Lake County Sgt. Christopher Covelli speaks at the scene of the July 4 shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, where a gunman killed at least six people and injured dozens of others. (Photo: YOUNGRAE KIM via Getty Images)
As police in Illinois on Monday hunted America’s latest mass shooter, the National Rifle Association left a tweet crediting “armed civilians” for Independence Day.
“The only reason you celebrate Independence Day is because civilians were armed,” said the tweet, which was posted early in the day and was still awake Monday night.
In Highland Park, Illinois, at least six people will never celebrate the fourth of july again because they were killed by a lone “armed civilian” who, according to police, fired from a rooftop at a Fourth of July parade. Dozens of others were injured.
The NRA tweet stood still as residents of the city hid during the manhunt for the gunman.
A tweet from another lobby group, the Gun Owners of America, may have been even more tacky.
“Brought this long weekend by armed civilians,” the message read. The organization was either unaware that other citizens’ vacation weekends had finally come to an end — or it didn’t care.
Meanwhile, State Senator Darren Bailey, the GOP nominee for Illinois governor who was recently approved by Donald Trump, suggested in a video after the shooting that people “go ahead and celebrate this nation’s independence!”
As people waved campaign signs for Bailey in the clip, he suggested praying for the families of the victims and law enforcement officers.
After a serious backlash, Bailey’s office released a statement from the politician saying, “I apologize if we have somehow lessened the pain felt in our state today.”
“I am heartbroken by the tragic events of today and the pain and loss felt by so many. It was my intention to pray for the victims and those affected by today’s tragedy and that the gunman be caught 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 on Monday.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.