The smoke had not yet cleared in Las Vegas last week when politicians began discussing the mass killing in emails.
On Tuesday, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) sent a blast with the subject line: “Outraged at Congressional inaction on guns?”, according to The Hartford Courant.
Murphy stated: "If you are outraged like I am that Congress has mustered absolutely no response to mass shooting after mass shooting, to the regular gun violence that plagues our cities, then your contribution to these three organizations is something meaningful you can do right now to fight back."
He also urged supporters to “Split a donation -- of any amount -- between the leading organizations working every day to take on the gun lobby and make our communities safer from gun violence,” the Courant reported.
Donors were directed to an online form, where they “could choose to split their donations between three gun control groups,” The Hill reported. It added: “By default, the money was also split with Murphy's campaign.”
Granted, Murphy had also issued a general call to action among supporters.
In Wisconsin, Democrat Tom Palzewicz, who is running against incumbent Republican Jim Sensenbrenner, also focused on the tragedy in a Tuesday fund-raising email.
According to AP, Palzewicz described talking to a friend who had survived the shooting. "He's a strong conservative, but he knows we must do something different," Palzewicz wrote.
These emails drew predictable reactions from political foes. The Palzewicz email was "sad and disgraceful," said Wisconsin Republican Party spokesman Alec Zimmerman, AP reported.
Murphy, too, was criticized for “politicizing” the killing of 58 people and the wounding of hundreds of others.
“Using victims to raise money, and then shaming and guilting innocent, law-abiding citizens that own firearms?” said Matthew Corey, a Republican who apparently plans to run against Murphy next year, according to The Hartford Courant. “I think you pray for the families and you let them heal first.”
Murphy’s team quickly reacted. “Wednesday, the donation form that Murphy's fund-raising email linked to did not have an option to split funds with Murphy's campaign.”
A Murphy spokesperson told the Hill, "Chris has been totally transparent about the need to spend every single day building a well-funded political movement that will eventually win changes in the law to help end this epidemic of mass carnage.”
Don’t think Democrats are the only ones highlighting the killing in emails. President Trump’s re-election campaign sent out a “fundraising email Saturday politicizing the mass shooting earlier this week in Las Vegas,” Raw Story reports.
“Our nation is still in shock and mourning following the massacre of 58 concertgoers and hundreds of others injured in Las Vegas,” said the Trump-Pence Weekly Newsletter, according to Raw Story.
The newsletter quoted the president’s “words of comfort and healing,” that he offered when he and First Lady Melania Trump visited victims last week.
“We know that your sorrow feels endless. We stand together to help you carry your pain.”
This was just in time for a Saturday fund-raising event in Greensboro, North Carolina, and a series of four events featuring Vice President Mike Pence in California, Raw Story continues.
It drew the expected reaction. Matt McDermott tweeted: “Unreal: the Trump campaign just sent an email sing the Vegas shooting to fundraise for the campaign.”
So -- is this despicable behavior on the parts of politicos?
Well, no. It’s tasteless, but well within political marketing norms. And we suspect that these messages were only a fraction of the number sent out.
How you feel depends on which side you’re on. Second Amendment absolutists will have little tolerance for emails like Murphy’s, and gun-control advocates will feel likewise about GOP and NRA messages.
We suspect that neither set of emails -- nor the reactions to them -- will create the amity needed to approach this problem in a bi-partisan way.