Activist, Shannon Watts, founded Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America the day after the Sandy Hook massacre. As mass shootings continue, the group has grown rapidly and now features over 4 million members.
Watts’ activism has been a significant thorn in the side of the National Rifle Association and their leaders. Recently, the NRA began asking supporters on their Instagram and Twitter feeds to harass her online.
The NRA began by posting a tweet with a question for Watts, “Shannon Watts deceptively cherry picks NRAIL article. What she leaves out is that all centerfire rifle ammunition pierces soft body armor. So to be clear, Shannon, you want to ban all rifle ammunition used for self-defense, sport, and hunting?”
.@ShannonRWatts deceptively cherry picks @NRAILA article. What she leaves out is that all centerfire rifle ammunition pierces soft body armor. So to be clear, Shannon, you want to ban all rifle ammunition used for self-defense, sport, and hunting? https://t.co/VmdmBIvwUF
— NRA (@NRA) May 7, 2019
The organization then asked their Instagram followers to “TELL SHANNON WATTS WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT AMMUNITION BANS.”
Watts’ feed was quickly deluged with comments like, “Maybe because you’re a f*cking imbecile lobbying to take unalienable basic human rights of your fellow citizens. Maybe you SHOULD receive death threats.”
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) May 8, 2019
After receiving these types of messages, the activist deleted the comments section on her Instagram page. The NRA mocked her for this decision as well. The group wrote:
“Shannon Watts has disabled comments on Instagram because she couldn’t handle the facts. This all started when Shannon deceptively cherry-picked from our article and left out that all centerfire rifle ammunition pierces soft body armor. So, Shannon, please answer our question: Do you want to ban all rifle ammunition used for self-defense, sport, and hunting?”
The NRA continued their attack on Watts this morning by tweeting, “This time she claims the NRA is afraid of a mom. There’s just one problem with Watts’ assertion. She’s not just a mom. She’s not just a community activist. She’s Michael Bloomberg’s personal lobbyist whose main goal is to disarm other women and moms.”
Watts has since responded with the following, after receiving death threats against herself and her children from unhinged social media users:
Yep – I disabled the comments after receiving several dozen death threats against me and my children, which is exactly why the @NRA tagged me in the first place.
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) May 9, 2019
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com, and PoliticusUSA. An avid pet lover, he has been known to contribute to Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology, and spending time at the shore with his family.