September 15, 2016 8:00 AM
John Lewis took the floor of House of Representatives Wednesday, demanding Congress take action on gun control legislation. The issue has been a priority for Lewis, who cited several Atlantans who were recent victims of gun violence as reasons to act immediately.
Following his remarks, Lewis was joined in the well by Reps. Robin Kelly (D-IL), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Joseph Kennedy III (D-MA), John Larson (D-CT), Mike Thompson (D-CA), Elizabeth Etsy (D-CT), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Lois Capps (D-CA), and Katherine Clark (D-MA). A statement from Lewis’ office notes that following the group’s endorsement, “the House was immediately gaveled into recess.”
From his speech:
Today, I ask you to think of Taylor Hayden, the beautiful young woman celebrating a girls weekend in Atlanta, who was killed by gang crossfire. Please think of the young woman killed while driving home from work in Southwest Atlanta. Think of the woman fighting for her life at this very moment in Grady hospital. Just last week, she was injured in a shooting that brought I-85 to a stop.
Mr. Speaker, time and time again, we asked for compassion. Time and time again, we asked for action. Time and time again, we asked for leadership. Our constituents are sick and tired of a do nothing Congress. They elected us to do our jobs. Instead, Congress took a break. Mr. Speaker, Republicans must join Democrats, and do what is right, what is just, and what is long overdue. There are good, common-sense proposals that not only protect rights, but also will save lives. These bills should be passed immediately.
We have mission, an obligation, and a mandate. History will not be kind if Congress continues to turn a blind eye and a cold shoulder to those crying, begging, and pleading for action. We must pass common-sense legislation to prevent gun violence and mass shootings in our country, and we must act now. Not next week, next week, or next year, but now.
Lewis did not specify which bills he wanted he supported.
You can watch the video of his speech: