Dem’s Sit-in ‘Publicity Stunt’ Draws Ire From House Republicans
Americans with strong convictions on either side of the gun control debate want to believe their representatives in Washington D.C. are working day and night, deliberating, debating and even arguing about the future of the Second Amendment in the aftermath of yet another mass shooting in recent weeks.
Whether promoting legislation to increase restrictions on ownership of guns or protecting the sanctity of the right to bear arms, U.S. citizens believe they are entitled to the best their representatives can give on issues of critical importance.
Instead, Americans were treated to the spectacle of Democrat members of the U.S. House of Representatives sitting on the floor in the chamber refusing to do the people’s work while gaining priceless publicity for the fall elections in their home states.
Looking less like people earnestly refusing to comply with “Jim Crow” laws in the segregated South sixty years ago, or even committed anti-war activists in the Vietnam War era, than savvy politicians who know how to generate media coverage in an election year, the representatives gave interviews to the press and posed for smiling selfies to post on their social media accounts as they sat on the floor.
Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan (R-WI) told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, “This is nothing more than a publicity stunt. This is not about a solution to a problem. This is about trying to get attention.”
Every member of the House is up for re-election in November, and at one point, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) thanked the media and led fellow Democrats in applauding the press covering the protest.
Ryan was not alone in his criticism of the House Democrats, as Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) tweeted, “Calling this a sit-in is a disgrace to Woolworth’s” in reference to lunch counter sit-ins in the1950s. “They sat-in for rights. Dems are “sitting-in” to strip them away.”
In practical terms, House consideration of a bill that has already been rejected in the Senate is a futile measure, whereas new legislation could come in for legitimate debate.
Ryan urged the chamber to “draft legislation in a calm and cool manner” rather than simply attacking Second Amendment rights with laws that would “do nothing to prevent terrorist attacks.”
The “sit-in” was lead by Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) with participation by Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Katherine Clark (D-MA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and others.
Ryan held off on the option of ordering the House Sergeant-at-Arms to remove the Democrats, but as the day-long protest drew close to midnight, Ryan told the media he would lead the GOP in “taking back the House.”