The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado faced backlash from many social media users after posting a tweet suggesting that Santa Claus came in and got a concealed handgun permit.
“Guess who came in to receive his Concealed Handgun Permit today?” the tweet says. “Did you know the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office has issued 49,750 Concealed Handgun Permits with another 2,560 awaiting to be issued?”
The Friday tweet was posted the same week that a school shooting in Michigan resulted in four fatalities, and others getting wounded. A 15-year-old young man is accused of perpetrating the violence, but has plead not guilty, according to CNN.
“Days after 4 children were murdered in yet another school shooting, y’all thought it would be cute to post a picture of a beloved childrens character getting his CHP?” one person tweeted in response to the sheriff’s office. “WTF, read the room.”
“This really is in poor taste, EPSO,” another person wrote. “I’m sure it wasn’t meant to be anything other than fun, but with yet another school shooting this week, and loads of children worried about that, posting this furthers their fears. And turns parents off. Please reconsider and apologize.”
“Ew. Stop it. This is deeply upsetting and contrary to the love and care implicit in the St Nick/Santa mythos,” another tweet said.
“It is not too late nor a moment to soon to delete this,” another tweet declared.
The sheriff’s office followed its initial tweet up by noting that it had not meant to be “insensitive.”
“EPSO intended to highlight our staff in the Concealed Handgun Permit Office, not to be insensitive. Santa correlates to the month of December and we thought he would help to recognize our hard working staff,” the sheriff’s office tweeted.
On Saturday, Republican Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky posted what appears to be a family Christmas photo in which every person in the shot is holding a firearm.
“Merry Christmas!” the congressman’s tweet said, adding, “ps. Santa, please bring ammo.”
The photo shared by the lawmaker captured significant attention on social media.
“Honestly, this looks like a family of lunatics out of a horror movie,” tweeted Cenk Uygur, founder and CEO of The Young Turks .
Todd Starnes, a conservative, described Massie’s photo as the “Best Christmas photo ever!”