UPDATED with CNN statement: NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch claimed at CPAC she feared for her life at the CNN town hall on gun violence attended by grieving students and parents from Parkland, Florida, where 17 students and adults were killed at a high school in the country’s latest assault rifle mass shooting.
“You heard that town hall last night, they cheered the confiscation of firearms,” Loesch told conservatives at CPAC the next morning. “And it was over 5K people. I had to have a security detail to get out. I wouldn’t have been able to exit that if I did not have a private security detail. There were people rushing the stage and screaming burn her. And I came there to talk solutions.”
A CNN rep told Deadline, “Security was a top priority for us on behalf of all our participants at last night’s town hall. Our own security personnel accompanied Ms. Loesch from the stage, alongside her own private security, as we did for all of our guests.”
This morning, Loesch announced at CPAC, “many in legacy media love mass shootings.”
“You guys love it,” Loesch snarled at the “legacy media” covering her remarks.
“Now, I’m not saying you love the tragedy,” Loesch added, clarifying her smear. “I am saying you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold.”
Loesch was warming the CPAC hall, if it needed warming, before NRA chief Wayne LaPierre gave his traditional fiery stump speech. “We will not be gaslighted into thinking we are responsible for the tragedy” in Parkland, Florida, Loesch declared. “We had nothing to do with it. It is not our job to follow up on red flags, not our job to make sure states are reporting” to the background-check system.
“Failure of law enforcement is not a failure of the law; it is a failure of enforcement.”
She blasted “legacy media” who have reported NRA contributions to campaigns of politicians who have opposed gun control legislation and/or bans on assault weapons. She argued for turning schools into hard, not soft targets, including armed guards. “Don’t you think our kids deserve the same protection as our celebrities?” she said.
“I want to make this super-obvious point: government has proven they cannot keep you safe and yet some people want all of us to disarm.”
Here’s a clip of one of Loesch’s exchanges with a Parkland shooting survivor at CNN’s town hall: