Concerned citizens attended public hearings at the New Hampshire State House today concerning a proposed “red flag” law, House Bill 687, which would allow law enforcement and concerned family members to petition for a court order to take away firearms from people posing an immediate threat to themselves or others.
The story made national news after Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts tweeted photos of the 2A lawmakers, alongside the caption, “Male New Hampshire lawmakers on the hearing committee wearing pearls to mock @MomsDemand volunteers and gun safety advocates.”
The implication, of course, being that these grieving mothers are “pearl-clutching” and overreacting to the gun violence epidemic—a blatantly sexist and flat-out wrong implication, especially when we consider that New Hampshire was recently identified as having had “one of the largest increases in suicide rates compared to other states.”
The Star Telegram adds: “In the last five years, there were just over 1,100 suicide deaths, and nearly half involved a firearm.”
Of the 13 person ERPO hearing committee, 10 of the lawmakers are men; half of them are wearing pearls to mock @MomsDemand volunteers. Meanwhile, their constituents are in tears as they testify about gun suicides and domestic gun violence in their families. #NHPolitics pic.twitter.com/eVIS73yfoR— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) March 5, 2019
Many of the Women Demand Action mothers who testified shared the ways in which gun violence has torn apart their families and lives. Margaret Tilton, was one of these moms. Her son—after being “persuaded” to hand in a gun once before—went out and got another and fatally shot himself two years ago. He was just 23 years old.
Despite the bill only being relevant in instances of extreme risk—like Margaret Tilton’s son—republicans argue that red flag laws would allow the government to take away their guns, undermining theirconstitutional rights.
In direct opposition to Women Demand Action is The Women’s Defense League, a pro Second Amendment New Hampshire organization that—according to Daily Kos—organizes rallies “with predominantly male attendees.”
The organization’s president, Kimberly Morin, said that they wear the pearls “in defense of women’s right and the Women’s Defense League since then, because we are moms just like they are only on different sides,” adding that many women on TWDL “wouldn’t testify because they felt they were in front of a firing squad.”
The irony wasn’t lost on Twitter, and neither was the feeling that the pearl necklaces worn by gun rights activists were a mockery and slap in the face to victims of gun violence.
Anyone who can mock a mother trying to prevent her kids from being shot at school needs to be voted out of office immediately. https://t.co/cOAHbTPQaK— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) March 5, 2019
Moms who want to keep their kids safe from gun violence don’t deserve this. https://t.co/oQnQatlx4x— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) March 5, 2019
To mock those who have lost so much to gun violence, and who are fighting for what they believe in, is the lowest of the low. https://t.co/ZOCh1GnkXD— Eric Swalwell (@ericswalwell) March 5, 2019
These men are making fun of women who are worried their children will be shot. https://t.co/HSsjfxs1wl— Myke Cole (@MykeCole) March 5, 2019
It takes real courage to make fun of people who don’t want to be violently killed. https://t.co/CpCO108IiD— Kashana (@kashanacauley) March 5, 2019
And this isn't the Onion? Nope, these guys actually mocked mothers of slain children and gun safety advocates. https://t.co/KHc5ptu7yQ— Colby Itkowitz (@ColbyItkowitz) March 5, 2019
Too many guns are falling into the hands of dangerous people, threatening kids' lives and making our communities less safe. These moms are fighting to confront gun violence and protect our children. They don't deserve to be mocked. We stand with you, @momsdemand. https://t.co/qizaz7a8vi— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) March 5, 2019
During the @afspnational Out of the Darkness walks people wear beads to represent their loss. Parents who have lost a child wear white beads. My son took his life with with a gun. I wear white beads. This is mercilessly cruel. @MomsDemand https://t.co/431upNC6Z5— Patti M Piatt (@PiattPatti) March 5, 2019
How dare moms not want their children to be murdered by guns. https://t.co/uQ5Vv52Cce— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) March 5, 2019
Bitches, we gave birth to you. Literally made you. You think a strand of pearls will intimidate a bunch of moms who pushed you through their vaginas? You clutch your pearls when you’re constipated. https://t.co/LnWehXBWPz— Allana (@AllanaHarkin) March 5, 2019
This is disgraceful and misogynist. https://t.co/QiKdW7Yuma— Elizabeth C. McLaughlin (@ECMcLaughlin) March 5, 2019
Moms are not "clutching their pearls" over gun violence. They are BURYING their children over gun violence. These are preventable deaths save for your selfishness & greed, #NHPolitics. You should be ashamed. #MomsDemand https://t.co/JtCsimveoQ— ElizabethSchatzDoyle (@elizabethdoyle) March 5, 2019
@NHGOP Mocking mothers isn't brave. Standing up to bullies who don't care about children dying in school, families dying in places of worship, dying at concerts, dying at the movies, dying in their homes...that's brave. Lowly weak men mocking women don't scare us.— Meredith Alison (@tea_n_toast) March 5, 2019
There’s only one thing to do: New Hampshire, vote these turds out of office.
New Hampshire’s House has 400 members - 1 for every 3000 people. Pictured below, mocking @MomsDemand, are Darryl Abbas from Salem, Scott Wallace from Danville, David Welch from Kingston. Who’s running against them next year? #NHPolitics https://t.co/P5TIL8NLYG— Rachel B. Tiven (@rachelbtiven) March 5, 2019
h/t Daily Kos