Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

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.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

ACLU Demands 'Truly Systemic Overhaul' of US Civilian Harm Policies

"While a serious Defense Department focus on civilian harm is long overdue and welcome, it's unclear that this directive will be enough," says director of the legal group's National Security Project.

Jessica Corbett ·


'This Is Not Over': Alaska Supreme Court Rejects Youth Climate Case

"With the state continuing to undermine their health, safety, and futures," said the plaintiffs' lead counsel, "we will evaluate our next steps and will continue to fight for climate justice."

Jessica Corbett ·


Analysis Finds 'Staggering' Rise in Voter Suppression After GOP Restrictions in Georgia

"This is why we are fighting this new law in court," said one voting rights advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·


'Egregious': Pennsylvania Court Strikes Down Mail-In Voting Law

The ruling was stayed pending an appeal to the state's Supreme Court and as one voting advocate put it: "The fight's not over yet, folks."

Julia Conley ·


Big Win for Open Internet as Court Upholds California Net Neutrality Law

One legal advocate called the Ninth Circuit's opinion "a great decision and a major victory for internet users in California and nationwide."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo