After the Sandy Hook Shootings, the NRA—America's most influential force for putting guns in the hands of everyone—went conspicuously silent. Now, after what has doubtless been a staggering amount of fretting by PR types, the NRA has released its first statement on the incident:

National Rifle Association of America is made up of four million moms and dads, sons and daughters – and we were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown.

Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting.

The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.

The NRA is planning to hold a major news conference in the Washington, DC area on Friday, December 21.

Sure. Surprise us.

[Photo: AP]