Yesterday, Georgia Rep. John Lewis staged a sit-in in response to the Senate recently rejecting several proposed bills that would see additional measures being taken by the government to enforce gun control.
Led by Lewis, who was also active alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks during the iconic Civil Rights Movement of the ’60s, House Democrats took over the floor at 11:25 am on Wednesday to demand votes from Republican leadership in favor of gun control bills. Specifics of the proposed measures that were swiftly rejected by the GOP-led Senate include mandates that would impose universal background checks on anyone looking to purchase firearms and also prohibit suspected terrorists on no-fly lists from being able to purchase guns. Republicans voted against these and other measures related to additional gun control laws earlier this week.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and his Republican counterparts attempted to intervene and have the sit-in shut down by officially adjourning the body until July 5, but Lewis and the others participating in the sit-in stood their ground. “Speaker Ryan, we will not leave without acting for the victims & families of reckless gun violence,” Lewis tweeted on Wednesday afternoon following Paul Ryan’s official call for a recess.
GOP leaders have also taken steps to shut off the cameras on the House floor as to prevent any broadcasting of the sit-in by the media, but the 20-plus Democratic participants found a way around that too. According to CNN, Rep. Mark Takano located an external power source and plugged his phone in to livestream the sit-in via his Facebook page. House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi has vowed that they will continue to do whatever it takes to see to it that additional gun control measures are passed, adding that the sit-in would continue “until hell freezes over.”
The Congressional gun-control dispute comes on the heels of the horrific Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando that saw gunman Omar Marteen open fire and claim the lives of 49 clubgoers at the LGBT venue on June 12.
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