WASHINGTON — Democratic lawmakers launched an extraordinary protest Wednesday, staging a sit-in on the House floor, bringing legislative business to a halt and triggering a chaotic, late-night showdown as they demanded a vote on gun control legislation.
Led by Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who had called the dramatic protest simply a “publicity stunt,” Republicans took back control of the floor at 10 p.m. amid Democrat chants, nearly 11 hours after the sit-in began. Democrats shouted “Shame! Shame!” as House business proceeded and members cast votes on measures unrelated to guns.
Scores of House lawmakers took to the House floor before noon and refused to let Republicans resume regular business until the House votes on gun control. They took turns for hours talking about gun violence, ticking off mass shootings in Newtown, Conn., Charleston, S.C., San Bernardino, Calif., and Orlando, Fla., where Omar Mateen slaughtered 49 people and injured 53 others June 12.
Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, attempted to gavel the House into order at noon, but when the Democrats refused to quiet, he gaveled the House into recess instead. When Ryan took to the podium later, he brought the House back into session and proceeded to votes. Republicans remained mostly stone-faced throughout the rowdy Democratic spectacle.
Ryan said earlier on CNN that he would not schedule a vote on gun bills that have already been defeated in the Senate. “This is a publicity stunt,” Ryan said. “This isn't trying to come up with a solution to a problem. This is trying to get attention.”
It is clear that Democrats think they have found an issue with legs. One recent study showed that the main stream media is publishing articles at a 10 to 1 ratio in favor of more gun control. The articles are generally factually incorrect about guns, crime figures involving guns, guns used for defensive purposes, and cause and effect.
The recent massacre in Orlando was committed by an Islamic terrorist, albeit one who was born in the U.S., but his background included purchasing his guns legally and passing a background check. Rather than focus on Islamic terrorism and the danger of inviting tens of thousands of unvetted Muslims from the Middle East into the country without checking their ideology, the Left wants to demand new rules and an unconstitutional watch list along with pondering the subtleties of whether a rifle with a folding stock or a muzzle flash suppressor makes it a military weapon. These are ignorant people and ideologues, and despite their protestations, they do not care for the American people. They simply want to make a point and to get valuable TV time for their equally ignorant Democrat constituents to see them.