NRA promises to help prevent school shootings

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WASHINGTON -- The National Rifle Association is breaking its silence four days after a school shooting in Newtown, Conn., where 26 were killed, including 20 children.

The nation's largest gun rights organization made its first public statements Tuesday after a self-imposed media blackout that left many wondering how it would respond to the killings. In its statement, the group said its members were, quoting, "shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders."

The group also said it wanted to give families time to mourn before making its first public statements. The organization pledged "to help to make sure this never happens again" and has scheduled a news conference for Friday.

Text of the full NRA statement:

"The National Rifle Association of America is made up of 4 million moms and dads, sons and daughters -- and we were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown.

"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 NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.

"The NRA is planning to hold a major news conference in the Washington, D.C., area on Friday, December 21."

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