FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Geoff Gerling, Executive Director
Committee Applauds Actions by Democratic Congressmen
Fresh off the biggest mass shooting in American history, many Democratic members of Congress took to dramatic action drawing attention to the historic inaction of that body in addressing common sense gun policy. Led by Representative John Lewis of Georgia, a large number of officials staged a sit-in on the floor of the House to protest the lack of action from Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), who is refusing to allow a vote on any gun legislation. One proposed measure would simply restrict potential terrorists who are on the "no fly list" from purchasing firearms. Sadly, if such legislation existed, the tragedy in Orlando may have been prevented.
Our own Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver of Kansas City joined the demonstration early and remarked, "if you are too dangerous to fly, you are too dangerous to buy a gun," which is a sentiment held by an overwhelming majority of gun owners (82% according to the New England Journal of Medicine). As their actions drew more attention, they were joined by many members of the Senate including Missouri's Claire McCaskill.
Jackson County Democratic Chairman Tom Wyrsch says this about today's actions: "Not having the guts to hold a vote on such common sense legislation is an incredible sign of weakness made even worse when Speaker Ryan cut off the live television broadcast in an attempt to keep voters from seeing the demonstration. The people demand action, not silence."
While the feed of C-SPAN was cut under orders of Speaker Ryan, members of Congress streamed the sit-in and speeches for hours through social media outlets. Among those who spoke passionately about getting a vote included former Jackson County Truman Gala guests Rep. Lacy Clay of St. Louis and Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona.
The Jackson County Democratic Committee along with millions of concerned citizens across the nation think we are owed some kind of action to prevent another mass shooting from happening. The people overwhelmingly support keeping weapons out of the hands of our enemies as well as expanding background checks. For the safety of their own citizens, our elected officials must act.