NH Dem Behind Gun Control Bill Scoffs At Pearls Excuse: ‘They’re Trying To Backpedal’

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March 6, 2019 2:22 p.m.

New Hampshire state Rep. Debra Altschiller (D) had little time for the explanation that her male peers wore pearls Tuesday as a sign of solidarity with the pro-gun rights Women’s Defense League, saying that they’re “trying to backpedal” after the backlash.

“I think that’s a lovely way to put a shine on what we all know is an untrue statement,” Altschiller said on CNN. “You can put lipstick on that, but it’s not going to shine it up.”

“Those pearls or plastic white beads, if you will, were something that the Women’s Defense League came up with about a month ago because they have for over two years been mocking Moms Demand Action and calling members of Moms Demand Action ‘pearl-clutchers’ and accusing them of false outrage whenever they are calling attention to the epidemic of gun violence in our country,” she continued. “When they show up with a prop that supports what they have been doing online and in their blogs and in their presence…you know exactly what they’re talking about.”

Altschiller is the sponsor behind the emergency risk protective order legislation that was being debated at the meeting. The bill would temporarily suspend gun rights for individuals deemed a risk to themselves or others.

WDL members handed out the beads to at least five male Republicans on the House Committee on Public Safety, said Shannon Watts, founder of the gun control group Moms Demand Action. Identifiable in pictures as wearing the pearls are Republican Reps. Daryl Abbas, Scott Wallace and David Welch. None of the three responded to requests for comment.

Watts also interpreted the pearls as an insult and said that her volunteers were “disgusted.”

Rep. John Hunt, a Republican on the panel who did not wear the pearls because he forgot his at home, told TPM that the “anti-gunners” need to “get over themselves” and reiterated the excuse that they were a gesture of solidarity with the WDL.

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