As the Democratic House of Representatives' "sit-in" on gun control inaction continues into the evening, Speaker Paul Ryan has a disapproving response to the sit-in and the day's events. In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday evening, he called the occupation of the Congressional floor nothing more than "a publicity stunt," adding that House liberals were more interested in headlines than solving the problem.
Speaker Ryan explained that House Democrats' efforts would actually violate Second Amendment rights and, instead, make insignificant strides in preventing terrorist attacks, which was one of their expressed goals. "This is not about a solution to a problem. This is about trying to get attention," he told Blitzer. Speaker Ryan also insisted that House Republicans would not take up gun bills already voted down by the Senate on Monday. He noted that he and House Republicans would only respond to legislation drafted in a "calm and cool manner," which evidently, does not include sit-ins and occupations of the House floor.
Additionally, in response to the criticism he faced regarding the shutting off of cameras, and video and audio feed, Speaker Ryan defended his actions, saying it was standard procedure when the body is in recess. Still, Democrats made a point to express their distaste for House Republicans' lack of concern for Democrats' cause.
Others are defending Speaker Ryan's stance on the issue, remarking that in the Republican sit-in eight years ago over a vote to expand oil and gas drilling, not only were cameras shut off, but so were the lights and microphones. The Republicans carried on for hours in the dark discussing gas prices.
That was something worth pointing out, according to Speaker Ryan, since according to the right-wingers of Congress and critics of the sit-in, the Democrats are expecting some type of special treatment from the House leadership when it simply is not procedure.
This time around, House Democrats — and some members of the Democratic Senate — are literally seated on the carpeted floor of the House demanding a vote, and refusing to leave until they receive one. The sit-in, led by Rep. John Lewis, began mid-morning on the floor of the House, and is proceeding well into the evening. The periscope broadcast from Rep. Scott Peters' mobile phone is still airing on CSPAN. As for Speaker Ryan, he doesn't seem to have a desire to give into Democrats' calls for gun control measures any time soon.