The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, House Democrats’ campaign arm, told candidates to not “politicize” the mass shooting in Las Vegas last year, a day after the attack left 59 people dead and hundreds more injured.
HuffPost reported Tuesday that Evan Lukaske, a regional press secretary for the DCCC, emailed candidates in the Northeast, urging them not to bring up gun policy in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.
“You and your candidate will be understandably outraged and upset, as will your community. However, DO NOT POLITICIZE IT TODAY,” Lukaske wrote.
“There will be time for politics and policy discussion, but any message today should be on offering thoughts/prayers for victims and their families, and thanking 1st responders who saved lives.”
Democrats and gun control advocates have often faced criticism from Republicans and guns rights groups for raising the prospect of new firearms restrictions after mass shootings.
DCCC communications director Meredith Kelly told HuffPost that Lukaske was only doing his job by telling candidates and their staffs to avoid “hasty responses” to the shooting.
The debate over gun control was reignited earlier this month after a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., near Fort Lauderdale. That attack left 17 people dead and 14 others injured.
Since then, the school’s students — the survivors of the shooting — have become some of the most outspoken advocates for new gun control measures.
The DCCC did not tell HuffPost whether it sent candidates such guidance after the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School.
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