National Rifle Association board member Charles Cotton blamed Clementa Pinckney, a state senator and pastor at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, for his own death and for the death of his parishioners in Charleston this week, Thinkprogress reports.

In a now-deleted comment on a Texas-based message board for gun owners, Cotton attributed Pinckney’s death, at least tangentially, to the fact that he voted against concealed-carry:

Eight of his church members who might be alive if he had expressly allowed members to carry handguns in church are dead. Innocent people died because of his position on a political issue.

NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker provided the following statement to the New York Daily News:

Individual board members do not speak for the NRA... We are praying for the victims and their families and out of respect for their tragic loss we do not feel that this is appropriate time for a political debate. We will have no further comment until all the facts are known.

Here, via Thinkprogress, is the deleted comment:

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