US lawmakers face criticism for NRA funds after Texas shooting

Ted Cruz (left) and Mitt Romney (center) are among Republican senators who have accepted millions of dollars from the National Rifle Association

Ted Cruz (left) and Mitt Romney (center) are among Republican senators who have accepted millions of dollars from the National Rifle Association (Images: AFP/Reuters/Getty Images)

A number of US lawmakers have offered thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims following the shooting at a Texas elementary school that killed 21 people. However, some of them are the same politicians who have taken thousands or even millions of dollars from the National Rifle Association (NRA) over the years.

Gunman Salvador Ramos’ shooting spree, which killed 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday, was the deadliest shooting at a school since the Sandy Hook ground massacre in 2012.

It reignited calls from gun control groups for stricter gun laws to prevent more mass shootings in the future. These efforts met with opposition from the NRA, the gun lobby group with more than five million members in the US.

Each year, the NRA spends approximately $3 million on gun rights advocacy, including giving money to Republican lawmakers in the expectation that they will oppose gun control measures.

That The 2019 Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence compiled a list of Republican senators who have accepted the most money from the NRA.

Topping the list is Utah Senator Mitt Romney, who has received more than $13 million. Referring to the Texas school shooting, Romney wrote: “Grief overcomes the soul. children slaughtered. life wiped out. Parents’ hearts were torn apart. Incomprehensible. I offer prayers and condolences, but I know that it is completely insufficient. We have to find answers.’

Meanwhile, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas received more than $176,000 from the NRA. Cruz described the massacre in Uvalde as “really appalling”.

“Heidi and I uplift the entire Uvalde community in prayer at this devastating time and we mourn the lives that have been taken as a result of this evil act,” Cruz said tweeted. “Thank you to the heroic law enforcement and first responders who acted so quickly.”

Cruz faced backlash from gun control groups and Democratic lawmakers.

“Raising Uvalde fervently to prayer while refusing to do anything to stop gun violence is why this keeps happening, especially in Texas.” tweeted Shannon Watts, founder of gun control group Moms Demand Action.

“In fact, @SenTedCruz has been spreading gun lobby lies about the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) director candidate while trying to stop a federal ban on ghost guns.”

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responded to Cruz’s tweet saying: “Wouldn’t you like to headline a speaking engagement for the NRA in three days — in Houston, no less?” You can do more than pray. Faith without works is dead.’

Below is a list of senators who took the most money from the NRA, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

  1. Mitt Romney (Utah) $13,647,676
  2. Richard Burr (North Carolina) $6,987,380
  3. Roy Blunt (Missouri) $4,555,722
  4. Thom Tillis (North Carolina) $4,421,333
  5. Marco Rubio (Florida) $3,303,355
  6. Joni Ernst (Iowa) $3,124,773
  7. Rob Portman (Ohio) $3,063,327
  8. Todd C Young (Indiana) $2,897,582
  9. Bill Cassidy (Louisiana) $2,867,074
  10. Tom Cotton (Arkansas) $1,968,714
  11. Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania) $1,475,448
  12. Josh Hawley (Missouri) $1,391,548
  13. Marsha Blackburn (Tennessee) $1,306,130
  14. Ron Johnson (Wisconsin) $1,269,486
  15. Mitch McConnell (Kentucky) $1,267,139
  16. Mike Brown (Indiana) $1,249,967
  17. John Thune (South Dakota) $638,942
  18. Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia) $341,738
  19. Richard Shelby (Alabama) $258,514
  20. Chuck Grassley (Iowa) $226,007
  21. John Neely Kennedy (Louisiana) $215,788
  22. Ted Cruz (Texas) $176,274
  23. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) $146,262
  24. Steve Daines (Montana) $123,711
  25. Cindy Hyde-Smith (Mississippi) $109,547
  26. Roger Wicker (Mississippi) $106,680
  27. Rand Paul (Kentucky) $104,456
  28. Mike Rounds (South Dakota) $95,049
  29. John Boozman (Arkansas) $82,352
  30. John Cornyn (Texas) $78,945
  31. Ben Sasse (Nebraska) $68,623
  32. Jim Inhofe (Oklahoma) $66,758
  33. Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) $55,961
  34. Mike Crapo (Idaho) $55,039
  35. Jerry Moran (Kansas) $34,718
  36. John Barrasso (Wyoming) $26,989
  37. John Hoeven (North Dakota) $22,050
  38. Susan Collins (Maine) $19,638
  39. James Lankford (Oklahoma) $18,955
  40. Jim Risch (Idaho) $18,850
  41. Tim Scott (South Carolina) $18,513
  42. Kevin Cramer (North Dakota) $13,255

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Justin Scacco

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