Half of the members of the United States Congress have, at some time, received a ‘campaign donation’ from the National Rifle Association of America, according to an independent report by the Sunlight Foundation, a neutral watchdog.
And these US Congressmen and women are expected, obviously, to vote in the House on any issue relating to gun control in favour of those who are giving them the cash. I mean campaign donation. This means the NRA has a major voice at the highest level in US politics from state level through to the Law Makers.
Many ask, why doesn’t the President just ban guns..? Because the President cannot do anything unless Congress votes the Bill through. And Congress has already been bought and paid for by the very organisation who DO NOT want guns banned in America. And so any Bill will not be passed by the members of Congress who are receiving brown envelopes from the NRA. Ahh, sorry. Campaign Donations.
II – The Right to Keep and Bear Arms: A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
This was written in 1791 when the newly formed United States was still under threat of invasion by the British, after the Declaration of Independence fifteen years earlier, and all citizens were encouraged to be part of a controlled (regulated) militia. The only part Americans in modern times are encouraged to read and believe in is the ‘right of the people to keep and bear arms’ part. Nobody is told that the following year Congress passed an Act clarifying every citizen’s responsibility to this defensive Militia which reads;
Each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia…[and] every citizen so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch with a box therein to contain not less than twenty-four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball: or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder; and shall appear, so armed, accoutred and provided, when called out to exercise, or into service, except, that when called out on company days to exercise only, he may appear without a knapsack.
And this is the context of the Amendment and the time it was written. There is nothing here about the rights of a citizen to run out of his house, in 2015, firing an automatic weapon at some mug trying to steal his pick up truck. Or an eighteen-year-old kid buying a a hand-gun in Walmart without having his background checked properly. But the NRA don’t want you to know this because there is too much money in the killing game in America today. It is just too big a business. Big enough to be worth buying up Congress to protect it for. And, by the way, the following two Amendments to the US Constitution read;
III – Conditions for Quarters of Soldiers: No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
IV – The Right of Search and Seizure Regulated: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
All of the Amendments are like this. Of their time, out of date and largely irrelevant in modern times. (Like the Bible) Unless there is money in it, of course. And that is why the Amendments need amending. Modernizing. Brought up to date.
More than half of the members of Congress (51% in fact) have received cash payments from the NRA at some time in their careers. That number includes 93% of Senate Republicans and 88% of House Republicans. (NINETY-THREE and EIGHTY-EIGHT) The rest is made up of 15% Senate Democrats and 10% House Democrats.
Now, the President can write a special Bill, but he still has to submit it to Congress for their approval. And in respect of any Gun Laws Congress is already bought and paid for. They are paid to vote against it. The problem has always been, and always will be, a corrupt Congress in the shape of legitimate Campaign Donations. And this is how American Politics has always rolled.
So, what kind of cash buys a Congress that then continues to allow criminals, the mentally ill and terrorists to buy weapons over the counter at Walmart thanks to a sentence written in 1791 during a time of war with England?
In the most recent election cycle the NRA paid $293,749 to buy up the votes of 38 out of the 46 people who voted down the background check Bill. These 38 people voted against legislation that would make it harder for people to buy guns in America. Not to ban them, just to make it a little bit harder. They don’t even want to lose a small number of gun or ammunition sales at the counter.
‘Because it is our right under the 2nd Amendment, you read it.’
Yes, read it.
These are the shameful facts;
About 85 percent of the senators who voted against gun sale background checks had received NRA donations during their latest campaign.
Among these senators, the average NRA campaign contribution was $7,730 for one election cycle.
The NRA’s favorite senators, who hold the group’s “A+” rating, earned 27 percent more cash, on average. The 10 senators with “A+” ratings who opposed background checks together took in $97,950, or an average of $9,795 each in their last campaign.
The largest amount the NRA donated to a single politician in one cycle was $19,800, which went to Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
Of the senators who voted against expanded background checks without benefiting from a recent NRA contribution, three are Democrats. A fourth, Roy Blunt (R-MO), did receive nearly $10,000 from the NRA for his 2010 House race before getting passed over for his 2012 Senate race. A fifth senator, Daniel Coats (R-IN), only holds a “C+” rating from the NRA.
The NRA Has Spent $100 Million Influencing Politics Since 1990s
The $293,000 the NRA spent to keep its hold over the Senate in recent years is only the tip of the iceberg. The gun rights group has continually flooded Washington with cash since payments were first recorded by a watch-dog group twenty years ago:
- Since 1990, the nation’s biggest gun lobby group has shelled out a total of $21.3 million on campaign contributions.
- The NRA has spent an additional $29.9 million on lobbying since 1998.
- At least $19.8 million of additional outside spending has funded adverts, a number which doesn’t appear to include the reported $25 million spent on the most recent election cycle. (2012)
It is obvious that the NRA’s extreme position serves only to protect the profits of gun manufacturers and retailers. No other reasonable interpretation is available for their funding of so many political campaigns on so many levels. This is despite a recent poll revealing that 73% of Americans believe the Senate should try again to pass legislation expanding background checks, at the very least.
They will try again, and all those funded by the NRA will vote against it again. Because Senators and Congressmen have school fees to pay, or the pool needs heating. Meanwhile the theater and the school can be shot up again. Or the doctor’s surgery and the Mall.
But that’s ok because the pool will be warm for the Super Bowl party. ‘Don’t worry, they wrote it down in 1791 and God is on my side. So come round, pray for the victims, grab a beer the game starts in 30 minutes. Have you seen my new gun?’
Recent NRA Donations to 46 Senators Who Voted Against Expanded Background Checks
Below is a senator-by-senator, state-by-state breakdown of what the NRA spent in campaign donations in each senator’s most recent election cycle. Everyone listed has an ‘A’ NRA rating unless otherwise noted. The ‘N/A’ designation means they were one of the seven who the NRA did not fund.
The New York Times put together a clever interactive map with the same information.
2. John Barrasso. Republican from Wyoming. Money accepted from gun industry at time of voting: $26,349. Office phone: (202) 224–4944 (you may need to ask to be transferred to Senator Barrasso’s office when you call this number). Website email form. Twitter handle: @SenJohnBarrasso.
What to say: “I’d like the Senator to know that I support tougher gun laws including universal background checks. [Optional] If the Senator doesn’t change his position on this matter, I will donate to his opponent in the next election.”
5. Roger Wicker. Republican from Mississippi. Money accepted from gun industry at time of voting: $21,350. Office phone: (202) 224–6253. Note: Senator Wicker’s office is one of the few that does employ tactics designed to discourage dissenting opinion, i.e. (1) keeping you on hold for a long time with loud hold music (2) asking first where you’re from instead of asking what comment you have (3) saying they need to put you back hold in favor of constituents. Website email form. Twitter handle: @SenatorWicker
6. **KEY LEGISLATOR: Rob Portman. A Republican from Ohio, Senator Portman faces a tough reelection race in a swing state in 2016 and may be particularly receptive to hearing “If you don’t reverse position, I will donate to your opponent.” Money accepted from gun industry at time of voting:$19,900. Office phone: 202–224–3353. Website email form. Twitter handle:@PortmanPress
For most senators, a phone call still carries more weight than an email or Tweet. Let them hear you.
A staffer’s job is simply to register your comment and pass it along to the senator. 99% of the time, they will be extremely courteous and polite when you call.
The staffer taking your call will most likely be nice and professional, even upon learning of a dissenting view. You don’t have to be from a senator’s constituency to express your opinion. If a staffer questions your location, politely remind them that you also don’t have to be in the senator’s constituency to donate to his opponent.
20. **KEY LEGISLATOR: Ron Johnson. A Republican from Wisconsin, Senator Johnson faces a tough reelection race in a swing state in 2016 and may be particularly receptive to hearing “If you don’t reverse position, I will donate to your opponent.” Money accepted from gun industry at time of voting: $10,950 Office phone: (202) 224–5323. Website email form. Twitter handle: @SenRonJohnson
Letting a senator know you will donate to her opponent is the single most impactful thing you can say to inspire movement on this issue.
25. **KEY LEGISLATOR: Kelly Ayotte. A Republican from New Hampshire, Senator Ayotte faces a tough reelection race in a swing state in 2016 and may be particularly receptive to hearing “If you don’t reverse position, I will donate to your opponent.” Money accepted from gun industry at time of voting:$9,000 Office phone: 202–224–3324. Website email form. Twitter handle:@KellyAyotte
27. Harry Reid. Democrat from Nevada. Money accepted from gun industry at time of voting: $8,450. According to staffers, Senator Reid’s position is that he supports Universal Background Checks and only voted against the Manchin-Toomey bill because he knew it would fail and he wanted to be able to reconsider future legislation, a position called somewhat into question by funds accepted from the gun industry. Office phone: 202–224–3542. Website email form. Twitter handle: @SenatorReid
The 2013 bi-partisan Manchin-Toomey bill, introduced in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, would have introduced tougher, universal background checks on all prospective gun purchasers. The Sandy Hook shooter had severe, diagnosed mental health problems.
39. Dan Coats. Republican from Indiana. No money accepted from gun industry at time of voting. Office phone: (202) 224–5623. Website email form. Twitter handle: @SenDanCoats
40. Heidi Heitkamp. Democratic Non-Partisan Party Member from North Dakota. No money accepted from gun industry at time of voting. Office phone: (202)224–2043. Website email form. Twitter handle: @SenatorHeitkamp
Senators Who Voted Against Bill, But Who Are No Longer In Office + Their Replacement’s Contact Info
41. Saxby Chambliss. Republican from Georgia. Money accepted from gun industry at time of voting: $24,850. Replaced by Republican David Perdue.Website email form. Phone. 202–224–3521. Twitter handle: @sendavidperdue
42. Max Baucus. Democrat from Montana. Money accepted from gun industry at time of voting: $7,950. Replaced by Republican Steve Daines. (202) 224–2651. Web site email form. Twitter handle: Steve Daines
43. Mike Johanns. Republican from Nebraska. Money accepted from gun industry at time of voting: $6,950. Replaced by Republican Ben Sasse. 202–224–4224. Web site email form. Twitter handle: Senator Ben Sasse
44. Tom Coburn. Republican from Oklahoma. Money accepted from gun industry at time of voting: $4,053. Replaced by Republican James Lankford. (202) 224–5754. Web site email form. Twitter handle :@senatorlankford
45. Mark Pryor. Democrat from Arkansas. Money accepted from gun industry at time of voting: $2,000. Replaced by Republican Tom Cotton. Phone:(202) 224–2353. Website email form. Twitter handle: Tom Cotton
46. Mark Begich. Democrat from Alaska. No money accepted from gun industry at time of voting. Replaced by Republican Dan Sullivan. Phone:(202)-224–3004. Website email form. Twitter handle: @SenDanSullivan
America claims to be the greatest country in the world. Indeed the leaders of the free and democratic world, they say. Meanwhile, over the next few months, ordinary Americans are about to be given their one single option of President of the United States. The Republicans get one option and the Democrats will be given their option.
And that is who they will vote for. A Republican won’t vote for a Democrat and vice versa. So, they have one vote, one option and they are told who that option is in advance of the vote. Told who they can vote for. Free and Democratic? Ok, so forget the President, it doesn’t matter.
But Congress does matter. The only way to release the grip the National Rifle Association has over the House of Congress is for you to vote for ‘Somebody Else.’ Clear them all out, you can’t trust them to represent you. 73% of you are in favor of increased background checks on all weapons purchases and 46 Senators on the NRA payroll refuse to allow it. 180 million Americans in favour, 46 against and they win, every time. Free and Democratic society? I don’t think so, do you?
More Americans have been killed by gunfire, by other Americans, since the end of the Vietnam War than have died in any war throughout American history. That is 360,000 deaths by gunfire in forty years.
Stop the killing and take on the NRA. You know you have to. Take all the guns away, melt them down and make a big fucking memorial out of the gun-metal for all of those dead citizens.
Place it out in the middle of the Grand Canyon where the world will see it and maybe, just maybe, we all might start regarding America as the civilized leader of the free world again and a fine example to the rest of us, as we once did. And not a country of cowards hiding behind an 18th century sentence.
Special report by Albert Jack