Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie posted his family’s Christmas card on Twitter Saturday. In that photo, all seven family members are brandishing high-powered weapons, including the family patriarch, who is grinning while holding what appears to be an M-60 machine gun.
The photo was put online days after a Michigan shooter fatally shot four students at Oxford Charter Township high school, using a “Christmas present” from his parents.
“Merry Christmas!” Massie wrote on Twitter. “Ps. Santa, please bring ammo.”
That didn’t sit well with a lot of people, including parent Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jamie was one of 17 people shot dead during the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
“@RepThomasMassie, since we are sharing family photos, here are mine,” Guttenberg wrote to the lawmaker. “One is the last photo that I ever took of Jaime, the other is where she is buried because of the Parkland school shooting.”
Jamie Guttenberg was 14 when she was killed in her school’s hallway. She was an honor student who wanted to be a pediatric physical therapist.
“The Michigan school shooter and his family used to take photos like yours as well,” her grieving father wrote in his message to Massie.
Ethan Crumbley, 15, was charged with murder on Nov. 30 after allegedly bringing a handgun to school and opening fire in suburban Detroit. His parents, who gave him the firearm as an early Christmas present, were arrested Saturday and charged with manslaughter. They have pleaded not guilty.
Guttenberg wasn’t alone in unloading on the Massie family on Twitter. Several social media users found irony in posing with weapons of war on a greeting card celebrating a holiday Christians typically associate with goodwill. Others expressed pity for the Massie family.
“This makes you look so very frightened,” tweeted writer Jill Hamilton. “I feel sorry for you.”
Several social media users likened the Massies to well-armed al-Qaida members who have struck similar poses in photos. There was also humor to be found in the Massie family’s menacing Christmas message.
“Ps. Santa, please bring XS condoms,” joked a Twitter user named Mike N.
Several critics joked that family values may be unique where Massie lives. The congressman represents Kentucky’s fourth district, which is in the northeast part of the state. World Population Review reports that inbreeding isn’t uncommon in more rural areas in the eastern part of the Bluegrass state.
Fellow Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth was prompted to do damage control for the good people of Kentucky.
“I promise not everyone in Kentucky is an insensitive a--hole,” he tweeted.
Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci offered money to any politician that challenges Massie for his seat in congress.
“If you are running against this a--shole please contact me I will give you dough,” he wrote, echoing Yarmuth’s characterization of Massie.
Massie also found some support for his fusion of firearms and holiday cheer.
“Best Christmas card ever!” tweeted former Fox News Radio host Todd Starnes.
Religious figures also weighed in on Massie’s message, including the Rev. Dr. Chuck Currie.
“Christian minister here,” he tweeted at Massie. “What is wrong with you?”