Democrats Protested Gun Laws in Heroic Sit-In
Meet the heroes without capes: The democrats that staged a sit-in demanding for a vote for gun control. In the wake of the Orlando shooting, gun reform is needed now more than ever. But what’s heartbreaking is that those same words have been spoken before. We also needed gun reform “now more than ever” in 2012, when Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary and fatally shot 20 children. Yet here we are again. If the lives of children weren’t going to end this debate, why would Orlando be any different?
Yesterday, over 45 senators voted against gun background checks, including alleged zodiac killer and definite transphobic poster boy Ted Cruz. However this time, the House floor democrats seem to have finally hit a breaking point. Democratic Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district and civil rights leader John Lewis took the floor with his fellow Democrats to give a spine-chilling speech demanding a vote for gun reform.
“Mass shootings are becoming more and more frequent,” said Rep. Lewis. “Mr. Speaker, this is a fight. It is not an opinion. We must remove the blinders. The time for silence and patience is gone! 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!” Rep. Lewis then took a seat on the floor with 25 fellow Democrats, after which more started to trickle in.
The peaceful protest continued throughout the day, interrupted only by C-SPAN which abruptly shut off its cameras. Interestingly, those cameras are controlled not by C-SPAN, but instead by the House—a fact that C-SPAN was not shy to share with its Twitter followers. And luckily, some people in the room knew how to use Periscope (hi Scott Peters).
C-SPAN has no control over the U.S. House TV cameras.
— CSPAN (@cspan) June 22, 2016
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) June 22, 2016
— Scott Peters (@ScottPetersSD) June 23, 2016
Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House and certified fuccboi, went on to call the sit-in a publicity stunt, presumably in an attempt to rob it of its legitimacy. But Ryan’s ploy wasn’t going to be met without a fight; masses in favor of gun reform gathered outside the sit-in, which lasted for more than 25 hours.
Why do I call this a publicity stunt? Because it is. If not, why are Democrats trying to raise money off it?https://t.co/zryXADvUdw
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) June 23, 2016
Eventually, the C-SPAN cameras were turned back on. Over a room filled with angry congressmen and women shouting “No bill! No break!” Ryan announced, “The Chair appreciated that members will differ on matters of policy and seek to express those differences. But the Chair would hope that the business of the House would be conducted in a fashion that respects positively on the dignity and the decorum of this institution to which we all belong.”
— CSPAN (@cspan) June 23, 2016
We cannot simply wait for another mass shooting. The House turned into a madhouse and Ryan’s request for orderly manner was insulting. Acting “in a fashion that respects positively on the dignity and the decorum of this institution” is what we’ve been doing forever, and it clearly hasn’t worked. When the law fails its citizens, we have no choice but to take matters into our own hands. To all the people who protested yesterday for innocent lives that were lost, you are the real heroes.
Images via NBC News.
Stay tuned to Milk for more on gun control.