The National Rifle Association has come out from hiding (sort of) for the first time since a gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children, in Newtown, Connecticut.
The most powerful lobbying group for gun rights had been utterly silent for four full days about Friday’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
But that silence was finally broken Tuesday afternoon with this statement:
"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 says it plans to hold a "major" news conference in the Washington D.C. area on Friday (Dec. 21), noting that details will be announced at "the appropriate time."
A source close to the issue told Fox News that the group plans to "push back" against a wave of blame by the gun safety lobby by redirecting the conversation toward "the First Amendment, and Hollywood, and the video games that teach young kids how to shoot heads."
The NRA, which frequently communicates through social media, took the extraordinary step of deactivating its Facebook page for four days following the massacre in Newtown. The group also did not Tweet during that period.
And NRA representatives declined invitations to appear on a number of Sunday news talk shows.