This past Sunday, 26 people were killed in Sutherland Springs, Texas, when a man with a violent past stormed their church and fired on the congregation.
That man, 26 year old Devin Kelley, stormed the church in an act of rage, seemingly borne out of some sort of domestic dispute with his mother-in-law. Although some on the right have claimed as much, he was not affiliated with Antifa, and he didn’t pledge allegiance to their causes before opening fire. Rather, the incident represented a lapse in the already lax system meant to keep people like Kelley from having guns.
After the shooting, the predictable stream of thoughts and prayers from Republicans began to pour in. California’s outspoken Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu is among those who just can’t take the GOP’s inaction anymore.
On Monday, the House of Representatives held a moment of silence for the victims of the Texas attack — and Lieu walked out.
In a short video posted to his Facebook page, Rep. Lieu began by saying:
‘I am heartbroken about the children and adults that were killed in the worst mass shooting in Texas history this Sunday. My colleagues right now are doing a moment of silence in the House of Representatives’ chambers. I respect their right to do that and I myself have participated in many of them.’
As Lieu went on, the time for moments of silence is past. It’s long been time to do something about the epidemic of gun violence in the United States, because what’s going on is not normal.
‘I can’t do this again, I’ve been to too many moments of silences. In just my short period in congress three of the worst mass shootings in us history have occurred. I will not be silent. What we need, is we need action, we need to pass gun safety legislation now. Behind me is the House of Representatives’ chambers — I urge us to pass reasonable gun safety legislation, including a universal background check law, supported by 80 percent of Americans, a ban on assault rifles, and a ban on bump stocks… we can not be silent.’
Watch Rep. Lieu’s video below.
As the Representative mentions, last Sunday’s incident in Texas is far from the first of its kind.
Last month, at a country music festival in Nevada, a man named Stephen Paddock opened fire from his upper level hotel room on a crowd of attendees of a country music festival down below. He killed nearly sixty people and wounded hundreds more.
Besides the Las Vegas incident and the recent Texas incident, it was just last year that a gunman opened fire at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 people.
Overall, since January of this year, there have been an estimated 52,503 incidents of gun violence in the United States, with at least 13,187 deaths.
This is not normal.
Lieu walking out of Monday’s Congressional moment of silence is not the first time that Congressional Republicans — who have accepted massive donations from the National Rifle Association — have found themselves in hot water because of their refusal to do anything about the United States’ epidemic of gun violence.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan posted a video of the moment of silence Lieu walked out of on Twitter.
Tonight, the House observed a moment of silence in memory of the innocent lives lost in Sutherland Springs, Texas. pic.twitter.com/xBrGP12wdQ
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) November 7, 2017
You can see what the internet thought of that below.
Featured Image via Screenshot from the Video.