Wednesday , May 29 2024
Republican senators are all cuddly-safe in bed with NRA money to keep them warm and cozy while sending "thoughts and prayers."

Senators of the National Rifle Association

As “thoughts and prayers,” “moments of silence” and platitudes about standing with the LGBT community pour forth from Republican lawmakers in Washington, I am sickened. Words, words, words. Where is the action? But there is none–not even to¬†ban assault weapons from being sold to terrorists, because God forbid their Second Amendment rights be infringed by mistake. That would never do. That warped, sick logic contributed to the murder of 49 people in Orlando on Sunday, June 12, 2016. Make no mistake about that.assault weapons

The ammunition for the AR-15 military assault weapon was sold to the murderer by a gun shop owner, who is, in a sick bit of irony, a virulent Islamaphobe, whose hate-filled rhetoric spews forth on his Facebook page. But business is business, and Omar Mateen could not legally be denied his right to keep and bear arms.

This peach of a gun seller also said on his Facebook, “[Obama] should be handcuffed, removed from Office and charged with Treason and then publicly executed! How can the American People and military stand by and do nothing while this piece of s–t puts everyone of us in danger.‚ÄĚ

And of course, the NRA and other gun shop owners have come quickly to the defense of the shop owner. And, legally, the gun shop owner did nothing outside the law. And therein lies the problem: the cozy cuddle-up between the NRA and (most) of the Republicans in Congress.

Thoughts and prayers to the dead. Long live the NRA. And the Senators of the NRA. In December, all Republican senators but one voted against Diane Feinstein’s (D-CA) amendment to “increase public safety by permitting the Attorney General to deny the transfer of firearms or the issuance of firearms and explosives licenses to known or suspected dangerous terrorists.” Here is the vote.


YEAs —45
Baldwin (D-WI)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Booker (D-NJ)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Coons (D-DE)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Hirono (D-HI)
Kaine (D-VA)
King (I-ME)
Kirk (R-IL)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Leahy (D-VT)
Manchin (D-WV)
Markey (D-MA)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murphy (D-CT)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Peters (D-MI)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schatz (D-HI)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Udall (D-NM)
Warren (D-MA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)
NAYs —54
Alexander (R-TN)
Ayotte (R-NH)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Burr (R-NC)
Capito (R-WV)
Cassidy (R-LA)
Coats (R-IN)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Cotton (R-AR)
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)
Daines (R-MT)
Enzi (R-WY)
Ernst (R-IA)
Fischer (R-NE)
Flake (R-AZ)
Gardner (R-CO)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heitkamp (D-ND)
Heller (R-NV)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (R-WI)
Lankford (R-OK)
Lee (R-UT)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Paul (R-KY)
Perdue (R-GA)
Portman (R-OH)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rounds (R-SD)
Rubio (R-FL)
Sasse (R-NE)
Scott (R-SC)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Sullivan (R-AK)
Thune (R-SD)
Tillis (R-NC)
Toomey (R-PA)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)

The only Republican voting for the measure was Senator Kirk (R-IL), who happens to be my own Senator. The only Democrat voting for it was Heitkamp (D-ND). You might ask why all of these senators opposed making it more difficult for terrorists to get their hands on assault weapons, manufactured not to defend the home, not to hunt, but to kill a lot of people quickly. Very quickly.

Let’s do the math. According to the Washington Post, the NRA has contributed a total of¬†$3,782,803 to currently serving members of Congress.¬†Forty-three current¬†senators have accepted NRA donations, and 252 of the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have received payoffs from the NRA to perpetuate the myth that everyone (even terrorists–no matter if they’re Jihadists or Domestically-bred Anti-Government types) has the right to pack as many high-powered tools of mass murder as they can afford.

Here are the sitting U.S. Senators who’ve accepted payoffs from the NRA (culled this wonderful interactive map from The Washington Post). Every one of them voted against the¬†‚ÄúDenying Firearms And Explosives To Dangerous Terrorists Act Of 2015.” The two Democrats that have received NRA money, incidentally, voted against the NRA. I did not list their states, because to me, they are all (R-NRA).


  1. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NRA)
  2. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-NRA)
  3. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-NRA)
  4. Sen. Tim Scott (R-NRA)
  5. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-NRA)
  6. Sen. David Perdue (R-NRA)
  7. Sen. Richard C Shelby (R-NRA)
  8. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NRA)
  9. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NRA)
  10. Sen. Richard C Shelby (R-NRA)
  11. Sen. Rob Portman (R-NRA)
  12. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-NRA)
  13. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-NRA)
  14. Sen. Rand Paul (R-NRA)
  15. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-NRA)
  16. Sen. Bob Corker (R-NRA)
  17. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-NRA)
  18. 2.   Sen. Thad Cochran (R-NRA)
  19. Sen. David Vitter (R-NRA)
  20. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-NRA)
  21. Sen. John Boozman (R-NRA)
  22. 2.   Sen. Tom Cotton (R-NRA)
  23. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-NRA)
  24. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-NRA)
  25. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-NRA)
  26. Sen. John Hoeven (R-NRA)
  27. Sen. John Thune (R-NRA)
  28. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-NRA)
  29. Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NRA)
  30. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-NRA)
  31.   Sen. Pat Roberts (R-NRA)
  32. Sen. James Lankford (R-NRA)
  33. Sen. John Cornyn (R-NRA)
  34. Sen Ted Cruz (R-NRA)
  35. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-NRA)
  36. Sen. Dean Heller (R-NRA)
  37. Sen. Mike Lee (R-NRA)
  38. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-NRA)
  39. Sen. John McCain (R-NRA)
  40. Sen Lisa Murkowski (R-NRA)
  41. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-NRA)

Democrats: (Neither voted against the December 2015 measure despite the NRA contributions, therefore I have listed their states)

  1. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)
  2. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV)

The debate is once again open and raging in the aftermath of tragedy. The NRA will give marching orders to their senators. And undoubtedly they will carry the NRA’s water rather than vote the will of the people who sent them to Washington, D. C. Or is it different this time? Has camel’s back finally been broken by a final bloody straw? The jury is out.

About Barbara Barnett

A Jewish mother and (young ūüôÉ) grandmother, Barbara Barnett is an author and professional Hazzan (Cantor). A member of the Conservative Movement's Cantors Assembly and the Jewish Renewal movement's clergy association OHALAH, the clergy association of the Jewish Renewal movement. In her other life, she is a critically acclaimed fantasy/science fiction author as well as the author of a non-fiction exploration of the TV series House, M.D. and contributor to the book Spiritual Pregnancy. She Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, (

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