Congress shouldn’t ignore what millions of Americans are feeling about its lack of action on guns.
Stop what you are doing and watch John Lewis’s powerful speech from today. It’s remarkable.
Listen to the emotion in his voice. Hear what he is actually saying.
The man giving this emotional, raw, and powerful speech you are watching is Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia), a legend of the civil rights movement.
He was part of Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington, the last remaining speaker from that day still living, who survived being hosed down by police, attacked by dogs, and a multitude of other horrors during the fight to win civil rights for all Americans. He knows a thing or two about standing up for what’s right. Here’s what he said:
“For months, even for years, through seven sessions of Congress, I wondered, what would bring this body to take action? … We have lost hundreds and thousands of innocent people to gun violence. Tiny little children. Babies. Students. And teachers. Mothers and fathers. Sisters and brothers. Daughters and sons. Friends and neighbors. And what has this body done? Mr. Speaker, nothing. Not one thing.”
He explained that they are just as tired of waiting around for change, like millions of other Americans.
“The American people demand action. Do we have the courage? Do we have raw courage to make at least a down payment on any gun violence in America? We can no longer wait. We can no longer be patient. So today we come to the will of the House to dramatize the need for action. Not next month. Not next year. But now. Today.”
And then, these lawmakers did something even more unusual — they staged a sit-in on the floor of the House.
Joining w/ @repjohnlewis &dozens of my colleagues for House sit-in for a vote to prevent gun violence #NoBillNoBreak pic.twitter.com/Lg4cM9Gzj0— Elizabeth Esty (@RepEsty) June 22, 2016
You can watch live updates on Twitter below.
After the protest began, C-SPAN’s cameras were cut off by the House majority. At the suggestion of a junior staffer, Democrats on the floor began live-streaming the protest with their mobile phones.
You can watch it live, here:
If you feel something needs to be done to end the wave of gun violence in this country, keep the pressure on Congress. Call your representative. Demand action. Stand up (or sit down) for what is right.