The House Democrats and The Good Old Fashioned Sit-In

sitting, crossed legged

Wednesday, Democratic lawmakers staged a sit-in on the House floor to call for a vote on gun control.

1. Democrats Protest Gun Control Legislation

The Short of It:

Yesterday, dozens of Democrats staged a sit-in on the House floor over gun control.

The Longer Version of It:

A group of House Democrats are in the middle of an almost days long sit-in to push for gun control legislation before the House leaves for their scheduled recess at the end of the week.

Monday, in the wake of the shooting at an Orlando, FL nightclub, the Senate came together to vote on four gun control measures, but nothing passed. Yesterday, House Speaker Paul Ryan called in a vote on an unrelated mater and soon a dramatic scene played out with Democrats taking a seat on the House floor in an attempt to try to push two bills to votes. One would ban anyone on terrorist watch lists from being able to purchase a gun, the other would tighten background check protocols.

The sit-in, led by civil rights icon Rep John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Rep John Larson (D-Conn.), began when over 40 Democrats walked onto the House floor and pledged to "occupy" the chamber until GOP leadership allowed a vote. Within an hour, other Democrats joined in on the protest, the number of occupants tripling in size. In response, Republicans recessed the House, turned off all C-SPAN cameras as well as the public video feed. But of course, in the age of social media and instant access, streams from the Democrats' cellphones ended up on C-SPAN anyway.

During a speech Rep. Lewis demanded action for the American people and encouraged fellow representatives to put an end to gun violence. "The American people are demanding action. Do we have the courage, do we have the raw courage to make at least a down payment on ending gun violence in America?" Lewis asked in a speech. "There comes a time when you have to say something. You have to make a little noise. You have to move your feet. This is the time."

The sit-in protest comes just a week after Senate Democrats held a 15-hour-long filibuster calling for gun control reform.


House Democrats had ended their 25½-hour sit-in on the chamber's floor today by 1:04 p.m. EDT.

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Democrats Protest Gun Control Legislation