Gun rights, gun control activists jump on Jacksonville before smoke clears

Alyssa Milano and Dana Loesch crossed virtual swords earlier this year during the National Rifle Association's annual convention in Dallas, with Milano leading an anti-gun rally in a park near the convention site and Loesch tweaking her for bringing her own armed security.

The two were among the many quickly leaping into the social media fray immediately after Sunday’s shooting at a Jacksonville, Fla. gaming tournament. Even before basic facts such as the suspected gunman’s identity were published, people on opposing sides took to social media to advocate.

Milano, a politically active actress who campaigned for Georgia Congressional candidate Jon Ossoff prior to his defeat by Karen Handelposted a message urging Florida voters to cast ballots "for candidates that reject the NRA."

NRA spokesman Loesch was just as quick on the social-media draw, posting, "If you're going to create gun free zones then have security present. Value and protect innocent life. This isn't a controversial belief. The Landing has had security concerns for some time."

PAST COVERAGE: After the Las Vegas mass shooting there was suddenly more interest in Atlanta in gun control than in gun shows

ExploreAnti-NRA activist survived a deadly shooting in Atlanta

Here is a video clip of the AJC’s interview with Milano during the anti-NRA rally:

Three people including the gunman were killed and nine others injured when David Katz, 24, of Baltimore, opened fire Sunday afternoon during a video game competition, officials said. Katz shot himself. Two other people suffered injuries other than gunshot wounds, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said during a news conference.

MORE: What we know about David Katz

Officials haven’t publicly announced a suspected motive, but people on differing sides of the gun rights/control debate were quick to express their thoughts.

David Hogg, a graduate of the Parkland, Fla. high school that was the scene of a Feb. 14 mass shooting, urged political action:


The Jacksonville Landing is a gun-free zone. Its code of conduct specifies "Possession of a weapon, even if legally carried (except by law enforcement officers) is absolutely prohibited on Landing property."

Lots of folks are pointing that out on Twitter: