On Saturday, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) posted a holiday-themed family photo to his Twitter account. The image featured a decorated Christmas tree, Massie’s smiling wife and kids, and seven guns that appear to be a mix of semi-automatic rifles and machine guns.
“Merry Christmas!” he wrote. “Santa, please bring ammo.”
Merry Christmas! 🎄
ps. Santa, please bring ammo. 🎁 pic.twitter.com/NVawULhCNr
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) December 4, 2021
Massie shared the photo less than a week after prosecutors charged 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley for allegedly killing four people and wounding seven at his high school in Oxford, Michigan—the deadliest such shooting in the US this year. That timing, mixed with the jarring visual, evoked a barrage of criticism from Massie’s fellow lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, as well as from gun advocates. (Massie’s last brush with public condemnation came in August, when he wrote another tweet comparing vaccination mandates to the Holocaust.)
“I’m old enough to remember Republicans screaming that it was insensitive to try to protect people from gun violence after a tragedy,” wrote Rep. John Yarmuth (D–Ky.), Massie’s House colleague from Kentucky, on Twitter. “Now they openly rub the murder of children in our faces like they scored a touchdown. Disgraceful.”
“I promise not everyone in Kentucky is an insensitive asshole,” he added in another tweet.
Illinois GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger chimed in, tweeting that he supported the second amendment, “but this isn’t supporting [the] right to keep and bear arms, this is a gun fetish.”
In a CNN appearance on Saturday, Manuel Oliver, whose son Joaquin was killed in the 2018 shooting at Parkland, Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, described Massie’s post as “very nasty,” calling it “something that should teach us who should we elect, and not.”
Fellow Parkland father Fred Guttenberg, who lost his daughter Jaime in the shooting, replied directly to Massie’s post.
“Since we are sharing family photos, here are mine,” he wrote above his last photo of his daughter and another of her grave.
.@RepThomasMassie, 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. pic.twitter.com/MsQWneJXAp
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) December 4, 2021