NRA Will Attend CNN Town Hall With Survivors Of Florida School Shooting

DOMINICK REUTER/AFP

The National Rifle Association will participate in a town hall discussion on gun laws and last week’s Florida school shooting, which will be hosted by CNN on Wednesday evening.

The NRA’s national spokeswoman Dana Loesch will represent the organization at the discussion with parents and students, CNN reported. Sens. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), as well as Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), have also told CNN they will be in attendance. The discussion will be broadcast live at 9 p.m. EST Wednesday.

Loesch said she decided to attend because she’s “always been about more discussion, not less” and she hopes to be able to “offer some solutions as to what people can actually do to prevent these things from happening in the future.”

“I just hope that people are respectful and that it’s a civil discussion,” she told NRA TV. “We’re not going to get anywhere in this country by screaming at people and impugning their characters simply because they believe as they do. … I hope we can be respectful and have a civil debate without anyone screaming murderer at me.”

The town hall comes just one week after a 19-year-old former student allegedly shot and killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The massacre has incensed the students who survived the attack to advocate for tighter gun control laws at a state and national level.

While President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Rick Scott both turned down the invitation to attend CNN’s discussion, Trump on Tuesday directed the attorney general’s office to look into banning bump-stocks, a device that makes a semi-automatic weapon function like an automatic weapon. This accessory was used in the attack at a concert in Las Vegas last year, when a lone gunman killed 50-plus people.

The NRA has come under scrutiny in the wake of the most recent deadly school shooting, as have the politicians whom the gun owners’ organization supports, like Rubio.

Loesch has made headlines as a controversial figure in the past year when she started making aggressive advertisements for NRA TV, which appear to call for violence against journalists and liberals.

Loesch and the NRA did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment.

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