WASHINGTON (December 18, 2012)--The National Rifle Association, the nation's largest gun-rights group, went silent after the deadly shooting of 26 people, including 20 children, at a Connecticut elementary school.
Its Facebook page disappeared, it has not sent a message on Twitter since the extent of the carnage became clear, and no officials of the 4.3 million-member organization appeared on the talk shows this past Sunday, two days after the shooting.
During past crises, the politically powerful group has defended gun owners' constitutional right to bear arms, which is popular among millions of Americans, but with 20 of the victims ages 6 or 7, it may be tougher to advocate for gun owners' rights.
One Republican strategist says the NRA's approach is probably wise given the emotions involved.
The NRA did break its silence Tuesday afternoon to announce a “major news conference” on Friday in the Washington, D.C. area.
“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,” the announcement said.
“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.”