July 4, 2022 will be remembered as a day of sorrow. Throughout the country, many Americans woke up to the news that at least six people had been killed and dozens more injured when, shortly after 10:15 a.m. ET, a gunman began shooting into the crowd of families and revelers who had gathered for what should have been a celebratory Fourth of July parade in the picturesque Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Illinois.
Approximately 45 minutes earlier, at 9:30 a.m., The NRA had sent out a tweet reminding its followers (and anyone else who unfortunately stumbled across it) that the reason Americans have an Independence Day to celebrate at all is because of men with guns.
The only reason you’re celebrating Independence Day is because citizens were armed. #FourthofJuly
— NRA (@NRA) July 4, 2022
They then followed that tweet up with this:
Happy 4th of July, America! 🇺🇸
We are a country because of brave souls with guns who valued and fought for liberty and freedom. pic.twitter.com/yIBtc3tl0P
— NRA (@NRA) July 4, 2022
Approximately 12 hours later, Philadelphia’s Parkway Fireworks were interrupted by yet another active shooter situation:
— Tyler Doudrick (@Doudrick) July 5, 2022
Yet through it all—and yes, even right now—The NRA’s tweets remain posted. While it’s very likely that the posts had been previously scheduled, that they opted to leave them up while the country mourned yet another deadly mass shooting speaks volumes about the gun-lovin’ organization’s frequently indecorous manner, which almost seems to have become part of their mission statement.
The only other statement The NRA has made sense the deadly attack is a woe-is-us retweet:
The @NRA is once again the only organization in America that gets blamed for crimes their members never commit.
— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) July 5, 2022
Which indicates that someone was behind the Twitter controls at some point and could have easily either deleted the earlier sentiments, given the violence that erupted shortly after they were sent, or issued a statement lamenting the loss of life. That they chose neither should hardly be surprising.
In 1999, just over a week after the massacre at Columbine High School, The NRA chose to forge ahead with a previously planned event in Denver, less than 15 miles from where the violence had occurred. In May, the group held its annual “meeting of the mindless” over Memorial Day weekend in Houston, Texas just days after a teenager killed 21 people—including 19 children—a Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, with both Ted Cruz (who got heckled after his speech) and Donald Trump (who danced his way offstage) in attendance.
As of July 5, 2022—just a little over halfway into the year—there have been a total of 351 mass shootings in America, which have claimed the lives of more than 400 people and injured more than 1,300 individuals. But The NRA, with its only tweet since the tasteless early morning messages from July 4, seems to be suggesting that they are victims, too.