September 6, 2016 at 11:54 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Gun control supporters protest on Capitol Hill

gun control, gay news, Washington Blade

Gun control advocates stage a die-in outside the Rayburn House Office Building on Sept. 6, 2016. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

More than a dozen gun control supporters took part in a protest on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

Members of the D.C. chapter of Gays Against Guns, Code Pink and WERK for Peace were dancing to music as they marched around the Cannon, Longworth and Rayburn House Office Buildings on Independence Avenue. They also staged “die-ins” on the steps of the Rayburn House Office Building and in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Three members of Gays Against Guns wearing white marched silently while holding posters that contained the names and pictures of victims of gun violence. These include Deeniquia Dodds, a black transgender woman who died in July after she was shot in the neck in Northeast Washington.

Congress returned from its summer recess on Tuesday.

Activists earlier in the day placed pink flyers from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence on the doors of lawmakers’ offices that note 4,500 people died from gun violence during the recess. People who were inside the Longworth House Office Building watched the protesters from windows as they marched on C Street, S.E.

“We’re out here to send a strong message to Congress: Welcome back, do your jobs,” Phil Attey, co-founder of the D.C. chapter of Gays Against Guns, told the Washington Blade.

Mandy Toomey of Moms Demand Action, a group that formed in response to the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 students and six staffers dead, echoed Attey.

“It’s time to get to work,” Toomey told the Blade. “There’s so much to be done in the areas of gun violence prevention. We’re just seeing an increase every day.”

Protester: Rubio ‘spitting on the graves’ of Pulse victims

Tuesday’s protest took place nearly three months after a gunman killed 49 people and injured 53 others inside the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

Firas Nasr of WERK for Peace began the protest with a moment of silence in honor of the victims of the massacre that is the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history.

Nasr told the Blade the Pulse nightclub shooting was “the biggest impetus” behind the protest, although he noted the movement for gun control included LGBT people before the June 12 massacre. Nasr added he and others who took part in Tuesday’s protest also support the Black Lives Matter movement and efforts to close loopholes “allow for people to get guns without background checks.”

“Orlando was the final straw for us to really come out and say this is wrong,” he said.

Attey specifically criticized U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who announced his re-election campaign after the Pulse nightclub massacre.

Rubio sparked outrage last month when he delivered the keynote address at an anti-LGBT conference that took place at an Orlando hotel two months after the massacre. The former Republican presidential candidate will face U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.) in the general election.

Attey accused Rubio of “spitting on the graves of the 49 people who died at Pulse.”

“If the voters of Florida care about what happened at Pulse and they care about the safety of their kids, whether they’re LGBT or not, the choice in this election is clear,” Attey told the Blade. “You cannot vote for Marco Rubio. You have to vote for Patrick Murphy.”

The Pride Fund to End Gun Violence, a political action committee that formed after the Pulse nightclub massacre, on Tuesday announced it has endorsed Hillary Clinton. The Democratic National Committee and LGBT activists are among those who have criticized Donald Trump’s response to the shooting that included a renewed call to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

  • Troy Scott

    They need to come down here to Arkansas and lay on the mid-day asphalt. I figure about an hour of that and we wont have to shoot them.

    • LloydChristmass

      Wow. Seriously?

      • Troy Scott

        Yes and the puggy one in the middle needs to be turned more often.

        • broknprism

          “pudgy” Damn. Did any of you people go to school?

  • LloydChristmass

    Progressive-minded individuals SHOULD be all for gun rights ideologically speaking, but guns are more cultural than anything else, like many other issues, either you grew up with them and understand them and responsible ownership and don’t hate them, or, you didn’t and see no need for them: https://mattsamerica.wordpress.com/2016/09/04/why-progressives-should-love-the-2nd-amendment/

  • Joe Potosky

    The Pink Pistols (a pro-gun gay group) was not protesting, but not why I’m posting.

    I gather it would be to much to ask if when they went back to there home states they would support passing common sense mandatory criminal control.

    Step one.

    If charged with having/using a firearm unlawfully….

    No reduced bail, Subject to an automatic dangerousness hearing, No plea bargains, No reduced sentences, No early release from prison, and minimum state sentencing laws for assaults and/or robberies committed with a firearm.

    No need for step two.

    If you believe jails are overcrowded and think most criminals should receive community service, go for it. But, when a criminal gets to the point of carrying a gun, a different and more serious ball game and mandated rules needed.

  • Amanofdragons

    Sad that it took three gun control groups to scrounge up just over a dozen protesters.

  • HansonBro

    Pathetic.

    Maybe Nude Car Washes would attract more attention?

  • Mark Cichewicz

    So they (republicans) still think we (LGBTQ) don’t need to be a protected class? Whose the bigot here…

    • broknprism

      “who’s”

  • Rodrigo

    Wonder how much money each made before they got up! ;-D

  • Toitchynuts

    Pack fudge not heat!

    • lnm3921

      Can we pack the fudge down your throat? That’s typically what pours out of it!

      • Toitchynuts

        I have no intention of fulfilling your fantasy

        • lnm3921

          Practice euthanasia. It would be an act of kindness to the rest of us. Then we will make you fertilizer and finally useful!

  • broknprism

    You guys are gonna be sorry you fought for this when the Muslim migration is in full swing. They don’t like you, and they’re going to be armed. Take responsibility for your own safety: strap one on. And if you’re under 30 and lying down with a sign? Get up. You don’t know anything, and you look stupid. Theater accomplishes nothing. You need money, power, or force. Pick.

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