State legislature refuses to act on gun violence following Covenant School shooting
Washington, D.C., April 7, 2023 – On Thursday, the Tennessee House of Representatives, along party lines, voted to expel two Black state representatives, Justin Jones and Justin J. Pearson, after they participated in a gun violence prevention protest at the state capitol in Nashville and demanded action following last week’s school shooting. A white lawmaker, Gloria Johnson, who was also at the protest was not expelled.
Kris Brown, president of Brady, said:
“It is a dark day for our democracy when state legislatures expel members for speaking out against gun violence instead of focusing on sensible action to end a preventable epidemic killing our children in school and on the streets.
“The Tennessee Speaker of the House called the lawmakers’ actions ‘unacceptable,’ but what is truly unacceptable is ignoring the senseless mass shooting of three children and three adults, ignoring the fact that gun violence is the number one killer of children, and ignoring those begging and pleading for change and for their lives.
“Additionally, gun violence disproportionately harms Black people yet the legislature expelled two Black lawmakers, from predominantly Black jurisdictions, which will undermine the representation and voices of that community.”
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.