Politicians Who Receive Big Money From the NRA

Stacy Brown

 

This is an excerpt from the Washington Informer. Read the rest of the article here.

 

[Last week], students from Washington D.C. and surrounding areas held a demonstration at the White House in response to last week’s fatal school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

 

The event, where students lay on the ground as a way of representing the victims while calling for gun change laws, served as a precursor to two other scheduled events, the March 14 National School Walkout and March 24’s “March for Our Lives.”

 

Both events have the same theme: Enough is enough.

 

“Students and staff have the right to teach and learn in an environment free from the worry of being gunned down in their classrooms or on their way home from school,” Women’s March, which is setting up the school walkout, said in a news release. “Parents have the right to send their kids to school in the mornings and see them home alive at the end of the day.”

 

Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association and its close ties to lawmakers are again under fire after the Parkland shooting that left 17 dead.

 

The Feb. 14 shooting counts among the more than two dozen deadly school shootings that have happened in the United States since the shocking 1999 Columbine High School attack in which 18-year-old Eric Harris and 17-year-old Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and one teacher before committing suicide in the school library.

 

It’s also the 10th deadly shooting at a school since Adam Lanza, 27, gunned down 20 first-grade children and six adults, school staff and faculty at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, before fatally shooting himself in 2012.

 

The Florida shooting, like others before, has shone the spotlight again on the NRA — the nonprofit gun advocacy group — and its contributions to lawmakers who have steadfastly refused to pass stricter gun laws.

 

The accused gunman in the Florida shooting, Nikolas Cruz, 19, somehow was able to legally obtain the military-style AR-15 assault rifle, despite the FBI being made aware of his disturbing behavior beforehand.

 

“We are grieving with Parkland, but we are not powerless,” former President Barack Obama tweeted. “Caring for our kids is our first job. And until we can honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep them safe from harm, including long overdue, common-sense gun safety laws that most Americans want, then we have to change.”

 

 

The former president often bumped heads with the powerful NRA and many believe that members of Congress have not passed stricter gun laws — for instance extended background checks before being allowed to purchase and the kinds of weapons that citizens should be permitted to buy — because the NRA is against such measures.

 

The NRA also has infamously lined the pockets of many and a report from OpenSecrets.org, which tracks contributions to lawmakers from such organizations like the NRA, recorded more than $17.3 million in campaign contributions Republicans alone took from the group.

 

In the 2016 election cycle, 19 federal election candidates in Florida races received a total of $834,165 from the NRA’s Political Victory Fund, the Political Action Committee, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

 

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who ran for both the presidency and the Senate, raked in the highest donation, receiving $9,900. Since the Parkland shooting, Rubio has doubled down on a claim that gun control would not have stopped the rampage.

 

An October New York Times report helped shed some light on which elected officials receive big money from the NRA and, perhaps, is reticent to upset the group by introducing and passing stricter gun laws.

 

Arizona Sen. John McCain has received more than $7.7 million from the NRA, while fellow Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina has received more than $6.9 million. Missouri’s Roy Blunt received $4.5 million while Tom Tillis of North Carolina received $4.4 million.

 

This is an excerpt from the Washington Informer. Read the rest of the article here.

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