The National Rifle Association is under fire for publishing a tweet promoting shooting ranges for children, just two days after a nine-year-old girl accidentally shot and killed an instructor in northwest Arizona.
According to The Huffington Post, the NRA published a tweet on Wednesday afternoon though its NRA Women account that read “7 Ways Children Can Have Fun at the Shooting Range,” linking to an article with the same title. The tweet was later deleted, without an explanation from the NRA, though multiple sources were able to save a screen capture.
— OhThatDonnaBrown (@ThatDonnaBrown) August 28, 2014
The story linked in the tweet, which was originally dated August 20th, encourages parents to engage their children in shooting activities by introducing them to different kinds of kid-friendly targets, The Daily Mail reports. The author suggests mutants or zombies as effective targets, saying “We’re not sure if they will frighten young children, or if they can imagine they’re getting rid of the monsters from their nightmares. Regardless, they do look like lots of fun.”
On Monday, tragedy unfolded at Bullets and Burgers, a shooting range in Arizona, when a nine-year-old girl lost control of an Uzi sub-machine gun she was being taught to use. Charles Vacca, a 39-year-old instructor, was struck in the head and killed, as The Inquisitr previously reported.
The timing of the NRA’s tweet was the source of much criticism, and lambasted as insensitive at the least:
Sure was swell of the NRA to tweet out “7 Ways Children Can Have Fun at the Shooting Range” just in time for the Uzi-bullet-ridden autopsy.
— Warren Holstein (@WarrenHolstein) August 28, 2014
20 hours since last tweet. 9 year old w/Uzi sends NRA in “Let’s let this play out” mode. pic.twitter.com/LnyalPHNlk
— Bob Schooley (@Rschooley) August 27, 2014
While the Arizona incident has prompted a heated national debate over the use of guns by minors, The Huffington Post contends that the timing of the NRA’s tweet is connected to the tragedy. “Why the NRA would decide to push out this column to the more than 7,000 followers of its ‘NRA Women’ account is unclear,” they write, adding that the NRA had not responded to their request for a comment regarding the tweet.
[Image via Mother Jones]