House Democrats have had enough of Republican refusal to allow a vote on gun control, so they are staging a sit in on the House floor and demanding a vote on common sense gun reform legislation.
Video of Rep. John Lewis beginning the sit-in:
Before the sit-in began, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) said:
I would ask that all of my colleagues join me on the floor…For months, even for years, through several sessions of Congress, I wondered what would bring this body together to take action. What would finally make Congress do what is right, what is just, what the people of this country have been demanding, and what is long overdue. We have lost hundreds and thousands of innocent people to gun violence. Tiny little children, babies, students, and teachers. Mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers, daughters and sons, friends and neighbors. What has this body done? Mr. Speaker, not one thing. We have turned deaf ears to the blood of the innocent, and the concern of our nation.
We’re calling on the leadership of the House to bring common sense gun control legislation to the House floor. Give us a vote. Let us vote!!! We came here to do our jobs. We came here to work. The American people are demanding action. Do we have courage? Do we have the raw courage to make at least a down payment on ending gun violence in America? We can no longer wait. We can no longer be patient.
So today we come to the floor of the House to dramatize the need for action. Not next year, but now, today. Sometimes you have to do something out of the ordinary. Sometimes you have to make a way out of no way. 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. 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. The time for silence is over.
Rep. John Yarmuth tweeted the scene from the House floor:
— Rep. John Yarmuth (@RepJohnYarmuth) June 22, 2016
Rep. Donna Edwards also tweeted:
— Rep Donna F Edwards (@repdonnaedwards) June 22, 2016
Sit in leader and civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis tweeted:
— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) June 22, 2016
House Democrats are done being silent. They are taking action, and they are engaging in a non-violent protest that will continue until Speaker Paul Ryan allows a vote on common sense gun control legislation. Democrats are taking action to save lives, while Republicans continue to cater to the terrorist-enabling NRA.
This isn’t an election year issue. It is a movement to take action against the climate of senseless mass death that has gripped our nation.
The time for sadness, talk, debate, and vigils is over. It is time now for the American people to act.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association