WASHINGTON The National Rifle Association, the nation's largest gun-rights group, has gone eerily silent after the deadly shooting of 26 people, including 20 children, at a Connecticut elementary school.
Its Facebook page has disappeared. It has not sent a message on Twitter since the extent of the carnage became clear. And no leaders of the 4.3 million-member organization appeared on the talk shows this past Sunday, two days after the shooting.
During past crises, the politically powerful group has defended gun owners' constitutional right to bear arms, which is popular among millions of Americans.
But with 20 of the victims ages 6 or 7, it may be tougher to advocate for gun owners' rights.
One Republican strategist says the NRA's approach is probably wise, given the emotions involved.