As police in Illinois hunted America’s latest mass shooter on Monday, the National Rifle Association left up a tweet crediting “armed residents” for Independence Day.
“The one reason you’re celebrating Independence Day is because residents were armed,” said the tweet, posted early within the day and still up Monday evening.
In Highland Park, Illinois, a minimum of six people won’t ever again have a good time July Fourth because they were killed by a lone “armed citizen,” who, in response to police, fired from a rooftop right into a Fourth of July parade. Dozens of others were injured.
The NRA tweet remained up while residents of the town were sheltering in place throughout the manhunt for the shooter.
The one reason you’re celebrating Independence Day is because residents were armed. #FourthofJuly
— NRA (@NRA) July 4, 2022
A tweet by one other lobbying group, the Gun Owners of America, was possibly much more tasteless.
“This long weekend delivered to you by armed residents,” gushed the message. The organization either wasn’t aware that other residents’ holiday weekends had been permanently terminated — or didn’t care.
Yes, thanks🍉🇺🇸 6 dead 26 injured! 🧨
— BethRajkovich (@BethRajkovich) July 4, 2022
Independence was delivered to us by “regulated militias”, not by random individuals who cannot pass background checks.
— Jane Feldman (@jtfdenver) July 4, 2022
Meanwhile, state Sen. Darren Bailey, the GOP nominee for Illinois governor who was recently endorsed by Donald Trump, suggested in a video after the shooting that folks “move on and have a good time the independence of this nation!”
As people waved campaign signs for Bailey within the clip, he did suggest praying for the families of the victims and law enforcement.
After serious blowback, Bailey’s office released a press release from the politician saying: “I apologize if in any way we diminished the pain being felt across our state today.”
“I’m heartbroken by today’s tragic events and the pain and loss felt by so many. My intent was to hope for the victims and people affected by today’s tragedy and for the shooter to be caught and prosecuted without further loss,” the statement read.