The sit-in is being led by Georgia Rep. John Lewis, a longtime civil rights leader who says “we have been silent for too long.”
“Sometimes you have to do something out of the ordinary,” said Lewis. “Sometimes you have to make a way out of no way. We have been too quiet for too long. “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.”
House Floor protest on no gun vote now joined by Senator Durbin of Illinois. Extraordinary event. Unprecedented — Gerry Connolly (@GerryConnolly) June 22, 2016
Connolly, who represents Reston, said in a statement:
The violence must end. In the wake of these almost weekly tragedies, the response from Congress is as predictable as it is disappointing. We offer our thoughts and prayers. We hold a moment of silence; anything to distract from the central cause, and common instrument, of these crimes. How many more must die before Congress acts?
Today, I was proud to join Rep. John Lewis and House Democrats to once again call on Speaker Ryan to bring up a vote on the No Guns for Terrorist bill. Instead of acting, the House Majority decided to shut off the cameras to the People’s House.
Lewis wrote a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan demanding that he keep the House in session through its planned recess to debate and vote on gun control legislation.
— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) June 22, 2016
“As the worst mass shooting in our nation’s history has underscored, our country cannot afford to stand by while this Congress continues to be paralyzed by politics,” wrote Lewis, according to CNN.
Other representatives joining the sit-in include Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson; Michigan Rep. Dale Kildee; Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond; Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes; and Connecticut Rep. John Larson.
Photo: Gerry Connolly/file photo