This Sit-In for Common Sense Gun Control Legislation Is What We Need Right Now

If we had to estimate, we'd say that for a solid 90 percent of the time, politics feels like a lot of chitchat and not of lot of getting the dang thing done. BUT. THEN. Then there's the 10 percent of time left over, and in those moments, we feel inspired and empowered by our elected politicians. June 22 is in the 10 percent, ladies and gentlemen. Today, House Democrats are staging a sit-in on the literal floor of the House to push forward a vote about gun control. It almost doesn't even matter if it works at this point -- this is the stuff we came out here for in the first place.

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The whole thing is being spearheaded by Georgia democrat John Lewis, the tough-ass congressman with a past as a civil rights activist. He took a look at our current gun control laws, a look at some of his more stubborn colleagues, and a look at the stony-faced Democrats behind him. Then sat his tush down on the floor. 

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"The time for silence and patience is long gone," he said. "We are calling on the leadership of the House to bring common sense gun control legislation to the House floor. Give us a vote. Let us vote. We came here to do our job. We came here to work. The American people demand an action. Do we have the courage? Do we have raw courage to make at least a down payment on any gun violence in America?"

Do they? We don't know yet. But we can hardly believe anyone could say no to Lewis's raw frustration:

Republicans, as you can imagine, are not happy. C-SPAN cameras shut off after the sit-in began, and fingers started pointing toward the GOP, particularly at Paul Ryan, almost immediately.

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C-SPAN eventually went live again, but they also broadcast live footage over Periscope and on Facebook in the meantime. (Which is also amazing, by the way. The world is evolving, y'all.) Lawmakers on the floor also took to updating us via the #NoBillNoBreak hashtag on Twitter, which is filled with fantastic photos and videos of our representatives making us proud.

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Sadly, the laws they're trying to pass aren't even that extreme -- they want a vote on seemingly simple stuff like effective background checks and a list that keeps guns out of the hands of dangerous people. Why is it this hard? We don't know. But we're pretty dang happy John Lewis is on our side on this one.

The sit-in is up to more than 75 congressmen and women, most of whom are Dems, but there are a few Republicans thrown in. The list includes, notably, Keith Ellison:

(Notable because of the note, FYI. No reason in particular other than that.)

This is kind of in their hands now, but -- but! -- you can help, too. Call your representative. Tweet them. Yell from the heavens at them. They know we want this, but they also know they might not be able to do it alone.

Then stop saying politics isn't exciting. This is exciting. This is history.

 

Image via repdonnaedwards/Twitter

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