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National Rifle Association Contributions to U.S. Politics

There has been another school shooting in America, this time at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida where seventeen people were killed and fifteen were wounded. The weapon used was, of course, the AR-15. The killer came to the school with numerous magazines. The slaughter only took a few minutes.

While the predictable and ineffectual offerings of thoughts and prayers followed the killings, something new did take place this time. A number of students who survived the attack are calling for national protests and are bluntly calling out politicians who do nothing, except of course, take money from the gun lobbies. These students have the audacity to declare they have the right to life and they know with a certainty, as do we all, that sometime in the not too distant future another school, or church, or office place, will be attacked.

The leaders of the high school student rebellion have called for all public officials who take NRA money—and I would add, take money from any gun lobby—should be voted out of office. In truth, I believe that is the only way that change is possible. Less than a week after seventeen people were killed, the Florida state House opened its session with prayer for those who died in the massacre and then voted down a motion to consider banning many semiautomatic weapons and large capacity magazines. The vote in the Republican dominated House was 36-71

An ongoing Washington Post analysis has found that more than 150,000 students attending at least 170 primary or secondary schools have experienced a shooting on campus since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999. 

Given that is extremely unlikely that the Republican House, Senate, and White House will every change course on gun control—the Senate has passed legislation that makes it illegal to even study gun violence in the US—I fully support a one issue vote in November. We should be saying to all people running for public office and seeking reelection that if you take money from the gun lobbies you don’t get my vote. Period. No discussion.

Therefore, I thought it would be interesting to have a look at who takes “blood money” and how much is involved. So let’s look at the numbers. The following are from Center for Responsible Politics and it’s worth clicking on the link to get the full picture. The summary below is for the 2016 Election Cycle only. The numbers represent donations by the NRA and its affiliates that have also given money.

Contributions to the US House and Senate

In the 2016 election cycle 290 House representatives and Senators received NRA contributions. Two were Democrats:

  • Sanford Bishop House received $3,500 in 2016; and
  • Tammy Duckworth House received $50.


The NRA made contributions of $1,085,150 in the 2016 election cycle.

  • Contributions to Candidates - $834,165
  • Contributions to Leadership PACS - $28,550
  • Contributions to Parties - $218,435
  • Contributions to Outside Spending Groups - $500


The NRA spent $3,188,00 in the 2016 election cycle.

Outside Spending

The NRA spent - $54,398,558

  • For Democrats - $265
  • Against Democrats - $37,010,516
  • For Republicans - $17,385,437
  • Against Republicans - $2,281
  • Communication Costs - $1,816,249

Presidential Race

The NRA spent at least $30.3million to help elect Trump to the presidency

  • Contributions for Trump - $11,438,118
  • Contributions against Clinton - $19,756,346

Top Contributions to Representatives and Senators

As I said, the above figures are contributions for the 2016 election cycle. Here is a list of the top five House members and top five Senators with the most contributions from the NRA. These figures give an idea of how deeply indebted our politicians can become to the NRA throughout their political career. (Amounts from Fortune

House Representatives

  • 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 Gainforte (R, MT) – $344,630


  • John McGain (R, AZ) – $7.74 million
  • Richard Burr (R, NC) - $6.99 million
  • Roy Blunt (R, MO) - $4.55 million
  • Tom Tillis (R, NC) - $4.42 million
  • Cory Gardner (R, CO) - $3.88 million

Copyright © Dale Rominger

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