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NRA Issues Statement Amid Calls For New Gun Control Laws

The National Rifle Association of America has broken its silence to comment on Friday's gun violence that ravaged a tight-knit Connecticut community, releasing a statement in which the gun-owners' rights group said it "is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again."

In the short statement The organization had largely been silent in the days after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., allowing its Facebook and Twitter feeds to fall dormant.

, the silence represented a different approach for the NRA, which has previously released statements of sympathy after mass shootings -- along with reminders of its mission to protect the rights of gun owners."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," the group said Tuesday.Yesterday, the nonpartisan group the Sunlight Foundation posted a graphic over recent years, which showed that the group vastly outspent its opposition.The NRA's news release comes one day after an estimated 300 protesters gathered at the organization's lobbying offices in Washington, D.C., according to the AP.In the wake of the Newtown tragedy, calls for stronger gun control laws have come from public figures including and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a longtime NRA member.Writing here at NPR, our colleague Alan Greenblatt analyzed , if changes to federal law were made. And as Marilyn wrote for the Two Way yesterday, investors have in the wake of the Newtown attack.The NRA says it will hold a news conference in the Washington, D.C., area Friday; other details about that session have not been released. Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit