After four days of media silence, the National
Rifle Association, the country's powerful gun lobby, Tuesday released
its first official statement on the Connecticut school shooting that
killed 20 children and six adults.
"The National Rifle Association of America is made up of 4 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," the press release said.
To explain the timing of the statement, the NRA said it wanted to give "time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting." The organization has been criticized for not coming forward publicly after the slayings, even as gun control advocates mount public protests over the availability of assault rifles of the kind used to kill the children.
The NRA, which claims that ownership of such rifles is guaranteed in the US constitution, has set Friday for a news conference, where it will comment more extensively.
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