23:41 GMT +316 October 2018
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    Dana Loesch, spokesperson for the National Rifle Association, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), at National Harbor, Md., Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018

    NRA Calls to End Gun-Free Zones After Deadly Jacksonville Mass Shooting

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    A tweet by Dana Loesch was apparently poorly timed, as many users rushed to accuse her of cashing in on the mass slaying. This comes as the country has been rocked by a series of similar incidents, which have divided the public over the issue of gun control.

    Dana Loesch, a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association (NRA), called for an end to gun-free zones if people cannot be kept safe within them, following reports about a mass shooting in Jacksonville, Florida.

    "A horrible tragedy. End gun free zones or have the security in place to keep people safe in them," she tweeted.

    On Sunday night, a gunman killed two people and injured nine at a video game tournament at Jacksonville Landing, a marketplace in downtown Jacksonville. The shooter, who eventually killed himself, was identified by police as David Katz, a 24-year-old gamer from Maryland. He reportedly opened fire after losing the competition.

    READ MORE: Three Dead After Gamer Gun Massacre in Jacksonville: The Facts So Far

    Jacksonville Landing's rules of conduct prohibit the possession of firearms on the property, even if they are legally owned and carried, with the only exception being made for law enforcement officers.

    Loesch's statement added fuel to the ongoing debate over gun control in the United States, provoked by a long series of mass shootings across the country. She was accused of capitalizing on mass murder by some users, who mocked the NRA's policy of promoting gun rights.

    According to the Gun Violence Archive, which defines a "mass shooting" as an incident in which four or more persons are shot or killed, the US has seen as many as 233 mass shootings in 2018 as of August 26 compared to 346 the year before.

    The National Rifle Association is a nonprofit organization that advocates gun rights. Earlier this month, reports surfaced that it had filed a lawsuit against New York, claiming that the state's governor, Andrew Cuomo, had been illegally attempting to coerce financial companies into not doing business with it.

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    Tags:
    mass shooting, gun control, NRA, Dana Loesch, Jacksonville, Florida, United States
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