CNN will host a town hall on gun violence Wednesday night featuring students, parents, and community members impacted by the school shooting in Parkland, Florida last week — as well as National Rifle Association spokesperson Dana Loesch. An unusual change in tactics for the NRA, which generally remains fairly quiet in the weeks after a mass shooting, the incendiary advocate will respond to those advocating for new gun violence prevention measures in an event called, “Stand Up: The Students of Stoneman Douglas Demand Action.”
Loesch is officially the NRA’s national spokesperson and has emerged as one of the organization’s most strident voices. She has a long history of lambasting those who advocate for restrictions on gun ownership, often relying on violence-inciting language in her attacks. She’s also specifically defended AR-15s, the semi-automatic rifles frequently used in mass shootings.
Loesch said Trump critics will ‘perish in the political flames’
Loesch has been the face of the NRA’s effort to sow massive division in this country, defending President Trump against any and all critics. In October, just three weeks after the Las Vegas shooting, Loesch starred in an NRA video featuring footage from riots in which she promised that Trump’s critics will “perish in the political flames of their own fires.”
— NRATV (@NRATV) October 20, 2017
Loesch said NRA members should fight liberals with ‘the clenched fist of truth’
Loesch also starred in a video the NRA posted last June in which Loesch claimed, among other things, that liberals “use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler.” Many accused the video of literally inciting violence. “The only way we save our country and our freedom is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth,” Loesch said. “I’m the National Rifle Association of America and I’m freedom’s safest place.”
Last month, NRATV host Grant Stinchfield made clear that the NRA would not apologize for these videos that attempt to paint liberals as instigators of violence, and Loesch agreed. “I stand by it 100 percent and every attempt to intimidate me or shut me down is only going to make me talk louder,” she said. “I enjoy confrontation like this and I enjoy a good fight, and look there is a difference between peaceful assembly and violent riots.”
Loesch said criticism of the AR-15 is part of a ‘war on women’
After the Orlando shooting at a gay nightclub in 2016, Loesch defended weapons like the AR-15, suggesting they weren’t as serious a weapon as a shotgun or Glock. “This is a war on women,” she insisted, “because the AR-15 is the most popular rifle with women. You’re talking about disarming women.”
Loesch said making gun owners safely store weapons to prevent theft is ‘like shaming rape survivors’
Last summer, the Center for American Progress put out a report advocating for state laws “that require or incentivize gun owners to store guns securely to help protect against theft.” Loesch responded that blaming gun owners when their improperly stored firearms are stolen is “like shaming a rape survivor.” After Media Matters reported on the comment, she claimed the outlet they didn’t quote her accurately (even though there’s video) and accused Media Matters of “exploiting rape victims” while she simultaneously doubled down that gun owners are subjected to “victim shaming.” (ThinkProgress is an editorially independent publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.)
Loesch called gun control advocates ‘infidels of freedom’
Loesch also has a history of expressing more outrage about those who respond to mass shootings by calling for gun control than the shootings themselves. After the San Bernardino shooting in 2015, she came hard for those who objected to “thoughts and prayers” as the solution to gun violence.
In an NRATV commentary called “The Godless Left,” Loesch attacked those who wanted more than “thoughts and prayers” for somehow mocking religion. “They openly attack sacred American values and the people who cherish them with ruthlessness, contempt, and downright hatred,” she said.
As the families of the victims in San Bernardino called out to their fellow Americans for prayer, the godless left launched a vitriolic attack on the twin pillars of American freedom: the First and the Second Amendments. These saboteurs share the same fanatical fervor to tear apart the foundations of America as the terrorists who threaten our very survival. And together, they march hand-in-hand toward the possible, purposeful destruction of us all. These elites of the godless left? They’re the infidels of freedom, and we say to them that we will never ever sacrifice our God-given rights to believe and to survive.
Loesch people interested in curbing mass shootings ‘tragedy-dry humping’ whores
The day after that video was published, Loesch went on a similar rant on her show on The Blaze. “I have a major problem with all of these tragedy-dry humping whores,” she said. “I do have a problem with them and I’m not watching my language because it’s about time that somebody call you out for what you are. You sicken me.”
It thus remains to be seen how Loesch will respond to the surviving Parkland students who have become champions of gun violence prevention. Though conservatives have been trying to smear them all week, these young people are not being held back. They are sick of “thoughts and prayers” and they are demanding action on gun control.
If Loesch doesn’t call them violent, tragedy-dry humping infidels of freedom who are waging a war on women, it would actually signify a change in the NRA’s response to the country’s rampant gun violence.