A US congressman has faces criticism after he posted a Christmas photograph of his family posing with military-style rifles, just days after a deadly school shooting.
Kentucky’s Republican representative, Thomas Massie, tweeted the photo with the caption: “Merry Christmas! ps. Santa, please bring ammo”.
The post has been condemned by a host of families affected by gun violence, plus figures on both sides of politics.
In the wake of the controversy, Mr Massie has retweeted messages of support, and also those criticising him directly engaging with several Twitter users who said he was “tone deaf” and “insensitive”.
Mr Massie was first elected to be Kentucky’s congressional representative in 2012 and is closely associated with the libertarian wing of the Republican party.
He is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment – the right to keep and bear arms – and has always strongly opposed any gun control initiatives, saying in interviews that they would not stop school massacres.
In April, he introduced a bill to lower the age to buy handguns from 21 to 18.
In 2020, gun violence killed nearly 20,000 Americans — the highest in at least two decades, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive.