On Wednesday, June 22, Rep. John Lewis helped organize a sit-in with other Democrats on the House floor in order to force a vote on gun control. At some point in time, the Republican leaders had the cameras in the room turned off, but thanks to social media and the protestor's own technological devices, the world kept its eye focused there. This is what is going to happen as a result of the sit-in, and citizens should be prepared for July 5th.
According to CNN, the Democrats ended their day-long sit-in protest on the House floor on Thursday. Said Lewis: "We must come back here on July 5th [when Congress returns to session] more determined than ever before." Lewis is a 76 man who is one of the most prominent of the 1960s era civil rights leaders still alive today. Lewis and the other lawmakers are planning to take the issue to their districts, and it will be very interesting to see what will happen when they return.
After the Orlando Massacre, the biggest shooting spree in American history, the issue of gun control is becoming a huge priority after there have been many in the past few years. The protest was about the lack of action on gun control, looking for votes to expand background checks and ban gun sales to those on the no-fly watch list. Considering that the Orlando shooter was on the no-fly list, this type of legislation is hoped to prevent future shooters.
Within the group of the protestors included about 10-20 Democrats on Thursday morning, which included House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi. About 170 Democrats took part in the sit-in for over 24 hours.
The sit-in became huge among social media, with tweets from the House floor being viewed over 1 million times with hashtags like #NoBillNoBreak and #HoldTheFloor being tweeted over 1.4 million times, as recorded by Twitter.
There was one group that didn't enjoy the sit-in, and that was Republicans, as social media sites also lit up with many negative comments about the protest, calling the Democrats "spoiled brats" and other names.
House Speaker Paul Ryan was also claiming that the Democrats threw the House into "chaos" and threatened democracy. Another comment from Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, stated that the protest was a setback on her efforts to build bipartisan support for legislation that would ban gun sales to people on a list of possible terrorists.
President Barack Obama was in support of the protest with a tweet saying: "Thank you John Lewis for leading on gun violence where we need it most". Former President Bill Clinton also tweeted: "this is leadership".
One thing that hasn't been heard so far is whether or not the Democrats in the protest will be penalized. So far, there hasn't been any talk on whether their protest was illegal or unconstitutional, which are issues that will be brought up as they bring up the issue of gun control.