A Republican congressman in the US on Saturday posted a Christmas picture of himself and his family posing with assault weapons – guns resembling an M60 machine gun, AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and a Thompson submachine gun – days after four teenagers were killed in a high school shooting in Michigan.
“Merry Christmas! ps. Santa, please bring ammo,” US Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky wrote on Twitter.
The photo accrued 31.4K likes, 4,826 retweets and 17.7K quote tweets within five hours of being posted.
Last Tuesday Ethan Crumbley, 15, carried out the deadliest US school shooting this year, the latest in a decades-long series of mass shootings that have led to fierce debates over school safety, gun control and gun rights in the country.
His parents were arrested on Saturday in connection with the shootings. James and Jennifer Crumbley, 45 and 43, are accused of buying their son the handgun used in the deadly incident.
Democratic US Representative John Yarmuth, who chairs the House of Representatives Budget Committee, condemned his fellow Kentuckian’s post. “I’m old enough to remember Republicans screaming that it was insensitive to try to protect people from gun violence after a tragedy,” Yarmuth wrote on Twitter, referring to calls for gun control laws. “I promise not everyone in Kentucky is an insensitive a**hole.”
I’m old enough to remember Republicans screaming that it was insensitive to try to protect people from gun violence after a tragedy. Now they openly rub the murder of children in our faces like they scored a touchdown. Disgraceful.
— Rep. John Yarmuth (@RepJohnYarmuth) December 4, 2021
Fred Guttenberg, an activist against gun violence, posting a picture of his 14-year-old daughter who was killed during the 2018 Parkland school shooting in Florida, along with a photo of her gravestone.
He wrote: “Since we are sharing family photos, here are mine. One is the last photo I ever took of Jaime, the other is where she is buried because of the Parkland school shooting.”
.@RepThomasMassie, since we are sharing family photos, here are mine. One is the last photo that I ever took of Jaime, the other is where she is buried because of the Parkland school shooting.
The Michigan school shooter and his family used to take photos like yours as well. pic.twitter.com/MsQWneJXAp
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) December 4, 2021
Adil Ray, a British comedian and actor, also criticised Massie and wrote: “Last year in the US over 5,000 children were shot. Over 1,300 died. Yet a Republican politician decided this is the festive photo. Now imagine, if this was a photo of a black or Muslim family this Christmas.
“This is what a White Privileged Christmas looks like. Disgusting.”
Another Twitter user, Dean Obeidallah, wrote: “The students aren’t even buried yet in Michigan from school shooting but this GOP rep wants you to know he won’t let a little thing like kids being murdered to stop him from celebrating guns.”