The fatal shootings of 27 people—20 of them children—in the usually quiet hamlet of Newtown, Conn., reignited the debate over gun control, with media outlets and hordes of social media users calling for stricter rules on gun ownership.
President Obama made overtures about gun control during his emotional press conference on Friday, when he referred to “coming together to take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this.”
Much of the anger over the killings seemed to be directed at the National Rifle Association (NRA), the nation’s biggest gun lobby. Social media users flung vitriolic statements at the organizations Twitter feed and Facebook page. For instance:
— David Anders (@QuestionAnders) December 14, 2012
Over the weekend, the NRA fell silent on social media, shuttering its Facebook page (which had 1.7 million fans) and announcing on Friday via Twitter that it was canceling a scheduled Twitter chat that day with country music singer Colt Ford. The tweet mentioning the cancelation has since been removed.
Otherwise, there has been no activity on the NRA Twitter account—which, media outlets noted, is normally updated three or four times daily—in the wake of the shootings in Newtown that began around 9:30 a.m. ET on Friday.
The NRA’s most recent post is a lighthearted reference to the organization’s holiday giveaway, the 10 Days of NRA Giveaways:
— NRA (@NRA) December 14, 2012
The tweet drew a number of responses from Twitter users, including this one:
On the tenth day of Christmas the @nra gave to me, an elementary school slaughter
— TBogg (@tbogg) December 14, 2012
That post, in turn, sparked another equally caustic debate.
BuzzFeed reported that the NRA sent a promotion on Saturday, which you can see here.
A request for comment to the NRA has gone unanswered, although the organization gave CBS News a statement, saying, “Until the facts are thoroughly known, NRA will not have any comment.”
UPDATE: The NRA issued a statement, which you can read at here.