After the mass shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas on Friday, National Rifle Association (NRA) spokeswoman Dana Loesch argued the media played a role in “creating” mass shooters.
Loesch said that studies have shown that school shooters referenced Columbine in some way and at some point.
“The media has got to stop creating more of these monsters by oversaturation,” Loesch said.
“#MSM has got to stop creating more of these monsters by oversaturation. I'm not saying don't responsibly report on things as they happen. I understand it. But constantly showing the image of the murderer, constantly saying their name, is completely unnecessary.” —@DLoesch #NRA pic.twitter.com/9GjK3sLrDr
— NRATV (@NRATV) May 19, 2018
Loesch's comments came after law enforcement identified 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis as the student who killed 10 people on Friday.
Loesch clarified that she didn't want the media to engage in irresponsible reporting but wished it would stop doing things like showing the shooter's image so much:
“Constantly showing the image of the murderer, constantly saying their name is completely unnecessary. I understand if you want to report it once they've been identified, but after that, according to what these studies have shown, we need to be very cognizant of what this creates.”
Her organization received an onslaught of backlash, as is typical after mass shootings like the one in Santa Fe. Some on Twitter called the NRA a “terrorist organization”:
— Matt Verderame (@MattVerderame) May 18, 2018
THE NRA IS A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION
— Marti Gould Cummings (@MartiGCummings) May 18, 2018
The NRA regularly uses terroristic rhetoric to achieve their goals. https://t.co/8jVFPNFnJM
— Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) May 18, 2018
In the immediate aftermath, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton indicated NRA critics were wrong since gun regulations would only make matters worse:
Texas AG: “The more we regulate, the more time we lose and the more people we're going to lose. I would prefer to have people in place to protect our children, not leave it open for someone who's not going to follow a gun law to come in and kill as many children as they want to.” pic.twitter.com/ZdIh6vlk84
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 18, 2018
“The more we regulate, the more time we lose and the more people we're going to lose,” he said before arguing guns helped protect schoolchildren.