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VP Kamala Harris visits Democrat TN lawmakers, delivers fiery speech

Vice President Kamala Harris visited Nashville, TN, on Friday to meet with the Democrat representatives; and deliver a speech at Fisk University.  The visit was in response to a series of events furthering the divide in the Tennessee House, including the divide on gun control issues and the approach to affecting action and change.  

Representatives Justin Tyson and Justin Jones were ousted from the Nashville house last Thursday in response to their participation (along with a third representative, Gloria Johnson) in the protests on the capitol for gun control reform in the wake of The Covenant School shooting that killed 6.  During the protest, the three disrupted House proceedings and approached the lectern with a bullhorn to lead the protest in chants for gun control reform.  Representative Gloria Johnson was spared from removal from the house by one vote.  

Harris met with the three representatives privately, as well as taking the time to meet with multiple advocates and the entire democrat state caucus; before later delivering a fiery rebuke of the republican house and praise to the “Tennessee three” (as they are now being called) for actions in defense of stricter gun control.  

“We are here because [Jones, Pearson, and Johnson] and their colleagues in the Democratic caucus chose to show courage in the face of extreme tragedy,” said Vice President Harris to roughly 500 attendees in a packed Fisk University chapel.  “They chose to lead and show courage and say that a democracy allows for places where the people’s voice will be heard and honored and respected.”

She also went on to voice the general sentiment about gun control reform from Democrat lawmakers: “Our country needs to take action on gun violence – to do that, we need more voices like theirs speaking out…Assault weapons … are weapons of war..These are weapons that are designed to kill a lot of people quickly. They have no place on the streets of a civil society.”

She went on to echo a common fear and undercurrent about the expulsion of the two Democrat lawmakers: “We have to be honest and transparent that race plays a huge part in a lot of the decision-making that happens not only in this state but in other states…To cut off somebody else’s belief and ability to fight for their people is wrong.  We live in a country that is built on democracy, and I would hope that we will one day get back to that place.”


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