A Republican congressman has been criticized for posting a photo of himself and his family posing with guns, just days after four teenagers were killed in a Michigan high school shooting.
“Merry Christmas! Santa Claus, please bring ammunition,” United States Representative for Kentucky Thomas Massie wrote on Twitter.
The post included a photo of Mr. Massie and his family holding guns in front of a Christmas tree.
Weapons on display include weapons resembling an M60 machine gun, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, and a Thompson submachine gun.
The tweet was condemned on Twitter, with Fred Guttenberg, an anti-gun violence activist, who posted a photo of his 14-year-old daughter who was killed in the 2018 Parkland School shooting in Florida, as well as ‘a photo of his gravestone.
He wrote: “Since we share family photos, here are mine. One is the last photo I took of Jaime, the other is where she is buried because of the shooting at the Parkland school.
“The Michigan School Shooter and his family would also take pictures like yours. “
.@RepThomasMassie, since we share family photos, here are mine. One is the last photo I took of Jaime, the other is where she is buried due to the Parkland School shooting.
The Michigan school shooter and his family were also taking pictures like yours. pic.twitter.com/MsQWneJXAp
– Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) December 4, 2021
U.S. Democratic Representative John Yarmuth, who chairs the U.S. House of Representatives budget committee, has condemned the post of fellow Kentuckian.
“I’m old enough to remember Republicans shouting that it was callous to try to protect people from gun violence after a tragedy,” Mr Yarmuth wrote on Twitter, apparently referring to calls for laws on gun control.
“I promise not everyone in Kentucky is a callous ******,” he added.
Last year in the United States, more than 5,000 children were shot dead. More than 1,300 dead. Still, a Republican politician decided it was the festive photo. Now imagine, if it was a photo taken by a black or Muslim family this Christmas. This is what a privileged white Christmas looks like. Repugnant. https://t.co/VtCofMsOAn
– Adil Ray OBE (@adilray) December 5, 2021
Adil Ray, a British comedian and actor, also criticized Mr. Massie and wrote: “Last year in the United States over 5,000 children were shot dead.
“More than 1,300 have died. Yet a Republican politician decided it was the festive photo. Now imagine, if it was a photo of a black or Muslim family this Christmas.
“This is what a privileged white Christmas looks like. Disgusting.”
The shooting in Michigan on Tuesday was the latest in a series of shootings that have led to heated debates over school safety, gun control and gun rights.
Ethan Crumbley, 15, is accused of opening fire at Oxford high school on November 30 during an outbreak that left four dead and eight wounded.
Following the attack, his parents pleaded not guilty to four counts of manslaughter.
James and Jennifer Crumbley, 45 and 43, are accused of having bought their son the handgun used in the shooting.
They are also accused of ignoring signage before their son was ransacked, as concerning drawings found on his school desk.