Dana Loesch, the spokesperson for the American National Rifle Association, took aim and fired this week.
She fired at the child victims of the recent Florida school shooting. She fired at the media. She fired at grieving parents. And she fired at any person who acknowledges the fact that guns kill people.
Loesch was just doing her job, defending the Constitutional right to bear arms. Because, as the aftermath of Florida has shown, the tide is turning against the NRA, more than it ever has before. And that’s meant Loesch has been forced to do some intense deflecting.
This week, Loesch addressed the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Parkland, Florida, prepared to fight for the NRA’s rights. The 39-year-old media identity and Republican darling came fully armed. She was well-presented, eloquent, and charismatic as she delivered an impassioned speech to do the impossible: defend the Second Amendment when 17 people, mostly school children, had just been fatally shot.
Her main tactic? To confuse the issue. Loesch accused the media of enjoying mass shootings because they make for good ratings.
— CNN (@CNN) February 22, 2018Advertisement
“Many in legacy media love mass shootings. You guys love it,” Loesch exclaimed.
“I’m not saying you guys love the tragedy but I am saying you love the ratings,” she added. “Crying white mothers are ratings gold”.
It was a transparent deflection tactic that outraged – and divided – the groups she targeted. Loesch’s statements not only unnecessarily separated grieving mothers along racial lines, they also made a distinction between ‘legacy media’ (old-school, traditional journalism) and ‘unbiased media’ (basically, whatever Trump deems to be correct because it suits him).
Loesch knew exactly what she was doing. Her words weren’t chosen as a knee-jerk reaction; they were carefully considered to inflict maximal impact so that the conversation about gun control could be derailed.
Big deal. She deflected, distracted, failed to answer questions, and blamed the shooting on mental illness and the Sheriff/FBI – all typical NRA talking points. Everyone saw right through her evil countenance.
— Faye Rosenberg (@junkyday) February 22, 2018
Loesch’s claims were so provocative that the mother of one of the Sandy Hook school shooting victims, Nelba Márquez-Greene, was compelled to respond, saying that Loesch’s comment about “crying white mothers” was “maybe the most offensive thing after pretending to give a damn about black and brown mothers either … they’re going to try to divide us. This is where we must be brave.”
This is the most offensive thing I have ever heard this person say. I am.. without words at this. It is a dark day in America. https://t.co/kLZ4X6YFUY
— Nelba Márquez-Greene ???????? (@Nelba_MG) February 22, 2018
Whilst appalling and offending many people, the controversial comments garnered the desired attention. It must have been a career highlight for the former Breitbart contributor, and author of the 2014 book, Hands Off My Gun: Defeating the Plot to Disarm America.
In the book Loesch, a mother of two herself, says gun ownership is a simply a matter of protection.
“I take gun rights very personally,” she explains in her book. “I view it as a threat to my and my family’s well-being whenever anyone seeks to erode or take away my Second Amendment civil liberty.”
Pity about the "well-being" of everyone else's family.