Another Shooting Happened During Democrats Sit-In on Gun Control

June 22nd 2016

Alex Mierjeski

House Democrats are staging a sit-in to protest congressional inaction on strengthening gun control laws Wednesday morning, and their protest couldn't have come at a more tragically appropriate time.

As Democrats, led by Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia), occupied the House floor, authorities were responding to a mass shooting in Dekalb County near Stone Mountain Georgia, just outside Lewis' home congressional district. Several people were shot, with at least one reported fatality, according to CBS News.

John Lewis Congressional District

And earlier on Wednesday morning, authorities in Thurston County, Washington were responding to a quadruple shooting that left a woman and two men dead, and another man injured.

KIRO 7 reports:

"Thurston County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Dave Pearsall said a man called 911 at 5:15 a.m. Wednesday saying his friends were dead, he was shot and he wasn't sure where he was."

House Democrats are seeking to force a vote on gun control proposals. On the floor, chants of "I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired," and "No bill, no break" could be heard, NBC reports.

Earlier in the week, four gun control measures — offered in the wake of a mass shooting in Orlando earlier in June — failed to receive the 60 votes needed to move forward in the Senate. House lawmakers on Wednesday called on House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to allow a vote on similar House measures.

"Those who pursue common-sense improvement are beaten down. Reason is put aside," Lewis said, according to USA Today. "What is the tipping point? Are we blind? Can we see? ...Give us a vote. We came here to do our job!"

Although mass shootings are often a catalyst for the loudest national discussions about gun control, day to day gun violence has become commonplace. According to the gun reporting site The Trace, more than 200 people across the country were killed by a firearm in the week after the Orlando shooting, and another 500 were shot but survived.

In his address on the House floor, New York Representative Steve Israel remarked on the continued stream of gun violence that has followed the Pulse nightclub shooting, and listed several names of Americans who had recently been shot to death.

"Where are those moments of silence?" Israel asked. "They deserve to be recognized as well."

Click here to watch the C-SPAN stream of the House sit-in.

Update: This story has been updated to include another mass shooting, which happened as Democrats protested on the House floor. The incident took place just outside of Rep. John Lewis’ home congressional district.