Two Democratic congressmen expelled for protesting gun control in wake of Nashville school shooting

Two Democratic congressmen expelled for protesting gun control in wake of Nashville school shooting

The House of Representatives of the state of Tennessee, in the United States, has voted to expel two Democratic members of Congress for their participation in the protests in favor of gun control, called after the attack that left six people dead, three of them children, at a school in Nashville, the state capital.

Thursday last week, dozens of protesters entered the Republican-majority House, to protest for more regulation on gun control, especially automatic weapons like the one used in the Nashville school assault a few days earlier.

Among the demonstrators were. three Democratic Party congressmen, without being at first recognized by the rest of the congressmen who were in the House, as reconstructed by the U.S. network CNN.

The images are from the agents' body cameras.

The controversy came when, days later, Republican congressmen accused these three Democrats of having participated in the demonstration, showing videos in which they can indeed be identified, and initiated a process that allows their expulsion if there is a two-thirds majority vote, a measure that has been used only twice since 1860.

One of the votes failed to reach sufficient agreement to expel Congresswoman Gloria Johnson, who has also emphasized that her expulsion, that of the only white congresswoman among the three defendants, has been also the only one that did not make it through.

White House: “Anti-democratic.”

Justin Jones and Justin Pearson will not be able to continue their work in the federal Congress, but have reaffirmed their commitment to reforming U.S. gun laws.

The Nashville Police Department released security camera images of the route taken by Audrey Elizabeth Hale, the 28-year-old shooter who killed six people, three of them minors, at a school in the U.S. city.

“We called for an assault weapons ban and you have responded with an assault on democracy.” Jones has chided in his speech in front of the chamber before the vote.

The White House, through its spokeswoman, Karine Jean-Pierre, condemned this possible expulsion hours before the vote took place: “That this vote is going to take place is alarming, undemocratic and unprecedented. Across Tennessee and across America, our children are paying the price for the actions of Republican lawmakers who continue to refuse to act to create tougher gun laws.”

“The president (Joe Biden) will continue to call on Congress to act to. ban assault weapons (…), and federal officials should do the same,” he said.

Kayleigh Williams