Local Democrats Join Unprecedented House Sit-in For Gun Control

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In a nod to decades-old, traditional-style protesting, several local Democrats were among more than 200 total to participate in a sit-in on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday, demanding tighter gun control in the wake of Orlando’s mass shooting[1] — the worst mass shooting in the country’s history.

Representatives Bob Brady, Mike DoyleBrendan Boyle and Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania and Donald Norcross of New Jersey joined in to demand a vote on legislation that would bolster background checks and prohibit suspected terrorists from purchasing guns. Democrats called on House Speaker Paul Ryan to debate and vote on gun legislation next week, despite a scheduled recess.

Currently protesting on the House floor-our nation deserves a vote on gun control legislation including my bill supporting local gun laws.

— Bob Brady (@RepBrady) June 22, 2016[2]

I'm here to #holdthefloor[3] at #sitin[4] for victims of #PulseShooting[5] & all victims of #gunviolence[6] – #NoBillNoBreak[7] pic.twitter.com/heMwuBgfe8[8]

— Donald Norcross (@DonaldNorcross) June 23, 2016[9]

Fed-up Dems just occupied House Floor – won’t move until we get a vote on No-Fly, No-Buy. pic.twitter.com/cIrWgrMnC0[10]

— Mike Doyle (@USRepMikeDoyle) June 22, 2016[11]

They chanted, “No bill, no break.”

Representative John Lewis, a highly regarded civil rights leader, helped lead the effort.

Do we have the courage? Do we have raw courage to at least make a down payment on ending gun violence in America? #holdthefloor[3] #goodtrouble[12]

— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) June 22, 2016[13]

When Republicans in the House administration shut down broadcasting cameras, C-SPAN picked up feeds from the cellphones of Democrats who recorded, shared and periscoped[14] the sit-in. It was an unprecedented move.

Democrats sang, “We Shall Overcome[15]” and held up signs with the names of victims of gun violence. Ryan yelled “Shame! Shame!” as he attempted to continue business as usual, writing off the sit-in as a staged “publicity stunt,” according to the Associated Press[16].

In an interview with CNN[17], Ryan said there would be no vote.

The protest began around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. The chamber was adjourned by Republicans at 3:15 a.m. Thursday, but as of 7:30 a.m. Thursday, 12 Democrats were still sitting on the floor, according to the AP. Minority leader Nancy Pelosi was among them.

The House isn’t expected to pick up session until after July 4th.

Last week, Representative Chris Murphy waged a nearly 15-hour filibuster[18] to force votes on gun legislation in the Senate. On Monday, four gun control measures were voted down[19].

Democrats posted the Capitol’s main telephone number, which was “overwhelmed” during the sit-in, according to the AP. They also encouraged tweeting under the hashtag #NoBillNoBreak.

A crowd gathered outside the building.

After speaking on floor during our #sitin[4] I walked outside & spoke to crowd that's gathered here tonight #inspiring[20] pic.twitter.com/77xOohuDFv[21]

— US Rep Brendan Boyle (@RepBrendanBoyle) June 23, 2016[22]

An honor to stand with you & sit with you today in this fight @repjohnlewis[23] #NoBillNoBreak[7] #NoFlyNoBuy[24] pic.twitter.com/aAW7Df2TKJ[25]

— US Rep Brendan Boyle (@RepBrendanBoyle) June 23, 2016[26]

Thank you John Lewis for leading on gun violence where we need it most. https://t.co/vctfqAH5Wt[27]

— President Obama (@POTUS44) June 22, 2016[28]

.@SpeakerRyan[29], we will not leave without acting for the victims & families of reckless gun violence. #NoBillNoBreak[7] pic.twitter.com/eTB1WMATMd[30]

— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) June 23, 2016[31]

LIVE on #Periscope[32] https://t.co/jlvNm3WJJr[33]

— Scott Peters (@ScottPetersSD) June 23, 2016[34]

They can turn off the cameras but they can't keep us quiet. #NoMoreSilence[35]. We want a vote on gun reforms pic.twitter.com/ETZX1WM03b[36]

— Rep. John Larson (@RepJohnLarson) June 22, 2016[37]

This is leadership. https://t.co/8y5fYqRFGU[38]

— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) June 22, 2016[39]

Follow @ClaireSasko[40] on Twitter.

Endnotes:
  1. Orlando’s mass shooting: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/13/us/orlando-nightclub-shooting.html
  2. June 22, 2016: https://twitter.com/RepBrady/status/745651623440060417?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  3. #holdthefloor: https://twitter.com/hashtag/holdthefloor?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  4. #sitin: https://twitter.com/hashtag/sitin?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  5. #PulseShooting: https://twitter.com/hashtag/PulseShooting?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  6. #gunviolence: https://twitter.com/hashtag/gunviolence?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  7. #NoBillNoBreak: https://twitter.com/hashtag/NoBillNoBreak?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  8. pic.twitter.com/heMwuBgfe8: https://t.co/heMwuBgfe8
  9. June 23, 2016: https://twitter.com/DonaldNorcross/status/745843411043950592?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  10. pic.twitter.com/cIrWgrMnC0: https://t.co/cIrWgrMnC0
  11. June 22, 2016: https://twitter.com/USRepMikeDoyle/status/745641984807813122?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  12. #goodtrouble: https://twitter.com/hashtag/goodtrouble?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  13. June 22, 2016: https://twitter.com/repjohnlewis/status/745717018947629056?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  14. periscoped: https://www.periscope.tv/w/1MYGNBELmWnGw
  15. We Shall Overcome: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhnPVP23rzo
  16. Associated Press: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_GUN_CONTROL_DEMOCRATS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2016-06-23-07-59-52
  17. CNN: https://www.cnn.com/2016/06/22/politics/paul-ryan-sit-in-guns-publicity-stunt/
  18. nearly 15-hour filibuster: https://www.phillymag.com/news/2016/06/16/pa-senators-gun-control-filibuster/
  19. voted down: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/21/us/politics/gun-vote-senate.html?_r=0
  20. #inspiring: https://twitter.com/hashtag/inspiring?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  21. pic.twitter.com/77xOohuDFv: https://t.co/77xOohuDFv
  22. June 23, 2016: https://twitter.com/RepBrendanBoyle/status/745862328416108546?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  23. @repjohnlewis: https://twitter.com/repjohnlewis?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  24. #NoFlyNoBuy: https://twitter.com/hashtag/NoFlyNoBuy?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  25. pic.twitter.com/aAW7Df2TKJ: https://t.co/aAW7Df2TKJ
  26. June 23, 2016: https://twitter.com/RepBrendanBoyle/status/745876834504548352?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  27. https://t.co/vctfqAH5Wt: https://t.co/vctfqAH5Wt
  28. June 22, 2016: https://twitter.com/POTUS44/status/745674203286773761?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  29. @SpeakerRyan: https://twitter.com/SpeakerRyan?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  30. pic.twitter.com/eTB1WMATMd: https://t.co/eTB1WMATMd
  31. June 23, 2016: https://twitter.com/repjohnlewis/status/745949320927666176?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  32. #Periscope: https://twitter.com/hashtag/Periscope?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  33. https://t.co/jlvNm3WJJr: https://t.co/jlvNm3WJJr
  34. June 23, 2016: https://twitter.com/ScottPetersSD/status/745853151589318657?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  35. #NoMoreSilence: https://twitter.com/hashtag/NoMoreSilence?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  36. pic.twitter.com/ETZX1WM03b: https://t.co/ETZX1WM03b
  37. June 22, 2016: https://twitter.com/RepJohnLarson/status/745639410717310976?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  38. https://t.co/8y5fYqRFGU: https://t.co/8y5fYqRFGU
  39. June 22, 2016: https://twitter.com/BillClinton/status/745656620668026880?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  40. @ClaireSasko: http://twitter.com/clairesasko

Source URL: https://www.phillymag.com/news/2016/06/23/house-sit-in-gun-control/