House Democrats Organize A Sit-In For Gun Control Reform, Refusing To Accept The Senate’s Inaction

Democrats will not take “no” for an answer when it comes to stricter gun control laws. They simply won’t stand for the Senate’s recent refusal to budge — literally, they aren’t standing. On Wednesday, Democrats staged a sit-in on the House floor over gun control in response to the Senate voting down four proposed gun measures Monday, including one that would have denied people on terrorist watch lists the right to purchase firearms.

The Senate voted on the bills in the first place thanks to Democratic Senator Chris Murphy from Massachusetts, who filibustered for 15 hours last week to force action on gun measures in Congress. Although the Senate refused to budge, Murphy’s efforts are not lost yet. The House refuses to accept the inaction and isn’t budging until something is done.

Georgia Representative John Lewis began the sit-in Wednesday morning, and has many supporters both sitting on the floor next to him and anxiously watching from home or work. Other democratic supporters include Representative Donna Edwards of Maryland, Representative Elizabeth Esty of Connecticut, Representative Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, and Representative Steve Cohen of Tennessee.

It wouldn’t technically be a movement if it didn’t have a hashtag now would it? Democrats on the floor and supporters alike tweeted about the sit-in using #NoBillNoBreak.

The president himself is backing the noble cause too.

According to The Huffington Post, Lewis, started the effort with a “fiery, sermon-like denunciation of Congress for its failure to act in the wake of mass shootings.” Lewis said on the House floor:

“For months, even for years, through seven sessions of Congress, I wondered, what would bring this body to take action? We have lost hundreds and thousands of innocent people to gun violence. Tiny little children. Babies. Students. And teachers. Mother and fathers. Sisters and brothers. Daughters and sons. Friends and neighbors. And what has this body done? Mr. Speaker, not one thing.

Sometimes you have to do something out of the ordinary. Sometimes you have to make a way out of no way. We’ve been quiet for too long. Now is the time to get in the way. We will be silent no more. The time for silence is over.”

Drastic times call for drastic measures. This is no exaggeration for the state of our country right now.

We have an idea of what the overall goal is here: stricter gun control laws and therefore a safer place to live. Lewis and the other Democrats refusing to move off the House floor want a bipartisan bill that would make it more difficult for people on terrorist watch lists to buy guns and enforce stricter background check guidelines.

Our representatives are clearly, finally, doing everything they can to ensure that this happens. They are literally attempting to take the vote by force. You can watch the sit-in live via C-SPAN.