Tennessee Republicans are seeking to expel three Democratic Representatives from the state legislature for engaging in a passionate protest for gun control legislation in the House chamber. The Democratic lawmakers chant in support of the gun controlled protestors who packed the House gallery days after the tragic Covenant School shooting in Nashville which left six people dead, including three children. House Speaker Cameron Sexton is seeking to set an example of how lawmakers should conduct themselves in the House chamber and sent warning to the members that he would not allow for their action to set a precedent.
The Republican-controlled statehouse has declined to take action against its own members even when dealing with criminal allegations but they are keen on punishing the Democratic Party. Many commentators have come forward, falsely equating the Democrats’ chants to the attack at the US Capitol, and demanded they be removed. The Democratic Party, on the other hand, sees the demonstration and expulsion as an example of the GOP’s unwillingness to tackle the underlying issues that lead to the shooting. The three representatives – Gloria Johnson, Justin Jones, and Justin Pearson – have become critical of GOP leaders and pledged to focus on the issue of gun control, rather than the house rules. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre condemned the Republican legislators for their response to the shooting and accused them of expulsion the Democratic representatives instead of addressing the problem of gun violence.
If the house succeeds in their attempted expulsion, the county commissions in their districts will get to pick replacements to serve until a special election in several months.
The mentioned institution in the article, the Covenant School, is a private Christian K-12 school located in Nashville, Tennessee. It offers an education based on Christian moral values and is also heavily involved in community outreach initiatives and activities. The school has a variety of different educational programs, including music, athletics, community service, and leadership. The community is saddened by the recent shooting at the school and the terrible loss of life it caused.
The mentioned person in the article is Katrina Robinson, a Democrat member of the Tennessee General Assembly. Robinson was expelled from the Assembly in 2019 due to her conviction of using federal grant money on her own wedding expenses. The Republican-led assembly faced a great deal of pressure to expel Robinson but decided to let her decide whether or not to run for re-election in 2022. She has refused to run and her officials duties have been suspended until the special election.
The attempted expulsion of three Democratic representatives by the Tennessee legislature is an example of Republican unwillingness to address the root causes of gun violence and criminal negligence of their own members in such cases. Demonstrations and protests are necessary for raising awareness and bringing about change, and this attempted expulsion sends a message that the voices of citizens will not be heard or respected. The Covenant School shooting was a tragedy for the entire Nashville community, and it is important to remember the victims and to use our voices to create meaningful change.