Earlier this week, a group of New Hampshire legislators donned their pearls to mock gun violence prevention advocates. Yes, it’s true. A bunch of men did this thinking they were so clever. Other words come to mind but misogyny is at the top of the list. Because gun violence prevention groups have many women leading the charge, some gun rights advocates have decided that women can be intimidated and mocked with no repercussions. That’s the way it is.
Images from the statehouse — where legislators were considering arguments over a bill that would make it easier to take guns away from potentially dangerous people — caromed across social media as critics lobbed accusations of sexism and insensitivity at the necklace-wearing men.
The implication was clear, they said: These politicians thought gun-control activists were “clutching their pearls” in overwrought and self-righteous outrage — and, specifically, female outrage.
The advocates, who were volunteers with the group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said they felt mocked, as if some of the lawmakers were not interested in hearing how gun violence has affected their lives.
I wonder if any of those men have been affected by gun violence? I wonder if they had been, would they have still worn those pearls? The fact is, I have never worn pearls while advocating for common sense gun legislation or lobbying or visiting with Congress members or legislators or speaking at a meeting or holding a vigil. I have never seen any other woman do so either. But I have seen many men come dressed with armed pistols in holsters at hearings.
But then this was uttered in defense of the pearl wearing ( from the article):
Online, members of the Women’s Defense League of New Hampshire, a pro-guns organization, have said Watts and other Moms Demand Action members have it all wrong: the pearls symbolize opposition to the bill itself and support for the Second Amendment and the Women’s Defense League — support for women, not denigration of them.
“The PEARLS are in support of the Women’s Defense League. Women who ACTUALLY PROMOTE GUN SAFETY and WOMEN’S RIGHTS,” tweeted Kimberly Morin, president of the group.
I call BS. This just can’t be believed. We all know what the wearing of the pearls was all about and it wasn’t in support of women. The very bill they proclaimed opposition to will serve to protect women from harm. It’s an Extreme Risk Protection Order bill meant to keep people who could be dangerous to themselves or others from having or purchasing guns. This includes the many women who fear for their lives from domestic abuse and partners/spouses who might kill them with a firearm. From the article:
The bill, known as a “red flag” law, would allow family members and law enforcement agencies to obtain court orders that restrict gun access for individuals who may pose an immediate risk to themselves or others. If New Hampshire adopts the legislation, it would join 14 states that have done so, many in the wake of deadly mass shootings.
You can’t make this stuff up. Pearls. Not pearls of wisdom. Pearls of wisdom and common sense tell us that too many people are dying and are injured by bullets. Here are just a few of the recent shooting incidents in America that point to exactly why we need to pass stronger gun laws and change the culture around guns and gun violence:
- Sacramento teen shoots and kills his parents because he thought they were satan worshipers. He carried a gun around with him in the house all the time according to his brother. What about that is normal? Why didn’t someone report this to law enforcement? The California red flag bill is only as good as the people who will use it to get guns away from people who shouldn’t have them because they are dangerous to themselves and others.
- A Midland, Michigan officer responded to a home alarm and was shot and killed by the homeowner who thought he was a burglar. Just another law abiding gun owner with a gun for self protection using a gun to kill an innocent person. It happens too often.
- A U.S navy officer bought a bunch of guns and sold them to people who shouldn’t have been able to buy them. Just another “law abiding” gun owner doing the wrong thing and providing guns to prohibited purchasers. ” “The defendant bought and re-sold firearms so many times that, unsurprisingly, he sold some firearms to prohibited people, including a juvenile, a drug-addicted armed robber, a drug dealer trafficking in stolen firearms and many others,” Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Jackson said in court documents.”
- A “law abiding” gun owner shot himself in the penis with his loaded gun carried in his waistband. Ouch. Guns carried for self defense often lead to things like this.
- A mom was shot by a stray bullet while making breakfast for her kids. Too many guns on our streets lead to stray bullets hitting innocent people.
- A man (presumably law abiding) fires an AR15 inside of his home in an argument about guns in the home. Oy.
- A “law abiding” officer of the law ( former Marine) shot his son over drinking his vodka. Guns and alcohol don’t go together.
- A “law abiding” U.S.Capitol police officer left his gun in a Capitol bathroom. Being responsible with loaded guns is a must.
- A shooting over a handicapped parking space happened in Missouri- “law abiding” gun owner? Guns and anger don’t go together.
- An 11 year old boy used his father’s service weapon to shoot him because he was angry about not being able to play video games. 3 year old boy finds a gun and shoots and seriously injures himself These kinds of “accidental” shootings happen with regularity in America. Is anyone else concerned about this American tragedy? Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult. Kids and guns don’t go together.
- And speaking of hate and intolerance towards people of different races and religions ( were we?) a Minnesota man wisely pled guilty to brandishing a gun after issuing a racist slur at 2 young Somali women at a McDonald’s store last November. ( presumably yet another “law abiding” gun owner). Guns and hate don’t go together.
And those are just a few of the many more happening every day in America. at increasing frequency. If guns made us safer, why are these incidents happening?
These people, and everyone really, should check out End Family Fire to learn about the risk of loaded guns to themselves and others. If you decide to bring a gun into your home or carry it around with you, don’t you already understand those risks? It should be automatic but the gun lobby prefers to have people believe they will be invincible with their guns. Why is there no training required before walking out of a gun store or from a gun show with a deadly weapon? Or before allowing people to carry guns in public in many states?
But back to pearls, as I began this post.Pearls have a symbolism as described in this article:
Pearls symbolize wisdom acquired through experience. They are believed to attract wealth and luck as well as offer protection. Known for their calming effect, pearls can balance one’s karma, strengthen relationships, and keep children safe. The pearl is also said to symbolize the purity, generosity, integrity, and loyalty of its wearer.
I think I’ll wear my pearls more often.