The National Rifle Association (NRA) has had certain members of Congress in its pocket for a long time now. The way it does this is by paying millions in campaign donations.

According to CNN, 307 of 535 Congress members have received donations from the NRA. At least eight politicians have seen at least $1 million in donations during their careers.

And who exactly are they? According to Business Insider, here are some selections from that long list: John McCain tops the list at $7.7 million; Richard Burr next with $6.9 million; Roy Blunt third with $4.5 million; and Marco Rubio in sixth place with $3.3 million.

These politicians have been in the NRA’s pocket for years, and that money has kept them steadfast in their ways when it comes to gun control.

When Cameron Kasky, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor, asked Rubio if he would refuse anymore NRA donations, Rubio said no, he wouldn’t refuse.

This is just one example.

NRA lobbyists have been hard at work for a very long time. Lobbying is when an organization or individual seeks to be an influence on issues.

It came out recently that one lobbyist in Florida has been hard at work for 40 years to shape gun laws.

The fact that one organization can shape the legislation around one topic is ludicrous. The first step to demolishing its power is to limit its ability to influence so many — both politicians and others to join their ranks.

Some organizations and businesses have done this by cutting off their discounts. But that isn’t enough to fully have them lose their control.

NRA members only make up 1.5 percent of the U.S. population, and actually 80 percent of gun owners are not members of the NRA.

How can an organization this small control so much and have the ability to donate over $3o.3 million to Donald Trump in 2016 to help shape its views?

It’s time we all look into who is giving what to whom, and how that affects their voting decisions. And not just the NRA, but other organizations that donate and lobby to have their chosen legislation and rhetoric become the official one.

It’s no surprise that Florida has slowly been breaking down its gun laws when lobbyists and donations have been hard at work at influencing politicians.

One organization should not have this much control, and it’s time we have a talk about how much the NRA controls the conversation and legislation about gun control.

Tracking these statistics and then holding the politicians accountable for their influenced actions is how we get this done. We need to hold our lawmakers responsible for their actions.

Editorial policy is determined by the student editor, and views expressed in editorials are those of the majority of The Vidette’s Editorial Board. Columns that carry bylines are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Vidette or the University.

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