(ConservativeSense.com) – Lawmakers in the Tennessee House of Representatives voted to expel two members for participating in a March gun control rally at the Capitol buildings. The protestors entered the State Capitol following the killing of 6 people at the Covenant Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee. Rep. Justin Jones (D-Nashville) and Rep. Justin Pearson (D-Memphis) were expelled from the House after Representatives voted 72-25 to approve the ejection. Rep. Gloria Johnson (D-Knoxville) also lent her voice to the protest but survived the expulsion motion.
The three Reps. were stripped of their committee roles immediately after the protests. They led the chants of demonstrators on the House floor, which House Speaker Cameron Sexton described as unacceptable.
In his defense, just before the vote, Rep. Justin Jones said, “To those who here will cast a vote for expulsion, I was fighting for your children, too, to live free from the terror of school shootings.”
Senators and Representatives in Washington, DC, rallied behind the Tennesseans and called the expulsion an assault on democracy. In addition, some have denounced the move as racist because both expelled members are black. Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nev.) said excluding black members proves that racism is alive and well in Tennessee.
The Congressional Black Caucus lashed out at the Republican-controlled House and issued a statement condemning the action as an abdication of its responsibility to keep citizens safe.
President Biden also weighed into the controversy. The White House issued a statement saying it was shocking and undemocratic that the House had dismissed demonstrators for demanding that their leaders take action on gun control.
Biden has long advocated legislation to ban assault rifles nationwide and reiterated that call in his statement. In addition, he wants Congress to enact legislation requiring background checks for every purchaser.
“A strong majority of Americans want lawmakers to act on commonsense gun safety reforms that we know will save lives,” the President said.
The shooting on March 27th was the deadliest in the history of Tennessee.
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