This Twitter Account Exposes the Shameful Hypocrisy of Politicians and Guns

December 3rd 2015

Diana Crandall

ATTN: recently reported that a variation of the saying “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims” is a common response in the wake of violent acts, like today’s mass shooting at a San Bernardino, California center for developmentally disabled people. As of publication, at least 14 people are reported dead and 17 are injured—not including the suspects.

The "thoughts and prayers" refrain was echoed by politicians on Wednesday, but one man decided to call out the hypocrisy he saw in their condolences.

RELATED: Twitter Calls Out "Thoughts And Prayers" Response to Mass Shootings

Igor Ivolsky, Director of Video and Contributing Editor at Think Progress, decided to do a little digging—he found that many of the politicians expressing grief for those affected in San Bernardino actually have received donations from the National Rifle Association (NRA) in the past. Ivolsky pointed out more than 50 politicians in an extensive Twitter list.

Newly-elected Speaker of the House, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), received $2,000.00 during the 2014 election cycle.

Representative Todd Rokita, a Republican from Indiana received $1,000.00 from the NRA in the 2013-2014 year:

Representative Tim Murphy (R) from Pennsylvania expressed his sorrow online:

He, too, received a donation from the NRA totaling $3,000.00 in 2013-2014:

RELATED: The San Bernardino Tragedy Is the Worst Mass Shooting Since Sandy Hook

The list continues: Representative Renee Ellmers (R) of North Carolina received $2,000.00 from the NRA in 2013-2014:

Representative Mark R. Meadows (R) of of North Carolina also received $2,000.00 from the NRA in 2014:

The NRA is a cornerstone for gun advocates in the U.S., spending millions of dollars each year in contributions to politicians in the form of political action committees known as PACs. The NRA also lobbies to create legislation that supports the Second Amendment, and contributes outside spending money to further their cause.

NRA Numbers

The NRA self-describe themselves as an organization, saying that "purposes and objectives include protecting the right to keep and bear arms, furthering the shooting sports, marksmanship and safety training," among other things.

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Ivolsky argues that the NRA is using that money to influence the political leanings of certain representatives.

This, in turn, could potentially influence the politician's decision in voting against gun reform in the U.S.

RELATED: Why the U.S Has the Worst Mass Shooting Problem in the World

The U.S. is the land of the free and the home of more mass shootings than any other country in the world. CNN put it best when they said that the United States is "tragically exceptional" when it comes to gun massacres. Conservative lawmakers and the NRA will continue to argue that gun control measures like expanded background checks would infringe on constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

RELATED: The Oregon Shooter's Father Blasts US Gun Laws 

After mass shootings like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in which 20 school children and six adults were killed, some lawmakers attempted to regulate military-style assault weapons in the Senate. Unfortunately in 2013, the ban failed to pass, and the weapons are still available for purchase. 

For context, Mother Jones reported that between 1982 and 2012, more than half of mass shooters used assault weapons with high-capacity magazines.


Kyle Jaeger assisted with the reporting of this story.