Rep. Esty Explains U.S. House Sit-In, Need For Action On Gun Control

Jun 22, 2016

Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn. accompanied by Rep. Mike Thompson, R-Calif., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington in 2015, about bipartisan legislation on gun safety. Today Esty and about 30 Democratic House members participated in a sit-in protest, seeking a vote on gun control legislation.
Credit Carolyn Kaster / AP

The sit-in on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives attracted the participation of all members of the Connecticut Congressional delegation, including Representative Elizabeth Esty, whose district includes Newtown.

Esty won election to her seat in Congress a month before the December 2012 mass shooting of 20 first graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. So gun violence has been the number one issue she’s had to deal with the entire time she’s been in Congress. In a call to WSHU from the sit-in on the floor of the House, she expressed her exasperation.

“I’ve been frustrated in my three and half years in Congress, that my ability to represent my district, including Newtown, has been blocked by House leadership that has refused to call up a single piece of legislation for us to even vote on, even debate, not one in three and half years. And I think the level of frustration with that and the intense desire to make a difference is what we are seeing pouring out today on the floor of the House.”

Esty says U.S. Senator Chris Murphy’s filibuster in the Senate last week, and the public support it garnered, inspired her and other House members to launch the sit-in.