Not all social media traffic is created equal, as the Connecticut Republican Party is learning.
Upon Tuesday's announcement that state Sen. Toni Boucher, R-Wilton -- whose 26th District includes most of Westport -- is exploring a run for governor, the state GOP's Facebook page has seen an uptick of traffic -- and it's not more "likes."
A comment thread showing a photo of Boucher with state party Chairman Jerry Labriola Jr. was immediately overtaken by Second Amendment activists, who denounced the veteran lawmaker for her support of a statewide crackdown on assault weapons and high-capacity gun magazines in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre that left 26 people dead last year.
Boucher was one of six GOP senators who signed onto the legislation, which requires universal background checks on the purchase of guns and ammunition.
Here's a sampling of some of the pro-Second Amendment comments:
"The people that voted for the new bill have lost all credibility. They stomped on our rights so why would we want to put them in office?"
"She will not be getting my support. Real leaders would have stood up for the law abiding citizens of Newtown and this state and explained that there were only two persons responsible for their action of Dec. 14th. The irresponsible mother and her sick son. Not thousands and thousands of law abiding citizens. She does not get my support what so ever."
Boucher responded to those criticisms that were posted on Facebook. "I'm so glad that this has elicited comments from people who care," she said.
"I never run away from a controversial issue. I listen to the people in my district about these controversial issues before ever casting a vote, and now I will be listening to people from throughout the state.
"I'd also like to hear from those individuals who are commenting on this personally. They're welcome to reach out to me to talk to me directly about how they feel," Boucher said.
Boucher's GOP colleague John McKinney of Fairfield, the state Senate minority leader whose 28th District includes a small section of Westport, encountered similar criticism when he announced his gubernatorial bid in July.