NoBillNoBreak — A lesson in community

Today I learned how great people working together can make an impact. Watching the House Democrats working together to keep the #NoBillNoBreak sit-in in front of the public’s eyes.

It is amazing on several fronts:

  • Working together to make their voices heard
  • Putting the names, voices, and faces of the people killed by guns where people can hear about them and learn about the true cost
  • Using technology to make sure everyone can hear and see what is going on
  • Pulling together on a single phrase “NoBillNoBreak”
  • Pulling together on two pieces of a bill the Republican leadership won’t bring to the floor for a vote: “No Fly No Buy” and consistent background checks no matter where or how you buy the gun.

At the same time, Paul Ryan showed the world how not to react to a situation like this. Calling it a stunt. Calling it a publicity ploy. Telling everyone who will listen that it is more important to “fix” heath care than it is to hold a vote on gun control. Doing a press conference instead of calling for the vote.

While this was going on, Periscope kept a channel open so that people could listen and watch. Twitter’s community has kept the tweet stream going — at a rate of several hundred hundred tweets and retweets per minute. CSPAN worked hard to keep the channel on the air. People from all over started appearing in the gallery and on the lawn. People sent food. Everyone worked together to make sure the cell phones being used for the streaming had batteries.

I happen to agree with the Democrats: We need better gun control. But today, I admire the House Democrats for something stronger than beliefs: I admire them for making sure that they are heard.

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