- Let's be as brave and determined as the sit-in participants. Let's keep speaking up about gun violence. Let's Protect Minnesota!
- Related: John Lewis Stands Up for Human Dignity Once Again
Nancy Nord Bence, Protect Minnesota
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June 22, 2016It's an exciting moment in America right now. The sit-in in the House of Representatives has continued for 12 hours and the participants are still going strong. Earlier, Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison gave a moving speech about Reuven Rahamin, of Accent Signage, who lost his life in a mass shooting right here in Minneapolis. Reuven was a wonderful man-- a civic leader, good, caring, committed to the welfare of his employees and his community--but his life was stolen by mad man with a gun. Just like the 49 lives that were stolen in Orlando last week.
Participating members of Congress are trying to do something about gun violence. When Speaker of the House Paul Ryan refused to allow votes on bills that would close background check loopholes and the terror gap, civil rights legend Congressman John Lewis sat down--literally--on the House Chamber floor. He has been joined by nearly 100 House members, plus other Democratic leaders, including our Senator Al Franken. They are refusing to leave, refusing to be silent, refusing to be manipulated and "managed" by House leadership. They are demanding a vote so that every House member has to go on record on gun safety.
Speaker Ryan responded by declaring the House to be in recess, which forced C-SPAN to turn off their cameras. But in another act of civil disobedience, participating House members pulled out their cell phones and started filming. C-SPAN has chosen to stream those grainy videos live, over and against Speaker Ryan's desires and House rules. C-SPAN agrees that we the people have a right to know what is going on in Congress. We the people have a right to know where our elected representatives stand--or sit--on the issue of gun violence.
So, where do our elected representatives stand or sit? Congressman Keith Ellison, Congresswoman Betty McCollum and Congressman Rick Nolan are there now, proudly participating in the action. They have been speaking out and demanding a chance to vote on gun safety.
Congressman Tim Walz is in Minnesota with his family, following the tragic death of his brother and injury of his nephew in the recent storm. We are sorry for his loss and deeply regret that he was included on the list of those choosing not to participate in our earlier email. We will be sending him an apology for our oversight and condolences on his loss.
Congressmen Tom Emmer, John Kline, Eric Paulsen and Collin Peterson have been no where to be found during the sit-in. They have not chosen to stand up, or sit down, to protect Americans from the epidemic of gun violence. Can it be that they don't want to have to vote on gun reform in an election year?
There's nothing we can do right now to support our heroes in the House Chamber, but we can send them messages of support and thanks tonight and tomorrow, and show our appreciation on Election Day.
As for Congressmen Tom Emmer, John Kline, Eric Paulsen and Collin Peterson, we can let them know what we think about their very conspicuous absence from the sit-in and their deafening silence on the issue of gun violence.
Here's how to reach our congressional representatives...
- Congressman Keith Ellison: 202-225-4755
- Congresswoman Betty McCollulm: 202-225-6631
- Congressman Rick Nolan: 202-225-6211
- Congressman Tom Emmer: 202-225-2331
- Congressman John Kline: 202-225-2271
- Congressman Eric Paulsen: 202-225-2871
- Congressman Collin Peterson: 202-225-2165
Condolences can be sent to Congressman Tim Walz at 527-1/2 South Front Street, Mankato MN 56001
These are exciting times, my friends, and we can be a part of solving the gun violence problem. Join us at the Twin Cities Pride festival this Saturday and Sunday. Let me know if you'd like to help staff the Protect Minnesota booth. Click on the volunteer button on our website <> to RSVP.
Let's be as brave and determined as the sit-in participants. Let's keep speaking up about gun violence. Let's Protect Minnesota!
Nancy Nord Bence, Executive Director, Protect Minnesota
Full story ...
John Lewis Stands Up for Human Dignity Once Again, Bill Moyers and Michael Winship, Moyers & Company
- A sit-in by the civil-rights icon on the floor of the House of Representatives is a powerful statement against gun violence.
- Related: House Sit In - Action Alert