After days of silence, the National Rifle Association, headquartered in Fairfax, has released a statement on the tragic shooting in Newtown, Conn., saying it will make "meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again."
In the release, the organization begins to explain its silence, saying: "Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting."
Critics had called out the group in the days following the shooting: As citizens and legislators began to fall on either side of a debate about what, if at all, should be done about gun laws, many wondered why the group was absent from the conversation.
The organization announced it will hold a press conference Friday in Washington, D.C.
More details on Friday's press conference will be released when timing is deemed "appropriate," according to the statement.
The statement comes after President Barack Obama said he wanted to tighten gun laws in light of Friday's shootings.
On the Hartland Patch Facebook page, readers have debated the issue of gun control laws, including Gov. Snyder's decision to veto the bill that would have allowed concealed weapons in gun-free zones.
Dennis Weber wrote that shooting sprees are taking place in schools and universities over 50 percent of the time.
"Why?" he wrote on the Facebook page. "Because these are easy targets. They are "Gun Free Zones." By allow(ing) law abiding gun owners to carry there, might just save some lives in the future. These gunman stop as soon as they are confronted by armed adversaries be it Law enforcement or Armed civilians. These shootings usually only last about 10 minutes on average and by the time cops arrive most the damage is done."
Other Hartland residents, however, like Mike Trussell disagreed.
"Just what we don't need is more guns in the schools," he wrote. "How about armed police officers instead."