After days of silence, the National Rifle Association, headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia has released a statement on the tragic shooting in Newtown, Conn., saying it will make "meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again."
In the release, the organization begins to explain its silence, saying: "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."
Critics had called out the group in the days following the shooting: As citizens and legislators began to fall on either side of a debate about what, if at all, should be done about gun laws, many wondered why the group was absent from the conversation.
The organization announced it will hold a press conference Friday in Washington, D.C.
More details on Friday's press conference will be released when timing is deemed "appropriate," according to the statement.
The statement comes after President Barack Obama said he wanted to tighten gun laws in light of Friday's shootings.
On Northern California Patch pages, readers have debated the issue of gun control laws since the incident occurred.
Early Saturday morning, a Patch reader named Joellen wrote: "Gun control will only work for citizens that follow the rules & observe the laws. If people want to kill they will find a way to get an illegal gun. Just because you set gun control doesn't mean it will be obeyed by criminals."
Reader wolfone wrote: "We need gun control and licensing and high tax on Ammo. Also ban clips over 9 rounds & assault rifles. Gun shows need to be outlawed."
And Patch reader Mike wrote: "There are several millions of people in the USA who legally own firearms and offer up no threat to the safety of anyone. In the overwelming majority of cases where criminal acts are committed (even this one) the suspect is not in legal possession of the firearm. So, what people need to understand is that criminals and people with malicious intent do not care about the law (that is why we have the word OUTLAW), and it is unrealistic to believe that anyone will be able to create a "gun free society".