By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Wednesday, June 22, 2016, US Representative Terri Sewell (D-Selma) joined a sit-in of Democratic Congress members in the U.S. House chamber to protest the House leadership’s unwillingness to bring gun control legislation to the floor of the House for a vote.
Congresswoman Sewell said on social media, “Enough Is enough! I am proud to join my colleagues today in a sit-in on the floor of the House! Stop gun violence! Calling on Speaker Ryan to bring reform bills to the House floor for a Vote! NO Vote, NO Break for Congress.”
The sit-in was led by US Representative John Lewis (D-Georgia). Lewis is a civil rights movement era icon and Alabama native. Rep. Sewell said, “Learning how to sit-in with the best! Honored to be sitting next to John Lewis as we demand a Vote on commonsense gun reform. “Sometimes we have to get into good trouble to make our democracy better”–civil rights icon and my colleague John Lewis.”
Congressman Lewis said, “What is the tipping point? Are we blind? Can we see? How many more mothers, how many more fathers need to shed tears of grief before we do something?” “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.”
Republicans were not amused by the delaying tactics.
US Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) said, “I am ready to get the House back to work so we can go about doing the people’s business. Shutting down the process isn’t going to solve any problems.”
The Democrats are demanding that the House vote on the same anti-gun legislation that the Senate voted on earlier in the week. Specifically they want to prevent Americans on the terrorist watch list from being able to purchase weapons. There are an estimated 400,000 people currently on the list….many don’t even know that they are on the list, much less how to clear their names to get off of the list. They also want to expand background checks so that sales at gun shows will have to go through the background check process.
Pro-Second Amendment rights groups, led by the National Rifle Association, oppose the measures.
The Pulse Nightclub slaying of 49 people in Orlando Democrats say shows that guns are too accessible in this country. Republicans, especially presumed GOP Nominee Donald Trump, say we have a radical Islam problem, not a gun problem.
Congresswoman Terri Sewell represents Alabama’s Seventh Congressional District.