The NRA has been under fire since the Stoneman Douglas shooting, and this time, they’re being targeted by the police authority present during the shooting.
A CNN-hosted town hall meeting prompted victims and the sheriff’s office to create a statement regarding the government’s response on how to counter gun violence. During the town hall meeting, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel called out to NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch and said he understands what Loesch’s job entails, according to Hello Giggles.
“I understand you’re standing up for the NRA and I understand that’s what you’re supposed to do. But you just told this group of people that you are standing up for them,” he said.
“You are not standing up for them until you say, ‘I want less weapons.'”
Sheriff Israel’s comments gained a standing ovation from the crowd but received a less enthused response from the NRA. The organization took to Twitter to make their voice loud and clear. The NRA said it was the sheriff himself who failed the children and not the NRA. They pointed out that it was actually the sheriff’s job to save and protect the school, but he failed at it.
Gun activists also supported the NRA’s stance and are now protesting, asking for Sheriff Israel to resign. According to The Hill, a report was filed saying the police stationed during the school shooting “failed to go in” as the shooter killed 17 kids in the premises. There was reportedly limited action from the police, and NRA supporters are using this to put the blame on Sheriff Israel.
“You are NOT standing up for these students.” - Sheriff Israel to @NRA spokeswoman.— Broward Sheriff (@browardsheriff) February 22, 2018
No Sheriff Israel you were the one that didn’t PROTECT these children and that is your job. You run the largest fully accredited sheriff's office in the United States, yet your office failed this community. https://t.co/lauyeNedob— NRA (@NRA) February 23, 2018
While sitting next to me at the town hall, the sheriff called this “standing up for students.” https://t.co/yjeFWdbadR— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) February 23, 2018
The Broward County deputies also acknowledged the fact that they received 18 calls from 2008 to 2017 warning them about Nikolas Cruz. The office said they opened up two probes to verify if the calls were legitimate or not and if they were handled “according to the department’s standards.” Without further evidence of potential shooting, the Broward County did not investigate Cruz further.
NRA supporters and gun activists are still calling for Sheriff Israel to resign. Both sides are taking aim at each other, and so far, there is no clear resolution on whether or not there will be a significant legislative push for gun control.