Male GOP lawmakers slammed for wearing pearls to gun legislation hearing as gun violence victims testify
Gun safety campaigners slammed the politicians online for invoking "clutching at pearls" imagery, a phrase generally used to mock women in particular.
Male Republican lawmakers were slammed on Tuesday for wearing pearl necklaces as they attended a gun legislation hearing and listened to activists share stories of gun violence at the New Hampshire House of Representatives.
Soon after the lawmakers made an appearance wearing pearls, gun safety campaigners slammed the politicians online for invoking the "clutching at pearls" imagery, a phrase generally used to mock women in particular.
The founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Shannon Watts, while talking to The Washington Post, said: "It really is shameful to behave that way when your constituents are being brave enough to share their stories. They clearly did not come to this hearing with open minds or compassion for their constituents."
Reports state that activists from Mom Demands Action were describing their experiences of gun violence at a hearing for a "red flag" bill, which would assist in restricting firearms access to people who are deemed to pose an immediate risk to themselves or others.
Watts reportedly said that a Republican father, at the hearing, described how his son bought the firearm he used to kill himself "despite his psychiatric hospitalizations and his encounters with law enforcement. While being an immediate risk to himself [he] was able to walk into a gun store and purchase a handgun."
She added that nearly 10 to 13 lawmakers presiding over the hearing were men and half of them wore pearl necklaces, with one even wearing a pin shaped like a semi-automatic rifle. Some of these lawmakers included Republican representatives Daryl Abbas, Scott Wallace and David Welch.
The founder also posted pictures of the hearing online, which was shared by over 3,000 users, including survivors of the Parkland school shooting.
Watts, in her post on Twitter, wrote that male lawmakers were "wearing pearls to mock Moms Demand volunteers" as their constituents "[testified] about gun suicides and domestic gun violence in their families" in tears.
Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was killed at the Marjory Stoneman High School shooting in Parkland, slammed the lawmakers on Twitter, saying that the "idea of gun safety is a joke" for some people.
"For some, the idea of gun safety is a joke. For others like me, it is something we live with every day. Shame on these lawmakers but glad they thought it was ok to expose themselves. Step by step, we will defeat them," Guttenberg wrote.
Another Twitter user wrote: "I had to double check that this was in our country. Where legislators mock constituents."
However, pro-gun activist Kimberly Morin disagreed with Watts's interpretation and said that the Women’s Defense League of New Hampshire gave beads to several lawmakers as a symbolic gesture in support of her group.
“We are moms just like they are, only on different sides,” she said, according to The New Hampshire Union Leader.