A Republican’s gun-heavy family photo has been labelled as the equivalent as a “dick pic” by a political commentator.

The controversy has come after Republican representative Thomas Massie posted an image on Twitter with his family members, each of which is holding a firearm.

Captioning the image he wrote: “Merry Christmas! ps. Santa, please bring ammo.”

It was posted just days after a fatal school shooting in Oxford, Michigan on 30 December, in which a high school student opened fire shooting 11 people and killing four classmates.

The image has been widely condemned and has been equated to being a “dick pic” for gun extremists by Conservative commentator Charlie Sykes.

Sykes made the comments during an appearance on MSNBC to discuss the controversial imagery.

Sykes began by explaining: “I think the vast majority of gun owners take the second amendment very seriously.

“They take gun safety seriously. They take the responsible handling of guns seriously, which is what makes Thomas Massie’s picture so obscene.”

He continued: “Frankly, in terms of the second amendment - I’m sorry to be offensive - that’s the equivalent of a dick pic for gun extremists.”

At that point, the show’s anchor Lindsey Reiser cut in to apologise for his use of swearing, saying: “Sorry, everybody, I’m not sure we can say that, Charlie!”

Massie’s image has been condemned by many, including supporters of the right to bear arms.

Republican representative for Illinois, Adam Kinzinger wrote on Twitter: “I’m pro second amendment, but this isn’t supporting right to keep and bear arms, this is a gun fetish.”

A father who lost his 14-year-old daughter Jaime in the Parkland school shooting was also among the commenters on Massie’s tweet.

Fred Guttenberg replied: “Since we are sharing family photos, here are mine.  One is the last photo that I ever took of Jaime, the other is where she is buried because of the Parkland school shooting.

“The Michigan school shooter and his family used to take photos like yours as well.”

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