Members of the audience at a CNN-hosted town hall meeting on school shootings repeatedly made their thoughts about the National Rifle Association known, shouting that the gun group’s spokesperson was “a murderer.”
At CNN’s “Stand Up: The Students of Stoneman Douglas Demand Action,” hosted by Jake Tapper, parents and survivors of the deadly Valentine’s Day school shooting in Parkland, Florida confronted an array of public figures, including senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson. Also present for questions was NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch, who audience members repeatedly shouted down during the live televised event.
Shouting started early in the discussion when Loesch tried to compliment the Stoneman Douglas students, who have spoken out about gun control since the shooting last week. Saying that they have shown they could go far in life, an audience member interrupted by shouting, “If they live that long!”
Audience members continued to shout at Loesch as she defended the NRA’s position against gun control. More than once, someone interrupted Loesch by shouting, “You’re a murderer!”
The audience was on its feet later when Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel called out Loesch’s position.
“You just told this group of people that you are standing up for them,” Israel said. “You’re not standing up for them until you say, ‘I want less weapons.'” Israel ‘s comment was met with a standing ovation. See the exchange below.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel to NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch: "You just told this group of people that you are standing up for them. You're not standing up for them until you say, 'I want less weapons.'" pic.twitter.com/1NIJn0thi9
— Alex Hooper (@alex__hooper) February 22, 2018
Later in the presentation Rubio received similarly unreceptive treatment from the crowd, notably when he tried to depict a total assault weapons ban as a worst case scenario, and the crowd erupted into cheers of support for the idea instead.
Loesch is a gun and Second Amendment advocate and also a radio host. “The Dana Show” airs Monday through Friday on RadioAmerica, and she also hosts “The DL” on NRA TV, the NRA’s online content network. She wrote a book about gun laws in America and the Second Amendment, titled “Hands Off My Gun: Defeating the Plot to Disarm America,” which was published in 2014.