Early this morning, Rep. Nate Bell (R-Mena) tweeted a comment viewed insensitive enough by House Speaker Davy Carter (R-Cabot) that he issued a public rebuke.
Bell, in the wake of law enforcement’s pursuit of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, 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? #2A”
That comment on Twitter set off a firestorm of criticism in and out of state with many calling on Bell to apologize for the remarks and some Bostonians inviting Bell to come to their city and make the statement publicly.
At noon, Speaker Carter issued the following statement:
“On behalf of the Arkansas House of Representatives and the state of Arkansas, I want to extend my deepest apologies to the people of the City of Boston and the state of Massachusetts for the inappropriate and insensitive comment made this morning by an Arkansas House member. I can assure the people of Boston and the people of Massachusetts that Arkansans have them in their thoughts and prayers during this tragic time.”
Bell’s tweet was directed at the 24-hour news coverage that many citizens awakened to on Friday morning as Boston police had been involved in a nighttime pursuit of two identified bombing suspects who were brothers from the Boston Marathon tragedy. One suspect was killed and police were tracking the other brother.
UPDATE: Bell issued an apology on his Facebook page this afternoon, shortly after Carter’s rebuke.
“I would like to apologize to the people of Boston & Massachusetts for the poor timing of my tweet earlier this morning. As a staunch and unwavering supporter of the individual right to self defense, I expressed my point of view without thinking of its effect on those still in time of crisis. In hindsight, given the ongoing tragedy that is still unfolding, I regret the poor choice of timing. Please know that my thoughts and prayers were with the people of Boston overnight and will continue as they recover from this tragedy.”