How To Watch The Democratic Gun Control Sit-In Even Though The GOP Doesn't Want You To — UPDATE
On Wednesday, Democratic members of the House of Representatives launched an protest, sitting-in on the House floor to try to force a vote on new gun control proposals. It's by all accounts been a dramatic and symbolically powerful scene, and with gun violence so firmly in the public consciousness right now, it's no wonder that people would want to watch it happen. So, how can a concerned citizen watch the Democratic gun control sit-in? Update: As of Wednesday afternoon, C-SPAN began airing a Periscope feed of the sit-in from Congressman Scott Peters' office. You can watch it here.
Earlier: Sadly, that's the thing — there isn't an easy, convenient way to watch right now, because the House GOP leadership doesn't want there to be. Presumably wary of the galvanizing effects of yet another high-profile Democratic call-to-action on guns, the Republican leadership cut off C-SPAN's cameras in the House chamber (the channel does not control whether their cameras are running in the House or Senate), meaning video and images from the sit-in are hard to come by.
Rep. John Yarmuth also tweeted that the Sergeant at Arms told the assembled Democrats not to take video or photos with their phones, which could account for the lack of live-streams via apps like Periscope. That's not to say there's nothing available, however — here are some glimpses of the scene on the House floor on Wednesday.
Big credit to Rep. Scott Peters of California's 52nd District, because he's been grabbing some Periscope footage throughout the demonstration, and fleeting though they are, it's still enough to give you a taste of what the mood is like at Capitol Hill on Wednesday afternoon. The House is currently in recess, which is why the cameras aren't rolling, but Peters and the other Democrats involved in the sit-in did a pretty capable job getting their message out regardless.
The only real question left is whether it'll have any impact on the thoroughly intractable state of affairs in the Republican-led Congress — while the GOP is entirely within its rights to exercise its legislative authority and block gun control reforms, the potential political backlash is also growing all the time, and the Democrats clearly want to use every ounce of leverage they have on this.
More to come ...