NRA Spokeswoman Not Softening Pro-Gun Stance

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Dana Loesch is the new public face of the National Rifle Association, an organization long associated with older white men.

At 39, she’s poised, photogenic and a skilled public speaker, yet she’s not softening the message of the NRA as it becomes an increasingly active voice in the nation’s culture wars, with positions on everything from immigration to the media.

In the aftermath of the shooting deaths of 17 people, mostly students, at a Florida high school, it’s Loesch who has been the NRA’s main messenger.

The NRA dispatched Loesch last week to a CNN town hall, where she was questioned by students and parents from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the site of the Valentine’s Day shooting. Often brash and combative, Loesch was measured and even-tempered, though she was booed when she left the stage.

Charlie Sykes, a longtime conservative radio host who has been critical of the NRA, said Loesch’s skill is communicating with a broad range of Americans while retaining the ultra-conservative base built by Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice president and CEO since 1991.

“Imagine Wayne LaPierre sitting in that seat and you realize the significance of Dana,” Sykes said. “She can bring the hot sauce without having that persona” of an angry white man.

Even before taking over as NRA spokeswoman last year, Loesch had a robust conservative following, cultivated on social media — she has 765,000 Twitter followers — and through years of television and radio appearances, including on her own radio program, “The Dana Show.”

The day after the televised town hall, she was back in her more familiar mode, speaking to a far friendlier audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference near Washington. Loesch defiantly defended NRA’s 5 million members, who she said “will not be gaslighted into thinking that we’re responsible for a tragedy that we had nothing to do with.”

And, her voice dripping with condescension, she addressed journalists from the mainstream media, who she said “love mass shootings” because “crying white mothers are ratings gold.”

Her criticism of the media recalled an NRA video last summer in which she attacked The New York Times in a way that some on the right and the left feared could incite violence. In the video, Loesch said NRA members have “had it” with the newspaper’s “fake news” and warned: “Consider this the shot across your proverbial bow. … In short? We’re coming for you.”

Loesch was back on television Sunday, defending NRA members and arguing against calls to ban semi-automatic weapons like the one used in the Florida school shooting. “This is not the fault, nor are 5 million innocent law-abiding Americans culpable for this,” she said on ABC’s “This Week.”

In response, David Hogg, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, said students were focused on countering Loesch as they campaign for tighter gun laws.

“If you listen to her speak, she’s not really saying anything. She’s sounding positive and confident and that’s what she wants the people in the NRA to believe, her 5 million plus members,” Hogg said on CNN. “She wants them to think that she’s on their side, but she’s not. She’s actually working with the gun manufacturers.”

Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said she was not in the least reassured by Loesch’s appearance at last week’s town hall, especially after she attacked the media the following day.

“She’s younger. She’s a woman and a mom. She’s television-ready,” Watts said. “But her rhetoric is just as radicalized, if not more, than Wayne LaPierre’s.”

Loesch grew up in a blue-collar family in a small Missouri town near St. Louis, reared mainly by her mother after her parents’ divorce. She told The Times that she recalls her grandfather hunting deer and raccoon, but also a night her grandfather stood on the porch with a shotgun to protect her aunt from an estranged husband.

“Looking back, I think I always wanted to know that I was safe,” she told the newspaper for an article published last month.

Loesch studied journalism at Webster University, but dropped out when she became pregnant with her first son. She soon began writing a blog about motherhood and started her radio program. She later helped found the St. Louis tea party and had stints as a political analyst at Breitbart News Network and The Blaze.

Loesch, who has said she keeps a handgun near her bed and has a tattoo on her forearm with a reference to a Bible passage calling for Christians to wear holy armor, has never been afraid of being provocative.

(AP)

15 COMMENTS

  1. Wonder what her reaction would be , if if one of her children or grandchildren were slaughtered like those unfortunate in Parkland–whether she still would preach second amendment rights? Their whole philosophy is very crooked as the second amendment gave freedoms ,BUT not if human life is risked by it!!!! Human life is CERTAINLY more valuable and dear then the second amendment rights!!!! Time for the NRA to realize this and stop the bribing of public officers for their crooked agenda!!!!!

  2. President needs a few Tweets to totally muck up the issue;. He just called the NRA “great patriots” and then in the next statement he glossed over the disagreement on age restrictions, background checks, etc. and then said “they support me” on the very issues the NRA just announced they oppose..
    The most embarrassing part was where Trump said if he was at the Florida school at the time of the shooting, he would have run into the building without even having a gun to defend the kids. This from the draft-dodger-in-chief who stayed out of the Army during the Vietnam war with the help of the family podiatrist so that poor kids could go over and get killed

  3. scy4851, NOYB, SMFG3: How did gun control work for Yiden in Germany during 30s/40s? More people died in US at the hands of Muslims . Why don’t you preach banning Islam instead? Oh, i forgot: it is protected by 1st amendment.

  4. Lets see: FBI failed to follow up on TWO concrete tips about intent and identity of the shooter; Police department ignored 39 police calls to the shooters home in last year; Sheriff’s department ignored multiple calls from shooters relatives about death threats since January of this year; School failed to inform authorities about shooters violent history at school; FBI instant background check allowed a gun sale regardless of the shooter mental and violent history; Armed policemen on sight during shooting failed to engage the shooter; and who is at fault? NRA.
    Yes, only government can have guns in order to protect us from violence, right?

  5. Moisheinfgolus.
    Pure an hoaratzus! Islam is a religion not a threat to life in itself!!!GUNS KILL and they have NO OTHER purpose other than being killing machines – so your comparison is a totally crooked analysis!!!!

  6. SMFG3 : A gun is a tool not a threat to life in itself!!! MUSLIMS KILL and they have NO OTHER purpose other than being killing infedels– so your comparison is a totally crooked analysis!!!!

  7. It amazes me how dumb some people sound on this issue. Just because some conservatives and republicans made this into a hot button topic means orthodox jews have to support gun control . We have freedom of speech but we cant scream fire in a movie theater. The second amendment is first of all a man made document it can and should be updated to reflect the times. There is no reason why anyone should own a military style gun and other such weapons. There is also no reason why the age to own a weapon can’t be raised and background checks become stricter. The NRA has become a radical extremist organization.

  8. Moishe in golus
    A gun is a killing tool with no other purpose!!!! Not all Muslims kill. Not defending anyone but your comparison is very crooked!!! A person has a choice whether to commit a crime or so good… A gun is and always be a killing machine- whether you shoot animals or people – it still is a KILLING MACHINE WITh no other purpose!!!!

  9. ah yid, stop your ignorant and hysterical rant: NRA is the oldest civil rights organization in US. RE: “There is no reason why anyone should own a military style gun” Define what is ” a military style gun”. It is not up to you or me to decide what any one from law abiding Americans “should own” legally. Why should any one own 400 hp sports cars, don’t we all agree that speed kills? And if you want to amend the Constitution than there is a legal democratic process for that. The reason it was never tried because liberals know this will fail.

  10. @MoisheInGalus
    I agree, gun control is not the answer
    @scy4851
    There are a lot more than 5 million people who are pro-gun, they just don’t bother to pay membership to the NRA. There are 80-100 million gun owners, and a vast majority are anti gun control.
    @SMFG3
    Yes, guns are used for killing. Millions of people survive by killing animals, or need to kill animals for the protection of their farms or families, and around 2.5 million use guns,- or the threat of killing a criminal with them- to defend themselves every year. So they are kind of necessary to the survival and livelihood of tens of millions of Americans.
    @ah yid
    Why did you decide that all pro-gun yidden are only pro-gun because of the Republicans? I myself am pro-gun because I think that is a better argument, than those I have heard for being anti-gun, and I know multiple yidden who have used guns to defend themselves. The “military style: guns you refer to are just regular guns that look different. They are no more dangerous than any other gun. In fact, less than 1/2 of 1% (around 300/11,000) of murders every year use rifles at all, and even fewer murders use “military style” guns. As for raising the age to own one- if an 18-year-old can drive a car (40-50,000 deaths annually), join the military and command a tank or fly a fighter jet, or vote, then they are responsible enough to own a rifle. If they are not responsible enough to own a rifle, then they are not responsible enough to drive, join the military, or vote. As for the NRA- if you call fighting for peoples’ right to protect themselves radical extremism, then yes.

  11. Guns are about self-defense. The second amendment is about self-defense. It is the safeguard for all your other freedoms – enjoy them while they last as the Left continues to erode them.