A student who survived the Florida school massacre has lashed out at the face of America's National Rifle Association after her appearance at a CNN forum on gun control yesterday.

The televised forum brought together a crowd of students, teachers and parents, giving them a chance to directly question politicians, law enforcement officials and lobbyists - including NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch.

Speaking to CNN host Don Lemon after the forum, student Alfonso Calderon delivered a withering assessment of Loesch's performance.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel calls BS on 18-year-old kids being able to have guns while NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch looks on. Photo / CNN
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel calls BS on 18-year-old kids being able to have guns while NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch looks on. Photo / CNN

"She isn't living in reality. How dare she?" Mr Calderon said, accusing Loesch of dodging hard questions by going off on "irrelevant" tangents. "She tip-toed around questions, and dodged the yeses and the no's."


To her credit, Loesch did have the guts to show up to CNN's forum, knowing she would face a hostile crowd. And the survivors of the Florida shooting grilled her.

Student Emma Gonzalez asked whether Loesch thought it should be harder for people to buy guns like the AR-15 rifle - which was used to kill 17 people at her school - and the modifications which make such weapons even deadlier.

"I don't believe this insane monster should ever have been able to obtain a firearm," Loesch responded.

"This individual was nuts," she said. "None of us support people who are crazy, who are a danger to themselves, who are a danger to others, getting their hands on a firearm."

Loesch told Gonzalez she was on her side.

"I have kids, and I'm not just fighting for my kids. I'm fighting for you. I'm fighting for all of you. Because I don't want anyone to ever be in this position again."

Pressed on the specifics of the question, she continued to focus on the individual case of Florida shooter Nikolas Cruz, saying crazy people should not have guns.

The other guest on stage, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel - whose police force had to deal with the massacre - eventually jumped in and issued a scathing slapdown.

"I understand you're standing up for the NRA and I understand that's what you're supposed to do," he said. "But you just told this group of people that you are standing up for them. You're not standing up for them until you say: 'I want less weapons.'"

The crowd responded with a standing ovation.

Sheriff Israel said stricter gun control needed to be introduced.

"Eighteen-year-olds should never have a rifle," he began, referring to shooter Nikolas Cruz.

"An 18-year-old kid - they're not adults yet. They're in high school. These kids should not have a rifle."

The legal age to buy a gun under federal US law is 18. The minimum age to buy alcohol is 21.

"Bump stocks should be illegal," he said. "They should be outlawed forever. Automatic rifles should be outlawed forever and anybody who says different, I don't know about other people, but Emma and I, we're calling BS on that."


Ms Loesch enjoyed a much more welcoming audience today as she addressed CPAC, the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.

"The government has proven that they cannot keep you safe. And yet, some people want all of us to disarm," she said.

"You heard that town hall last night. They cheered the confiscation of firearms. And it was over 5,000 people.

"I had to have a security detail to get out. I wouldn't be able to exit that if I didn't have a private security detail. There were people rushing the stage and screaming 'burn her'. And I came there to talk solutions, and I still am going to continue that conversation on solutions, as the NRA has been doing since before I was alive."

Students from the event have since denied her account.

Ms Loesch also accused the media of "loving" gun massacres.

"Many in legacy media love mass shootings. Now I'm not saying you (the media) love the tragedy. But I am saying that you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold to you.

"And notice I said 'crying white mothers' because there are thousands of grieving black mothers in Chicago every weekend, and you don't see town halls for them, do you?" she said, referring to Chicago's notoriously high homicide rate.


The town hall came as the loud and powerful arm of the RMA insisted weapons are not to blame for the country's shooting atrocities.

Instead the group blames those whose "hatred of guns" stops them from seeing how to best protect their children.

The NRA's TV arm has launched a vocal attack in the days after the Florida school massacre, accusing the media of wanting to take away people's right to bear arms.

NRATV host Grant Stinchfield suggested editors and reporters hoped for another shooting just so they could push their gun control agenda.

In a video posted to Twitter on Tuesday, Stinchfield blamed the media and socialist anti-gunners for failing to keep people safe.

"Their hatred of guns has blinded them from seeing exactly how to protect our children," he said.

"So now I will no longer allow the media to bogusly blame the NRA for this shooting when the real blame sits squarely on those who refuse to protect their kids with armed good guys."

He also accuses the media of wanting to destroy the second (amendment) by first destroying the NRA.

"The media are like snakes in the grass waiting for another mass shooting," he said.

However journalists aren't the only ones in the NRA's sights, with liberals and even the FBI being blamed for last week's massacre which left 17 people dead.

Ms Loesch herself has called on NRA members to march "to the FBI offices" over its failure to act on tip-offs it received about suspected gunman Nikolas Cruz being dangerous, the Daily Beast reported.

The agency has admitted it failed to act on crucial information it received ahead of the massacre.

The FBI also admitted it mishandled a tip-off it was given from a person close to Cruz who was concerned over his intentions.