Excerpt from: CREDO Action
On Monday, directly following an official moment of silence for the victims of the tragic Orlando shooting, Democrats in the House of Representatives shouted down Speaker of the House Paul Ryan in a bold, public display of disgust with his and his party’s devotion to hollow and empty gestures instead of real action on gun control.1
On Wednesday, Democrats in the Senate, led by Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, launched a talking filibuster to try to force a vote on universal background checks and closing the terror watchlist gap. After a filibuster of nearly 15 hours, Republicans reportedly agreed to vote on narrowly focused bills to require universal background checks and close the terror watchlist gap.
We appreciate these Democratic members for their public stands against the NRA’s lock on the Republican party, and want to make sure they know that there’s massive grassroots support for them to do more, and do more now.
With public outrage and attention focused again on the issue of gun violence, now is the time for Congress to go big to stop the massive wreckage and violence inflicted by guns in our communities. The leaders of the Democratic Party – Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and President Barack Obama – should build on the momentum of their colleagues’ actions, put aside business as usual, and use every tactic at their disposal to force a vote on comprehensive gun control legislation that includes a ban on assault weapons before ANY other legislative action occurs in Congress.
They have the power to force this issue and make it their absolute top priority. Now is the time to do exactly that.
Tell Democratic leadership: Force a vote on a comprehensive gun control package, including a ban on assault weapons.
It’s painfully clear that Republicans are too firmly in the grip of the NRA to even allow a vote banning military-grade assault weapons that have absolutely no business in the hands of ordinary citizens. But Republican intransigence is no longer a suitable excuse for Democrats to accept the status quo – not after 49 Americans were shot and killed, and over 50 wounded, in a horrific hate crime against the LGBT community.
Democratic leaders have the tools and leverage at their disposal to elevate this issue and make it the top priority in Washington right now. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi can force a vote in the House through a tactic known as a “discharge petition,” which would force every member of Congress to take a position and vote on an assault weapons ban. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid can deploy a number of procedural votes to force every member of the Senate to go on record on whether an assault weapons ban should be considered. And all three, including President Obama, can pledge to take up no other legislative business until this critical issue of American safety and security is addressed. We need to make sure they know we’ll have their backs if they lead in this bold way.
In addition to advocating for narrowly focused measures such as universal background checks, Democrats should forcefully push for a comprehensive gun control legislation package that includes banning the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and large capacity magazines for civilian use; banning convicted domestic abusers, stalkers and people convicted of violent hate crimes from buying guns; and ending the ban on gun violence research.
A national tragedy and public crisis like this calls for leadership and clarity. With public opinion strongly on Democrats’ side, there is absolutely no reason why they can’t take bold, extraordinary measures to ensure the safety and security of Americans while forcing every member of Congress to go on the record about whether they care more about American lives or the NRA’s political support.2
- Tell Democratic leadership: Force a vote on a comprehensive gun control package, including a ban on assault weapons.
- Tell Democratic leadership:
“Do everything in your power, including halting all other legislative business, to force a vote on comprehensive gun control reforms, including banning the sale of assault weapons.”
- Go to the below to sign the petition:
Thank you for your activism.
Heidi Hess, Senior Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
Rebecca Shabad, “Democrats shout down Paul Ryan after Orlando shooting moment of silence,” CBS News, June 13, 2016.
Reena Flores, “After Orlando, do Americans support assault weapons ban?,” CBS News, June 15, 2016.
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