. More have lost good plans than those who've gained shi__y ones! No one can afford obammycare fines- HTF COULD they? And IF it's so good, then ALL of congress & those who reside in the Whitehouse should have it too, at least for awhile.

9:42AM PDT on May 5, 2013

BRAVO HELEN! We are the ones that are free, not those among Americans who live in fear.

9:03PM PDT on May 4, 2013

@Gar M...... I'm Dutch and Australian. Lived 20 years in the Netherlands and 14 years in Australia. So go ahead and ask me about the freedom in these countries.......

Heck in the Netherlands marijuana is sold LEGALLY in coffee shops. Sounds pretty free to me. Oh and mass shootings? Can't remember ever hearing about one there.

Australia, last time I checked we're not all locked up in jail either. OMG we even have freedom of speech!!!! Wow! This allows me to come onto CARE2 to ridicule your paranoid rubbish.

Like Elizabeth said, we don't have to send our kids to school in bullet proof vests.
We are the ones that have the freedom. We're not being held at ransom by gun lobbyists.

Having to worry, live in constant fear AND arming yourself and your kids because you might get shot due to too many people having guns, does NOT sound like freedom to me.
It sound like a nation in the tight grip of gun violence.

Freedom is not having to worry every day if your child might get shot in a school massacre.
Freedom is knowing you won't get shot by an insane and mentally unstable person, when you go do your shopping.
Freedom is feeling safe in your own country!

10:15AM PDT on May 3, 2013

Most kids PLAY They don't understand that any gun can kill someone. They are playing!!!!
Akl it takes is ONE careless moment. And kids are plenty careless.

9:39AM PDT on May 3, 2013

I'm just being faceteous Nick, but I wonder if one stipulation in a background check is "Do you live in a traier?" Stupid is as stupid does. First the gun was left loaded and secondly it was just sitting out in full access. Irresponsible, idiotic parents.

7:16AM PDT on May 3, 2013

Well Robert, that may have been YOUR experience, but most kids are fascinated by them and enjoy shooting. It is far better to teach them safety and proper handling than to keep them ignorant (like the media is) about guns and have an accidental firing of a gun occur when they come into contact with one.

3:51PM PDT on May 2, 2013

I See NO reason for a 5 year old to be shooting any projectile from anything. Whats the point???

It serves no useful purpose. They will have a whole life to be exposed to guns when they are intelligent enough to understand what it is. I remember my dad pushing me into a gun too at 6 or so. It had no interest to me. We went out and shot because he wanted to. I found it boring.

2:46PM PDT on May 2, 2013

Hi Linda. I think the operative word here that explains it all is 'trailer.' Many of us got BB guns at about 5 years old, and then were given safety instructions and supervised in its use for a few years. Even a pellet or BB rifle should be locked up around 5yr olds. These people are stupid. now their daughter is dead, and their and their son's lives are ruined forever. But it is their fault, no one else's. People have to take responsibility for their actions. As for producing guns made for small bodies to hold, it's just like any other product. I have friends who take their young children to the range, and help them shoot guns. But they only load a single round and basically hold it with them. The little .22LR 'cricket' rifles they sell and market for kids are single-shot units. But yeah, parents are supposed to be responsible. These weren't.

12:55PM PDT on May 2, 2013

Saw that horrid news yesterday also, had the same thoughts. Apparently the parents reasoning power and cognitive level is no higher than that of the 5 year old they gave the gun to. It's too bad we can't measure intelligence or decent intent when someone buys a product that can kill indiscriminately in a split second. Will the parents now be held responsible for the 2 year old baby girls death as incompetent parents or abetting a situation where a little boy's and girl's life is now ruined. Unfortunately the old saying of you can't fix stupid applies here and a little girl is dead.

10:22AM PDT on May 2, 2013

Today in the news...May 2nd/13 - A 5 yr old boy shoots and kills his 2 yr old sister with a rifle that was his birthday present. It was left sitting, loaded, in a corner of their trailer. 1st, who in hell gives a gun to a 5 yr old? 2nd, why do gun companies produce guns specifically for kids if they claim to be responsible? Oh, that would be profit.

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