The House floor dissolved into chaos on Monday night after a moment of silence for the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, with Democrats shouting in frustration as House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) tried to keep order.
— ABC News (@ABC) June 14, 2016
A moment of silence is traditionally held to commemorate shooting victims, but after 49 people were slaughtered during a mass shooting at a gay nightclub on Sunday morning, some Democrats said that wasn’t enough.
“Where’s the bill?” Democratic reps shouted. “Show some respect!”
Ryan banged his gavel in vain, calling for order. Some representatives walked out of the room in protest, including Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT).
Himes announced that he’d skip out on the moment of silence earlier Monday, calling it an “abomination.”
The Connecticut representative’s district is close to Newtown, where 20 first-graders and six adults were fatally shot at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. Himes called moments of silence “obnoxious expressions of smug incompetence” on elected officials’ part.
Legislation to restrict the sale of assault weapons and to prevent people on the terror watch list from acquiring firearms has been introduced in the wake of previous mass shootings, but never advanced through Congress.
Despite his previous inclusion on an FBI terrorist watchlist, Omar Mateen, the US citizen who carried out the Orlando attack, was legally able to purchase a Glock handun and AR-15 assault rifle in Florida because he had no criminal record.