There will finally be a vote on gun control in the House of Representatives after nearly 170 House Democrats protested in an historic sit-in. Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin has agreed to allow a vote, but just on a bill to prevent “suspected terrorists from buying guns.”
Ryan was facing another Democratic sit-in after the 4th of July holiday, but then he capitulated, deciding to allow a limited vote on a common sense gun control bill. According to The Hill, in a conference call, Ryan told Republicans:
‘The House will take up a terrorism package that will include measures to disrupt radicalization and recruitment, as well as a provision to prevent suspected terrorists from purchasing guns.’
The sit-in, led by infamous Civil Rights protestor Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, came just days after a gunman massacred 49 people in an Orlando gay nightclub. The killer was able to purchase automatic weapons even after the FBI investigated him for nine months.
Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota came to the sit-in after his mother called him and strongly suggested he do so, reports ThinkProgress. He said many of his fellow Democrats “have an appetite to do more than the sit-in” and that the next action “certainly could be” some form of civil disobedience.
‘I don’t know what that is now, but I think we’re going to keep fighting. The American people need to know that the Republicans are going to join with us to put some sane gun laws in place.’
Ryan told reporters that he did not arrest the Democrats who staged the sit-in because he had heard that was exactly the action the Democrats wanted.
According to The Hill, it is not clear at this point which bill will go to the floor because Ryan has not specified the bill he will choose. Ryan could “select a bill considered too weak by most Democrats,” the New York Daily News reports.
Should Ryan try to manipulate the House Democrats by putting forth a bill too weak to have any impact, there is always the chance that the Democrats will continue to protest.
Check out this video of the sit-in: