A new report suggests a disturbing trend of “gun extremists” threatening and intimidating women who are trying to curb shootings in the United States.
The article published by Mother Jones on Thursday examines groups of women who were targeted after organizing to promote gun safety.
In one recent example, a firearm instructor in Florida made a video of himself using a “Moms Demand Action” flier for target practice.
“Happy Mother’s Day!” he said after praising his “grouping” of bullet holes on the flier. The video was then posted to the “Moms Demand Action” Facebook page.
Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts told Mother Jones that after facing endless attacks from critics, she often asks herself: “Why does this person want to kill or rape or silence me?”
“I think the answer is that this issue touches a cultural nerve based on gender, geography, and other politics,” Watts explained. “There are pundits who make a good deal of money encouraging this type of anger.”
Earlier this month, the group Open Carry Texas began publishing the names and numbers of employees at a local Jack in the Box restaurant after those employees called police because they felt threatened by armed protesters.
Open Carry Texas member Brett Sanders posted a video on YouTube that included the name of one woman, a high school teacher, who had called police on armed protesters at a shopping mall.
The woman told Mother Jones that her voice mail quickly filled up with vulgar threats, calling her names like “stupid bitch” and “motherfucking whore.”
She recalled that one caller referred to her as a “piece of shit,” and another threatened her with a gun.
“I really felt strongly about not changing my cellphone number—I’m not going to be intimidated,” she said. “But it just got to the point where it’s not worth it.”
Read the complete Mother Jones report here.
Watch the videos below from Mother Jones, broadcast May 14, 2014.