The National Rifle Association (NRA) was harshly criticized in the wake of a mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, after a lone gunman opened fire on a July 4 parade procession, killing six people and injuring 36 others.
Earlier that morning, the NRA's official Twitter account posted a tweet commemorating Independence Day, declaring that the "only reason" Americans are "celebrating Independence Day is because citizens were armed."
The tweet, which you can see below, remained up even while Highland Park residents sheltered in place during the manhunt for the shooter.
People quickly decried the tweet's insensitivity, and many criticized the organization for its relentless campaign to keep deadly weapons largely accessible to wide swaths of the American public.
The NRA has been a subject of widespread mockery among angry citizens who view it as an enabler of an epidemic of gun violence across the country.
In May, comedian Jason Selvig received plaudits online after he trolled Wayne LaPierre, the head of the NRA, following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Selvig thanked LaPierre for all of the times he’s offered his “thoughts and prayers’ following mass shootings, pointing to the organization's abject opposition to stricter gun control measures that could limit the number of mass shootings nationwide.
Much of the crowd did not realize that Selvig's appearance was a prank–and even applauded.
The NRA has also contended with significant legal trouble under LaPierre's leadership.
In November 2020, LaPierre was forced to return nearly $300,000 to the NRA in repayment of illicit personal gains, according to a Washington Post report. Earlier that same year, a Texas judge denied the NRA's attempt to declare bankruptcy in an effort to avoid a lawsuit from the state of New York.
New York sued the NRA in August 2020, arguing misspending and corruption justified dissolving the organization for good.
New York Attorney General Letitia James said at a news conference at the time the lawsuit was announced the NRA "has operated as a breeding ground for greed, abuse and brazen illegality."