It isn’t just NRA money. Congressional Republicans don’t act because their families aren’t at risk.
Did you see this?
‘WTF’: Twitter furious as Florida lawmakers declare porn a ‘health risk’ but block assault rifle ban
The vote comes less than a week after the devastating shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school left 17 people dead
Less than a week after the devastating shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school left 17 people dead, Florida lawmakers rejected an attempt to discuss a ban on assault weapons. The Florida House voted 36-71 on Tuesday (20 February) against a motion to consider the bill that would have banned the sale or possession of automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines such as the AR-15 assault rifle used by the gunman who opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day.
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, the Republican Party (A Wholly Owned Subsidiary of the NRA) doesn’t care about these children. Your children.
There are two reasons. The first has been talked about a great deal as we’ve moved from massacre to massacre: NRA money. Lots and lots of it.
Which Senators and House reps have raked the most NRA money in total? Here’s your top 5 in each house, and if the numbers are startling, well, they shouldn’t be.
Top 5 Senators With the Most Contributions From the NRA
John McCain (R, AZ) – $7.74 million
Richard Burr (R, NC) – $6.99 million
Roy Blunt (R, MO) – $4.55 million
Thom Tillis (R, NC) – $4.42 million
Cory Gardner (R, CO) – $3.88 million
Top 5 Representatives With the Most Contributions From the NRA
French Hill (R, AR) – $1.09 million*
Ken Buck (R, CO) – $800,544
David Young (R, IA) – $707,662
Mike Simpson, (R, ID) – $385,731
Greg Gianforte (R, MT) – $344,630
Add to this the more than $30M they spent to elect Trump, and it becomes clear, to even the thickest voter, the magnitude of the incentive.
There’s another important reason school shootings receive #thoughtsandprayers instead of policy and action. If you’ve noticed, the schools that have been attacked tend to be public schools. Some are more affluent than others (Columbine sits in a pretty well-off suburb in SW Denver), but I don’t believe any of them have been especially elite. I don’t think, and correct me if I’m wrong, any have been private. And I don’t believe – this is key – any of them have been schools attended by the children of our representatives in the greater Beltway neighborhood.
The folks do have kids, though, and they attend very good schools in very good neighborhoods. I had a girlfriend in college who went to a high school in McLean, VA with a number of kids with prominent parents. One of her best friends was the daughter of a Supreme Court justice and one of the guys she had dated was the son of a very well-known Midwestern senator. And on and on.
I won’t belabor the point, but it’s obvious to anyone who’s been paying even a little attention that the 2018 version of the GOP only cares about their people. Their people are wealthy and live in the best neighborhoods. Their children attend the best schools money can afford.
If you aren’t one of their people, you’re on your own.
So when a Nikolas Cruz shoots up a high school in Parkland, FL, it isn’t personal for them. Those kids aren’t their kids. The parents aren’t wealthy donors. The tragedy has happened to the other tribe, not their tribe.
What would the Congressional response have looked like had Nikolas Cruz or Eric Harris or Dylan Klebold or Adam Lanza walked into the school where House Speaker Paul Ryan’s three teenaged children are enrolled? What if, and I’m hesitant to even give voice to the thought, but what if one of them became the latest shooting victim of someone with a legally-acquired gun, an agenda and perhaps a history of mental illness?
We hope against hope this doesn’t happen – in that school or any other – but we’d be stupid to think Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will be the last, wouldn’t we?
If the next school attacked turns out to be one attended by the children of elite Republican lawmakers, will their parents once again respond with #thoughtsandprayers? Or will they finally do something?
Who knows. In the meantime, I think I’ll head over to one of the local high schools here this afternoon with a porn video on my iPhone and see how many children I can kill….