Lawmaker: ‘How many Boston libs wished they had an AR-15? now’

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Arkansas lawmaker Nate Bell, R-Mena, posted this tweet on April 19, as police searched for a Boston Marathon bombing suspect. It has since been deleted. (Photo: Twitter / Nate Bell)

Arkansas lawmaker Nate Bell, R-Mena, posted this tweet on April 19, as police searched for a Boston Marathon bombing suspect. It has since been deleted. (Photo: Twitter / Nate Bell)

MENA, Ark. — Though it may be hyper-local, a tweet on Friday from a small town Arkansas legislator weighing in on the Boston Marathon bombings is generating national headlines.

According to KFSM, State Rep. Nate Bell, R-Mena, tweet Friday morning, wondering “how many Boston liberals spent the night cowering in their homes wishing they had an AR-15 with a hi-capacity magazine.”

The Huffington Post’s Lisa Miller was the first to call the tweet “insensitive.”

“The tweet comes after gun legislation failed in the Senate, when measures to improve background checks and ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines all failed,” Miller wrote.

According to the Talk Business Arkansas website, House Speaker Davy Carter, R-Cabot, responded to Bell’s tweet at about noon on Friday by issuing 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.”

In addition, House Minority Leader Greg Leding, D-Fayetteville, posted the following statement on his Facebook page:

“Rep. Bell’s comments regarding the unfolding terror in Boston are tasteless and uncaring. A proud and patriotic city has endured heartbreak since Monday’s lethal bombings at the Boston Marathon, and brave men and women are at this very moment hunting down a dangerous suspect they believe to be responsible for those attacks as well as last night’s murder of Massachusetts Institute of Technology police Officer Sean Collier and the shooting of Richard H. Donohue, Jr., a member of the city’s transit system police force.

“The people of Boston are not cowards. They are patriots. No one, including Rep. Bell, should ever infer that the American people are anything other than courageous, and the only words we should be offering to the people of Boston are those of support and of prayer.”

Perhaps feeling the backlash about his remarks, Bell took to his Twitter and Facebook pages later Friday morning to issue an apology:

“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.”

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