Junior Democrat Rep. Ted Lieu walked out of a Congressional moment of silence for victims of the Texas church massacre Monday.
In a video he posted to Facebook, Calif. Rep. Lieu said he wouldn’t he joining his fellow Congressmen in the House of Representative chambers.
“I respect their right to do that and I myself have participated in many of them, but I can’t do this again,” he said. “I’ve been to too many moments of silences.”
“In just my short career in Congress, three of the worst mass shootings in us history have occurred. I will not be silent.”
The three shootings Rep. Lieu referred to were 2016’s Pulse Nightclub shooting where 49 people were killed, the Las Vegas shooting on Oct. 1 with 58 deaths, and Sunday’s church shooting that left 26 dead. Devin Kelley of New Braunfels, Texas walked into First Baptist Church Nov. 5 and opened fire, killing dozens and injuring over 20 people. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called the massacre “the largest mass shooting” in the state’s history.
Lieu voiced what he felt Congress needed to do to prevent further shootings.
“I urge us to pass reasonable gun safety legislation including a universal background check law, supported by 80% of Americans. a ban on assault rifles and a ban on bump stocks.”
Some people commended Lieu hard stances, while others slammed him for choosing a memorial to make his point.
“One minute is all you needed to wait…it’s an embarrassment you couldn’t show 60 seconds of respect before you started grandstanding,” a Facebook user, Josh McGuire replied. Another compared it to the recent NFL protests.
“Nice publicity stunt. Do you really need to resort to this to gain publicity? Kind reminds me of NFL players kneeling and disrespecting our flag and the fallen soldiers who died for what the flag represents,” commented another.
Earlier, Lieu slammed the NRA while addressing critics who felt his initial response was not enough.
“I agree my prior tweet could be better. So here: I pray for the victims in TX. Also, screw the @NRA & can you help Dems take back the House,” he tweeted.