Why the Democratic Sit-in over Gun Control Isn’t Childish

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Even if the Democrats’ sit-in on the House floor is misinformed and ill-advised, it certainly isn’t childish.

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By Christopher “Flood the Drummer®” Norris

6.23.16: Nation – (Politics): A childish act is when a real-estate mogul turned presumptive Republican presidential nominee, upon perceiving to be the victim of an insult or the butt of a joke, responds to his adversary with equal mockery rather than take the high-road, as one might expect of an executive seeking to run a powerful nation.

Childish is when a Republican U.S Senator during a 21 hour filibuster reads a children’s book on the Senate floor to protest the Affordable Care Act instead of proposing alternatives.

Closing New Jersey access lanes to the George Washington Bridge and creating massive traffic jams as a form of political retribution for a Democrat Mayor who opted not to support a Republican Governor is also childish.

What isn’t childish, however, is when Democrats, following the deadliest mass shooting in American history, sat-in on the House floor, impeded the flow of work, and sang we shall overcome – with some lyrics changed to fit the context of the moment: we shall have a bill someday, for example – in response to, and in protest of, Republicans’ unwillingness to bring to a vote “common sense” gun control legislation, though earlier in the week four gun control amendments – two backed by Republicans and two backed by Democrats – were voted on in the Senate but all failed to garner the necessary 60 votes to proceed.

The radical act viewed by many across the country was led by a man who’s no stranger to revolution and resistance: Congressman John Lewis, who as a young man marched with Dr. Martin Luther King from Birmingham to Selma to demand the right to vote.

“We will not be happy, we will not be satisfied, we will not be pleased, until we do something in a major way…make a major down payment on ending gun violence in America,” Congressman Lewis stated.

 

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Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, who’s rumored to be a name on Mrs. Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential short-list, told CNN that the protest, which was being broadcast on Periscope after House Speaker Paul D. Ryan turned off the C-Span cameras, will “bring the country closer to reforming gun laws.”

The Washington Post’s Mr. Chris Cillizza thinks the opposite will happen. Mr. Cillizza wrote that partisanship in the House will get worse, and that Republicans, whose constituents don’t desire gun reform, will look stronger for their steadfastness in the face of Democrats who want to force a “no-fly-no-buy” policy – meaning persons on the no-fly-list are unable to buy a gun – on the public.

The Gawker website published an article calling the bill that Democrats are fighting for “bad and stupid” and suggested that it would “do little to reduce gun violence but it would add an additional layer of surveillance and government scrutiny to a particular class of people.”

Even if what Gawker printed about the bill is true, it would make the Democratic sit-in misinformed and ill-advised, but certainly not childish.

Children don’t often possess the conviction, awareness or boldness to express their frustration about policy in a way that garners much attention and forces a conversation in the media. When children are told to hush, they are expected to do so. The Democrats who staged the sit-in, however, are resisting calls for quiet as they don’t perceive they’re civil disobedience as child’s play.

It’s easy to insult, complain and cause chaos, that’s what children do regularly in school. But it’s a bit harder to muster the courage to embrace your constitutional rights and fight for what you believe is in the best interest of yourself and others; that’s not something children do often; and it’s certainly not a childish act.

 

 

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About Christopher “Flood the Drummer®” Norris

Christopher "Flood the Drummer®" Norris is an award-winning journalist, online content producer and professional drummer currently serving as the CEO of Techbook Online, a news and event company.

Christopher “Flood the Drummer®” Norris is an award-winning journalist, online content producer and professional drummer currently serving as the CEO of Techbook Online, a news and event company.

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