A panel on CNN defended three Democrats who were targeted for expulsion from the Tennessee House of Representatives Thursday for their involvement in a gun control protest.
Democratic State Representatives Justin Jones of Nashville, Gloria Johnson of Knoxville and Justin Pearson of Memphis allegedly took part in the protest, using a bullhorn on the floor of the state House of Representatives, WKRN.com reported.
“They broke the rules in speaking up,” CNN anchor John King said. “The question is okay, six people were shot and killed in your community. Emotions are raw. Do you expel them for speaking up?”
“I mean, I think there’s a question of these lawmakers were democratically elected and are you essentially superseding the will of the people by expelling them?” NPR White House correspondent Asma Khalid asked. “I mean, that’s rather harsh, I think fairly unprecedented and people see, partisan move as a result of this.”
Protestors stormed the Tennessee state capitol March 30, demanding passage of gun control laws three days after Audrey Hale, a 28-year-old female shooter who identified as transgender, killed three children and three adults at Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, before being engaged and fatally wounded by law enforcement.
“They were trying to get a discussion about gun reform. They’re not trying to overthrow the election. They were not trying to seize control of the chamber… They were not trying to get the governor out of office,” King said, noting that Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton compared the protest to the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol building. “They were not violent. Thank you. They were not violent. They may have been loud. They may have broken the rules, but really equivalent or worse?”
“No one cares about the rules of the Tennessee House,” CNN reporter Jeff Zeleny said.
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