Congressional Democrats stage sit-in to demand a House vote on gun safety measures
Democrats in Congress have clearly had enough with Republican inaction on gun safety
Dozens of Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives, led by civil rights leader and U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), have had enough with U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and his Republican cohorts’ inaction on common-sense gun safety measures, so they’re staging a sit-in on the House floor until the Republican leadership of the House conducts a vote on several gun safety measures, such as prohibiting suspected terrorists from being able to obtain firearms legally:
Scores of House lawmakers took to the House floor before noon and refused to let Republicans resume regular business until the House votes on gun control. They took turns for hours talking about gun violence, ticking off mass shootings in Newtown, Conn., Charleston, S.C., San Bernardino, Calif., and Orlando, Fla., where Omar Mateen slaughtered 49 people and injured 53 others June 12.
“What is the tipping point? Are we blind? Can we see? How many more mothers, how many more fathers need to shed tears of grief before we do something?” exclaimed Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., who kicked off the sit-in. “We have been too quiet for too long. There comes a time when you have to say something, when you have to make a little noise, when you have to move your feet. This is the time. Now is the time to get in the way. The time to act is now. We will be silent no more.”
House Democrats have been joined in the sit-in by several U.S. Senate Democratic Caucus members, including, but not limited to, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Because the cameras inside the House chamber were shut off by the Republican leadership, except for a period where the House was reconvened for votes on a few measures not related to gun safety, C-SPAN, which normally provides television coverage of the raw feed of the House floor on days when the House is not in session, has used Facebook and Periscope video feeds of Democratic House members to provide coverage of the sit-in. Furthermore, Iraq War veteran and U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), who is the Democratic nominee in this year’s U.S. Senate race in Illinois, is using one of her prosthetic legs to conceal her cell phone from anyone who may try to take it away from her, whether it be a fellow Member of Congress, a Capitol Police officer, or anyone else.
The vast majority of the American people want common-sense gun safety measures like stronger background checks, closing the gun show loophole, and prohibiting those on the federal no-fly list from obtaining firearms. Republicans in the House have repeatedly refused to provide an up-or-down vote on common-sense gun safety measures.