NRA Spokeswoman Shares Daily Caller Story That Asks if Maryland High School Shooting Was a 'Win for Trump'

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The National Rifle Association's spokeswoman shared an article by the conservative website The Daily Caller on Tuesday which posed the question, was the high school shooting in Maryland "A win for Trump?"

A writer for the liberal news site Think Progress tweeted a screenshot of Dana Loesch's post, which read, "REPORT: 'Armed School Resource Officer' Took Down Maryland High School Shooter."

The article was about the Tuesday morning shooting at Great Mills High School in Great Mills, Maryland, where 17-year-old Austin Wyatt Rollins opened fire and critically wounded a 16-year-old girl, with whom he had a previous relationship, according to St. Mary's County Sheriff Timothy Cameron. Rollins also wounded a 14-year old boy in the shooting. Cameron said school resource officer Blaine Gaskill "immediately" responded to the gunfire.

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Both Gaskill and Rollins then fired nearly simultaneously, but it wasn't clear where Rollins was aiming—at the officer, himself or elsewhere—Cameron said. Rollins was mortally wounded in the exchange and died at 10:41 a.m. at an area hospital, Cameron said.

Cameron and Governor Larry Hogan lauded Gaskill's quick response. His willingness to confront Rollins served as juxtaposition to the school resource officer in Parkland, Florida, who skulked around outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for minutes as a 19-year-old armed with an AR-15 killed 17 people last month. 

The Daily Caller's positing was an apparent reference to President Donald Trump's support of arming teachers. In the days that followed the Parkland shooting, Trump repeatedly called for giving educators firearms as a way to stymie school shootings. 

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Though it isn't clear if Gaskill fired the fatal shot, the Daily Caller said he "took down" the shooter. Grant Stinchfield, host of the eponymous named NRA TV show, hailed Gaskill as the personification of the National Rifle Association's motto: The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.

Loesch, too, criticized the "mainstream media" for burying coverage of the incident because "when something doesn't fit their anti-gun, anti-freedom narrative, the lying #MSM [mainstream media] simply doesn't cover it," she said.

But as both Hogan and Cameron acknowledged, despite Gaskill's action, the girl was in life-threatening condition in the intensive care unit at an area hospital and another teen was dead. 

The Think Progress writer, Aaron Rupar, commented about the ghoulishness of reveling in the incident in his tweet aimed at Loesch. "A victim is in critical condition. Disgusting," he wrote.

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That sparked a Twitter battle between Loesch and Rupar. In a subsequent tweet on the thread he had tagged Loesch in, Rupar added, "It's not even clear at this point that officer actually stopped the incident, and yet NRA is already exploiting it. Sickening stuff." 

Loesch took umbrage with the charge that she was using the incident to further her or the NRA's cause.

"'Exploiting' by retweeting stories from news outlets?" she wrote. "You need to learn word definitions."

Police are investigating what motivated the shooting. In the meantime, advocates on both sides of the gun debate have pointed to the incident to bolster their argument.

This article was first written by Newsweek

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