A US congressman is facing a backlash after he posted a photo with his family, smiling and posing with an assortment of guns while standing in front of a Christmas tree. The photo was posted with a caption reading: “Merry Christmas! ps. Santa, please bring ammo.”
This comes just days after the US saw its deadliest school shooting of this year. Four students were killed and several others were injured, including a teacher, after a 15-year-old opened fire at a Michigan high school on November 30.
The photo posted by Thomas Massie, a representative for the staunchly Republican state of Kentucky, on Twitter triggered a swift outcry, with parents of school shooting victims accusing him of being insensitive.
Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was killed in 2018 in the Parkland school shooting in Florida, also hit out at the Republican for posing with the ammunition. Tagging Massie, Fred Guttenberg wrote, “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.”
He also attached a photo of his daughter in the post.
John Yarmuth, a Democratic congressman from Kentucky, also slammed Massie and called the post “disgraceful.” He also said that such messages from pro-gun Republicans “openly rub the murder of children in our faces like they scored a touchdown.”
Massie’s post drew criticism from some Republicans as well, as Adam Kinzinger, congressman for Illinois, tweeted that he supported US gun rights, but “this isn’t supporting the right to keep and bear arms, this is a gun fetish.”
Anthony Scaramucci, who served briefly as the communication director for former president Donald Trump, said he would fund any potential candidates running against Massie in next year’s congressional elections.
In midst of this, Massie also retweeted messages in support of the post, after which Twitter users called the leader “tone-deaf.