Republican Marsha Blackburn's first concern, after a dozen people were murdered, is protecting unfettered access to guns.

The names of the victims from the mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, hadn’t even been released yet, but Tennessee’s new senator-elect, Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn, rushed onto Fox News on Thursday to stress that protecting gun ownership is the most important thing to do in the wake of the latest gun massacre.

Blackburn made her stunning, heartless comments even before going through the Republicans’ preferred hollow gesture of offering “thoughts and prayers” to the victims.

Less than 12 hours after a gunman dressed in black stormed into the Borderline Bar & Grill and opened fire on the staff and patrons, Fox News’ Sandra Smith asked Blackburn to address the crisis.

An NRA apologist who was elected to the U.S. Senate this week, thanks in part to the radical gun group’s deep-pocketed support, Blackburn robotically offered up a defense of guns owners.

“As a senator-elect now, what can we do?” asked Smith. “This was the deadliest shooting we’ve seen in this country since Parkland. What do we do?”

Blackburn didn’t pause in her response. “What we do is how to make certain that we protect the Second Amendment and protect our citizens,” she stressed.

It was a truly chilling response that highlights the GOP’s almost manic desire to echo NRA talking points in a time of crisis, even when those talking points make absolutely no sense.

A gunman just killed more than a dozen people, and Blackburn stressed the best way to deal with America’s gun crisis was to make sure more people have guns?

Only later in the interview, after mouthing empty NRA slogans, did Blackburn get around to expressing any sympathy for the victims and their families.

The latest American gunman’s rampage was powered by a .45-caliber Glock handgun that came with an extended magazine, which is illegal.

At least six off-duty police officers were in the bar at the time of the shooting.

The Thousand Oaks gun massacre (13 dead, including the gunman) comes less than two weeks after the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre (11 dead); eight months after the Parkland, Florida, school massacre (17 dead); and 13 months after the Las Vegas concert massacre (58 dead).

All the while Trump and Republicans, beholden to the NRA’s radical agenda, refuse to take any steps to curb America’s run-away gun violence.

Blackburn for years has run interference for the NRA in the wake of deadly shooting rampages.

Following the school massacre in Parkland, Blackburn appeared at the White House and stressed that violent films and games — not guns — were the real problems in American culture.

And in 2016, when House Democrats staged a sit-in to protest mass shootings, and the GOP’s refusal to address the issue, Blackburn dismissed the event as a “publicity stunt.”

There is no body count high enough that can move Republicans off their preferred NRA talking points.

Published with permission of The American Independent.