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NRA reacts differently to Newtown shootings

The National Rifle Association holds a news conference this morning, a week after a gunman killed seven adults and twenty children in Newtown, Connecticut.

The National Rifle Association holds a news conference this morning, a week after a gunman killed seven adults and twenty children in Newtown, Conn

According to Adam Winkler, the author of “Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America,” the NRA is responding to this tragedy differently than it has to other mass shootings.

“After past tragedies, the NRA always says the same thing,” says Winkler, a professor at UCLA Law School. “Now is not the time to think about legislation.  Now is the time to think about the victims of this horrendous crime.”

But this time, we haven’t heard that. NRA spokesmen haven’t been on TV and the radio, and Winkler says they haven’t been on Facebook and Twitter either.

“They know that anything they say right now will hurt the cause of gun rights and only lead to more anger and frustration on the part of the people.”

According to Don Haider-Markel, a professor of political science at the University of Kansas, the NRA’s silence is unusual. And so is the organization’s decision to hold a news conference.

“I actually expect they will say something different than they normally say,” says Haider-Markel. Because, Haider-Markel says, this attack -- on elementary school children -- was different.

About the author

David Gura is a reporter for Marketplace, based in the Washington, D.C. bureau.

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