Supporters have flocked to the defense of Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, after the National Rifle Association, intentionally or not, incited their followers to attack her on social media, Yahoo! reports. Following a post shared by the NRA, Watts has been flooded with death threats and then mocked for deleting the threatening comments.
Following a tweet in which Watts criticized the NRA for their work in advocating on behalf of armor piercing ammunition, the NRA struck back with a series of posts of their own.
“.@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?” the NRA posted on both Twitter and Instagram. Supporters of the NRA came out in droves to attack Watts on a variety of social media platforms, with many doubling down on the attacks after the death threats became apparent, criticizing not only her gun control argument, but her response to the escalating threats of violence.
“Maybe because you’re a f***ing imbecile lobbying to take unalienable basic human rights of your fellow citizens. Maybe you SHOULD receive death threats,” wrote one Instagram user.
They're proud of this? "In response to claims that 'armor piercing ammunition' could penetrate police body armor, ... the @NRA stepped up, once again, and performance-based ammunition bans have been repeatedly defeated at the federal level." https://t.co/dlFMCAe2IH— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) May 7, 2019
As she deleted the offending comments, Watts took screenshots of them and shared them on Twitter, drawing further attention to the aggression of her detractors. Ultimately, Watts shut off comments completely on her Instagram page, leading the NRA to once again call attention to her and critique her for her alleged inability to “handle the facts.” The organization at the same time accused Watts of taking their statements about armor-piercing bullets out of context for the purpose of advancing her anti-gun cause.
According to Watts, it was the death threats against her children then led her to disable comments altogether.
Yet even as she was attacked by one group, others came quickly to her defense, with social media lighting up with supportive messages and criticism of her attackers. In response to accusations that she was a paid anti-gun lobbyist making thousands, if not millions, a year, Watts detailed the publicly available salaries of a handful of NRA leaders including Wayne LaPierre ($5 million a year), Chris Cox ($2 million a year), Dana Loesch ($1 million a year), and Colion Noir ($1 million a year).
She saved herself for last.
“Me: $-0 (I’m a volunteer and donor),” she wrote in the close of her tweet.