On Wednesday, June 22nd Democratic House Members stood together to stage a sit-in on the House floor in an attempt to force their Republican colleagues to vote on gun-control. The mastermind behind the strategy was Representative John Lewis (D-GA) borrowing from his time as a civil rights activist. Their protest lasted throughout the day and overnight and did not end until earlier today.
The sit-in/protest may be over for now, but Rep. John Lewis has vowed to return to Congress after the break on July 5th “more determined than ever before” . The sit-in began on Wednesday morning and despite efforts by Republicans to shut it down earlier in the day, House Democrats continued to stay put. A few members would go outside from time to time to speak to the waiting media and you hear them chanting “No Bill, No Break!” in the hope that they could delay the recess. Despite their attempts, Republicans voted unanimously to deal with all of that until Congress returns on June 5th (Wow…what a nice job).
So just how tough did the Dems have it while they were sitting on that floor? Well, first the cameras were shut off by Republican House leaders. All House and Senate hearings are televised daily (all day) on C-Span, but Democrats just worked around that by logging onto Facebook (CLE-ver)! Social media proved to be invaluable as the Dems toughened it out until earlier today when they finally decided to end it after there was no legislative action. Lewis tweeted to his constituents and supporters saying “By sitting-in, we were really standing up.”
The House, just like the Senate, has failed to take action on gun-control. Unlike the Senate, however, it was refreshing to see the Democratic members of the House show their discontent and frustration. It seemed that all the Republican representatives wanted to do was make their flight and start their vacation. Just a week ago, nearly every representative (Democrats and Republicans) was saying how they were going to work to make sure what happened in Orlando at the Pulse nightclub would not happen again. Well…here we are and NOTHING has changed.
The big difference between the two parties on this issue is that the Republicans see the Orlando shooting as the need to beef up the fight against terrorism whereas the Democrats see it as a need to control who has access to guns and the type of guns that can be accessed. To be fair, both sides agree that something needs to be done about both; however, they are weighing each issue differently.
Hopefully, Democrats and Republicans will not let politics blind them from reaching a consensus on how to prevent another tragic shooting like what happened in Orlando
Thanks for “listening” to me whine. Hopefully my whining has made you think. If so, tell your friends/family/colleagues that you heard it through the Political Great Whine!