Last Wednesday, Senate Democrats held a fifteen-hour filibuster for increased gun control. Today, House Democrats, led by Georgia congressman John Lewis, are holding a sit-in to force a vote on increased gun control, following a shooting that killed 49 at a gay nightclub in Orlando last week.
“Sometimes you have to do something out of the ordinary, sometimes you have to make a way out of no way,” said Lewis. “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. 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.”
Lewis is joined by 30 other House Democrats. The sit-in calls for a vote on two gun control bills before recessing after the Senate rejected four gun control policies on Monday. One bill bars people from the no-fly list from buying firearms and the other increases background checks for buying guns.
The protest is not being broadcast on live television since the House is currently in recess, but many congressmen are broadcasting the sit-in on social media using the hashtags #NoBillNoBreak, #NOMORESILENCE, #goodtrouble and, in what we’d like to think is a Game of Thrones reference, #holdthefloor.
We are one people, one family, one America. We must come together to fight the senseless plague of gun violence. https://t.co/nuK39eqSAG— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) June 22, 2016
My colleagues & I have had enough. We are sitting-in on the House Floor until we get a vote to address gun violence. https://t.co/rTqrPifuUz— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) June 22, 2016
We have a mission, a mandate, and a moral obligation to speak up and speak out until the House votes to address gun violence #holdthefloor— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) June 22, 2016
Many have praised the sit-in, including former president Bill Clinton and Connecticut senator Chris Murphy, who led the filibuster in the senate last Wednesday. Watch footage of Lewis speaking about gun control below.