Tuesday, July 5, 2016

They're back: House gun legislation edition

The House is about to reconvene after a two week vacation. What's on the agenda? As little to do with gun legislation as possible:
Nearly two weeks after House Democrats staged a historic sit-in to demand action on gun control legislation, the Republican speaker of the House has agreed to hold a vote on a single gun-related bill: a measure to allow the attorney general to delay the sale of a gun to a suspected terrorist for three days, similar to a Senate measure backed by the National Rifle Association.

The House Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi, slammed the legislation on Friday as “a toothless NRA bill that will do nothing to keep our communities safe”, and promised that Democrats would continue to fight for tougher gun control laws, including expanded background checks on gun sales.
“Americans are fed up with Republicans’ dangerous obstruction of bipartisan, commonsense gun violence legislation,” Pelosi said in a statement.
Paul Ryan refuses to meet with more than two democrats, for fear that a larger meeting might infect him with a reasonability virus:
The speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, called the Democratic sit-in a “publicity stunt” and a “low moment”, and told a Wisconsin news outlet last week that any future protests from House Democrats would not be handled “in the same way”.
“We will not tolerate this,” he said.
Ryan has agreed to meet on Tuesday with the Connecticut representative John Larson and Georgia’s John Lewis, two of the organizers of the sit-in. A Republican congressional staffer said Lewis and Larson had asked Ryan to meet the full Democratic caucus, but that Ryan agreed to meet only the two of them.
Ryan and his crew are 'investigating' house democratic violations of the rules the GOP has imposed. Maybe they will appoint a special prosecutor. Meanwhile, he had a group of citizens advocating gun control staging a sit-in the Capitol Rotunda, arrested. 
Eight protesters who lost families and friends to gun violence staged a short sit-in in the Capitol Rotunda Tuesday before Capitol Police led them away in handcuffs.
At about 12:15 p.m., the group sat down in center the Rotunda and began chanting, "No Bill, No Break," the slogan used when House Democrats occupied the House floor in late June to demand action on gun violence.
Some of the protesters held photographs of loved ones and signs with such slogans as "My daughter is not a political stunt."
           About five minutes into the protest, Capitol Police stepped in to clear the area. Within 10 minutes, they handcuffed the protesters and arrested six of the eight participants, a Capitol Police spokeswomansaid. They were charged with demonstrating in an area where it is unlawful to do so.
Who are these protesters that Ryan had taken away in handcuffs?
Weingart was two years old when his mother was shot and killed in front of him during adomestic dispute. Weingart's stepfather tried unsuccessfully to shoot and kill him too, but the gun malfunctioned.
Like Weingart, the other protesters were all friends or family members of victims of gun violence. They included Pat Maisch, who was at the shooting in Tucson, Ariz., and helped disarm the shooter who injured former Rep. Gabriel Giffords.
Maisch was arrested along with Cameilla Williams of Chicago who has lost 24 loved ones to gun violence;Christian Heyne, whose mother killed in a 2005 in California;Margaret Eaddy, whose son shot and killed; and Jeannette Richardson, whose son was shot and killed on New Year's Eve 2004.
As the protest continued, they each took turns saying, "My daughter [or my son] is not a political stunt."
One protester, Bob Weiss, had tears in his eyes and could only get out the words, "My daugher," while holding a picture of a young woman. Weiss'19-year-old daughter Veronika was shot and killed in the 2014 Isla Vista shooting.
"I came here today and I'm going to keep coming as long as I can to let the speaker, Paul Ryan, understand that red blood, human bones and flesh should mean more than green paper," said Nardyne Jeffries, 46, of D.C., referring to funds Republicans receive from the National Rifle Association. "We have the right to live safely in America"
Jeffries' daughter Brishell was shot and killed at the age of 16 in Southeast D.C. on March 30, 2010. Three others were killed and several more wounded in one of the worst mass shootings in the District.
"The children were black and they were in southeast Washington, D.C., and this is what happens every day in cities like this and Chicago," Jeffries said. "Chicago had 64 shootings last night but nobody's interested."
Well, the NRA is not interested. As a consequence, Paul Ryan is not interested.  The House GOP caucus is not interested. The Senate GOP caucus is not interested. But most Americans are interested. 

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