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National Rifle Association Deactivates Facebook & Stays Silent On Twitter After Sandy Hook School Shooting

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UPDATE: Gun Lobby Breaks Silence: The NRA Is 'Shocked & Saddened'

America's largest gun lobby organisation has deactivated its Facebook page and stayed silent on Twitter in the wake the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre which saw 26 people killed, including 20 children.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) has made no comment since the attack in Newtown, Connecticut - a marked difference to its behaviour in the wake of previous shootings.

Nor is there any mention of the attacks on the official website of the group, which, according to the New York Times, has a $300million budget, and boasts a "virtually unmatched ferocity in advancing its political and legislative interests"

gun

The National Rifle Association describes itself as 'America's foremost defender of Second Amendment rights'

On Monday protesters marched on the NRA's Washington DC headquarters, chanting "Shame on the NRA!" and demanding the organisation make way for new gun control laws and drop its hardline stance.

"I had to be here," said Gayle Fleming, 65, told The Associated Press.

Adding this was her first anti-gun rally, she added: "These were 20 babies. I will be at every rally, will sign every letter, call every congressman going forward."

Retired attorney Kathleen Buffon reflected on earlier mass shootings, saying: "All of the other ones, they've been terrible. This is the last straw. These were children."

The BBC points out that after Columbine shootings of 1999, Wayne LaPierre, executive vice-president of the NRA deflected the blame and asked Americans to examine the moral breakdown of society and depictions of violence in Hollywood.

He told MSNBC television: "We're increasingly looking away at behaviour that our parents would never have tolerated.

"We're looking the other way at evil behaviour and we really need to focus on what would turn students into homicidal maniacs."

According to the NRA website, the lobby "continues to be the leader in firearms education" and boasts of enlisting over 55,000 certified instructors to train around 750,000 gun owners a year.

There has been no word from LaPierre and the NRA Twitter feed was last updated on December 13.

The world will no doubt be watching to see when and how the NRA breaks its silence as America's gun debate gears up.

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