Generally, the political divide in the wake of mass shootings in America has been between Republicans and Democrats that centers on the lobbying efforts of the National Rifle Association.
While the total of money spent directly and indirectly by the NRA to influence elections over the last 20 years has been measured at $202 million, a relatively small amount is direct donations.
Contributions to current serving members of congress and the senate come to just over $4 million since 1998, although it’s more than three times that amount for all congressional candidates who have been in office since that time.
Some Democratic lawmakers, however, also benefit from the spending of the NRA. La Crosse Democratic Congressman Ron Kind is among that group.
And while a lot of the focus on the NRA contributions is on the GOP, some Democratic lawmakers have also benefited.
Since 2009, Kind has received $7,950 in contributions from the various NRA political action committees. He’s also collected $5,400 from the group National Shooting Sports Foundation, which is based in Newtown, Conn. and bills itself as “The Firearms Industry Trade Association.”
Newtown, of course, is the site of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which ended in the deaths of 20 children and six adults in 2012.
An online petition (here) started after the Las Vegas massacre in October urged Kind to “disassociate yourself from the NRA and return the money you have received from them.”
Kind was endorsed by the NRA during his 2010 re-election bid.