A pro-gun chatroom has a message attributed to an NRA board member suggesting the pastor who died in this week’s mass shooting in Charleston, South Carolina was to blame for the tragedy.
The message attributed to NRA board member Charles Cotton, who’s also listed as an administrator of the site, said the the pastor was to blame because he didn’t vote to expand the right to carry a concealed weapon when he was a state senator.
South Carolina State Senator Clementa Pinckney was leading a bible service at Emanuel AME Church when Dylann Roof allegedly opened fire on Wednesday, killing nine people.
The message attributed to Cotton took Pinckney to task for not voting back in 2011 to expand the right to carry concealed weapons in public places like churches.
“He voted against concealed-carry. Eight of his church members who might be alive if he had expressly allowed members to carry handguns in church are dead,” Cotton supposedly wrote. “Innocent people died because of his position on a political issue.”
As Politico notes, Cotton is a trustee on the NRA Civil defence fund board.
The NRA consistently maintains that expanding gun access is the only solution to preventing mass shootings. However, as Slate notes, studies suggest that giving more people access to guns only increases the likelihood of a deadly shooting.
We reached out to Cotton and the NRA for comment and will update this post if we hear back.
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