US Congress Democrats, led by Rep. John Lewis, are demonstrating in a sit-in on the floor of the House Congress for a vote on gun violence legislation. Specifically, the group is pushing for a vote on expanded background checks and the prevention of gun sales to suspected terrorists on the “no-fly” list.
Congress Democrats are asking House Speaker Ryan to keep the House in session during its planned recess to debate and vote on gun violence.
This sit-in comes at the heels of yet another mass shooting. The latest shooting occurred in Orlando Florida where a reported 49 individuals were killed and 53 were wounded.
Chris Cox, the Executive Director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action, wrote in an opinion piece for the USA Today that gun laws do not deter terrorist. “Radical Islamic terrorists are not deterred by gun control laws. The San Bernardino terrorist attack wasn’t stopped by California’s so-called “assault weapons” ban. The gun ban in Brussels didn’t prevent the terrorist attack there. And France’s strict gun control didn’t stop the two attacks in Paris, committed with fully-automatic rifles and grenades,” he wrote. (June 14 USA Today)
A poll by Gallup noted that most Americans would support new laws requiring universal background checks for gun purchases. The poll also noted that a majority believe that more Americans owning and carrying guns would be effective in preventing situations like the Orlando mass shooting. (June 20 Gallup Updates).
Congressman Gregory Meeks has joined the Democratic Party’s sit-in delegation. In a statement he said the National Rifle Association has “muffled the voices of those demanding action on gun safety”. He also points to Republicans as those willing to act in favor of stricter gun legislation. “Republicans have sat on their hands and done nothing, disregarding the cries of victims, their friends, and their families,” he said.