At least three Republican lawmakers in the House have been sporting tiny assault rifle pins on their lapels amid an alarming series of mass shootings — and critics are exploding.
“To promote that on the floor of the House is despicable and an insult to all of the victims of assault weapons,” Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) told a Nexstar Media reporter.
Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.) said that “anybody can wear whatever they want, but you have to have some common decency.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.), who has worn the lapel pin for years, said in a tweet that he distributed them to his colleagues to “remind people of the Second Amendment of the Constitution and how important it is in preserving our liberties.” He appeared proud that he was “triggering” Democrats.
Reps. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) and George Santos (R-N.Y.) have both been photographed wearing the pins. Luna did so on Monday less than 48 hours after a mass shooting in her state that injured 11 people, two of them critically. There were six mass shootings in Florida in January.
“You can’t make this sh*t up,” Gomez tweeted.
He also pointed out the utter heartlessness of wearing the pins during Gun Violence Survivors Week — and noted that Clyde is the owner of a major gun retailer in Georgia that profits from gun use.
In response to one of Gomez’s comments, Luna bizarrely tweeted a photo of a signed, handwritten note apparently taped to a House office door saying: “Jimmy, stop trying to date me!” — with the rifle pin attached.
As of early February, the Gun Violence Archive counted 54 mass shootings in the U.S. in 2023. Six of them involved four or more fatalities.
Though handguns are most often used in mass shootings, AR-15-style semi-automatic rifles or similar guns — just like the ones the lapel pins depict — are increasingly a mass shooter’s weapon of choice, USA Today reported.