If only we could have foreseen that something like this might happen.
If only we could have foreseen that something like this might happen. Neville Elder / Shutterstock.com

Journalists: from now on, when writing about Republicans who oppose gun control, can we please always make sure to include how much money they're getting from the NRA? We're always so diligent about mentioning their states and their party affiliation, so why not also ID their bosses?

Igor Volsky's done a nice job of getting the ball rolling, diligently responding to "thoughts and prayers" tweets from NRA-owned politicians after gun massacres with the exact dollar amount the NRA gave each thoughtful, prayerful politician. But this shouldn't be responsive; NRA payouts should be disclosed each and every time a politician is mentioned or quoted. For example, in Washington, when discussing Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, there shouldn't just be an (R-WA) after her name, but also a (NRA: $17,450).

I'm not expecting the country's gun policy to change anytime soon, but maybe we can at least change how we talk about the people who set that policy.

Dallas wasn't even the only mass shooting in the country in one day. (A shooting in Baton Rouge injured four, and one in Tennessee injured four and killed one.) Shooting a congresswoman didn't change anything. A massacre of children didn't change anything. Fifty people killed at a nightclub didn't change anything. Will five dead cops change anything? Maybe this time, as police unions may have the resources to out-bribe the politicians beholden to the gun industry.

But for now, no, nothing is changing. Republicans just once again blocked an effort to study gun violence. If there's any new lesson to be gleaned from Dallas, there'll be no one there to learn it.

As you've probably heard, back in 1996 the NRA paid an Arkansas Republican congressman to enact a law that makes it nearly impossible to study gun violence. It was a real bargain for the NRA — Tom Dickey's support only cost $1,154.

Two decades out, Dickey now has "regrets," the poor asshole. Regrets about all the people he's helped kill, or regrets that he didn't ask for more money? Hey, maybe if someone gave him another thousand bucks he'd actually do something about gun violence. "It's just a shame," he said.

Yeah, asshole, it's a real fucking shame. Oh well.

The American Medical Association recently had a near-unanimous vote to push for the lifting of Dickey's gun research ban. But the Republicans still collecting a paycheck from the NRA don't like the sound of that.

"I don't particularly see the need for it, quite frankly," said Tom Cole, and Oklahoma Republican who got $2,500 from the NRA in 2014. Mr. Cole, please address your comments to the families of the five police officers killed last night.

Just hours before the Dallas shooting, Democrats tried to push through a measure to overturn Dickey's research ban. But Republicans — Cole included — claimed that the ban doesn't even exist. To hear them tell it, the law simply blocks the CDC from promoting gun control. But of course that's just a cute lie, since they know that the law's real effect has been to halt virtually all research into gun violence for the last 20 years.

The attempt to overturn Dickey's ban failed on a party line vote. See you back here for the next mass shooting.