Sunday, December 23, 2012

For The Love of Guns

The NRA’s membership is composed of barely 2% of the entire population of the United States, however their power grip in Washington is well known and all politicians, regardless of Party affiliation, fear them. One has to wonder why this is and perhaps try to dissect what might be transpiring in the background. Other associations have much more members than the NRA, but none of them have the power to manipulate Congress as they do.

Today I am scrutinizing Mr. Wayne LaPierre’s* speech given last Friday, December 21st and which you can watch here if you have the stomach for it. I’m also including a link to the transcript. I am outraged and thought I needed to do this.

 To read the transcript, click here 

“…Until the facts are known, the NRA has refrained from comment.”

The whole facts are not known yet but this didn’t stop the NRA from giving a press conference and of course, commenting. What they did was to abstain from making a comment until they could think of a way to remove the blame from their beloved firearms and place it on the rest of the nation. They dared to accuse others of exploiting the tragedy in Connecticut for political gain, when that is the single most important reason why they not only commenting but including the current administration in their comments.   

“No one – nobody – has addressed the most important, pressing and immediate question we face: How do we protect our children right now?”

Where has Mr. LaPierre been? How can he say that with a straight face? That is the question that has been on everyone’s lips, from the citizens, to the media and all the way to the President. However, unlike Mr. LaPierre, those of us that care for our loved ones do not think the solution is more arms, and for the NRA not thinking that the solution is more firearms equals to not caring for our loved ones. Sickening! 

“We care about our money.”

This is the single, most truthful statement Mr. LaPierre has made up to date. He had to add in the phrase about the armed guards to “protect our banks” so we wouldn’t know that what they really care about is money. I do my banking transactions at two different banks and I have yet to see “an armed guard” in any of them. I can’t remember when I saw an actual armed guard inside a bank other than in one of those old gangster movies. I’ve worked for many years at large corporations with their offices at, you guessed it, “office buildings” and not once have I seen an armed guard, the most I’ve seen is a bored to death unarmed “guard” that is there to help you in case you don’t know where you are going and need directions.

“We care about the President, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents. Members of Congress work in offices surrounded by armed Capitol Police officers.”

Yes, the President of the United States and of every other country is protected by the Secret Service. But, if those highly trained officers that are the crème de la crème in their field couldn’t protect President Ronald Reagan when he was shot… What makes him think that a mediocre armed guard is going to perform any better at protecting our children while in school?

“The truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters — people so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane person can possibly ever comprehend them.”

Yes, there are many “genuine monsters” in America and I am sure, the world. But the United States is the only country that dispenses guns easier than it is to acquire Celebrex for arthritis. If you don’t believe me, go to a gun show and see what it’s required for you to walk out with a gun and try to buy Celebrex without a prescription at your pharmacy.  I bet you'll get the gun but not the drug.

Anyone can get their hands on firearms; there are so many guns in America that it is virtually impossible to know the real number of firearms in this country – legal and illegal. The data for registered firearms it’s staggering: 300 million firearms so far. The estimated number of adults in the United States is 247,518,325, which means that there are 1.2 guns for each adult. There are 2,000,000 house robberies a year and among the things stolen are guns that end up in the hands of criminals.

“And here's another dirty little truth that the media try their best to conceal: There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people.”

Another unexpected blunt truth stated by Mr. LaPierre. We know that there is “a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people”: It’s called the National Rifle Association.

Mr. LaPierre also placed the blame on violent video games and movies. He mentioned among the games Mortal Kombat and Grand Theft Auto. These games are violent, but the United States is not the only country were these games are played. Japan has no bans against any video games and it’s the main producer of them. The number of homicides by firearms in Japan during the year 2008 (latest data) was 11 and the number of homicides (by any means, including firearms) during the same year was 582. The United States during 2008 had 9,484 homicides by firearms and the total of homicides, including firearms was 16,272.

Japan’s population in 2008 was of 127,700,000. Japan’s territory is 145,883 square miles, which means that there are 875 people per square mile.

On the other hand, the population in the United States during 2008 was 304,500,000. The United States’ territory is 3,717,792 square miles, which means that there are 82 people per square mile.

By the above we can deduce that in Japan, where there is no ban for any computer game regardless the violent content, where people are cramped beyond our wildest imagination and yet homicides by guns, compared to us are virtually non-existent. Why is this? The reason is because they have strict gun control laws. In Japan all handguns are banned, only police officer are allowed to possess one and only while on duty. Rifles are also banned, only those who owned one before 1971 can own one. You can still own a firearm for hunting in Japan (shotgun or air rifle), but in order to get a permit for that you must go through a few mandatory requirements: You must attend a full day class and pass a written test; you must have taken and passed a shooting range class; you must pass a mental and drug test taken at a hospital; after you have accomplished all of the previous requirements you must then go to the police and file your petition to own a gun, the police will then conduct an extreme background check. If you are approved, you must tell the police where the weapon and the ammunition will be stored in your house. And that’s not all; you must submit your weapon to the police for inspection once a year and undergo all the tests (no exceptions) every three years (to read more about gun control in Japan, click here). That is why there are basically no deaths by firearms in Japan, and there is not even one case of a death for accidental shooting. This means, strict gun control laws can make a difference, regardless of how many violent video games people play or what movies they watch. No weapon no problem.

Mr. LaPierre mentioned in his speech the movies Natural Born Killers, released on August 26, 1994 and American Psycho released on April 14, 2000.

From 1992 to 1993, prior to Natural Born Killers’ release, there was an average of 15,872 homicides by firearms a year, after the release of the movie, from 1994 – 1999 the annual average was of 11,883 homicides by firearm a year, an actual decrease of approximately 798 murders a year. In 1999 there were 8,228 homicides by firearms and 8,542 in 2000, the year American Psycho was released and while it is true that for the following three years there was an average annual increase of homicides by firearms of 356 one has to wonder why the same did not happen with NBK and what made in 2004 a sudden drop of homicides by firearm; in 2004 there were 275 less homicides by firearm than on the previous year. What happened on 2001 that may have caused an increase of homicides by firearms? The main event that happened at that time and that I can think of is nine-eleven.

“…the .223 round is one of the most powerful rifle calibers…”

Mr. LaPierre mocked the media for not knowing which is the most powerful bullet. I don’t care if a bullet is a .223 or .950 caliber, let’s face it… they both kill, all bullets have that particularity, when someone pulls the trigger the expelled bullet has the capacity to kill you regardless of the caliber.

“They [the media] perpetuate the dangerous notion that one more gun ban – or one more law imposed on peaceful, lawful people – will protect us where 20,000 others have failed!”

I wonder what 20,000 laws is he referring to. There have been many attempts to control the insatiable desire for guns that is an epidemic in this country, but the NRA has blocked or influenced to water down any attempt in Congress, just like they are doing now. A proper and strict gun control such as the one implemented in Japan will prevent atrocities such as the one at Sandy Hook Elementary from ever happening in this country again, but the NRA will never allow it and our Congressmen and women are too scared to go against the monster the NRA truly is.

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

I truly believe Mr. LaPierre watches too many old westerns, where the “bad guys” wore black clothing and the “good guys” where in white making them easily identifiable. To begin with, there was an arm guard at Columbine that wasn’t capable to stop the massacre that occurred there. Mr. LaPierre fails to mention that an assailant has an advantage over the guard(s). An assailant has the element of surprise and while the guards are usually armed with a gun(s), the prospect killer is usually better armed than the guards. I suppose Mr. LaPierre will want for every teacher, janitor, and cafeteria personnel to be armed. Has he stopped to think that until a person goes “postal” they are usually functioning members of society? If one of these armed adults that are there to supposedly protect the schools “looses” his/her mind they will be inside a school, armed and the children will be at their mercy. Next, the children will need to carry arms to protect themselves from the teachers!

“…since when did the word "gun" automatically become a bad word?”

Since they were invented Mr. LaPierre, since they were invented. Guns were created to kill… I don’t think anyone buys a gun with the intention to use it as paperweight.

Placing armed people in schools is a crazy idea. It was crazy five years ago when Mr. LaPierre first proposed it, it is crazy today and it will be a crazy idea twenty years from now. The solution is not more arms and more violence; the solution is fewer arms and more restrictions.

“Will you at least admit it's possible that 26 innocent lives might have been spared? Is that so abhorrent to you that you would rather continue to risk the alternative?”

The above question is not only offensive, but also repulsive. Mr. LaPierre is trying to coerce the people, without thinking of those parents that lost their child barely a week ago, to support the armament in our schools because if they don’t then we can assume that they rather see their children dead than accepting the NRA’s solution. This is despicable and conceivable only by a group without any moral values or decency such as the National Rifle Association.

Mr. LaPierre is unwilling to accept any responsibility for their actions, present and past that he feels the need to include the American gun owner in his statement about how Washington hates the NRA. Washington doesn’t hate the American gun owners, I don’t even think it hates the NRA, but Washington does “hate” the fact that the NRA doesn’t allow them to legislate and place restrictions on any gun. If the NRA could have it their way, machine guns would be a household item, just like a toaster.

At the beginning of his offensive speech, Mr. LaPierre pointed the finger at everyone accusing them of trying to “politicize” last week’s sinister event. However, he doesn’t miss the opportunity to politicize it. Ever since President Obama was elected, the NRA has campaigned on the false pretense that the President was going to go after the weapons of every law abiding citizen, even when the President didn’t. For the 2012 elections, the NRA donated large sums of money to the Republican candidate with the hopes of getting rid of President Obama, even when the President didn’t ask Congress, not even once, to pass any bills making any changes in the law regarding guns. That didn’t matter. Now, he is once more blaming President Obama because the “Secure Our Schools” was scrapped from the budget. Where has he been? Doesn’t he recall the fiasco the debt ceiling was in 2011? Isn’t he following what is happening in Congress with the Financial Cliff? Doesn’t he know that is the GOP and the Tea Party, the politicians that the NRA supports, are the ones that want a government that can fit in a bathtub?

Politicians might not have the authority to deny anyone the right to own guns, but the government surely can. The government (a very young government and for reasons that do not apply today) gave the people the right to bear arms and the government can take that right away. Article V of the Constitution allows government to do precisely that. Nothing on earth is a given right that lasts an eternity. Back in the 1700s, people were able to own not only guns but also human beings, who they could buy and sell without a problem. Women were not considered full citizens and had no rights whatsoever. Lynchings were common, people were burned at the stake accused of witchcraft and Native Americans were savages that anyone could kill. All of it, through the passage of time became crimes under the law because we evolved… in almost everything except those damn firearms that are untouchable!

The NRA is calling for retired police officers, retired military personnel, security personnel, firefighters (since when firefighters come to rescue us with a gun?) and CITIZENS to patrol the schools, then he wants the “brave men and women of America’s police force” to make our schools safer and he wants that now. While he acknowledges that the budget of the police departments are strained, the NRA wants them to be full time at our schools; hasn’t he heard that the GOP and Tea Party asked for a reduction of government and that among those were policemen and women, teachers, firefighters, etc.?

There are 132,656 public schools in the United States, assuming that we place only one police officer in each and every school and assuming the police officer makes the minimum wage of $40,000 a year, we will need to add to our debt at a minimum another $5,306,240,000 every year and that is not counting equipment.

It seems obvious to me that Mr. LaPierre doesn’t watch much news since he is calling for Congress to approve his plan and implementing it before children are back to school after the holidays, he doesn’t seem to know that Congress will be on vacation during that time, making good use of the tax payers money as they have done for the last 4 years… where they have been on vacation, vacation and more vacations.

“Every school will have a different solution based on its own unique situation.”

According to his logic, every school will know what they will need to secure their pupils. Each school will know if they are targets beforehand, how they will be “attacked” and what will they need to prevent this from happening.  I guess that is why they will get protection "according to their own unique situation." Really? So it will be security a la carte? Since when schools are experts at this and if they are, why has there been any mass murders in our schools if the schools knows so much about security?

The false pretenses of the NRA are so obvious that I don’t know why I haven’t heard anyone in the news mentioning this. The fact that the NRA dares to claim that they will visit or study all 132,656 public schools (not counting private schools, who can be subjected to these crimes as well), create a plan of action uniquely designed for the “needs” of each and every school and implementing such plans in two weeks it’s outrageous. All they care about is securing that Congress doesn’t try to restrict or control firearms.

“If we truly cherish our kids more than our money or our celebrities, we must give them the greatest level of protection possible and the security that is only available with a properly trained – armed – good guy.”

Once more Mr. LaPierre uses the tactic of emotional blackmail to coerce people to agree with him. He makes sure that we don’t forget that the trained personnel must be armed and if armed, then he or she is “a good guy”… if we don’t agree, then it must be because we don’t care or cherish our children. This man is an abomination.

“We can't lose precious time debating legislation that won't work.” 

The legislation will work if the NRA is kept out of it.  We must not allow the NRA to interfere or bribe the politicians to go against gun control. The solution is not more weapons; the opposite is the solution.

“Join us in the National School Shield Program and protect our children with the only line of positive defense that’s tested and proven to work.”

Where has this been tested and proven? Columbine proved that having an armed security in school didn't deter the murderer, the Secret Service were not able to protect President Ronald Reagan when he was shot. Hundreds of police officers die every year in gun confrontations, and they were armed and trained. So, Mr. LaPierre I have a question for you... where has this "wonderful” program been tested?

* Used instead of SOB.


Friday, December 14, 2012

To Bite The Bullet

The Second Amendment to the Constitution is perhaps the most controversial and most revered of all amendments. I have never seen such relevance, borderline cult, the American people profess for gun ownership. The minute someone suggests any control, we can hear the outcries – from the right, center and left – about their constitutional rights and the same rhetoric that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

Well, we have a choice in our nation… either we kill all the people or we restrict guns. It’s a choice and since “guns don’t kill people” then I must assume this means we must eliminate that which is lethal, since guns aren’t: people. I am sure you think this is nonsense and I agree, but either guns kill people and we eliminate them or people do, it's one or the other... we can't have both.

The Bill of Rights as ratified on March 4th, 1791, second amendment to the Constitution says:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

From the above and considering the times this was written we could deduct that the right to bear arms was more than a luxury, it was a necessity. Let’s think about this for a minute. We as a nation had fought and won against the British Empire, we were a very young nation with a very young army composed mainly of civilians that had fought for their independence. I am sure that the fear that England would retaliate was in everyone’s mind. The country had to ensure that every able body was ready to defend this young nation at a moments notice, and to do that people had to be armed, the nation had to have “a well regulated Militia…. The right of the people to keep and bear arms…

Add to that the conflict with the Native Americans. It doesn’t matter which side of history you stand with, for the subject matter it’s irrelevant. The fact was that settlers were in constant conflict with natives, each side defending what they considered “their land” they could not be unarmed.

The founding fathers were aware that times change and what was necessary and beneficial then, could be obsolete for future generations. That is why they redacted a “Live” Constitution, capable of changing depending on the circumstances and the necessities of the times. They thought of this and made sure to include it as part of the Constitution so future generations could make changes (amendments) to it according to their needs. Article IV of the Constitution reads:

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

The above is one of the reasons why the Tea Party has no validity whenever they claim that the Constitution should be as written by the founding fathers. What the Tea Party wants goes against what those that wrote it had in mind.

Article V, is exactly the article that gives us the right to amend the Second Amendment. If the most sacred document in our nation is open for changes, why not the Amendments, why not the Bill of Rights?

I am not proposing banning guns in this country, I am well aware that men in this country (and some women too) are addicted to these weapons. Some say it’s for safety (even though statistics show that more crimes are committed with guns than crimes prevented by them and more people are killed with their own guns than by any other means), others say they hunt and therefore they need guns – apparently the majority of gun owners are hunters, even when they have never gone hunting. Fine, for the sake of argument I’ll accept their excuses but is there any reason to own a semi-automatic or full automatic weapon? Where is the reasoning for owning a sub-machine gun with a 30+ round magazine? Or a AK-47? There is a company in Pennsylvania that will sell them to you, including sniper rifles. I’m sorry, but no one will ever convince me that a machine gun is purchased for defense, hunting or as a collector’s item when it’s fully functional and comes with a fully loaded magazine! These weapons serve one single purpose: killing/murdering.

If you want to protect yourself, buy a revolver or better, buy a taser gun. You want to hunt? Buy a rifle, a simple two-bullet rifle. But no, gun lovers see themselves as tough, modern-day cowboys that need to have the best weapons money can buy. We are all shocked, we all mourn and shake our heads every time that a massacre occurs, which are more frequent each time, but not one of these gun freaks want the second amendment touched because “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Bullshit! Following that mentality then we can say that the A-bomb didn’t kill people in Hiroshima; Paul Tibbets did, he single handedly killed all 66,000 of them!

Since we can’t reason with these people and take their guns away, I suggest another way to tackle this problem. Let the American people acquire all the guns they want, let them have an arsenal, as many weapons as they want… Now, bullets should be restricted and controlled. How? Simple, if you purchase a gun the gun should come with a maximum of 3 bullets.  The government should dispense, control and ration bullets for the public.  Bullets should be sold for $1,000 a bullet (magazines should hold a maximum of 10 rounds, and the price for a magazine should be $10,000 per magazine); the maximum allowance of bullets should not exceed 10 bullets a year per gun owner not per weapon, if you need to buy more, you must justify where and how you spent those bullets and bring back the empty shells.  You cannot buy more bullets unless you have a valid reason for it and only once a year.  Rubber bullets should be more accessible for target practice with some restrictions since they can be lethal but only if shot at close range.

Now, it will be different
for hunters. Hunters should not be allowed to buy rifle bullets to keep at home. Instead, there should be stores or kiosks in or near the hunting areas where they can purchase bullets. At the end of the hunting session, they must return any unused bullets for a refund or they will be reported to the authorities. The store should hold their driver’s license until they return the unused bullets or give a written statement that all bullets were used. Hunters will only be allowed to purchase 10 bullets a day at a cost of $100 per bullet.

These prices will not go to the ammunition manufacturers or the gun shop owners or the NRA, any difference between current prices and the ones described above will go directly to increase funds for Medicare and/or to help reduce the deficit.  Ammunition manufacturers will not be allowed to sell to the public.

I think something like this will end the gun problems this nation is facing, after all bullets are not protected by the Second Amendment, they used gunpowder back then. We should not accept and take as a bi-product the massacres that are taking place
as the price to pay for having that "right." We should never accept or become accustomed to it, if you can’t remove the weapon or the people, then make it so expensive that it will be almost impossible to obtain.

We need to mature as a nation and accept responsibility for our obsessions. We can't have everything we want and we must re-evaluate what is happening and do something about it. We cannot continue to indulge in our desires, regardless of the consequences.  If we don't, those that are defending the second amendment regardless of what is happening and that are refusing to accept any restrictions are as guilty of these massacres as those that pulled the trigger.  You can't have your cake and eat it too, not at the expense of innocent lives.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Don't Waste Any Time Mourning... Organize!

The founding fathers signed The Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776 and sixteen years later, the first local union was formed in Philadelphia. Labor Unions are as American as the Constitution.

The history of Labor Unions has been a long and bloody battle since it’s beginning. Many workers lost their lives in pursue of that “happiness” mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. That “happiness” that was so important to our founding fathers as to mention it as part of the fundamental right of every human being but that those in power, mostly corporations, didn’t believe the working class was entitled to… they didn’t believe it back in 1776 and it is obvious they don’t believe it today. What is transpiring today against labor unions is clear proof of that.

Back in the late 1700s and early 1800s factory owners discovered that children could operate the machines for a lower wage than adults, so children as young as 6 were used to work in these factories. The regular working hours were anywhere from 12 to 18 hours a day and from six to seven days a week, in other words, the poor where on this planet to serve the rich, nothing else.

The owners of these factories couldn’t care less for the safety of those he employed and much less the health and well-being of their employees. It was a different kind of slavery; a cheaper one and the wealthy knew this. These employees had nothing, no vacations, no days off, no breaks, no health insurance, no overtime payment. For the owners of these factories they were expendable, replaceable and just a step above animals that deserved no considerations because, in their mind, if they did get any consideration then they would want more and produce less.

From 1794 to 1834 many labor unions were developing throughout the United States, mainly in New York and Philadelphia. This was as a direct result of the constant abuse suffered by the American worker. It was the beginning of organized unions and of a struggle that would last over a century.

There is not much information about the violence early labor organizations encountered and/or inflicted. It is until 1851 that we begin to see a systematic bloodshed in the history of labor unions in the United States. The first record of labor members loosing their lives for striking happened in Portage, New York where two railroad strikers were shot dead and many were injured by the state militia. It is the beginning of corporations and the government to contain and restrain the oppressed masses.

Fear of death has never stopped people when they feel that they and their loved ones are cornered and abused without end on sight. It has been the most forceful source of strength throughout history, even in animals. When there is no way out, it is the nature of all species to fight back and the same can be said here. Unions didn’t back down, instead they grew stronger and in 1866 the first National Labor Union was formed.

There were many bloody confrontations between workers/unions and companies/government.  The first recorded confrontation took place in New York City on January 13, 1874, where unemployed workers were protesting. The mounted police charged against a crowd composed of women, children and men beating them indiscriminately, leaving hundreds of casualties in their path. The Police Commissioner, Abram Duryee claimed that confrontation as “the most glorious sight” he had ever seen.

On May 4th at the Haymarket Square in Chicago, Illinois a protest took place organized by the Knights of Labor, which gave birth to what is recognized worldwide as the International Labor Day (May Day). During that protest and it is not clear to this day, a protestor threw a bomb to a police squad that was there to break up the protest. The police responded by frantically shooting at the protestors, killing over a dozen people and injuring about 100. I find it funny that this day is observed all over the world, on that day (May 1) as Labor Day, except in the country where this massacre took place.

July 12, 1917. Bisbee, Arizona. The Bisbee Deportation: Sheriff Harry Wheeler gathered thousands of armed vigilantes and kidnapped 1,185 men, most of them Mexican immigrants, that were protesting against the safety conditions of copper mines in Bisbee, Arizona. The protesters were placed in manure boxcars and shipped to the New Mexico desert. The case was referred to the State of Arizona, which refused to take action, calling the actions of the Sheriff and the vigilantes as patriotism and showing their support for the war. Wouldn’t that be exactly what Governor Brewer would say today?

The above are just a few of the many historical confrontations that American Union workers went through to secure fair working wages and safe conditions for themselves and for generations to come. It is sad that today the Republican Party is destroying this legacy. A legacy where so many children, men and women fought so hard for and where many lost their life so we could have a better future.

Joe Hill was a renowned labor leader that was sentenced to death by firing squad in Salt Lake City. Before his death on November 19, 1915 he sent a letter to Bill Haywood, leader of the IWW Union where he wrote: “Goodbye Bill. I die like a true blue rebel. Don’t waste any time in mourning. Organize.”
“If the workers take a notion,
They can stop all speeding trains,
Every ship upon the ocean
They can tie with mighty chains.
Every wheel in the creation,
Every mine and every mill,
Fleets and armies of the nation,
Will at their command stand still.”

- Joe Hill

So I say to all American workers those same words written almost 100 years ago. Don’t waste any time in mourning. Organize!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

To Tweet or Not To Tweet

A friend asked my help to find a Democratic Senators' Twitter Accounts List. I searched and could not find a single list much less separated by Party.

I think this is something that many would find useful and since there isn't one, I created it and I'm sharing it here.

President of the United States, Barack Obama @BarackObama

Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden @JoeBiden

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton @StateDept
After she leaves the position: @VerifiedClinton

112th Congress


Democratic Senators:
Akaka, Daniel (D – HI) *            @SenatorAkaka
Baucus, Max (D – MT)             Doesn’t Tweet
Begich, Mark (D – AK)             @SenatorBegich
Bennet, Michael (D – CO)             @SenBennetCO
Bingaman, Jeff (D – NM) *            Doesn’t Tweet
Blumenthal, Richard (D – CT)             @SenBlumenthal
Boxer, Barbara (D – CA)             @SenatorBoxer
Brown, Sherrod (D – OH)             @SenSherrodBrown
Cantwell, Maria (D – WA)             Doesn’t Tweet
Cardin, Ben (D – MD)             @SenatorCardin
Carper, Thomas (D – DE)             @SenatorCarper
Casey, Robert P., Jr. (D – PA)             @SenBobCasey
Conrad, Kent (D – ND) *            Doesn’t Tweet
Coons, Christopher (D – DE)             @SenCoonsOffice
Durbin, Richard (D – IL)             @SenatorDurbin
Feinstein, Dianne (D – CA)             @SenFeinstein
Franken, Al (D – MN)             Doesn’t Tweet
Gillibrand, Kirsten (D – NY)             Doesn’t Tweet
Hagan, Kay (D – NC)             @SenatorHagan
Harkin, Tom (D – IA)             @SenatorHarkin
Inouye, Daniel (D – HI)             @Daniel_Inouye
Johnson, Tim (D – SD)             @SenJohnsonSD
Kerry, John (D – MA)             @JohnKerry
Klobuchar, Amy (D – MN)             Doesn’t Tweet
Kohl, Herb (D – WI) *            Doesn’t Tweet
Landrieu, Mary (D – LA)             @SenLandrieu
Lautenberg, Frank (D – NJ)             @FrankLautenberg
Leahy, Patrick (D – VT)             @SenatorLeahy
Levin, Carl (D – MI)             @SenCarlLevin
Manchin III, Joe (D – WV)             Doesn’t Tweet
McCaskill, Claire (D – MO)             @McCaskillOffice
Menendez, Robert (D – NJ)             @SenatorMenendez
Merkley, Jeff (D – OR)             @SenJeffMerkley
Mikulski, Barbara (D – MD)             @SenatorBarb
Murray, Patty (D – WA)             @PattyMurray
Nelson, Ben (D – NE) *            @SenBenNelson
Nelson, Bill (D – FL)             @SenBillNelson
Pryor, Mark (D – AR)             @SenMarkPryor
Reed, Jack (D – RI)             @SenJackReed
Reid, Harry (D – NV)             @SenatorReid
Rockefeller, John (D – WV)             @SenRockefeller
Sanders, Bernie (I – VT)             @SenSanders
Schumer, Charles (D – NY)             @ChuckSchumer
Shaheen, Jeanne (D – NH)             @SenatorShaheen
Stabenow, Debbie (D – MI)             @StabenowPress
Tester, Jon (D – MT)             Doesn’t Tweet
Udall, Mark (D – CO)             @MarkUdall
Udall, Tom (D – NM)             @SenatorTomUdall
Warner, Mark (D – VA)             @MarkWarner
Webb, Jim (D – VA) *            Doesn’t Tweet
Whitehouse, Sheldon (D – RI)             @SenWhitehouse
Wyden, Ron (D – OR)             @RonWyden
Senate Democrats             @SenateDems
Republican Senators:

Alexander, Lamar (R – TN)             @SenAlexander
Ayotte, Kelly (R – NH)             Doesn’t Tweet
Barrasso, John (R – WY)             @SenJohnBarrasso
Blunt, Roy (R – MO)             @RoyBlunt 
Boozman, John (R – AR)             @JohnBoozman
Brown, Scott (R – MA) *            @USSenScottBrown
Burr, Richard (R – NC)             @SenatorBurr
Chambliss, Saxy (R – GA)             Doesn’t Tweet
Coats, Dan (R – IN)             @SenDanCoats
Coburn, Tom, M.D. (R – OK)             @TomCoburn
Cochran, Thad (R – MS)             @SenThadCochran
Collins, Susan (R – MA)             @SenatorCollins
Corker, Bob (R – TN)             @SenBobCorker
Cornyn, John (R – TX)             @JohnCornyn
Crapo, Mike (R – ID)             @MikeCrapo
DeMint, Jim (R – SC)             Doesn’t Tweet
Enzi, Mike (R – WY)             @SenatorEnzi
Graham, Lindsey (R – SC)             @GrahamBlog
Grassley, Chuck (R – IA)             @ChuckGrassley
Hatch, Orrin (R – UT)             @SenOrrinHatch
Heller, Dean (R – NV)             @SenDeanHeller
Hoeven, John (R – ND)             @SenJohnHoeven
Hutchison, Kay Bailey (R – TX) *            @kaybaileyhutch
Inhofe, James M. (R – OK)             @InhofePress
Isakson, Johnny (R – GA)             Doesn’t Tweet
Johanns, Mike (R – NE)             @Mike_Johanns
Johnson, Ron (R – WI)             @SenRonJohnson
Lieberman, Joe (I – CT) *            @JoeLieberman
Kirk, Mark (R – IL)             @SenKirk
Kyl, Jon (R – AZ) *            Doesn’t Tweet
Lee, Mike (R – UT)             @SenMikeLee
Lugar, Richard G. (R – IN) *            @senatorlugar
McCain, John (R – AZ)             @SenJohnMcCain
McConnell, Mitch (R – KY)             @McConnellPress
Moran, Jerry (R – KS)             @JerryMoran
Murkowski, Lisa (R – AK)             @lisamurkowski
Paul, Rand (R – KY)             @SenRandPaul
Portman, Rob (R – OH)             @robportman
Risch, Jamese E. (R – ID)             Doesn’t Tweet
Roberts, Pat (R – KS)             @SenPatRoberts
Rubio, Marco (R – FL)             @SenRubioPress
Sessions, Jeff (R – AL)             @SenatorSessions
Shelby, Richard (R – AL)             @SenShelbyPress
Snowe, Olympia J. (R – ME) *            @SenatorSnowe
Thune, John (R – SD)             @SenJohnThune
Toomey, Pat (R – PA)             @SenToomey
Vitter, David (R –LA)             Doesn’t Tweet
Wicker, Roger (R – MS)             @SenatorWicker
Senate Republicans             @Senate_GOPs

* After January 2, 2013 these member will no longer be part of Congress.

For a list of the Twitter accounts for the 112th House of Representatives, click here.  If you don't know your District Representative, click here first to find out.

113th Congress
Senate and House of Representatives New Members

These are current Twitter accounts, they might change once they're sworn into office. 

Democratic Senators (In Alphabetical Order)
Baldwin, Tammy (Sen – WI) -@TammyBaldwinWI
Donnelly, Joe (Sen – IN) -@RepDonnelly
Heitkamp, Heidi (Sen – ND) - @Heidi4ND
Hirono, Mazie (Sen – HI) - @maziehirono
Kaine, Tim (Sen – VA) - @timkaine
King, Angus (Sen – ME) - Doesn't Tweet
Murphy, Chris (Sen – CT) - @ChrisMurphyCT
Warren, Elizabeth (Sen – MA) -@elizabethforma

Republican Senators:

Cruz, Ted (SenTX) - @tedcruz
Fischer, Deb (SenNE) - @DebFischer2012
Flake, Jeff (SenAZ) - @JeffFlake


By State and District

Kirkpatrick, Ann (AZ-1) @Ann_Kirkpatrick
Krysten Sinema (AZ-9) @kyrstensinema
Huffman, Jared (CA-2) @JaredHuffman
Bera, Ami (CA-7) @BeraForCongress
Swalwell, Eric (CA-15) @SwalwellForCA15
Brownley, Julia (CA-26) @JuliaBrownley
Cardenas, Tony (CA-29) @GoCardenas
Sherman, Brad (CA-30) @BradSherman
Negrete, Gloria (CA-35) @NegreteMcleod
Ruiz, Raul (CA-36) @Dr_RaulRuiz
Takano, Mark (CA-41) @MarkTakano
Hahn, Janice (CA-44) @Rep_JaniceHahn
Lowenthal, Alan (CA-47) @alanlowenthal
Vargas, Juan (CA-51) @Vargas4Congress
Peters, Scott (CA-52) @ScottPetersSD
Esty, Elizabeth (CT-5) @Elizabeth_Esty
Grayson, Alan (FL-9) @AlanGrayson
Murphy, Patrick (FL-18) @PatrickMurphyFL
Frankel, Lois (FL-22) @LoisFrankel
Garcia, Joe (FL-26) @JoeGarcia
Gabbard, Tulsi (HI-2) @TulsiGabbard
Duckworth, Tammy (IL-8) @Tammy4Congress
Schneider, Brad (IL-10) @Schneider4IL10
Foster, Bill (IL-11) @foster4congress
Enyart, William (IL-12) @EnyartforIL12
Bustos, Cheri (IL-17) @cheribustos
Delaney, John K. (MD-6) @JohnDelaney2012
McGovern, Jim (MA-3) @RepMcGovern
Kennedy III, Joseph (MA-4) @joekennedy
Kildee, Dan (MI-5) @dankildee
Peters, Gary (MI-14) @RepGaryPeters
Nolan, Rick (MN-8) @RickNolan2012
Clay, Jr., William Lacy (MO-1) Doesn’t Tweet
Titus, Dina (NV-1) @repdinatitus
Horsford, Steven (NV-4) @StevenHorsford
Shea-Porter, Carol (NH-1) @TeamSheaPorter
McLane Kuster, Ann (NH-2) @AnnMcLaneKuster
Payne, Jr., Donald (NJ-10) @Payne10thNJ
Lujan Grisham, Michelle (NM-1) @Michelle4NM
Meng, Grace (NY-6) @Grace4NY
Jeffries, Hakeem (NY-8) @TeamJeffries
Maloney, Sean (NY-18) @spmaloney
Maffei, Dan (NY-24) @DanMaffeiNY
Beatty, Joyce (OH-3) @JoyceBeatty
Kaptur, Marcy (OH-9) @RepMarcyKaptur
Cartwright, Matt (PA-17) @CartwrightPA
O’Rourke, Beto (TX-16) @BetoORourke
Castro, Joaquin (TX-20) @joaquincastrotx
Gallego, Pete (TX-23) @petegallego
Veasey, Marc (TX-33) @MarcVeasey
Vela, Jr., Filemon (TX-34) @FilemonVela
DelBene, Suzan (WA-1) @SuzanDelBene
Kilmer, Derek (WA-6) @DerekKilmer
Heck, Denny (WA-10) @DennyHeck
Pocan, Mark (WI-2) @MarkPocan
By State and District

Salmon, Matt (AZ-5) @salmoncongress
Cotton, Tom (AR-4) @tomcottonAR
LaMalfa, Doug (CA-1) @DougLaMalfa
Cook, Paul (CA-8) @joinpaulcook
Valadao, David (CA-21) @dgvaladao
Miller, Gary (CA-31) @RepGaryMiller
Yoho, Ted (FL-3) @TedYoho
DeSantis, Ron (FL-6) @RonDeSantisFL
Mica, John (FL-7) @RepJohnMica
Radel, Trey (FL-19) @treyradel
Collins, Doug (GA-9) @Douglas_Collins
Davis, Rodney L. (IL-13) @ElectRodneyIL
Kinzinger, Adam (IL-16) @RepKinzinger
Walorski, Jackie (IN-2) @jackiewalorski
Brooks, Susan (IN-5) @SusanBrooks2012
Messer, Luke (IN-6) @Luke_Messer
Latham, Tom (IA-3) @TomLatham
Massie, Thomas (KY-4) @ThomasMassieKY
Barr, Andy (KT-6) @barrforcongress
Boustany, Charles (LA-3) @RepBoustany
Bentivolio, Kerry (MI-11) @KerryBentivolio
Wagner, Ann (MO-2) @Ann4Congress
Daines, Steve (MT) @SteveDaines
Collins, Chris (NY-27) @collinsNY27
Hudson, Richard (NC-8) @RichHudson
Pittenger, Robert (NC-9) @RobertPittenger
Meadows, Mark (NC-11) @RepMarkMeadows
Holding, George (NC-13) @GeorgeHolding
Cramer, Kevin (ND) @kevincramer
Wenstrup, Brad (OH-2) @bradwenstrup
Turner, Mike (OH-10) @RepMikeTurner
Joyce, David (OH-14) @DaveJoyceOH14
Bridenstine, Jim (OK-1) @JimBridenstine
Mullin, Markwayne (OK-2) @MarkwayneMullin
Perry, Scott (PA-4) @RepScottPerry
Rothfus, Keith (PA-12) @KRPA12
Rice, Tom (SC-7) @TomRiceSC7
Weber, Randy (TX-14) @TexasStateRep29
Williams, Roger (TX-25) @RogerWilliamsTX
Stockman, Steve (TX-36) @SteveStockmanUS
Stewart, Chris (UT-2) @ChrisStewart4UT