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Jeb Bush tweets picture of engraved gun, social media fires back

The Republican presidential hopeful gives Twitter users a reason to fire up Photoshop and share what they think of when they hear the word "America."

This tweet of a handgun engraved with "Gov. Jeb Bush" did not go over well on Twitter Tuesday.

Screenshot by Danny Gallagher/CNET

When you hear the word "America," what jumps to mind?

If you're American, maybe you think of all the brave men and women who died defending their country and continue to put their lives on the line to ensure its freedom. Perhaps you see a mental screenshot of fireworks as a bald eagle majestically flies by with an American flag clutched in its talons. Maybe you think of Uncle Sam taking a bite out of a three-patty cheeseburger that's been deep fried and covered with chocolate sprinkles.

If you're Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, who's currently polling fourth for the upcoming South Carolina Republican presidential primary, an image of a handgun with your name engraved on it might come to mind. That's not an unfair characterization of a pro-gun conservative. That's exactly what appeared on the official Jeb Bush Twitter account Tuesday afternoon, along with the single word "America," making the candidate a trending topic and leading to a flurry of responses from the serious to the silly.

The Bush campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but gun rights are a key talking point among Republican candidates, and Bush made a campaign stop at a firearms maker in Columbia, South Carolina, on Tuesday. Given the scourge of gun violence in America, many on social media responded to the tweet with anger. "Delete your account," NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden tweeted.

Tweeted former CNN host Piers Morgan: "How can any decent American not be appalled by that @JebBush gun tweet? Where is your fury? Where is your shame? Where is your conscience?"

Naturally, lots of other people did what they do best with such jarring uses of social media. They turned it into a meme. Here are some of their responses to the former Florida governor's tweet. (Of course I couldn't resist throwing in one of my own.)

(Image in the above tweet by Brian McMullen)