As Democrats ‘occupied’ the House Wednesday and staged a ‘sit-in’ to push for action on gun control legislation, critics lambasted them for their actions, with one GOP rep calling the action “a disgrace”.
“Calling this a sit-in is a disgrace to Woolworth’s,” Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) tweeted, referring to the infamous civil rights protest ‘sit-ins’ that took place in the 1960s.
Walker noted that while those protesting back then were asking for rights, House Democrats are protesting to have rights taken away.
Calling this a sit-in is a disgrace to Woolworth's. They sat-in for rights. Dems are "sitting-in" to strip them away https://t.co/uBT0cPqsjT
— Rep. Mark Walker (@RepMarkWalker) June 22, 2016
The staged action began with Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), giving a speech to the rest of the democrats gathered.
“We have turned deaf ears to the blood of the innocent and the deaths in our nation,” he said. “Mr, Speaker, where is the heart of this body. Where is our soul?”
“How many more mothers, how many more fathers have to share tears of grief before we decide to do anything?” he added.
Another Democrat, Rep. John Larson (D., Conn.), also spoke, saying “Rise up, Democrats! Rise up, Americans! This cannot stand! We will occupy this floor. We will no longer be denied a right to vote.”
“Now is the time for us to find a way to dramatize it, to make it real,” Lewis added. “We have to occupy the floor of the House until there’s action.” he continued, before the Democrats then all proceeded to sit down on the floor of the chamber.
The lawmakers told reporters that they would not move from the floor until House Republicans schedule a vote on gun control legislation.
Cameras in the chamber were turned off, and the House was declared in recess, with Speaker Paul Ryan’s entourage declaring that it would remain that way for as long as the Democrats choose to hold up the legislative process.
BREAKING: Chaos breaks out in House chamber as Speaker Paul Ryan gavels in following all-day sit-in by Democrats. pic.twitter.com/gK2zhVYf4G
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) June 23, 2016
The Washington Post reported that members began shouting “Are they going to shut us down?” before some even began video streaming on their phones, with the feeds even being broadcast by Cspan.
You gotta be proud of C-SPAN for, in the absence of cameras, airing a Congressman's Periscope feed of the House floor.
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) June 22, 2016
While some Democrats accused Ryan of shutting off the cameras, the post noted that it was done merely as a matter of procedure.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) June 22, 2016
“It also seems worth noting that, when the tables were turned eight years ago and Republicans were doing a sit-in, both the cameras and the lights were also off.” the report also noted.
“The House cannot operate without members following the rules of the institution, so the House has recessed subject to the call of the chair,” Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong tweeted, before further declaring that the House was back in session to consider efforts to control the Zika virus.
The House cannot operate without members following the rules of the institution, so the House has recessed subject to the call of the chair.
— AshLee Strong (@AshLeeStrong) June 22, 2016
Paul Ryan on the supposed sit in: This isn't about trying to come up with a solution, this is trying to get attention.
— AshLee Strong (@AshLeeStrong) June 22, 2016
Speaker Ryan will continue to do the people's work, despite the Dems' publicity stunt. Anti-zika efforts press on. https://t.co/ubFs0odPZq
— AshLee Strong (@AshLeeStrong) June 23, 2016
In an interview with CNN, Washington Free Beacon editor-in-chief Matthew Continetti made some salient points, saying that the ‘sit-in’ will “not matter much”, and noting that House Democrats have been too eager to present their gun control arguments as anti-terrorism proposals, in the wake of the Orlando shooting.
“The Democrats think that they have the wind at their backs on the gun issue after Orlando,” Continetti said. “They were very quick to reframe gun control fights as anti-terror fights, and that’s been going on since the attack.”
“You’ve kind of seen now both parties, Trump and now with the House Democrats and the Senate Democrats, everything becomes a terror issue, whether it’s gun control, immigration, what have you,” Continetti added.
Also appearing on CNN to comment on the situation was Libertarian icon Ron Paul, who said that he does not support current gun control proposals on the basis that they wouldn’t be effective in reducing violence and crime in the US.
“If we’re really worried about guns on the streets, why has it been totally ignored—a lot more people are dying in our inner cities.” Paul stated.
“Crime on weekends is just out of control, so we need more, you know, police activity to try to protect some people, but property management, that is, preventing the rights of an individual to own a piece of property, whether it’s a knife or a gun, is protected, and that shouldn’t be the issue.” Paul urged.
“I do not think it will achieve anything, and since I’m one that’s very much in favor of non-aggression and violence, I would be for it if I thought it reduced the violence. But it will not, and therefore I will defend the Second Amendment.” Paul declared.
Instead, Paul expressed his support for ‘gun control’ when it comes to “guns in our military going overseas.”
“I still believe in the Constitution, and I believe in the Second Amendment, but I’m for gun control. Where the real killing’s going on is our guns in our military going overseas and bombing and killing, starting wars that aren’t necessary, and selling weapons.” the former Congressman said.
“We’re selling—We’re putting weapons in the hands of ISIS, you know, in Syria. Those are the real guns of war that we should be dealing with,” Paul added.
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com