After every tragedy, the standard thing to do is to hold a “moment of silence” to honor the victims.
However, some people have always found this to be an inappropriate response, and now some members of Congress have brought this movement to light. Support has been coming in from all over the world, so why would some protest this act of remembrance?
Why a “Moment of Silence”?
A moment of silent reflection has been a tradition for centuries. Quakers have been practicing moments of silence for at least 300 years. The first officially recorded moment of silence to honor someone’s death was in 1912, in the Portuguese Senate. They held an official moment of silence for José Maria da Silva Paranhos Júnior, a baron and the Minister of the Exterior. of the Brazilian government. Ever since then, it has been the tradition to hold a moment of silence in any death that is very public. Customary moments of silence are one minute long in the public today.
Why Are These Members of Congress Protesting?
Silence. That is why. Because Silence is equal to inaction. Congress has the job of trying to fix this issue. They could ban these weapons, they could ban guns all together, they could add waiting periods, they could even add mental health checks to acquiring a gun license. But they don’t. That is the problem. People shift the debate to banning guns, but we all can agree that there are other ways to restrict guns without banning them. But Congress is not doing that. They do NOTHING. This is just one part of a growing resentment towards those that refuse to act.
Who is protesting?
Representative Jim Himes, D-Connecticut is the main face of the movement. This is because he stood up and rejected the moment of silence the day before Congress was set to have the moment. He said that this Congress is plagued by inaction, and a moment of silence just highlights that fact. Instead of standing in silence, Congress should be acting.
Seth Moulton, of the Massachusetts 6th is another leader in the movement. He is a veteran of the Iraq war, and has spoken out against these weapons. He has famously said that “I know assault rifles. I carried one in Iraq. They have no place on America’s streets”.
Katherine Clark, Massachusetts 5th, is the third major Congress member on the non-silence train. She opposed the moment of silence because, “I couldn’t stand by what is seeming to be an empty gesture that we have in the House of Representatives.” When confronted with the idea that walking out on a moment of silence as disrespectful, Representative Clark responded that “What I see as disrespectful is that we have a moment of silence when these horrible tragedies occur and then we never act.”
A member of the Senate, Chris Murphy started a filibuster on the floor of the Senate that lasted for over 14 hours. he began the filibuster on Wednesday night, into Thursday, and finally he tweeted that there will be a vote on gun control.
Likely, nothing significant will happen. Government needs to act, and the pro-gun side of the government is not budging. Obstructionist politics have stopped any progress, and the representatives have to move on to other things. Even Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, while being cavalier and disrespectful believes in some gun control.
But something needs to change. But we said the same thing after Aurora, Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, and now Orlando.