Washington, D.C. - Days after several gun control measures failed to pass in the U.S. Senate, House Democrats decided to take matters into their own hands and stage a protest on the floor of the house chamber.
Roughly 60 legislators are demanding accountability and responsible gun control measures after the massacre in Orlando. The group included civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), and Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT).
"We can no longer wait. We can no longer be patient. So today, we come to the well of the House to dramatize the need for action. Not next month, not next year, but now -- today." - Rep. John LewisMembers took turns speaking passionately at the podium, chanting "No bill, No break" after each speech. Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) led a prayer on the floor, with Democrats holding hands. The sit-in comes a week after they shouted down Paul Ryan on the floor demanding that a vote be held on gun control legislation. Ryan commented on the sit-in saying, "This is nothing more than a publicity stunt," Ryan said, saying House Democrats would infringe on Second Amendment rights and do nothing to prevent terrorist attacks. "This is not about a solution to a problem. This is about trying to get attention." Democrats' presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton threw her support behind the sit-in Wednesday, praising the lawmakers' protest on twitter calling it, "real leadership." More than 100 gun control measures have been introduced in Congress over the last five years with zero passing into law. Few have even made it to the floor of the House or Senate for a vote.