Republican Thomas Massie was chastised over a Christmas gun picture.
A congressman sparks controversy by sending a ‘insensitive’ tweet only days after a school tragedy in Michigan.
Just days after four teens were murdered in a high school shooting in Michigan, a US lawmaker uploaded a Christmas photo of himself and what looks to be his family, laughing and posing with an array of weaponry.
Kentucky’s Thomas Massie tweeted, “Merry Christmas! Please bring ammunition, Santa.”
After thebloodiest school shooting in the United States this year, Ethan Crumbley, 15, faces terrorist and murder charges. His parents were detained on Saturday in connection with the deaths of Tate Myre, 16, Hana St Juliana, 14, and Madisyn Baldwin and Justin Shilling, all 17, at Oxford High School in the Detroit suburbs. Six additional pupils and a teacher were injured in the incident on Tuesday.
Massie, who represents a heavily Republican district, shared a photo of himself and six people holding rifles mimicking machine guns and semi-automatic weaponry, some of which are designed to seem very comparable to fully automatic weapons.
Weapons such as machine guns are prohibited under US law to the military, law enforcement, and civilians who have secured special permits for weapons manufactured before to May 1986.
Jonathan Van Norman, Massie’s campaign manager, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Twitter.
Democratic US Representative John Yarmuth reacted angrily to his fellow Kentuckian’s comments. “I’m old enough to recall Republicans yelling that trying to protect people from gun violence after a tragedy was callous,” Yarmuth tweeted, seemingly alluding to efforts for gun control legislation.
“I guarantee you, not everyone in Kentucky is a jerk,” he continued. The shooting in Oxford, Michigan, was the latest in a series of similar occurrences, which have sparked heated arguments over school safety, gun regulation, and gun rights.
A court in Michigan imposed bail for Ethan’s parents at $500,000 (£378,000) apiece after officials apprehended the pair on Saturday following a manhunt.
James and Jennifer Crumbley, who appeared in court via videolink from prison, pleaded not guilty to four charges of involuntary manslaughter. According to Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald, the Crumbleys took $4,000 from an ATM while investigators were looking for them and remained a flight risk.
“We cannot be certain that these are folks who will return to court on their own,” McDonald said.
Authorities started looking for the Crumbleys after prosecutors said on Friday that the pair will face manslaughter charges in connection with the incident. Prosecutors claimed the Crumbleys acquired a weapon for their son for Christmas and then disregarded warning flags, including on the day of the incident.
After the pair failed to attend for their arraignment on Friday, the judge,Julie Nicholson, expressed “some worry about the flight risk” presented by them on Saturday. According to the Crumbleys’ counsel, the pair never attempted to elude investigators.
“Our clients were undoubtedly going to give themselves in,” one of the attorneys stated during the hearing on Saturday. “It was simply an issue of logistics,” he said.
On Saturday, Detroit’s chief of police, James White, informed reporters that the pair had been discovered hiding in a commercial facility on the city’s east side. He said that they had not broken into the premises but had been allowed in by someone. White said that the couple’s car was parked outside the premises.
Prosecutors claimed Ethan accompanied his father to a gun store four days before the incident, when James Crumbley purchased a 9mm pistol. Ethan shared photographs of the rifle on social media with the caption, “Just received my new beauty today,” and a love emoji. The following day, his mother wrote on Facebook that the two of them were at a shooting range “checking out his new Christmas gift,” according to McDonald.
The prosecution outlined a number of additional red flags that she said the parents ignored. On November 21, a teacher saw Ethan looking for ammo on his phone and notified school authorities, who left messages for his mother that remained unanswered. “LOL, I’m not furious with you,” his mother subsequently texted. You must learn to avoid being caught.”
A teacher saw drawings by Ethan depicting a firearm, a bullet, and a bleeding body next to the phrases “blood everywhere,” “y life is pointless,” and “the thoughts won’t stop – help me” on the morning of the shooting.
According to a statement addressed to the school community on Saturday by Oxford community schools administrator Tim Throne, Ethan told school counsellors the designs were for a video game he was making and that he intended to pursue video game creation as a profession.
“At no point did counsellors fear the kid may hurt others based on his calm behaviour, replies, and demeanour,” Throne added.
According to McDonald, school authorities summoned the Crumbleys and asked them to get Ethan into counselling within 48 hours. She went on to say that the parents were opposed to bringing their kid home and did not examine his bag or question him about the pistol.