A group of House Democrats gained widespread media coverage on Wednesday by hosting a sit-in protest in hopes of forcing a vote on proposed gun control measures. Twitter users on both sides of the issue made use of the trending hashtag #NoBillNoBreak to share their thoughts on the legislative demonstration.
Dems 3 months ago: Cops are racist murderers!
Dems today: Cops are the only ones who should be allowed to have guns! #NoBillNoBreak
— elisabethlehem (@elisabethlehem) June 22, 2016
— taylor schumann (@taylorsschumann) June 22, 2016
While the hotly contested topic of gun control has only grown more intense since the recent deadly massacre in Orlando, Fla., many Republican leaders criticized Wednesday’s demonstration as an improper form of expression.
In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, House Speaker Paul Ryan offered three reasons he is critical of the display.
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) June 22, 2016
“First I would tell you, Wolf,” he said, “this is nothing more than a publicity stunt.”
Furthermore, he noted the bill Congress members are trying to get a vote on “was already defeated in the United States Senate.”
One of the salient proposals protesting lawmakers have been trying to present for a vote would prevent individuals on the terror watch list from purchasing a firearm. Such dissolution of a citizen’s constitutional right without a trial, Ryan concluded, is reason enough to oppose the bill.
“We are not going to take away a citizen’s due process rights,” he declared. “We’re not going to take away a citizen’s constitutional rights without due process.”
Instead of demanding action on an issue many conservatives see as peripheral in a discussion of the Orlando attack, Ryan urged lawmakers to come together to effect real change.
“Let’s focus on the issue at hand here — terrorism,” he concluded. “And let’s find out what we have to do to prevent future terrorist attacks.”