Reps. Clark, Moulton refuse to partake in Congress’s moment of silence, call for gun policy change

Rep. Katherine Clark calls for action on gun control following Orlando shooting. Rep. Katherine Clark via Facebook

As Congress observed a moment of silence Monday night for the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando, at least two Massachusetts representatives were not in attendance.

Democratic Rep. Katherine Clark, of the state’s 5th congressional district, posted on social media that she was refusing to take part in the gesture.

If the LGBT community has taught us anything, it’s that silence is the enemy of progress. I refuse to take part in a…

Posted by Congresswoman Katherine Clark on Monday, June 13, 2016

“If the LGBT community has taught us anything, it’s that silence is the enemy of progress,” Clark said. “I refuse to take part in a moment of silence by a Congress that takes part in empty gestures rather than do something – anything – that could actually prevent these horrific acts from happening.”


Rep. Seth Moulton, a Democrat representing Massachusetts’s 6th district, tweeted that he walked out and would not be attending “any more House ‘Moments of Silence’ for mass shooting victims.”

The Republican-controlled House observed a moment of silence Monday at 6:45 p.m. in honor of the 49 killed Sunday at an Orlando gay nightclub, victims of the deadliest mass shooting in United States history.

In the wake of the shooting, Democrats have resumed pressing Republicans to hold a vote on stricter gun policy, including a bill to ban people on terrorism watch lists from purchasing firearms, a proposal that failed in the Senate last December. A more sweeping effort to expand gun control, following the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, was also blocked by Senate Republicans in 2013.

“Inaction says the lives lost to gun violence don’t matter,” Clark said.

Democratic Rep. Jim Himes, who represents Connecticut’s 4th district, bordering Newtown, also decried the moment of silence in the absence of policy action.

According to multiple reports, Democratic lawmakers followed the House’s moment of silence Monday night with chants of “Where’s the bill?”


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