On the five year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that claimed the lives of 20 children and several staff members, NRA president Wayne LaPierre enjoyed the evening at a White House Christmas party. Particularly with no mention of the massacre on Twitter or elsewhere, President Donald Trump's decision to host LaPierre was seen as insensitive at best.
One of the mothers who lost a child that day in 2012 took to Facebook to express her thoughts:
“December 14th marked five years since my six-year-old son, Dylan, was murdered in his first grade classroom alongside 19 of his classmates and 6 educators,” Nicole Hockley wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday. “Not only did [Trump] ignore the 5-year remembrance completely — not even a single tweet — he slapped us all in the face by having none other than NRA President Wayne LaPierre at his White House Christmas party that night. The appalling lack of humanity and decency has not gone unnoticed.”
She added: “I would request an apology. But I’m not sure there are any hearts in the White House that would understand why an apology is the least they could do.”
Whether or not Trump personally spent time with LaPierre remained unclear.
At the White House party Thursday, LaPierre posed for a photo with Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who posted it to Facebook. In a statement to the New York Daily News, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed that Trump attended the soiree, but said she was not aware whether the two spoke. LaPierre and the NRA endorsed Trump in 2016, and Trump spoke at the gun lobby’s annual meeting earlier this year.
In response to a questions regarding what the administration is doing to try to prevent future mass shootings, Sanders said:
“I don’t think there’s any one thing that you could do that could have prevented either one of those,” Sanders said. “If you could name a single thing that would have prevented both of these, I’d love to hear it, because I don’t know what that would look like.”
Hockely was not impressed, saying,
“I will happily go the White House and train the administration on regulations like Extreme Risk Protections Orders (ERPOs) and Threat Assessement, both of which could have prevented the Sandy Hook tragedy,” Hockley wrote. “I’d also love to train the White House on recognizing the signs of someone who is at risk of hurting themselves or others, or even about how to store a gun safely and responsibly. Both of these contributed to the Sandy Hook tragedy.”