Nearly 24 hours after it began, the gun control sit-in was still going strong on Thursday morning in Congress — even if the representatives looked a bit worn out. The sit-in started around 11 a.m. on Wednesday when Representative John Lewis of Georgia announced that he and his Democratic colleagues were not adjourning for the 4th of July holiday until Congress voted on a gun control bill — a bill that would keep people on the "no-fly" list from purchasing guns. Beginning with Lewis' speech announcing the sit-in, and continuing throughout the night and into Thursday morning, House Democrats delivered speeches at the gun control sit-in — speeches that exemplified their dedication to the fight for gun control legislation, and went far beyond the catchy #NoBillNoBreak slogan.
The Atlantic reported that Representative Lewis called for the sit-in by addressing Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan:
We have lost hundreds and thousands of innocent people to gun violence — tiny little children, babies, students, and teachers, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, daughters and sons, friends and neighbors. And what has this body done? Mr. Speaker, not one thing.
In this quote Representative Lewis made it clear to Speaker Ryan and House Republicans, that the Democrats were driven to action because of the Republican-controlled House's inaction on gun control — even after the deadliest mass shooting in American history took place in Orlando on June 12.
Later, on Wednesday night, Lewis delivered more inspiring words:
We're going to continue to sit in and sit down. By sitting in and sitting down, we're standing up.
According to CNN, Florida Representative, Ted Deutch, shared an important message on Thursday morning, referencing how lucky he felt to be alive to sit-in — unlike those who have been killed by gun violence.
I am tired, I am cold, and I am hungry. Let me remind everyone watching how privileged I am to be tired, cold, and hungry. These are feelings that I am privileged to have because so many will never feel that again.
NPR reported that House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi also spoke during the sit-in, and called out House Republicans for their inaction on gun control.
Just because they cut and run in the dark of night, just because they have left doesn't mean we are taking no for an answer.
Representative Pelosi was referring to the fact that House Republicans adjourned and left the Capitol early Thursday morning.
According to PBS, Texas Representative Al Greene, also called out House Republicans for their inaction on gun control — wanting Americans to understand why gun control legislation is so difficult to pass through Congress:
While the Americans don’t always expect us to win, they do expect us to fight. We demonstrated to the American why we can’t get votes on common sense safety measures.
Even though House Democrats know that Republicans will do all that they can to block gun control legislation, the leaders of the sit-in proved through their actions and words that they are determined to pass the legislation they believe will keep Americans safer.
Representative Maxine Waters of California expressed this determination during the sit-in saying:
I'm prepared to stand here until hell freezes over.
House Democrats have a long fight ahead of them in order to pass gun control legislation, but if the sit-in proves anything, it's that these representatives could not be more passionate and determined — they're tired of inaction, and ready to do all they can to protect Americans from gun violence.