Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) triggered a firestorm of backlash over the weekend after posting a Christmas photo that showed his family each holding firearms.
"Merry Christmas! ps. Santa, please bring ammo," the tweet read.
Massie is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment.
The Kentucky Republican has introduced into the U.S. House numerous Second Amendment-related bills in his nearly-one decade tenure as a lawmaker. Massie has introduced a bill to restore Second Amendment rights in Washington, D.C., multiple bills to repeal the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act, a bill that would honor concealed carry reciprocity in Washington, D.C., and most recently a bill that would permit all voting-age Americans to purchase handguns.
What was the reaction?
Massie's photograph generated tens of thousands of responses, and was one of the most-engaged posts across social media this weekend.
Critics invoked school shootings, likened Massie and his family to terrorists, and even alleged the photo is an example of racism.
- "Oh look, it’s Y’all Qaeda," said Walter Shaub, who served as director of the United States Office of Government Ethics in the Obama administration.
- "It's funny how the existence of this photo won't ever interfere with these kids lives moving through the world because this is viewed as 'American' but if this was a black family, this photo would be used to deny them access to anything good in life," one person said.
- "Thomas Massie’s family Xmas card looks familiar for some reason," another person said, adding photos of terrorists.
- "What exactly is the point of this? How do you not understand how disturbing this is? We’re mourning the deaths of 4 precious kids who went to school only to be murdered by a classmate in yet another School Massacre & you post this?" another person said.
- "Alexa, show me everything that's wrong with America in one photo," one person mocked.
- "Last week, 4 beautiful young kids had no idea that they were celebrating their last Thanksgiving with their families. My question for you is: What part of your family picture is ' Merry' & has anything to do with Christmas & birth of the original, anti violence man on earth?" another person said.
- "Wouldn’t be my choice but the guns do distract from what a butt ugly family they are," one person said.
- "Hey Siri, Show me a picture of 'incest,'" another person said.
- "If you are running against this a-shole please contact me I will give you dough," Anthony Scaramucci said.
Massie has not responded to the outrage over his tweet, although he did "retweet" Candance Owens, who said, "I don’t have the deranged brain of a leftist. Can somebody explain to me how they worked out that the Michigan school shooting is @RepThomasMassie’s fault because he shared a picture of him and his family holding legal fire arms?"