CT Politics

Connecticut Politics

As nationwide debate about gun control heats up, NRA goes silent (updated)

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In the aftermath of the tragic Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., most Americans say they want a serious debate on gun control.

The president and supporters of gun legislation have complied, either with proposals (on Capitol Hill) or non-specific pleas for action (from the White House). However, another key player is staying mum.

The National Rifle Association, universally known as the NRA, has stayed silent ever since the news of Friday’s school slaughter broke.

According to BuzzFeed, this is not the first time the organization has chosen to remain silent on social media after a mass shooting. In July, following the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado, the NRA did not tweet for 10 days. Twelve people were killed in Aurora.

Following two other, more recent mass shootings with lower counts of fatalities, the NRA refrained from tweeting for one day. The shootings in question were Aug. 5 shooting at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin, with seven people dead, and Dec. 11 shooting at Clackamas Town Center in Oregon with three people dead.

Furthermore, to prevent a flood of comments posted on its Facebook page, the NRA has taken it down just days after reaching 1.7 million likes on Dec. 13., reported Slate.

While gun control supporters have saturated the airwaves since the weekend, NRA allies have kept a low profile. Several prominent gun rights advocates, including Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, canceled scheduled television appearances in the days after the shooting. (Hutchison cited laryngitis as the reason for begging off an appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation.)

Among the Second Amendment activists who have taken to TV are Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, who has urged caution when tackling legislative changes, and Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, who suggested that teachers and school administrators be empowered to possess weapons on campus.

Late this afternoon, the NRA issued this “important statement” to the media:

The National Rifle Association of America is made up of four million moms and dads, sons and daughters – and we were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown.

Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting.

The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.

The NRA is planning to hold a major news conference in the Washington, DC area on Friday, December 21.

Details will be released to the media at the appropriate time.

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