Timely, bold sit-in for gun reforms

Rep John Lewis, civil rights icon, staged a sit-in on the House floor on Thursday, June 22, to demand a vote on gun control. The sit-in continues despite House Speaker Paul Ryan's decision to adjourn the session until after July 4 holiday, which is a week and a half away.

Rep John Lewis, civil rights icon, staged a sit-in on the House floor on Thursday, June 22, to demand a vote on gun control. The sit-in continues despite House Speaker Paul Ryan’s decision to adjourn the session until after July 4 holiday, which is a week and a half away.

When Democrats in the House of Representatives decided on Thursday, June 22, to invoke the tenets of the civil rights movement and launch a sit-in on floor of the House until a vote is made regarding gun control, House Speaker Paul Ryan dismissed their action as “a publicity stunt.” Ryan was wrong. Inordinately wrong.

Rep. John Lewis, an icon of the civil rights movement, led the sit-in with a very precise and clear message: “We want a vote! We came here to do our jobs!” Ryan responded by turning off the microphones and cameras that ensure the feed by C-SPAN and eventually deciding to go on break until after the July 4th holiday, which is a week and a half away.

Breaking out into a rousing rendition of “We Shall Overcome,” and chanting “No Bill, No Break!” and shouting “Shame! Shame! Shame!” at Ryan, the Democratic House caucus members made it clear that they were steadfast in their agenda to demand and ensure a vote on gun control as citizens needlessly continue to lose their lives due to lax gun laws.

As we witness the carnage wrought by assault weapons landing in the wrong hands, it is inspiring to see the Democrats take a bold stand. They read Martin Luther King Jr’s powerful Letter From a Birmingham Jail, they sustained themselves with pizza, they used their smartphones to record the speeches that they delivered from the floor. And they remained stoic and deliberate. This is the type of action that true leaders take, making their voices heard and acting within the realm of their limited powers.

The spate of gun violence cannot continue despite the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) stronghold on the Republican Party. The time to act is now. The House Democratic caucus members have taken a bold step and they should be supported and lauded–OnPointPress.net–