Moms Face Online Harassment After Visit to the Capitol

Tuesday, volunteers with Moms Demand Action, a group that organizes around common sense gun reform, came to Jefferson City to talk with their legislators about an anti-business gun bill. It's a bill that has serious effects, but has made few headlines. That's partially why it is so odd a covertly taken picture of the volunteers ended up on a gun lobby facebook page.

Then the comments started rolling in

The Post-Dispatch reported:

Volunteers for a Missouri moms group for gun control ended up in the crosshairs of a gun lobbyist's Facebook page. 

The volunteers from the Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America visited the state Legislature Tuesday to talk to lawmakers about HB 96, a business liability bill. A photo of a volunteer ended up on the Facebook page of Missouri Firearms Coalition, a gun lobbyist. 

Some of the comments others made on the photo call for shooting the volunteers. Another asked, "Why are these (expletives) still above ground." 

Missourians who visit the Capitol to speak with their legislators should never be harassed for doing so. And while it is wrong for individuals to post threatening comments online, it is also inexcusable for group leaders to provide a platform for that kind of behavior, which the Missouri Firearms Coalition did by posting the unapproved photos and not deleting the offensive comments right away.

The Missouri Firearms Coalition describes itself on its site as working to "expose gun control and anti-gun legislators at every turn" and as a "no compromise, no nonsense, and unrelenting organization." 

The coalition has not yet responded to a call for comment about the post. 

Kristin Bowen, a Missouri volunteer with Moms Demand, wrote about the experience on her own Facebook profile, where she said the photo was taken without permission.   

"This morning I went to Jeff City with a group of Moms volunteers — along with a few of our kids, because it's spring break — to oppose a business-bashing gun bill ...The resulting post attracts threats to shoot us, casual jokes about sexual assault..."

She wrote that what made her most angry was that "these people all feel perfectly entitled to spew threats and hate on a public Facebook page under their own names. Hours have gone by and MOFC not only hasn't removed any of these threats, (the administrator) posted the same photo again."

"We are not going to be intimidated by this threatening language," Bowen, who lives in Columbia, Mo. said. "We are in this work, and that's why went to Jefferson City — to talk to our lawmakers."

The gun lobby's deep pockets and attention have turned to McCaskill

This week the launch of a million dollar campaign targeted at Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill was announced.

Washington Examiner:

The National Rifle Association on Tuesday will begin targeting four Senate Democrats facing potentially tough reelections with a $1 million TV campaign that urges the confirmation of federal appeals judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

Golden boy of the gun lobby, Neil Gorsuch, is clearly a priority of the NRA's agenda — and that's truly scary.

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