NRA's Dana Loesch vs. CNN's Alisyn Camerota: "You Think We Love Mass Shootings?"


CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota asks NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch why she said "many in legacy media love mass shootings."

DANA LOESCH, NRA SPOKESPERSON: Many in legacy media love mass shootings. You guys love it. Now, I'm not saying that you love the tragedy, but I am saying that you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold to you and many in the legacy media in the back.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, here to discuss that and more is Dana Loesch, the NRA's national spokesperson.

Dana, before we start, I just do want to, once again, tell you how much we all appreciated you coming to the CNN town hall. We know you didn't have to do that. And we just appreciate you accepting that invitation and being there for that really important conversation.

DANA LOESCH, NRA SPOKESPERSON: Well, Alisyn, thank you for having me this morning.

And, you know, I went to that -- I went -- I knew it wasn't going to be easy and I went because I wanted to offer solutions. And I'm also outraged about all of this. And I'm also a parent. And I'm very concerned with the way that protocol, when conducting red flag checks and processing all of that, I'm concerned about all of that. And that's why I want to -- I want to get to the bottom of it. I want to offer solutions. And I want to see how we can partner together to stop it.


LOESCH: So that's why I showed up and that's why I wanted to hear.

CAMEROTA: OK, great. So let's get to that.

Let's just start with the sound bite that we just played of you at CPAC. You say many in the media love mass shootings. You guys love it. You love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold to you.

So, Dana, why would you say -- why would you make a statement like that?

LOESCH: Because it's true. Alisyn, because there are many, not all --

CAMEROTA: You think we love mass shootings?

LOESCH: Well, I said many. I said many, not all. But I do think that the way that network and --

CAMEROTA: Who? Who loves mass shootings?

LOESCH: I do think that many in the media do because they like the ratings aspect of it.


LOESCH: And it's true because it's wall-to-wall coverage. They put the murder's face up on loop --


LOESCH: On televisions all across America more than they discuss even the victims or survivors.

CAMEROTA: Listen --

LOESCH: That individual's name has been mentioned and is still mentioned on your network.


LOESCH: And, Alisyn, I want to say something to you really quickly.


LOESCH: I think Jake Tapper did an admirable job. I think that he -- I think ultimately lost control. I have a lot of respect for Jake. I think he -- I think it was a tough spot that he was in also.


LOESCH: But I do think that maybe perhaps the way that the network was hosting this discussion, it didn't seem that the network perhaps intended for it to be geared towards discussing solutions. Which, I get it, emotions are high. And it's awful.


LOESCH: I mean it's not even -- barely been a week ago.

CAMEROTA: But let's --

LOESCH: But I really want to have that discussion as to what we can do to stop this in the future.

CAMEROTA: Yes, so do I. Of course. That's why we had the town hall. So, listen, that's why we had lawmakers there, so that the kids could pose questions directly to them.

But, Dana, it's just -- it's just malicious, actually, that you would say that. I don't know anybody in the media who likes mass shootings. You're wrong on every single level. We pray that there's never another one. And the idea of them being ratings gold --

LOESCH: I hope that you do. But, Alisyn, I have to interject here.

CAMEROTA: Hold on, Dana, let me answer this. I have to -- you just made a malicious statement and I have to respond. Guess what, they're not ratings gold because Americans have reached saturation level. They're so sick of it.

LOESCH: I hope they have.

CAMEROTA: It's so heartbreaking that they actually often turn away. And we still have the conversation trying to find solutions.

LOESCH: I need to interject, though, Alisyn. You're saying that though it's malicious.


LOESCH: But let -- you're saying that it's malicious, but yet on your network you've allowed accusations against me and millions of law- abiding Americans as -- and to be indicted as child murders. I've watched you, Alisyn, on your program, at this very time slot, and you -- you've allowed that to stand uncorrected on your network.

CAMEROTA: We've never said that, Dana. We've never said that you were a child murderer. Listen, you've used all of this heated language --

LOESCH: You've allowed it to stand uncorrected on your network.

CAMEROTA: That's not true, Dana.

LOESCH: If you want to have a discussion of maliciousness.

CAMEROTA: It's not true.

LOESCH: But I don't want to get here, Alisyn, let me go back and forth with you.

CAMEROTA: We've never called you a child murderer. Just --

LOESCH: It is true. Your network coverage --

CAMEROTA: We have to be facts-based.

LOESCH: No, you've allowed the accusations to stand, Alisyn. Please follow what I'm saying. You've allowed that (INAUDIBLE) to stand.

CAMEROTA: I don't believe you. I don't believe you and I -- I don't believe you.

LOESCH: You've done nothing to correct it. You've done nothing to correct that. And that is malicious. And then so is your coverage by the network.

CAMEROTA: But, listen, Dana, you know -- Dana, you know --

LOESCH: But, Alisyn, (INAUDIBLE) --

CAMEROTA: Hold on, let me get in -- I will make my statement and then you can respond.

You know that you're using heated rhetoric. You're using inflammatory rhetoric. How is that part of the solution?

LOESCH: Inflammatory rhetoric. Again, you've allowed millions of law- abiding Americans (INAUDIBLE) be impugned and indicted as (INAUDIBLE) murderers.

CAMEROTA: Answer my question. You, at CPAC, used that inflammatory rhetoric.

LOESCH: That's inflammatory.


Why did you use it at CPAC? Why are you doing that?

LOESCH: Because it's true, Alisyn. And maybe the truth hurts, but it's true, particularly with the way that many in the media have covered this.

CAMEROTA: We love mass shootings? It's not true. You know this. That's just not true.

LOESCH: Alisyn, let me ask you this.

CAMEROTA: How dare you.

LOESCH: Where have been -- where has been the wall to wall coverage about how 7 million prohibited possessors right now can go out and get a firearm? Were you aware of this? Did you know that 7 million prohibited possessors right now can go out and get a firearm, including those who have been adjudicated mentally unfit?

[08:35:05] CAMEROTA: Yes, guess what, there's lots of --

LOESCH: And do you want to know why that is? That's scary. I want to stop that.

CAMEROTA: Good. So do we. So do we.

LOESCH: I want to fix that. You know how to do it right now? Politicians could do it today.

CAMEROTA: Great. That's why we invited --

LOESCH: I hope that CNN joins me in asking for politicians -- let me -- let me finish this. So this is huge, Alisyn. And we can make a huge difference right here right now.

CAMEROTA: Dana, this is why we invited the lawmakers. Go ahead.

LOESCH: Politicians need to right now call for states to fully submit all convictions to the National Crime Information Center. That is when -- when you go to buy -- purchase a firearm, your 4473 runs through the NICS system.


LOESCH: The NICS system pulls that data from the NCIC.

Alisyn, right now, 38 states submit less than 80 percent of records.


LOESCH: That means, do the math, there are 7 million prohibited possessors out there right now. We could stop that. We could fix that right now.

CAMEROTA: Fantastic.

LOESCH: We've been calling for it at the NRA for over 25 years.

CAMEROTA: Great. Fantastic.

LOESCH: Politicians can do it.

CAMEROTA: OK. Let me get a word in.

LOESCH: We -- I -- please, I hope your network grills them on that.

CAMEROTA: Listen, we're open to all suggestions, great suggestion. There's lots of blame to go around. But I think you have to take some responsibility that when you go to CPAC and you gin them up against the media by claiming that we love mass shootings and kids being killed --

LOESCH: Alisyn, I --

CAMEROTA: You need to take some responsibility that that's not a helpful conversation.

LOESCH: I didn't do that.

Well, you guys should probably maybe perhaps take some responsibility in the handling and coverage of the matter and don't allow accusations against millions of Americans as child murders to stand uncorrected on your network.

CAMEROTA: You know that -- listen, Dana, you know that that's not true.

LOESCH: That's also inflammatory.

CAMEROTA: It's not true. We don't use that kind of language.

LOESCH: Millions of innocent Americans had nothing to do with this.

CAMEROTA: We just --

LOESCH: But you know who did? My -- my job -- I'm not in the FBI and I'm not in law enforcement --


LOESCH: But I'm going to tell you, Alisyn, someone's going to look like a school shooter if they tell publicly on social media people that they're going to shoot up a school, if they send their classmates messages that they're going to kill them, that they're going to shoot them --

CAMEROTA: Right. Yes. We've been talking about all of this.

LOESCH: That they're going to make them bleed. Under -- did you know that under Florida state law --

CAMEROTA: We know this.

LOESCH: That's a felony and that that individual could have been taken into custody right then and there?

CAMEROTA: I -- I get it.

LOESCH: Why wasn't that done?

CAMEROTA: We are talking about all of this.

LOESCH: Why did no one -- why did no one ask the sheriff of Broward County that? That's --


LOESCH: That's what I want to know.

CAMEROTA: Listen --

LOESCH: I'm a parent. These agencies that promise to keep our kids safe, and they haven't. That's why I want answers, too. And I hope you join me in questioning them.

CAMEROTA: That's what we're doing. Of course that's what we're doing and there's blame to go around.

I think that it's just -- it does gets upsetting and unsettling when we see you at the town hall and you're expressing sympathy with the kids and you're talking from a position of being a mom --

LOESCH: Yes, of course.

CAMEROTA: And then the next day we hear you saying that we like mass shootings. So let's just remind people -- here was --

LOESCH: Because these are two separate issues. I am frustrated with the media and I'm frustrated with how some at your network have handled this. But these people who have been through hell and back --

CAMEROTA: Dana, you need to either give exact examples without hyperbole or you need to stop staying things like that. LOESCH: I just did. You allowed -- you have allowed repeatedly on your

program, Alisyn --

CAMEROTA: I have not. No, I haven't.

LOESCH: And you can go back and look at the footage you shot no less than two days ago, no fewer than two days ago.

CAMEROTA: And it's just not true. It's not true. And it's not true. And you know what else --

LOESCH: You've allowed accusations that -- that NRA members are somehow complicit in this. You've allowed those accusations on your network.

CAMEROTA: OK. OK, listen, NRA member --

LOESCH: These are parents, too, Alisyn, and they want to keep their kids safe.

CAMEROTA: Hold on. You have to let me get a word in.

The NRA does bear some responsibility in terms of fixing this solution. They do need to come to the table.

LOESCH: No, we absolutely do not.

CAMEROTA: Of course you do.

LOESCH: We're parents, too.

CAMEROTA: The idea -- Dana --

LOESCH: And we want -- we want to be able to make sure that our kids are also kept safe.

CAMEROTA: Of course you do. You have a stake in this and you have to come up with solutions. And you can say it's not our responsibility. You have to look into background checks.

LOESCH: I just proposed a remedy (ph). I have many more if you want to hear them.

CAMEROTA: Fantastic. But you're also saying that you don't -- you know, it's so interesting that you guys want to talk about all sorts of things. You talk about the mistakes at the FBI. You're happy to talk about mental health.


CAMEROTA: But when it comes to gun violence --


CAMEROTA: You don't want to talk about guns. LOESCH: We always do, in fact. I mean we have Eddie Eagle programs. We

have the School Shield program where in schools have been encouraged to adopt steps to keep them more -- to keep them safer and to make sure that children feel safe. We have -- we've trained law enforcement officers. No other organization has trained more law enforcement officers across the country than the NRA. Thousands across the country.

CAMEROTA: And why --

LOESCH: We have some members in the Broward County Sheriff's Department, by the way.

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