WASHINGTON (AP) – 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.”

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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.

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