One Day After UCSB Shooting, Republican Who Used To Represent District Brags Of NRA Endorsement

In a disastrously-timed political move, Republican congressional candidate Tony Strickland sent out a pro-gun robocall just one day after the shooting in Santa Barbara that left seven people dead. The automated messages, which went out to thousands of southern Californian voters on Saturday, touted Strickland’s “history of protecting our 2nd Amendment rights” and his endorsement from the National Rifle Association. The situation is particularly awkward given that Strickland used to represent Santa Barbara and Isla Vista, where the shootings occurred, in the California state Senate.

“Tony Strickland has a history of protecting our 2nd Amendment rights and will do the same in Congress,” the robocall proclaims. “Tony has been a longtime supporter of the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms and will continue to oppose, and actively fight, any legislation that would take away our 2nd Amendment right to bear arms.

The incident is reminiscent of failed Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, who once bragged about his support from the NRA at the site of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. In all likelihood, the timing of Strickland’s robocalls was indeed coincidental and unfortunate, as the campaign claims they were — but it’s worth noting that campaign also refuses to say whether it plans to suspend the robocalls in the aftermath of the tragedy.