Outrage after US politicians wear pearls during gun control debate

Outrage after US politicians wear pearls during gun control debate
Photo credit: Shannon Watts / Twitter

Lawmakers in the United States have sparked outrage after wearing pearls to a meeting with gun control activists.

On Wednesday (local time), New Hampshire House of Representative Republicans met with gun control activists to discuss a new Bill aimed at curbing gun violence.

If passed, House Bill 687-FN would allow authorities and family members to obtain court orders restricting access to guns for potentially dangerous people.

While gun violence has long been a major point of contention of lawmakers in the United States, it was the accessorising of the Republicans, who oppose the Bill, that has caused controversy.

Critics of the Republicans suggested the decision to wear pearls was offensive, with some believing it to be a reference by the lawmakers to the phrase 'clutching their pearls'.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, to clutch your pearls means behave shocked "especially when you show more shock than you really feel in order to show that you think something is morally bad".

"Male New Hampshire lawmakers on the hearing committee wearing pearls to mock [gun safety advocates]," tweeted Shannon Watts, the founder of gun control advocacy group MomsDemand, with images of the lawmakers wearing pearls.

Democratic presidential candidates have also weighed in, condemning the state representatives.

"Moms who want to keep their kids safe from gun violence don't deserve this," tweeted Cory Booker, while Kamala Harris said: "These moms are fighting to confront gun violence and protect our children. They don't deserve to be mocked".

But Kimberly Morin, the president of the Second Amendment support group Women's Defence League of New Hampshire, told Yahoo that the pearls were mean to represent women's freedom.

According to Ms Morin, members of her group regularly wear pearls at hearings and the Republican lawmakers were simply representing them.

"What sort of disgusting human lies about men who support women's rights and a women's organization who actually promote gun safety and supporting the 2nd Amendment - you know, an actual woman's right?" Ms Morin later tweeted.

The politicians at the centre of the outrage have yet to comment.


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