Lewis, House Democrats stage sit-in over gun control vote

[private]U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Atlanta, a veteran of the 1960s civil rights movement, used a tactic from that era as he and other House Democrats staged a sit-in Wednesday to demand a vote on gun control legislation.

“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,” said Lewis, 76, one of the few living civil rights leaders from the 1960s.  “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.”

“We have lost hundreds and thousands of innocent people to gun violence — tiny, little children.  Students and teachers.  Mothers and fathers. Sisters and brothers.  Daughters and sons.  Friends and neighbors,” Lewis said.Lewissitin2

“And what has this body done, Mr. Speaker?” he said.  “Nothing.  Not one thing.  We have turned deaf ears to the blood of the innocent and the concerns of our nation.   We are blind to a crisis.”

There was no indication that the tactic would be effective, however.  Speaker Paul Ryan and the House Republican leadership adjourned Wednesday’s session and shut off the C-Span video cameras that normally broadcast activities in the House chamber.

“The House cannot operate without members following the rules of the institution, so the House has recessed subject to the call of the chair,” said Ryan’s spokesperson, AshLee Strong.

Lewis and several dozen of his Democratic colleagues sat on the House floor and used social media to send out messages and photos of their protest.

Wednesday’s demonstration followed unsuccessful attempts on Monday to pass four gun control measures in the Senate.  Each of the bills failed to get the 60 votes necessary to overcome filibusters.

The congressional battles over gun control were prompted by the June 12 shootings at a gay nightclub in Orlando that killed 49 people, one of the deadliest gun incidents in the country’s history.

© 2016 by The Georgia Report


Tags: gun control legislation , John Lewis , Paul Ryan , U.S. House