After Democrats staged a pro-gun control sit-in on the House Floor, families of gun violence victims echoed their demand for action, NBC News national correspondent Peter Alexander tweeted on Wednesday. The families lined up on the Capitol steps, putting pressure on the Republican-controlled Congress to supplement their apologies for senseless loss of life with stricter legislation. Civil disobedience became Democrats' only alternative after Congress voted down four gun control bills on Monday. The rejection came just days after 49 people were shot at a gay nightclub in Orlando on June 12. The attack has since become the deadliest mass shooting in American history.
Those involved in the sit-in will remain on the House floor until Congress agrees to hold a vote on the "No Fly, No Buy" bill that would make it illegal to sell guns to anyone on the no fly list who's suspected of being a terrorist. Seeing as the piece of legislation is bipartisan, it may be their only chance at bringing about change.
So far, however, their efforts have failed to sway politicians from the other side of the aisle. On Wednesday, Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy spearheaded a nearly 15-hour-long filibuster, during which he featured the photos of some of the innocent children killed during the horrific Sandy Hook massacre in 2012. Still, Republicans remained resolute in their opposition to gun control.
Now, families of the victims are helping Democrats balance the scale in their favor. Connecticut Rep. John Larson spoke during the sit-in calling upon both Democrats and Americans to stand up and demand, at the very least, that a vote be held on the issue. Hundreds of those Americans he's directly addressing have witnessed the irreversible effects of gun violence first-hand.
The individuals descending the Capitol steps represent just a portion of the victims that have fallen due to mass shootings. In its June issue, TIME magazine put the situation into perspective by listing the name of every person killed in a mass shooting over the past 34 years. The list of 630 names suggests this is a national epidemic that, in one way or another, must be addressed. Unless a vote is held on the bipartisan gun control bill, family members of those victims will continue to press Congress to act.
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