Speed Reads

after parkland

The NRA's Dana Loesch spars with students, sheriff at CNN town hall on guns

NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch represented her organization at the CNN town hall in Florida Wednesday night, and she wasn't terribly popular with Parkland survivors in the audience. Student Emma Gonzalez asked Loesch if she believed "it should be harder to obtain the semiautomatic weapons and modifications to make them fully automatic," and Loesch talked mental health.

"I don't believe that this insane monster should have ever been able to obtain a firearm, ever," she said. "This individual is nuts," and no NRA member supports allowing "people who are crazy, who are a danger to themselves, who are a danger to others getting their hands on a firearm." (She may want to check with her boss, Chris Cox, or mental health experts.) Eventually, Gonzalez had to interrupt Loesch and repeat her question. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel jumped in, too. "You just told this group of people that you're standing up for them," he said. "You are not standing up for them until you say, 'I want less weapons.'"

Scott also argued that "we do need to have some gun control reform — 18-year-olds should never have a rifle," earning pushback from Loesch. "If you're old enough to vote, you're old enough to drive a car, old enough to serve your country, I think that you are old enough — if," she said, "if you are not a danger to yourself or others." She did not explain who would determine mental fitness or what threats merit losing gun privileges. "You're absolutely not the litmus test for how law enforcement should follow up," Scott said.

Loesch also sparred with slain teacher Scott Beigel's mother and an AP history teacher.