Two mass shootings have taken place in less than two weeks in the United States of America. Yesterday, 19 children and two adults' lives at a Texas elementary school shooting were nonsensically taken far, far too soon. Ten people were gunned down and three injured in a supermarket in Buffalo on May 14.

Amid these tragedies, those who represent us have had the bright, hot spotlight shown on them and their policies. It's been directed on who contributes to their campaigns, too.

Iowa senator Joni Ernst is no exception.

As I saw on Reddit this morning, the Red Oak native ranks seventh nationally among senators in how much money has been contributed to her and her campaign by the National Rifle Association (NRA). She's taken in $3,124,773 from the association, per Elections.BradyUnited.org.

That's nearly $3 million more than her Iowa counterpart Chuck Grassley, who brings in $226,007 from the NRA.

This is what she said four years ago in regards to the reported amount:

To understand the NRA's influence on American elections, BBC elaborates:

"The NRA lobbies heavily against all forms of gun control and argues that more guns make the country safer. It relies on, and staunchly defends, a disputed interpretation of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, which it argues gives US citizens the rights to bear arms without any government oversight.

...

It staunchly opposes most local, state and federal legislation that would restrict gun ownership. For example, it lobbied for guns confiscated by the police to be resold, arguing that destroying the weapons was, in effect, a waste of perfectly good weapons.

Likewise, it strongly supports legislation that expands gun rights such as "open-carry" laws, which allow gun owners to carry their weapons, unconcealed, in most public places."

The senator atop the list of donations from the NRA is the 2012 Republican presidential candidate and Utah representative, Mitt Romney, who has raked in $13,647,676. Second-most is Richard Burr from North Carolina with $6,987,380.

Other notable names on the list include Marco Rubio from Florida ($3,303,355), Mitch McConnell from Kentucky ($1,267,139), Ted Cruz from Texas ($176,274), and Rand Paul from Kentucky ($104,456).

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