In the wake of the Orlando tragedy -- the nation’s deadliest mass shooting -- more than 80 House and Senate Democrats joined Reps. John Lewis (D-GA), Katherine Clark (D-MA), David Cicilline (D-RI), Robin Kelly (D-IL), and John Larson (D-WA)to stage a sit-in on the House floor to try to force a vote on common-sense gun violence prevention policies.
“What is the tipping point? Are we blind? Can we see? How many more mothers, how many more fathers need to shed tears of grief before we do something?" Lewis said. "We have been too quiet for too long. There comes a time when you have to say something, when you have to make a little noise, when you have to move your feet. This is the time. Now is the time to get in the way. The time to act is now. We will be silent no more."
The sit-in evolved throughout the day and overnight, bringing together dozens of Representatives and many members of the U.S. Senate, becoming a historic moment for our country for gun violence prevention.
Common-sense gun violence prevention policies may have kept the LGBTQ community safe in Orlando. It may have saved precious lives in Newtown, San Bernardino, Aurora and Fort Hood.
What makes these mass shootings so deadly is the combination of a truly troubled individual taught to hate, and the easy access to guns to commit these heinous acts.
Last week, HRC endorsed common-sense gun violence prevention measures, including limiting access to assault-style rifles, expanding background checks, and limiting the ability for suspected terrorists, and those with a history of domestic abuse, to access guns.
“Forty-nine members of our community were murdered on Sunday morning because of a toxic combination of two things: a deranged, unstable individual who had been conditioned to hate LGBTQ people, and easy access to military-style guns,” HRC President Chad Griffin explained. “The safety of the LGBTQ community depends on our ability to end both the hatred toward our community and the epidemic of gun violence that has spiraled out of control.”
The sit-in comes on the heels of last week’s 15-hour filibuster by Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) to force a Senate vote on these measures. Senate Democrats pushed two bills to vote -- one to strengthen background checks and another to prevent suspected terrorists from obtaining weapons. HRC supported both bills, which were voted down.
While HRC remains focused on achieving full federal equality, ending anti-LGBTQ hate, and ensuring the safety, health, well-being and legal protections of LGBTQ people, we urge the LGBTQ and allied community to join us as advocates for common-sense gun laws. Together we must work with gun safety advocates and other allies, including those on Capitol Hill, to stop the gun violence epidemic.
Now is the time to take action: Call your representative and demand they vote on common sense gun laws to protect all Americans (202) 224-3121
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