February 22, 2018 12:49 pm

Dana Loesch: What to know about the controversial NRA spokeswoman

WATCH: NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch discusses her appearance at CNN town hall

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One of the National Rifle Association‘s most prominent figures, spokeswoman Dana Loesch, weighed in on a conversation surrounding gun control Wednesday.

Loesch appeared on stage during a town hall hosted by CNN on gun violence, following a mass shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 dead.

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The NRA spokeswoman sat with student survivors of the shooting, and police who handled the incident, receiving boos from the crowd throughout the event.

She was asked several questions on gun control, many of which went unanswered, the New York Daily News reported.

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One of those questions was asked by student Emma Gonzalez, who survived the shooting: “Do you believe that it should be harder to obtain the semi-automatic weapons and modifications for these weapons to make them fully automatic, like bump stocks?”

The gun rights activist instead focused on describing suspected Florida gunman Nikolas Cruz as a “monster,” saying that “crazy” people shouldn’t have guns.

On Thursday, Loesch stuck to that line during a press conference alongside the organization’s leader, Wayne LaPierre.

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Loesch said many in the media “love mass shootings,” adding, “crying white mothers are ratings gold.”

These aren’t the only controversial comments the spokeswoman has made. Loesch’s strong support for guns has prompted criticism in the past.

Who exactly is Dana Loesch?

Loesch was a prominent guns rights advocate in America even before she joined the NRA in early 2017, the Guardian reported.

She’s also a Christian, and has a tattoo on her arm, reading “Ephesians 6:12-13.”

The tattoo is a reference to this phrase: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

She posted a photo of the tattoo on Instagram last year, with the caption, “I got this eight years ago. It was done for a reason, a reminder. This world needs Jesus.”

Loesch is one of the most well-known female guns rights advocates in the country and previously worked as an adviser for the NRA on policy involving women.

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She has said that one of her main reasons for owning guns is because she’s a mother.

“I’m a mom, that’s why I own guns,” one of Loesch’s Instagram posts reads. “I don’t outsource my security. I trust in my own skills and training and wish everyone had that same self-confidence.”

The controversial figure often receives criticism for her remarks and her social media posts. In October 2017, she shared that her family was moving homes due to “repeated threats.”

Controversial NRA ad

Women have been some of the most vocal opponents of Loesch’s work with the NRA.

Last year, an NRA ad featuring Loesch sparked outrage across the country. In the ad, Loesch encouraged Americans to buy firearms in response to protests.

“The only way we stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom is to fight this violence of lies with a clenched fist of truth. I’m for the National Rifle Association of America, and I’m freedom’s safest place.”

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The ad was blasted online for promoting violence against protesters.

“The advertisement released by the NRA is a direct attack on people of color, progressives and anyone who exercises their First Amendment right to protest,” Women’s March co-founder  Tamika Mallory wrote in an open letter.

‘Hands off my gun’

Loesch is also known for her 2014 book, Hands Off My Gun: Defeating the Plot to Disarm America.

The book revolves around Loesch’s belief that owning a gun is part of “Americans’ basic rights as citizens.”

— With files from the Associated Press

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