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Student Kelsey Friend,

Student Kelsey Friend, becomes emotional while recounting her story about Wednesday's mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Behind Many #ThoughtsandPrayers for Gun Massacre Victims, Millions in NRA Cash

Late night writer took to Twitter to highlight the gun lobbying group's massive contributions to GOP candidates and members of Congress

Common Dreams staff

After at least 17 people were killed at a Florida high school Wednesday in a mass shooting that's being called "worse than Columbine," a late night television writer took to social media to highlight the National Rifle Association's contributions to politicians who defaulted to the "thoughts and prayers" response that's become standard following such massacres.

"This is not a political issue... This is a pandemic that's killing children. And it's perpetrated by hypocrites who preach a doctrine of 'life' but take money from a profit-driven gun lobby."
—Bess Kalb, writer

As first noted by Ed Mazza at The Huffington Post, Bess Kalb, a writer on Jimmy Kimmel Live, responded directly to condolence tweets from members of Congress by pointing out the amount of money each federal lawmaker has taken from the NRA—which has shamelessly advocated for less restrictive laws on firearms in the wake of gun-related tragedies.

"This is not a political issue. This is not a constitutional debate. This is a pandemic that's killing children. And it's perpetrated by hypocrites who preach a doctrine of 'life' but take money from a profit-driven gun lobby," Kalb said in a tweet

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.):

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.):

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio):

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.):

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.):

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa):

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.):

Kalb also responded directly to Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel by noting that the party's candidates took a whopping $17,385,437 from the NRA during the 2015-2016 election cycle—which doesn't even account for the millions given to President Donald Trump during his run.

Kalb pointed to a list of politicians who have taken large sums money from the NRA, which was compiled last October by the New York Times a few days after a mass shooting in Las Vegas became the deadliest in U.S. history.

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