A group of House Democrats, led by Rep. John Lewis, took over the House floor on Wednesday in a silly demonstration that is aimed at forcing House Speaker Paul Ryan to hold a vote on gun control. Inspired by Sen. Chris Murphy’s filibuster that forced four separate gun control bills to a vote in the higher chamber, the Democrats want Paul Ryan to allow a roll call vote on a “no fly, no buy” bill that would ostensible prevent suspected terrorists from purchasing firearms.
“We have been too quiet for too long,” said Lewis. “There comes a time when you have to say something. You have to make a little noise. You have to move your feet. This is the time.”
Lewis, who has some experience with protest movements (he was heavily involved in the civil rights activism of the 1960s), went on to say, “How many more mothers? How many more fathers need to shed tears of grief before we do something? Give us a vote. Let us vote. We came here to do our job.”
A strange thing to say when you’re participating in a protest that is actually keeping Congress from doing work, but then, it’s also strange to accuse Republicans of having “blood on their hands” while pursuing legislation that would not have stopped a single shooting in the last twenty years. Omar Mateen, the Orlando killer who started the newest liberal push for gun control, was not on anyone’s no-fly list.
“We’ve had it,” said a particularly self-righteous Democrat named Mike Doyle. “We’re not going to watch any more people in this country get slaughtered and do nothing!”
Right…but Mr. Doyle…doesn’t it concern you at all that what you’re “doing” would not actually do anything?
Well, that’s not accurate. It would potentially inhibit the rights and freedoms of thousands of Americans who have not been convicted of any crime – some of whom are on these terrorist watch lists due to nothing more than a clerical error.
More importantly, for Democrats, this demonstration will allow them to again paint Republicans as a cadre of NRA-worshipping demons who care more about selling guns than protecting American lives. Republicans like Ryan must respond, and their response must be more substantial and more offense-based than what we’ve seen thus far. It’s time to explain to mainstream America that Democrats are putting on a theatrical hissy fit and little more.