Students across the country walk out of school to protest gun violence

Students across the country walk out of school to protest gun violence

The mass shooting at Nashville’s Covenant Presbyterian elementary school that left three nine-year-olds and three adults dead may feel like it was weeks ago, but it’s only been nine days since that horrific and tragic massacre.

In Tennessee, many have been protesting. Six days ago, on Thursday, thousands protested in Nashville, including at and inside the state Capitol. Three Democratic Representatives, Gloria Johnson, Justin Jones, and Justin Pearson, stood together in the well of the House in solidarity with those protesting gun violence and the Republican majority’s staunch refusal to do anything to address the “gun” part of gun violence.

Comparing the protestors to the rioters inside the U.S. Capitol during the January 6, 2021 insurrection, House Republican Speaker Cameron Sexton, outraged, this week stripped all three Democratic lawmakers of their committees. He vowed to take additional steps.

On Thursday, all three will face a vote of expulsion.

This is not a local story, and it is not a Tennessee story alone.

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The expulsion of three democratically-elected lawmakers – not for cause but for retribution – has become a national story, and has shocked many Americans already worried for our democracy.

Representatives Johnson, Jones, and Pearson’s “crime” was violating House decorum. That’s not just “manners,” of course, but how the House is governed, what rules everyone follows to presumably complete the people’s business. So it’s not “nothing,” but it’s far from a violation worthy of expulsion.

In 2019 Speaker Sexton refused to expel a Republican credibly accused of child sexual assault, saying the voters chose him as their representative. He said he believed expulsion should be on a case-by-case basis but could not see expelling a lawmaker unless there was a criminal indictment or conviction.

Speaker Sexton apparently has changed his mind, now that Democrats are causing him a problem.

And it is a very big problem Sexton would no doubt like to go away.

At the very core of this series of events is gun violence and a ruling political party – nationwide – that refuses to take any logical action to protect children, and all people in America, from guns.

Rather than act to implement gun reform, Speaker Sexton is acting to expel duly-elected lawmakers.

Meanwhile, the protests are continuing.

On Wednesday countless thousands of students across the country staged walkouts to protest gun violence and the lawmakers at every level who refuse to take action to turn the tide of mass murder.

Guns, and gun violence, the students will rightly tell you, are now the leading cause of their deaths.

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And so, they are protesting across the country.

In Boulder, Colorado.

In Portland, Oregon.

In Dallas, Texas.

In Framingham, Massachusetts.

In Uvalde, Texas.

In New York City, NY.

In Memphis, Tennessee.

In Seattle, Washington.

In Greensboro, North Carolina.

In Durham, North Carolina.

In Jackson, Mississippi.

In University Park, Pennsylvania.

In Valparaiso, Indiana.

In Kansas City, Missouri.

In Johnson City, Tennessee.

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