The Washington Times - December 18, 2012, 04:41PM

The National Rifle Association, which had remained largely silent in the wake of the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults last week at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., said Tuesday in a statement the group has provided time for mourning “as a matter of common decency” and that it “is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.”

“The National Rifle Association of America is made up of four 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,” the statement read. “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.”

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The Fairfax, Va.-based group plans to hold a “major news conference” in the Washington, D.C., area on Friday, Dec. 21.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the group’s Facebook page was still not active, and the the group’s most recent Twitter posting came on Friday morning about a chance to win an auto emergency tool.