Republican Arkansas state Representative Nate Bell apologized for posting a political comment about guns to his Twitter amidst the manhunt for the second Boston Marathon bombing suspect, reports the San Francisco Chronoicle.
The tweet was removed from the representative's page, but said:
I wonder how many Boston liberals spent the night cowering in their homes wishing they had an AR-15 with a hi-capacity magazine?
The message went viral, gaining criticism from both Republicans and Democrats who believe there is no room for politics during such a horrible tragedy.
State House Majority Leader Bruce Westerman said in a statement.
Rep. Bell's remarks do not reflect our caucus' position. Politics shouldn't be the focus of the terror attack in Boston, and all Members, political parties, and pundits should remember that.
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Bell apogized for his comment, but for its poor timing, rather than the content itself.
I would like to apologize to the people of Boston & Massachusetts for the poor timing of my tweet earlier this... fb.me/21tgLuP0j
— Nate Bell (@NateBell4AR) April 19, 2013
He also told the Associated Press that he was just expressing his views of how he would have handled the situation himself:
I don't regret the content as much as I regret the timing. I really didn't think about it going to Boston and was generally expressing my personal view of how I would have felt in that situation myself. I was basically just expressing my frustration, I guess, if I had been a person who was living there last night and my elected officials had prevented me from being able to defend myself and my family. I would have felt pretty powerless and wanted to express that.
The comments were made at the height of the manhunt for the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, which culminated Friday night with the 19-year-old in serious condition in the hospital.