(CNN) — A lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, the Front Sight Firearms Training Institute and a member of Second Amendment Sisters (according to her bio), the Republican state representative has made responsible gun ownership and Second Amendment rights one of her defining issues, and the theme of her 2016 calendar.
The photo for December became a lightning rod for controversy after Fiore posted it on her Facebook page last week.
At first glance, it’s like any other holiday card: multiple generations of a family in matching red shirts and jeans standing in front of a tree. Because it’s Fiore, her version features her adult daughters, their husbands and one of her grandchildren holding firearms.
“It’s up to Americans to protect America. We’re just your ordinary American family,” Fiore said in a Facebook picture posted December 1 signed, “With love & liberty, Michele.”
Comments on the photo showed mixed reactions. Some applauded her for taking a stand; others criticized her for putting an apparent gun in a child’s hands.
Fiore says she does not regret sharing the photo. She posted it before the December 2 shootings in San Bernardino, California, but she says the photo’s message is still relevant in light of the massacre.
“What’s regrettable is governing and forcing innocent people to be defenseless while allowing and inviting terrorists into our country knowing the murderous outcome,” she said in an email to CNN. “My strong message to you is its time Americans begin protecting America. Get armed, get trained get your head out if the sand and be prepared.”