These New England Members of Congress Have Taken NRA Cash

No one in the Mass. delegation received campaign donations from the gun group.

In the wake of the Orlando gay nightclub shooting, the deadliest in U.S. history, it’s important to realize why even after 49 people are gunned down in a club, or nine worshippers in a church, and 20 children in an elementary school, nothing changes in this country.

Omar Mateen, the 29-year-old shooter, had been interviewed by the FBI twice in 2013 and 2014, and had a documented history of domestic violence. He had security and firearm licenses, and legally purchased the AR-15 assault rifle he used to carry out the worst terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11. The AR-15, colloquially known as a “long gun,” was the same assault rifle used in the Newtown, Aurora, San Bernardino massacres.

The National Rifle Association is one of the most powerful lobbying interests on Capitol Hill, flooding current members of Congress with nearly $3 million in campaign donations since 1998. Twenty of the 100 sitting senators have accepted NRA cash, as well as 187 of 435 members of the House. The organization’s successful campaign against renewing a federal assault weapons ban in 2004 has helped make the AR-15 the most popular rifle in America, with more than 3 million believed to be in circulation.

“Spread the word on what AR really stands for, America’s Rifle,” the NRA wrote in an unctuous ode to the gun, which it gives away on Twitter from time to time.

The majority of New England lawmakers in Congress have not received contributions from the NRA. In fact, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut comprise half of the eight states in which no current Congress person has received a single penny from the NRA in the last 18 years.

In New Hampshire and Maine, it’s another story.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire accepted $4,950 from the NRA, while her colleague in House, Rep. Frank Guinta, accepted $21,350, for a combined $26,300. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, representing Maine’s 2nd District, received $6,950 from the NRA. All three lawmakers are Republicans.

Unsurprisingly, Ayotte offered her “thoughts and prayers” on Twitter, yet made no mention of guns.

Both Guinta and Poliquin, along with the NRA, have yet to address the attack online.