Culture

Watch Florida Shooting Survivor Emma Gonzalez Go Toe-To-Toe With NRA Spokesperson Dana Loesch

Following the exit of Marco Rubio and his fellow lawmakers from the stage of CNN’s Students Stand Up Town Hall, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and NRA Spokesperson Dana Loesch took the stage to face down more questions from the survivors, students, and parents in attendance. While Israel shared a few no-nonsense takes on why more guns on the street are not the answer to tragedies like the Parkland shootings, most of the focus was on Loesch and the NRA’s positions on gun control.

Loesch had few friends in the audience and was faced with one of the standout survivors in the forefront of this current discussion in Florida, Emma Gonzalez. From start to finish, Loesch faced questions about the NRA’s stance on assault weapons, modifications that made weapons like the AR-15 deadlier, and how the meanings behind the second amendment apply to today and specifically the shooter that murdered 17 in Flordia. Even Sheriff Israel was combative with Loesch, questioning why she would say she stood up for the people in attendance and still stood by the NRA’s positions.

It was the latter part of the town hall that featured the most powerful moments. First when the history teacher from Stoneman Douglas presses Loesch on the second amendment, asking her to explain how an 18-year-old with a gun fits as “well regulated.”

And then the mother of teacher and victim Scott Beigel spoke, asking why the rights of gun owners were more important than her son’s “unalienable rights.” Loesch’s response garnered a lot of boos and reactions, both in person and online, but Beigel’s mother likely captured it perfectly herself:

Likely nothing will change from the event, but it is one of the few times in the gun debate that we’ve seen passionate critics come face-to-face with those in the media and on Capitol Hill that have controlled the narrative for so long.

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