Politics & Government

Here Is Where Your Dallas Politicians Stand on the NRA

Thoughts, prayers, and campaign donations.

On Thursday, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said he was writing a letter to Texas’ two U.S. senators and Dallas-area representatives to the U.S. House, urging them to take action against the epidemic of mass shootings. Rawlings was careful to cast it as a nonpartisan issue, citing both “mental health,” a common Republican talking point in the wake of gun massacres, and “gun control,” Democrats’ preferred option, as potential causes of the violence.

Any action that Congress does take will, of course, be a political issue. Even if, as the mayor suggests, they assemble a nonpartisan commission to address gun violence. These are politicians. And as politicians, they are dependent on campaign donations.

The website Open Secrets has a handy spreadsheet tracking donations the National Rifle Association has made to support various Congress members over the course of their respective political careers. It counts both spending on the candidate and against that candidate’s opponents in a given campaign to come up with a grand total of NRA funding supporting each elected official. Senator John Cornyn, for example, has received more than $59,000 in NRA money. Ted Cruz, $77,000.

Here are the NRA contributions sent to Dallas’ national representatives, the leaders that Rawlings is asking to address gun violence. Unsurprisingly, they break down along partisan lines — Neither of North Texas’ Democratic U.S. House reps, Eddie Bernice Johnson and Marc Veasey, have accepted money from the NRA.

Rep. Pete Sessions, who offered “prayers” following this week’s shooting at a Florida high school, has received about $158,000 in NRA funding, more than any other Texan in Congress. Sessions’ website is a bit out of date (note the references to the Obama administration), but here’s how it describes his stance on the Second Amendment:

I am a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association (NRA), the Texas Rifle Association, and an unwavering defender of our God-given right to keep and bear arms. The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution states very plainly, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Although our gun rights are clearly spelled out in the Second Amendment, the role of firearms in our society continues to be a contentions point of debate in the media, our courtrooms, and the halls of government. I will fight against this Administration’s anti-gun agenda at every opportunity, both in the halls of Congress and in our regulatory agencies. Restricting the Constitutional rights of law abiding, gun owning citizens is not the solution to ending crime and gun violence. We should enforce the laws on the books and prosecuting those who choose to break them. And I will not sit back and allow this Administration to use the victims of gun violence as a ploy to advance their liberal agenda. I strongly support allowing concealed firearms to be carried across state lines, preventing the reclassification of armor piercing ammunition, and prohibiting the Federal Government from requiring specific demographic information to be disclosed in connection with the transfer of a firearm.

I am proud to have a career voting record score of A+ from the NRA, the highest possible rating for a Member of Congress. I took an oath of office to support and defend the United States Constitution, and I will continue to fight against all attempts – legislative or otherwise – to erode it. Please know that I will remain vigilant in protecting our Second Amendment rights.

Rep. Kenny Marchant, who offered thoughts to the victims of the Florida shooting, has accepted more than $14,000 from the NRA.

Rep. Michael Burgess, “deeply saddened” by this week’s shooting, has accepted more than $19,000 from the NRA.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, praying for the victims of the shooting, more than $28,000.

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, who has not taken any money from the NRA, offered up her “thoughts and prayers. In a press release, she said that “gun control policies alone will not stop mass violence,” and advocated for “mental health reform.”

Rep. Marc Veasey, who has not taken any money from the NRA, shared “thoughts and prayers.” He has been an advocate for more gun control measures.

With the annual NRA convention coming to Dallas’ taxpayer-funded convention center in May, the city is set to remain at the center of the country’s long-running debate about gun control.

Rawlings himself is likely to take considerable flack from some corners for allowing the convention to take place at all. In 2016, Rawlings and a majority of the City Council voted to ban the Exxxotica sex expo from returning to the convention center, provoking a lawsuit that the city (to the surprise of many observers) won.

Rawlings has said that the NRA convention is, personally, “not at the top of my list,” but that he was “separating how I feel with what makes good business sense.” When asked how the mayor felt about the NRA convention today and how it reflects on Dallas’ public image, as well as what distinguished it from the porn convention he made a show of opposing on moral grounds, the mayor’s office sent this over:

The Exxotica Convention differs from the NRA Convention in the following respects:

  • Exxxotica fraudulently misrepresented the existence of the entity that would be leasing the facility.
  • Exxxotica fraudulently represented the manner in which the convention would be operated.
  • Exxxotica permitted operations that violated their own policy of how the convention would be operated.
  • Exxxotica committed Penal Code violations (sexual contact and public lewdness).
  • Exxxotica illegally operated a sexually oriented business.

If the NRA Convention violates laws, the mayor will be the first one to advocate for shutting them down in our city.

The other City Council members who voted to ban Exxxotica and still remain on the council are Adam McGough, Jennifer Staubach Gates, Rickey Callahan, and Casey Thomas. (The others, Erik Wilson, Tiffini Young, and Carolyn King Arnold, have since been voted out.) We reached out to them to get their thoughts on the NRA convention this morning, and hadn’t heard back as of early this afternoon. (Update: Gates also reponded, her comments are below.)

Whatever action Dallas leaders may take on preventing gun violence, it doesn’t seem likely to be anything that displeases the NRA.


Update: Here’s Councilmember Jennifer Staubach Gates’ response:

What do you think of Dallas hosting the NRA convention in May? I personally have some differing opinions from the NRA but I am supportive of them coming to Dallas. The convention will have over 20,000 attendees and includes $50,000 room nights. These visitors will provide almost $24 million in direct business sales and a total economic impact of over $42 million. This supports over 6,800 jobs in Dallas and provides over $3.3 million in local taxes. 

How does this case differ from the case of Exxxotica, which you voted to ban? [The city] has a signed legal contract booked in 2012 with the NRA. Exxootica was operating an illegal SOB and a contract was not in place when the council passed the resolution. There are several other examples of illegal operations by Exxootica. And reasons why our actions stood up in court. 

How do you think hosting an NRA convention reflects on Dallas’ image and brand? I believe it sends the message we are open for business and supportive of free speech. We recognize differing opinions and I am hopeful during this convention Dallas can be part of a conversation supporting responsible gun ownership and gun laws.   

Newsletter

Get a weekly recap in your inbox every Sunday of our best stories from the week plus a primer for the days ahead.

Find It

Search our directories for...

Dining

Dining

Bars

Bars

Events

Events

Attractions

Attractions

View All

View All

Comments

  • DubiousBrother

    I think if you check you will find Cruz was not a member of the NRA.

    • Corrupblican

      only a tiny % of people give the NRA money and are members. GHWB canceled his lifetime membership decades ago when the NRA became a propaganda mill. Ever seen those NRA flyers in your mailbox during election season? Pure propaganda. Scare tactics, panic mongering, paranoia, etc.

      • DubiousBrother

        I’ve never gotten an NRA flyer but I wonder how much they spend on lobbying and candidates versus Planned Parenthood. I do believe there are way more lives lost each year to abortion compared to gun violence, not that the NRA is responsible for any of the gun deaths.

        • Micah

          Planned Parenthood saves lives through cancer screenings and safe sex education. If you want fewer abortions, fight to end abstinence only sex Ed. Kids are graduating high school with no idea how women get pregnant.

      • Pat Patterson

        You are FOS and just plain ignorant!

      • Corrupblican
    • Corrupblican
  • JamieT

    It’s generally misunderstood that, rather than some dark and mysterious Illuminati-like conspiritorium of the mind, the NRA (I am not a member) is a political representative in its own right, a Second Amendment advocacy group representing all of those citizens who fund it for its collective and focused support of their Second Amendment interests and who ultimately and derivatively represent its actual power at the ballot box.

    When politicians refer to the NRA, they understand they are referring to those constituents who will vote for or against them depending on how those politicians reflect those NRA funding and supporting constituents’ Second Amendment interests.

    TL;DR: When one expresses one’s feelings about the NRA, one is expressing one’s feelings about one’s neighbors and fellow citizens.

    • RompingWillyBilly

      There is no such thing as “second amendment advocacy.” A natural right is different from a legal right. So-called legal rights are just lawyers farting eloquently from their mouths. A natural right, as argued by John Locke, even supersedes Sir Robert Filmer’s argument supporting the Divine Right of Kings. Read the two correspondences during which Locke had to write under a made up identity.
      So, the line of authority next under Christ is not the king – or the three part king-writ-large that is making up the Federal Government today, but the next sovereign authority under Christ are our unalienable God given rights. These have been etched indelibly on our souls. As the soul is eternal – as was argued by the ancient Greeks – so our natural rights cannot be taken away.

      • JamieT

        I’ve found that, as a practical matter, all rights require an active practice and vigorous defense by their owners if they are to be realized in the world as anything different from what we typically refer to as “hopes”, but of course your experience may differ from mine.

        • RompingWillyBilly

          We are so busy staying above water that we don’t have the time to think it through. One cannot abolish laws by passing even more laws. As more laws are passed, we need more lawyers. As more lawyers are added to the system, even more taxing laws are then legislated, administered, and adjudicated because that is the only business they know. More criminals and more police then have to be created in the process. New prisons have to be constructed. At the same time, as more regulations are passed, the behavior of those managing somehow to remain outside if the prisons begins to corrupt. As these lawyers, the true business executives and the old world barons in the aristocracy, expand their legal business, the cost of taking care of a single prisoner goes up in cost. How much is that today? Between $35,000 to $45,000.
          Am I missing something here?
          Again, there is only one kind of right which is the one written unalienable on our souls. This other endless list of rights were concocted by lawyers farting eloquently from their mouths.
          See, the trick is to hold our leaders to their conscience. Once they know better, and they will know good and well that they do so, then they can be held to a much greater penalty for any inappropriate actions.

          • Micah

            Slippery slope fallacy.

          • RompingWillyBilly

            Most sophisticates live to debate. They never achieve the awareness that there exists a superior way to reason. For example, while your response “Slippery slope fallacy” would be deemed an appropriate premise if it were a proper sentence, it is irrational. This is because a definitive statement differs from a rational one. As a definite statement only requires a subject and a predicate – be written as a proper sentence that is – a rational statement needs the inclusion of at least three sentences strung together in sequence. Indeed, most of us are unaware of this which is why so many of the politicians ruling over us get away with farting so eloquently from their mouths.
            In other words, if you don’t care enough to expound, it is hot air.

          • Corrupblican
          • RompingWillyBilly

            Wow, thank you!! Finally someone realized the significance! There is a difference between definitive statements and rational ones (slapping my forehead). People today are still deceiving others with definitive statements, being rated valid, and still being deceitful! Why! It is because they are sequencing their sentenced improperly. While they appear truthful, they are being irrational. Again Wow!!

          • RompingWillyBilly

            Have you ever read the book of Tao? He was an ancient sage in China who realized that, in the story of life, a good protagonist needs to be matched up equally with a bad antagonist. The solution to such corruption is to live outside the drama by living balanced with nature. This philosophy instilled a more diminished soul in the Chinese culture before Confucius and The Buddha came along later.
            The use of law is out of control today. As we can’t think of another way to govern ourselves outside of the law, so government is also out of control.

          • Corrupblican
          • RompingWillyBilly

            Indeed, a lot reduced down from ancient China, India, Persia, Egypt, and elsewhere to funnel through ancient Greece to help them with the development of the soul. Thanks for caring enough to respond!

          • Corrupblican
          • Corrupblican
          • RompingWillyBilly

            You will continue to grow. After you finish, you will then start shrinking. It is all part of the plan.

      • Corrupblican
        • RompingWillyBilly

          Thanks for taking time out from the orgy to respond. Or was that your spokesman?

    • Corrupblican

      The NRA isn’t a 2A advocacy group. They advocate for the most gun sales possible. Which is why they don’t do anything about mental illness, etc.

      Can’t hurt weapon sales for the corporate crooks.

      • Pat Patterson

        Moron troll.

    • RompingWillyBilly

      To give an example of why our Founders listed a few of our natural rights in the constitution, for the sake of equality, let’s say that the government passes laws interfering with mothers taking care of their children. As taking care of children is a natural law (or right), mothers, in order to continue taking good care of their children will have to disobey.
      Don’t believe this is happening?
      Well, let’s look at the problem another way. There are two ways to govern. One was our Founders way which is an ever perfecting way, and the other is a perfect way. The latter way was utilized in the old world. It required controlling the media. When people claimed the system wasn’t perfect, they got bonked on the head. When people in the old Soviet Union would claim that the Russian people had it better than the Slavic and Muslim people, they disappeared. Things are always perfect with a one party non competitive media.

  • Mavdog

    Frankly, the efforts by the NRA to prevent reasonable, sensible regulations on firearms in our nation is more obscene than anything Exxxotica does at their event.

    • RompingWillyBilly

      To understand what it means to be an American, we all need to take a philosophy of science course. Indeed, being an American is not an opinion as many sophisticates today like to claim. Those views are made by half hearted individuals on permanent vacation. Our Founders held certain truths to be self evident. They created our government not during today’s modern theoretical science, but during a time in which it was believed that absolute truths could be reduced towards. This period of time is referred to as the scientific method of natural law when scientists needed to submit two conclusions. One conclusion was incomprehensible as it was believed that reduced terms held virtue. As these c-rules achieved perfection, so the analysis also had to be perfect to the extent that history would not misunderstand, misconstrue, or misconvey it. This is when the science of linguistics was developed!! So, after reducing towards their self evident truth, a truth which reduced existentially towards better contentment and not towards righteousness for the sake of righteousness (this being the long traditions established over in the old world), our founders then also presented their analysis along with it.
      In other words, our Founding Fathers were quite brilliant.

      • Regina Torres

        Gℴogle is paying you $99/h to complete easy work on home computer .. Labor Some just few hours in a whole day and spend more time together with your own friends … You can apply this online job!!last weekend I purchased a great McLaren F2 after I been making $19520 past four weeks .it looks the most rewarding but you won’t forgive yourself if you do not read this.!vh881h:❣❣❣ http://GoogleWorldPartTimeJobs/getpaid/$99/per/hr ♥c♥♥z♥♥♥x♥♥k♥x♥♥s♥y♥♥♥c♥♥♥a♥♥♥w♥l♥♥e♥♥t♥x♥l♥♥♥k♥♥♥u♥♥w♥♥w♥♥♥h♥♥j♥♥♥x♥♥♥x♥♥k♥♥d:::::::!bg872t:zzqshy

      • Micah

        “This period of time is referred to as the scientific method of natural law and was when scientists needed to submit two conclusions.” You mean ‘The Age Enlightenment’? The scientific method isn’t a period of time, it’s the guidelines for how to do science based on philosophy. Natural laws are observations that are seemingly consistent, usually backed by math. Science still requires at least 2 conclusions when building a hypothesis: a prediction and a falsification. You’ve just created a word salad while trying to describe common law.

        • RompingWillyBilly

          If Kant lived during the time of our Founders being both their peer asa well as an important founder of the French Revolution, how could there be such a person as a cognitive scientist? Kant is called the father of epistemology. Psychology, sociology, and political science came out of him. Prior to our Founders, the proper way to establish a new government was to take the biggest and smartest among us and prop him up as a king. This old world policy involved bullying, not political scientists. So, if our Founders weren’t political scientists, what were they?

  • RompingWillyBilly

    It won’t be enough taking away our guns. As has been the case lately, they will next begin to attack the police. And who are they? Lawyers. It wasn’t our Founding Father’s intention to have our government loaded down with over 90% lawyers. Yet, the police are actually God’s grace and forgiveness. Anytime the police have had to retreat and the people step in, the packing thugs won’t get arrested but riddled with hundreds of bullets. That was the case after hurricane Katrina. Look, we are talking about controlling the culture of the masses here. Remember when they said that we should be more tolerant of their culture? In response, we bent over backwards. Now these same “ahem” gentlemen see a lot of problems with our culture. Now they need to step in and raise our children for us. For the sake of equality, they will need to ruin the economy for all.
    By the way, an unalienable natural right is not a legal right. It is a right imprinted indelibly upon our souls. Any attempt to take away such rights is legal persecution.

  • fed up tax payer

    Who cares where Dallas Politicians stand on guns. They all are crooked as the Mayor and City Council. So why is anyone surprised?

    • RompingWillyBilly

      If it all wasn’t so tragic, it would be funny. The folks now leading the city of Dallas to ruin originated mostly because of affirmative action. The problem with affirmative action is that people aren’t qualified according to their work or intelligence, but according to race and equality. We have been fast tracked to hell as a result. What is amusing is that I exist as a metaphor for evil – I am a white man. My education back in the day was real. No, truly it was. I’m no lying here. I had to study. I had to pass the final exams. The standards weren’t lowered just to pass me to the next grade. I have paid off two student loans in the process. For a time, I subsisted in a tent in order to save money while attending college.
      Back when higher education meant a serious shifting of gears towards a higher level, my dad graduated high school when he was sixteen years old. He then attended the University of Arlington where he earned his masters in mathematics by the time he was twenty.

      • Micah

        You don’t seem to understand what Affirmative Action actually does. It doesn’t force employers to hire anyone; it forces them to open up the hiring process to anyone. You post all this nonsense trying to look smart, but you haven’t even bothered to do the basic research. You are a walking, talking argument from authority fallacy.

        • RompingWillyBilly

          My point is that I received a better education because, ironically, of my being a white man. I got my monies worth because no one cut me a break. The professors weren’t afraid to hold me to a standard. I learned not only how to finish an essay fulfilling the word count, but also learned how to rewrite and revision one.
          I also learned how to read college level. To master something doesn’t mean to learn it, but to over learn it seven times. There should be a serious shifting of gears going on when students graduate from high school to college.

  • ramrodd
  • ramrodd

    The 2nd Amend is a RESTRICTIVE admendment. It states such in the Preamble to Bill of Rights. the 2A does not grant nor convey any right, but RESTRICTS and PROHIBITS the government from infringing upon this enumerated, pre-existing, God given right.

    The right of a citizen to bear arms, in lawful defense of himself or the State, is absolute. He does not derive it from the State government. It is one of the high powers” delegated directly to the citizen, and `is excepted out of the general powers of government.’ A law cannot be passed to infringe upon or impair it, because it is above the law, and independent of the lawmaking power.”

    • RompingWillyBilly

      Indeed, they are a different kind of law – not legal, but natural law. Sophisticates like to distract attention away from John Locke towards that of Rousseau for this reason. Our Founders together reduced to the soul. The truth they were concerned with wasn’t pertaining to the old world method of what is righteous according to tradition; but, they focused on the truth pertaining to happiness and the creation of a more perfect union (ever perfecting quest).

    • Micah

      There is no such thing as a god given right, that idea is a remnant of theological monarchies. The 2A was added to appease slave states /w the condition that all able bodied men could be called up as part of the federal militia “to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.” Quit quote mining it and read the whole thing and Article I Section 8.

      • ramrodd

        not only are you a phony of only 100 comments

        YOURE ALSO A RACE BAITER

      • RompingWillyBilly

        Since one couldn’t be an atheist during that time, what other kind of right could have existed? Again, there did not exist scientists then, but natural philosophers. They had to belong to the clergy.

  • tested123

    There’s another big reason why Dallas will have a hard time keeping the NRA convention out of the city: the convention center has hosted numerous gun shows before, so banning the NRA over the issue would rightly be seen as discriminatory. Additionally, the NRA has an army of lawyers and deep pockets to fight and win a legal battle over whether the city can keep it out of a facility.

  • John Audie

    “God given right” he says. I didn’t see that anywhere, except for “swords turned to ploughshare” . It is not in the constitution. It is an AMENDMENT to the constitution, because at that time there was no real army, so the government gave people the right to form a militia and bear arms. It must be read in the full context. But as with all humans, people tend to pick out pieces from the holy book or constitution and say it’s the “god given right”. Any one who thinks that, need to have their god-given-head examined.

    • RompingWillyBilly

      During the time of our Founding Fathers, there existed no such person as an atheist. There existed no such person as a scientist, but a natural philosopher. A natural philosopher such as Charles Darwin had to be a member of the clergy.
      There also existed no such person as a cognitive scientist. Immanuel Kant, the father of Epistemology, was a peer of our Founders. Our Founders weren’t political scientists. Kant was a founding father of the French Revolution along with Rousseau.. Science during that time was all physical. There was no such alternative as this and that modern theory. Conclusions reduced to an absolute truth. As such truths were incomprehensible, another conclusion of an analysis had to be submitted as well.
      Ever stopped to wonder why the science of linguistics had to be created when the science of grammar already existed way back during the time of ancient Greece? Perfect explanations of Natural Laws had to be established. Those couldn’t be misunderstood by those looking back. Immanuel Kant was the one who showed that wasn’t possible.
      In order to establish a legal right, one needs to be sovereign in their power. This caused a big argument between John Locke and Sir Robert Filmer. The latter argued on the side of the Divine Right of Kings (absolute power). This meant that the King’s actions were God’s actions. As the king wrote fiat ‘Proclamations as tge sovereign authority of God,’ our Founders wrote a submissive ‘declaration’ as a response.
      In response to Robert Filmer, John Locke argued that the rights written on our souls were sovereign over the Divine Right of Kings.
      Therefore, our rights are unalienable and God given.

      • I wonder how those boys felt about the internal combustion engine RWB?

        The best thing I heard from the students who survived the Valentine’s Day Massacre was they put gun rights in the same category as thoughts and prayers. Makes my heart swell to see those two going down together.

        I love it. I used to tell Zac Crain, “I can’t make a thirty something recycle. But an 8 year old can.”

        Now it’s, “I can’t make a forty something vote for gun control. But a teenager can.”

        • RompingWillyBilly

          It has been predicted that over 200,000 guns have been smuggled across the border of the U.S. into the tyranny of Mexico so that good Mexicans can protect themselves from bad. People, by natural law, are going to take care of themselves whether there is a law or not. That such armed people stand as a detriment to Marxist progressive liberal communist socialist subversion will annoy many set upon paving our streets with gold, taking care of our children for us, an altering our culture for the better.

        • RompingWillyBilly

          (Have you ever read Plato’s work entitled Meno? He performed it in front of an audience at the speed of thought. Indeed, as he spoke the words he had worked out and set to memory, student Aristotle, out in the audience, wrote his words down on a scroll. Paper was extremely expensive! Traveling troubadours had to be deployed during that time to act out the books of Homer that too had to be set to memory. So, no, our Founding Fathers didn’t drive cars. Instead, they read the classics of people like Plato that they revered and thought of as their betters)