Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin opened a Thursday night post on Twitter by saying how carefully he chooses his words.
Then he didn’t mince any.
Benjamin was critical of comments made by a spokeswoman for the NRA. He used his powerful platform, which he went to great length to say requires thought and consideration, to rail against the words of Dana Loesch.
She is the conservative talk show host, blogger and TV political commentator who was named NRA spokeswoman last year. She has gone on the offensive to defend the organization and gun rights. Both of which have received great scrutiny in the wake of the deadly mass school shooting in Florida last week.
“I’m going to say something that some people are going to say is controversial. … Many in legacy media love mass shootings. You guys love it,” Loesch said Thursday from a stage at a 2018 CPAC event, less than a 24 hours after she participated in a CNN town hall with survivors from the school shooting where 17 people died in Broward County, Fla. “Now I’m not saying that you love the tragedy, but I am saying you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold to you.”
After firing that first salvo, Loesch got off another blast where she accused the media of being racist.
“And notice I said crying white mothers, because there are thousands of grieving black mothers in Chicago every weekend and you don’t see town halls for them do you?” Loesch said.
While she received raucous applause from the American Conservative Union audience, Benjamin wasn’t clapping from Columbia.
He took to Twitter to call out Loesch for her comments.
“I’m very careful about how I use this feed, the podium, a microphone or the public square. I know that I’m responsible for not only the words that I use-but also the tone,” Benjamin tweeted, attaching a clip of Loesch speaking. “This language is shameful, sad, ignorant & maddening & should be rejected by anyone with a brain or heart.”
Benjamin’s response comes in the same week he applauded the nation’s top Republican and 2nd Amendment champion, President Donald Trump. Columbia’s mayor, a Democrat, praised the president for directing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to draft regulations that would ban devices like bump stocks that can legal guns into machine guns.
Under Benjamin’s leadership, the City of Columbia passed an ordinance Dec. 19, 2017 that banned the use of bump stocks and trigger cranks.
“I’m thankful that the City of Columbia has been able to lead the way in banning bump stocks in America and I thank the President for this positive move forward,” Benjamin told The State Tuesday.
“I believe in responsible gun ownership, and I believe in common sense,” Benjamin said after the ordinance was passed in December.
Loesch’s comments had Benjamin questioning the NRA spokeswoman’s use of the latter, as she promoted the former Thursday.