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Travis Danner

In response to the gun-related violence and carnage America experienced in 2012, the brave men and women of the United States Congress stepped up to the plate and championed new laws that will protect and save the lives of innocent Americans.

Just kidding.

Last week, amidst the chaos erupting in Boston, the Republican Party and a few Democrats ensured that people like the Sandy Hook shooter and Boston Marathon bombers continue to have access to guns.

The so-called “Toomey-Manchin compromise” amendment, which would have expanded background checks for gun sales, was shot down in the United States Senate. Despite receiving a simple majority of votes in the Senate and being supported by a reported 90 percent, the measure failed.

It’s just the latest example of special interest groups jamming money down the throat of the American political process, choking and killing any chance the country has at making real progress.

If you guessed that the National Rifle Association (NRA) was behind the measure’s failure — step up and claim your assault rifle.

In the wake of 2012, a year which featured numerous mass shootings, each one more horrific than the next and culminating in the most traumatic event in our nation’s history, Sandy Hook, the federal government has done exactly nothing in response.

There are several reasons for this — American’s unflappable fetish for all things explosive, the second amendment to the Constitution and the far too powerful influence the NRA holds over public policy on guns.

The NRA grades every member of the U.S. Congress based on how strong their support for the NRA’s cause is.

In Dec. of last year, the New York Times published a map of the United States, which broke down each state’s representation, both by House and Senate members. The map was color-coded: green for Congress members who strongly support the NRA and orange for those who don’t.

In the House of Representatives, greens outnumbered the oranges 242 to 146 with 30 in the middle and 17 that were marked as “not-available.” In the Senate, greens had it 46 to 35 with 13 middles and 6 “not-availables.”

In addition to posting each Congressperson’s NRA grade, from F to A+, they also posted how much the NRA contributed to each politician’s latest campaign. Of all the House members who had grades A and above, the smallest contribution was $1,000 and the highest was $9,900 to Democrat John Barrow, of Georgia’s 12th district.

In the Senate, donations ranged from $2,000 all the way to $19,800 for Senate Minority Leader, Republican Mitch McConnell from Kentucky.

It’s clear from reading these figures that the United States Congress has been bought and paid for by the gun lobby.

According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, guns have a net impact of $33 billion dollars a year. That industry has one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the country watching its back.

Between the NRA, the gun producers, right-wing weirdos who oppose any restrictions on gun ownership and politicians willing to sell their votes to the highest bidder — the guns and ammo status quo will continue in perpetuity.

Add to all of this the fact that these people cloak themselves in the second amendment of the Constitution and well, get used to all these shootings. There will be more.

Every common sense gun control legislation will be sent to the U.S. Congress to die.

Congress and the NRA will continue to wash their hands of all responsibility.

According to the Central for Disease Control and Prevention, the amount of gun-related deaths every year in the United States averages to about 30,000 and above every year.

The violent deaths of the small children at Sandy Hook Elementary obviously haven’t shaken the resolve of the pro-gun lobby.

Considering that fact, the number of gun deaths is unlikely to change anytime soon.

So, in the meantime, ponder this question: at what point does concern for your fellow man start and strict adherence to the second amendment end?

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