Lake County Sgt. Christopher Covelli speaks at the scene of the July 4 parade shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, where a gunman killed at least six people and injured dozens more. (Photo: YOUNGRAE KIM via Getty Images)
On Monday, as Illinois police hunted down America’s latest mass shooter, the National Rifle Association left a tweet crediting “armed citizens” for Independence Day.
“The only reason you’re celebrating Independence Day is because the citizens were armed,” said the tweet, posted early in the day and still up Monday night.
In Highland Park, Illinois, at least six people will never celebrate the 4th of July again because they were killed by a single ‘armed citizen’ who police say fired from a rooftop at a 4th of July parade. July. Dozens of others were injured.
The NRA tweet remained active as townspeople sheltered in place during the manhunt for the shooter.
A tweet from another lobby group, the Gun Owners of America, was perhaps even more tasteless.
“This long weekend brought by armed citizens,” the post gushed. The organization was unaware that other citizens’ holiday weekends had been permanently halted – or didn’t care.
Meanwhile, State Senator Darren Bailey, the GOP nominee for Illinois governor who was recently endorsed by Donald Trump, suggested in a video after the shooting that people are “moving on and celebrate the independence of this nation!”
As people waved campaign signs for Bailey in the clip, he suggested praying for the families of the victims and law enforcement.
After a serious backlash, Bailey’s office released a statement from the politician saying, “I apologize if we have diminished in any way the pain felt in our state today.”
“I am heartbroken by today’s tragic events and by the pain and loss felt by so many. My intention was to pray for the victims and those affected by today’s tragedy and that the shooter be arrested and prosecuted without further loss,” the statement read.
In 2020, Bailey’s team held a fundraiser with a raffle for a semi-automatic rifle, Vice reported Monday.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.