U.S. Representative John Lewis hearkened back to his civil rights days on Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol, staging a sit-in with nearly 30 of his House colleagues to attempt to push for a debate and vote on gun control legislation.
On Monday the Senate failed to garner enough support to pass any of the several gun control measures that were introduced, including ones that would have strengthened background checks and others that would have denied access to firearms for anyone put on a suspected terror watch list.
Said Lewis of his peaceful protest, “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.”
— Jan Schakowsky (@janschakowsky) June 22, 2016
The gun control issue has once again become a top point of contention in Washington following the terrorist attack in Orlando earlier this month that left 50 dead. That shooting, the deadliest in U.S. history, was carried out by a man who had been put on a terrorist watch list by the FBI, but was still able to purchase guns, including a semi-automatic assault rifle.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan called the Congress into recess following the move, saying that, “the House cannot operate without members following the rules of the institution, so the House has recessed subject to the call of the chair.”