California Rep. Ted Lieu (D) shocked people across the country on Monday when he walked out of a congressional moment of silence for the victims of the Texas church shooting in Sutherland Springs, instead opting to press for gun control legislation on social media.
Lieu, a vocal critic of President Donald Trump who represents some of the wealthiest communities in Los Angeles and the surrounding area, took to Facebook Live to rally for a many-pronged approach to gun control.
“My colleagues right now are doing a moment of silence in the House of Representatives chambers,” he said in a selfie-style video. “I respect their right to do that, and I myself have participated in many of them.”
“But I can’t do this again. I’ve been to too many moments of silences. In just my short career in Congress, three of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history have occurred. I will not be silent. What we need, is we need action.”
“We need to pass gun safety legislation now. Behind me is the House of Representatives chambers. I urge us to pass reasonable gun safety legislation, including a universal background check law, supported by 80 percent of Americans, a ban on assault rifles, and a ban on bump stocks. We need to do that. We cannot be silent. We need to act now. Now I gotta go back to vote. Thanks for watching.”
While some commenters on the video expressed support for Lieu’s bold protest and agreed with the need for increased gun control, others felt that his actions were far too tone deaf.
“This was extremely disrespectful to the families who are mourning loved ones in #SutherlandSpringsTexas, it is embarrassing to the USA that a member of #Congress would behave in such a manner,” one person wrote.