NRA’s Dana Loesch and Florida Shooting Survivor Tangle
David Hogg accused spokeswoman of trying to 'distract the American public and distract her NRA members' after Parkland school massacre
Things got hot during a Sunday interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” as National Rifle Association (NRA) spokeswoman Dana Loesch defended the Second Amendment — while Parkland, Florida, school shooting survivor David Hogg (shown above) accused her of distracting “the American public.”
“Can we actually look at what could have prevented this? That firearm did not walk itself into the school. An individual who was allowed to go unchecked by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office allowed that firearm to go in this school,” Loesch said.
Millions of “innocent, law-abiding Americans” who carry firearms were not “culpable” for gunman Nikolas Cruz’s murdering of 17 people on February 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, she said.
“I want to see as much attention on the Broward County sheriff, the FBI — the two FBI tips, and the numerous calls,” Loesch said. “I wish that as much attention were given to the Broward County Sheriff and their abdication of duty as trying to blame five million innocent law-abiding gun owners all across the country for this.”
Cruz was well-known to local law enforcement officials, and the FBI received at least two credible tips from anonymous sources warning that the 19-year-old former Douglas student was potentially dangerous. He used an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle in his murderous attack, a fact that has sparked renewed public debate about measures needed to prevent future such massacres.
Many Republicans and NRA members urged caution in considering additional gun control legislation and implored Congress to respect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. But students like Hogg — joined and encouraged by Democrat politicians, Hollywood celebrities, and liberal mainstream media figures — emotionally accused the NRA of “owning” GOP politicians who served the “gun lobby.”
“Honestly, it’s just disgusting. They act like they don’t own these politicians. They still do,” Hogg said. “It’s a Republican-controlled House, Senate, and executive branch. They can get this stuff done. They’ve gotten gun legislation passed before in their favor, in the favor of gun manufacturers.”
“And what I want people to know is look at Dana. Look at what she saying,” Hogg continued. “Is she actually saying anything, or is that just a tone to distract the American public and distract her NRA members from the fact that she’s not serving them?”
Hogg claimed that the NRA “is an organization that is completely broken.” Although he said he believes that “99.9 percent of [NRA members] are amazing people that just want to be safe, responsible gun owners,” the high school student accused Loesch of “serving the gun manufacturers” without “serving the people of the NRA.”
Loesch delivered a fiery speech on Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in which she defended the Second Amendment and criticized liberals and journalists who, she believes, “love mass shootings.”
They also “love the ratings” they receive when they hold town halls with “crying white mothers” and students calling for change, the NRA spokesperson told CPAC attendees. She accused NRA critics of ignoring troubled American cities like Chicago with its countless “grieving black mothers” who lost children in multiple shootings over the past few years.
The NRA spokeswoman told “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos she wished the American people would look at measures that could have prevented Nikolas Cruz from killing the 17 victims. Cruz had been expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas and had a history of making violent threats. Loesch noted Florida police were called to Cruz’s house 23 times prior to the shooting.
Loesch noted that the NRA supports proposals intended to ensure that the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) works and is up to date.
"We've been calling for politicians to work with us and make sure that dangerous people who have received due process should not be accessing firearms," Loesch said. "If I could follow up on all of those red flags and prevented it, you bet I would."
"We don't ever want to see anything like this again. This is why we have been calling so loudly ... to make sure that politicians step up. They could change this," Loesch said.
But Hogg remained unconvinced by Loesch's arguments, saying the U.S. now has "an entire generation of kids growing up around mass shootings" who are ready to see "change."
"Kids are not going to accept this," Hogg said. "And to the members of the NRA, I want to say this: Listen to Dana. Is she really speaking to you guys? Is she trying to fight for you guys? Or is she actually trying to fight for the gun lobby? Everything she was saying seems like spectacle. Is it just her tone, or is it what she's actually saying?"
Loesch reiterated that the NRA "has made their position incredibly clear" when it comes to protecting law-abiding citizens who purchase firearms, noting that the organization doesn't support raising the gun purchasing age from 18 to 21.
President Donald Trump, however, broke with the NRA and signaled his support for such a measure after holding a listening session with the shooting survivors, parents and teachers last week.
"Well, I do want to caution people because I know that people are trying to find daylight between President Trump and five million law-abiding gun owners and law-abiding gun owners all across the United States," Loesch said.
"I think it's great that as president he had all of these individuals, all of these constituents come into the White House. He had this listening session. He's really looking for solutions. He wanted to hear what they had to say. And that's what he's doing. So far nothing's been proposed yet."