Rep. Thomas Massie said his family's gun-filled Christmas card photo wasn't meant to offend anyone.
The congressman said owning guns is a tradition for his family, similar to playing music.
Massie said he shared it for "fun" and that his family held musical instruments in their actual card.
Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie defended his gun-toting Christmas card that drew widespread criticism in early December, saying that owning firearms is a tradition for his family akin to playing music and that he thought the photo would be "fun to share."
"We live in a place where there are like three sheriff's deputies to cover hundreds of square miles. Everything's been adjudicated by the time the police show up," said Massie in a Thursday interview on Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz' show "Firebrand." "They're not minutes away. They are an hour away."
"It's just a tradition of owning guns for all the reasons. Not to hunt, not for this or that," the congressman said.
Massie also told Gaetz that his "actual Christmas card" featured his family holding musical instruments. "We took Christmas card pictures of us doing something we also like to do, which is playing music," he said.
The congressman's firearm-featuring Christmas photo, which he shared on Twitter on December 5, was heavily maligned in part because he posted it several days after a deadly high school shooting in Michigan that left four teens dead.
—Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) December 4, 2021
Massie told Gaetz that his family "just decided to pick up all the guns and pose" in the photo and that he posted it after finding the picture in a file folder while choosing Christmas cards for his mail vendor.
The Kentucky representative said he didn't intend for the card to offend. "I was like: 'Wow, the world's not gonna see this. It'd be kinda fun to just share it.' And I shared it, and I didn't just kick the hornet's nest, I agitated every hornet on the planet."
Massie went on to poke fun at Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who had condemned the photo on Twitter. "Shouldn't he be making he be making those chocolate eggs right now?" Massie said, sharing a laugh with Gaetz.
Gaetz, in turn, said that a family that owns firearms safely is "not viewed as confrontational in rural America," and said those who took offense to Massie's photo were in "ivory towers of elitism."
Massie agreed with him and referenced the movie "Ghostbusters" when explaining why he thought people were upset with the photo.
"They say 'don't cross the streams.' There's three streams. And what happened is, I had family, guns, and Christmas, all in one picture," he said.
"Any of the two might have been okay, but three is an explosive cocktail for liberals," Massie added.
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