Ocasio-Cortez slams Republicans over gun-toting Christmas photos

Twitter exchange shines light on US debates over gun rights and Christmas

US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Republicans are 'erasing Christmas and it's meaning' all on their own'. AFP
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic representative of New York, this week criticised a string of Twitter photos posted by Republicans depicting families holding guns in front of Christmas decorations.

“Tell me again where Christ said 'use the commemoration of my birth to flex violent weapons for personal political gain'?" she tweeted in reply to a post made by Republican Lauren Boebert.

On Wednesday, Ms Boebert of Colorado posted a photo of herself standing with her four young sons, all carrying guns, in front of a Christmas tree: “The Boeberts have your six, @RepThomasMassie!”

The post was made in response to a similar photo tweeted by Thomas Massie, a Republican representative of Kentucky.

Mr Massie shared a photo showing him sitting with six other members of his family, each of them holding a gun, in front of a Christmas tree with the caption: “Merry Christmas! PS, Santa, please bring ammo.”

He has faced criticism for the post as it came shortly after a school shooting in Michigan in which a teenager killed four pupils and injured several others.

Ms Boebert responded to Ms Ocasio-Cortez's tweet by saying: "@AOC uses her position as a congresswoman to attack my boys with their Christmas presents.”

Michigan prosecutors have revealed that the parents of Ethan Crumbley, who carried out the shooting at Oxford High School, had given him a gun as a Christmas present, resulting in the issuing of involuntary manslaughter charges against them.

Three days after the shooting, the National Rifle Association tweeted a photo of Santa reading a wish list containing one request: ammo.

Aside from their embodiment of divisions over gun rights in the US, the exchange also points to a partisan debate over a so-called war on Christmas, with some Christians feeling offended when people choose to say “Happy Holidays” to accommodate the many religious holidays at this time of year instead of “Merry Christmas".

“Lol @ all the years Republicans spent on cultural hysteria of society 'erasing Christmas and it's meaning' when they're doing that fine all on their own,” Ms Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

Ms Boebert is also facing challenges from some House Democrats who are calling for her to be stripped of her committee assignments after she made Islamophobic comments about fellow member of Congress Ilhan Omar of Michigan.

Updated: April 27, 2022, 11:54 AM