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Kamala Harris leads Tennessee rally in support of deposed lawmaker

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris made a last-minute visit to Tennessee on Friday to demand tougher firearms laws and criticize the Republican-controlled state legislature. He protested for stricter gun control following the school shooting in Nashville.

When Harris told an audience at Nashville’s historic Black Fisk College that the so-called Tennessee Three — Rep. Justin Jones and Rep. Justin Pearson, and the third Democratic Rep., Gloria Johnson — escaped expulsion by one vote. received thunderous applause and several standing ovations. — in her words, she was silent and suffocating for standing up for the lives of schoolchildren.

“Let’s understand that the underlying problem is fighting for the safety of our children,” Harris said. “For years they have been taught to read and write, to hide in closets and to be quiet when there is a school shooting. and have the ability to teach, and go to school in fear.”

She called for background checks, red flag laws, and restrictions on assault rifles.

“Let’s not make the wrong choice: either go for the Second Amendment or go for reasonable gun safety laws,” Harris said. “We can and should do both.”

Harris personally met with Jones, Pearson, and Johnson, as well as other elected officials and young people advocating tougher gun laws.

Prior to the event, students and others lined up down the block, hoping to enter the school’s memorial chapel. I was wearing a sweater with the initials of a certain Alpha Kappa Alpha.

“It’s exciting to see someone in my organization doing something amazing and amazing,” said one of them, Jasmyn Thrash.

Addressing the crowd before Harris arrived, Nashville Subway Alderman Zulfat Suara said the eviction was “exactly what we need to know about how the state views young black men.” Evoking the city’s civil rights history, she said, “I’m just like John Lewis and Diane Nash did years ago.” We will resist.”

Pearson, Johnson and Jones entered the packed chapel to a standing ovation.

President Joe Biden called their ousting “shocking, undemocratic and unprecedented.”

“Rather than discuss the merits of the[gun control]issue, these Republican lawmakers will punish, silence and expel duly elected representatives of the people of Tennessee,” Biden said in a statement Thursday. I chose to

The White House also said Biden spoke with Jones, Pearson and Johnson on a conference call Friday afternoon and thanked them “for their leadership in calling for a ban on offensive weapons and standing up for our democratic values.” rice field.

The expulsion of Jones and Pearson prompted accusations of racism. Johnson, who is white, was allowed to continue serving on the floor. Republican leadership denied that race was a factor.

Republican leaders say Thursday’s action, which has only been used a handful of times since the Civil War, is needed to avoid setting a precedent that it’s acceptable for lawmakers to disrupt the House of Representatives with protests. said it was.

Republican Rep. Gino Bruso said the three Democrats “effectively rebelled.”

Most state legislatures retain the power to expel members of parliament, a commonly used punishment for members accused of gross misconduct.


Miller reported from Washington.

https://ktla.com/news/kamala-harris-to-meet-with-expelled-tennessee-lawmakers/ Kamala Harris leads Tennessee rally in support of deposed lawmaker

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