30 Million Pieces of Silver


If you didn’t immediately get the Judas reference in the title. Don’t come for me, read your bible. The National Rifle Association contributed over $54 million in 2016 to Republican candidates for the House, Senate, and Presidency. $30.3 million went to Donald Trump. After the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School shooting when seventeen students and staff members were killed on February 14, 2018. President Trump attended a “listening session” with teachers and students and made the following declaration.

“We’re going to be very strong on background checks. We’re going to be doing very strong background checks.”

A week later in front of a group of lawmakers… he told them…

“You’re scared of the NRA.”

In a televised meeting, he called for a “powerful” bill on background checks to address mental illness. Almost a year later to the day, just before the House of Representatives passed a bill requiring universal background checks, Trump said he would veto the bill should it reach his desk. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to bring the House bill to the Senate floor for a vote. Trump, the 30 million dollar man, and McConnell who wasn’t running in 2016 but as of 2017 had received lifetime NRA contributions of over $1.2 million, had gotten the message. Their bill had come due.

While it’s unclear how much influence Russian oligarchs and Saudi investors have on Trump’s decisions, we can track what $30 million got the NRA. No matter what his initial scattered thoughts on a gun-related issue might be. The NRA has been able to smack him and force him to toe their line, the same one adopted by the Republican Party. I would be remiss not to point out the Democrats that have bowed down to the NRA as well.

Mitch McConnell has disproven the theory that you can only serve one master. He has earned the names, “Moscow Mitch” for aiding and abetting Russia, has received millions from his wife’s Chinese family whose shipping enterprise she regulates as Secretary of Transportation, and who single-handedly has protected the NRA from enduring pesky votes on legislation which might hamper them. In recent days he’s been simultaneously trending as #MoscowMitch, #MassacreMitch, and now #MoscowMassacreMitch.

McConnell & Trump have made sure no progress can be made. Even though over 90% of Americans favor universal background checks. The two of them have made getting them passed into law, impossible. Unfortunately, they haven’t acted alone.

Members of Congress, state legislators, Governors, lobbyists, corporations that support the NRA and those that blindly follow their lead, and those who watch… saying and doing nothing. For those who do nothing because they don’t know what to do. There are opportunities but they require you to open your eyes, minds, and hearts. For those that are following your financial interests; a campaign contribution, maintaining an elected office, keeping customers while turning a blind eye to the cost in human lives. May you rot in hell!

At the time of this writing, thirty-one people are dead from the mass shootings in El Paso, TX, and Dayton, OH. Twenty-two of those killed by a white nationalist follower of Donald Trump. The New York Times just reported the Trump campaign spent millions on Facebook promoting a “Mexican invasion,” the same words used bu the shooter. Trump is planning a trip to El Paso. For the first time in modern history, when a President comes to a community in mourning, there will be protests.

Thirty-one people dead averages out to just under $1 million per person. The payment isn’t for the number killed. It’s for the work he’s about to do. He slipped and started talking about background checks between rounds of golf in the hours after the El Paso shooting. The NRA must have tugged his coattails before his televised speech as that language was removed.

#MassacreMitch is ignoring calls to recall the Senate from vacation to vote on the bipartisan bills he’s refused to bring to the floor for a vote. Part of his job as he sees it is to prevent his members from having to take tough votes that either the public or the NRA might hold against them. The one master he never served, was the people of the United States. They don’t line his coffers.

The NRA is in disarray, weaker than at any point in recent history. They’ve had an upheaval in leadership, membership is dropping, they sued their ad agency who then filed a counter-claim against the NRA for $50million. Their leaders have been accused of wasteful spending. Yet they will do what they always do; threaten their members to stand fast and block any legislation to require background checks, ban assault weapons, or save lives. There is little reason to suspect legislators will do the right thing this time, but there’s always hope.

We the people are not without recourse as the upcoming battle rages. Legislators will show us who they are and who they work for, and we should believe them. If they have sold out our children for $30 million or $3,000, the next step is to vote them out. That’s what representative government requires, making them serve us instead of corporate interests. Donald and Mitch are both up for re-election in 2020, I can’t think of a finer place to start.

Author: enigmainblackcom

William Spivey is a regular contributor to the Inner-City News where he writes about politics and popular culture. He also blogs as “Enigma in Black” where he explores poetry, religion, politics and all manner of things socially relevant. He is also a contributing Blogger at Together We Stand He is the founder of the Facebook pages Average Citizen Forum, Enigma in Black, and “Strong Beginnings,” the title of his soon to be released Political Fiction/Romance novel. William was the winner of a University-wide Essay Contest while at Fisk University titled, “The Value of a Liberal Arts Education. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Fisk and resides in Orlando, FL. His goal is to make his voice heard and make a difference.

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