Families touched by gun violence are organizing on Capitol Hill, holding a 24/7 vigil until tougher gun control legislation is passed, and they’re going to stay as long as it takes.
The event is called NoMoreNames, and comprises numerous progressive and faith-based groups standing together until the Senate passes tougher gun control legislation. Kicking off the event, volunteers read the names of individuals killed by guns since the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut in December. Reading off the names took a stunning 32 hours and 40 minutes.
The Senate is currently debating a bipartisan bill which will expand background checks. The vigil will begin again when the Senate reconvenes on Monday, and will continue until the final vote on the bill, during which volunteers will read the names yet again.
NoMoreNames is headed up by Arkadi Gerney for the Center for American Progress. Gerney said that the vigil could last weeks, but volunteers are expected to stay for as long as it takes. The debate process will feature rigorous discussion and various proposed amendments, and it’s anyone’s guess how long the process will take.
But NoMoreNames will be present on the House of Representatives side of Capitol Hill the whole time, reading the names in 20-minute shifts. Several prominent figures are expected to participate, and Eddie Weingart will lead the vigil. Weingart watched his mother’s murder at the hands of her ex-husband when he was a toddler.
The Huffington Post reports that groups participating in NoMoreNames include: The Center for American Progress Action Fund, Americans for Responsible Solutions, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Coalition To Stop Gun Violence, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, chapters of Million Mom March, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Newtown Action Alliance, PICO National Network, Project to End Gun Violence, Protest Easy Guns, and Sojourners.
Regardless of the gun control debate’s progress in the Senate, many observers believe that whatever the final proposal looks like, it will be held up when it goes to the Republican-controlled House for vote.
Still, Senate aides report that Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to propose amendments from Dianne Feinstein’s strict assault weapons ban, with full knowledge that they will be struck down. This will be an apparent effort to cover for Democratic legislators from pro-gun states, and get gun control legislation passed in the Senate that Democrats will ultimately be comfortable with.
What do you think will happen in the gun control debate?