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Republicans Seem to Mock Gun Violence Victims by Wearing Pearls as They Testify
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=49311"><span class="small">Luke O'Neil, Guardian UK</span></a>   
Thursday, 07 March 2019 09:28

O'Neil writes: "A group of male Republican lawmakers in New Hampshire have come under criticism for a stunt that gun control advocates say was demeaning to victims of gun violence: donning pearl necklaces to apparently mock those testifying in front of them."

New Hampshire Republicans wear pearls during a bill hearing as gun control victims testify. (photo: Shannon Watts)
New Hampshire Republicans wear pearls during a bill hearing as gun control victims testify. (photo: Shannon Watts)


Republicans Seem to Mock Gun Violence Victims by Wearing Pearls as They Testify

By Luke O'Neil, Guardian UK

07 March 19


Advocates said message male lawmakers conveyed at bill hearing was clear: opponents of gun violence were ‘clutching their pearls’

group of male Republican lawmakers in New Hampshire have come under criticism for a stunt that gun control advocates say was demeaning to victims of gun violence: donning pearl necklaces to apparently mock those testifying in front of them.

In a hearing in the New Hampshire house of representatives on Tuesday for a bill that would make it easier to restrict access to guns for people who pose an immediate threat to themselves or others, a number of Republican male legislators turned up wearing pearls.

Advocates from the group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America said the message being conveyed was clear: opponents of gun violence were “clutching their pearls”.

“It really is shameful to behave that way when your constituents are being brave enough to share their stories,” Shannon Watts, founder of the group told the Washington Post.

Of the 13 legislators, 10 were men, and half of them were wearing pearls, Watts wrote on Twitter, sharing an image of the hearing that soon went viral. “Meanwhile, their constituents are in tears as they testify about gun suicides and domestic gun violence in their families.”

Among them were state representatives Daryl Abbas, Scott Wallace and David Welch.

Many people condemned the gesture.

Representative Debra Altschiller, a Democrat, and sponsor of the bill, shared her disapproval.

“Disappointed in the pearl clutching by @NHGOP,” she tweeted. “There are families who have lost loved ones here & this mocking prop shows how little they empathize with suicide.”

2020 presidential hopefuls including Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris also criticized the lawmakers.

“Too many guns are falling into the hands of dangerous people, threatening kids’ lives and making our communities less safe,” Harris tweeted. “These moms are fighting to confront gun violence and protect our children. They don’t deserve to be mocked. We stand with you, @momsdemand.”

“Moms who want to keep their kids safe from gun violence don’t deserve this,” Booker said.

But gun rights proponents in the Granite State say the meaning behind the pearls was misconstrued, as the New Hampshire Union Leader reported.

Kimberly Morin, president of the Women’s Defense League of NH, a women’s gun rights group, said wearing pearls has been a tactic of theirs since 2016.

“The PEARLS are in support of the Women’s Defense League. Women who ACTUALLY PROMOTE GUN SAFETY and WOMEN’S RIGHTS,” tweeted Morin.

Welch, one of the Republicans wearing pearls, said they were handed out by the Women’s Defense League to lawmakers and members of the public alike.

Watts didn’t buy the explanation.

“These lawmakers decided to wear symbols that essentially mocked the process,” she said.

“They showed they were not coming to this hearing with an open mind, and they were making light of survivors who were testifying on the suicide of a child, or women who were survivors of domestic abuse.”

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+17 # Ahimsa 2019-03-07 09:45
I thought that becoming insensitive to deadly violence and fatally permissive gun laws was the last straw. To flaunt it is a new unconscionable low. This is disgusting.
 
 
-6 # Forbes 2019-03-07 10:55
Maybe it is a gay thing - these men have come out of the closet, announcing they are butt buddies.
 
 
+2 # Harvard72 2019-03-07 16:44
Besides the total disrespect to families of gun violence, this Pearl wearing stunt is a SEXIST stunt that is insulting to all women. Republicans in the US today have no bottom of the barrel that they will not go past. They must be voted out.
 
 
-7 # skylinefirepest 2019-03-07 16:45
Ahimsa..."fatal ly permissive gun laws?" See, therein lies the problem...you liberals always seem to think that "just one more law" against the already law abiding will solve a problem. There's already thousands upon thousands of gun control laws in effect in the U.S. but they don't seem to work to y'alls satisfaction. I wonder why? Could it be that the thugs don't give a damn about your laws since they don't pay any attention to them. Are you aware that the drug problem has been eradicated by drug control laws? How about common speeding on our roads? This is why we gun owners so routinely tell you people who pee yourselves at the sight of a man with a gun to go find something to really fight about...such as alcohol...no benefits and millions of deaths...tobacc o...no benefits and millions of deaths.