Nearly one year after the tragic Parkland massacre, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel was officially dismissed from his job on Friday. New Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) blamed Israel's "repeated failures, incompetence and neglect of duty."
To be expected, Israel was not happy. In fact, in a press conference that followed DeSantis' announcement, Israel blamed the National Rifle Association for his dismissal. Dana Loesch, an NRA spokesperson, later responded to Israel's charge.
What did Israel say?
Israel claimed the NRA "controls" DeSantis, vowed to "vigorously" fight his suspension in court and before the Florida Senate, and made it clear he continues to believe the impetus for the Parkland massacre was "gun violence."
"This suspension is not about what occurred on February 14th," Israel said. "This was about politics, not about Parkland."
"Now, the National Rifle Association controls the governor's actions. And they are now trying to control law enforcement in Broward County," he added. "I understand it's easier to say 'Suspend Sheriff Israel' than it is to address the real problem: The problem around this nation of gun violence."
Under Florida law, DeSantis has the right to suspend election officials accused of "criminal activity, misfeasance, incompetence or neglect of duty," according to ABC News. Aside from court challenges, Israel has the right to challenge his suspension before the Florida Senate, which would hold a trial to uphold his dismissal or overturn it.
What did Loesch say?
Reacting to Israel's dismissal, Loesch said on Fox News the decision was widely bipartisan.
Loesch explained, according to the Daily Caller:
Everyone pretty much agreed, including the Florida Sun Sentinel that took a rare move in calling for his dismissal, that Scott Israel had to go. I know that Scott Israel, he's tried to mask his incompetency previously by calling out the NRA or calling out other individuals, but you know, Martha, this is not about the NRA. This is about what this man did not do. Having a clear policy and going after active shooters.
You know the Stoneman Douglas Commission when they were talking to deputies they learned from these deputies that the deputies could not remember the last time that they had active shooter training or what kind of training it was. And furthermore, when Scott Israel had said that they had no legal means to go and arrest this murderer, actually that was a lie too.
In response to Israel's comments on Friday where he blamed the NRA and politics for his dismissal, Loesch urged Israel to direct his message to the families of Parkland victims.
"Yeah, well, I think he needs to say that to the families. Tell the families that it was unjustified. This is not about the NRA. This is about 17 lives lost, 17 lives that should not have been lost and could've been prevented," Loesch said. "He needs to stop his politicking, he has been held accountable."
Loesch also said on Twitter:
85% of Scott Israel's deputies voted no confidence in him. Parkland parents of every political persuasion stood by the podium cheering the decision. He says this is “unjust." Tell that to the 17 families who unjustly lost a loved one. https://t.co/EkKC6vZuow
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) January 12, 2019
I'm glad that there is some justice given today. And to @ScottJIsrael , who tried to blame me and others for his incompetencies, there is so, so much I could say to you, and would, if I wasn't trying to be a better Christian. Instead, I'm just going to pray for you. Genuinely.
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) January 11, 2019