In another push for tighter gun control measures to be enacted, Democrats held a sit-in on the House Floor on June 22.
Led by Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), the move follows a string of failed gun control measures following the Orlando shooting on June 12, in which 49 people died and 53 were injured.
Lewis had the Floor when he asked his colleagues to join him.
“We have lost hundreds and thousands of innocent people to gun violence,” said Lewis, arguing that the legislative body has done nothing to address the issue.
“We have turned deaf ears to the blood of the innocent and the concern of our nation,” Lewis said, condemning some politicians’ moral leadership and courage.
“How many more mothers, how many more fathers need to share tears of grief before we do something?” he asked.
Give us a vote! Let us vote! We came here to do our job, we came here to work! The American people are demanding action. #holdthefloor
— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) June 22, 2016
Lewis then set the stage for the sit-in saying, “Sometimes you have to do something out of the ordinary 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,” he said.
The C-Span cameras were cut off after the sit-in began and a recess was declared. But pictures shared on Twitter by politicians showed the democrats sitting on the Floor with Lewis. The hashtag #NoBillNoBreak began trending on Twitter, as did “Rep. John Lewis,” and “House Democrats.”
Democrat congressman Scott Peters has a live feed via Periscope:
— Scott Peters (@ScottPetersSD) June 22, 2016
This is what real leadership looks like. https://t.co/4Nh6QpqSxL
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 22, 2016
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) June 22, 2016
— Rep. Tony Cárdenas (@RepCardenas) June 22, 2016
C-SPAN has no control over the U.S. House TV cameras.
— CSPAN (@cspan) June 22, 2016
The press can’t take pictures in the House gallery, so, with C-SPAN turned off, member pictures of the sit-in will be the only images.
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) June 22, 2016
The lawmakers also held a moment of silence for the Orlando victims.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who led a 15-hour filibuster last week to encourage Republicans to agree on holding a vote on gun control, also joined the sit-in.
Murphy got Republicans to vote on gun control, but everything has failed to pass so far. The Senate blocked a legislation that would strengthen background checks. And four gun policy measures failed to get the 60 votes needed to move forward.