On Wednesday, shortly before lunchtime, Georgia Rep. John Lewis and a dozen other Democratic members of Congress marched into the House and staged a sit-in.
Armed with pillows, sleeping bags, and macadamia nuts, they sat on the House floor for nearly 26 hours, refusing to leave until votes were taken on a gun control bill. After being met with total indifference from the GOP, they called off the sit-in — but not the fight for gun control measures — at 1 pm Thursday afternoon.
Over the course of this sit-in, there were at least 69 shootings across America that killed 24 people and injured 64 more.
Someone was shot in America every 17 minutes during the sit-in
Using data from the Gun Violence Archive, police reports, and local press releases, we pieced together every reported shooting in America between 11:30 am Wednesday and 1 pm Thursday.
Within minutes of the sit-in, there was a spurt of four shootings in Delaware, Illinois, and Louisiana that left one dead and four injured. This was just the beginning.
Shortly after noon, in Baltimore, Maryland, two men were shot in broad daylight. One died; the other — just 16 years old — is in critical condition.
As Cleveland, Ohio, celebrated its NBA championship victory, a 13-year-old girl was shot twice in the leg. The suspected shooter, a 15-year-old, fired the shots during a parade. "It was [supposed to be] a stellar day for Cleveland and the Cavaliers," Police Chief Calvin Williams told the local news. "One idiot spoils the party, always."
An hour later, in Adel, Georgia, a 14-year-old shot and killed his 22-year-old half-sister. She was pregnant.
Atlanta (four shootings, four dead, four injured) and Chicago (nine shootings, one dead, 13 injured) suffered an especially tragic toll during the sit-in. At least half of the victims were under the age of 20.
"I heard like 50 shots. It was going back-to-back like 'pow, pow, pow, pow, pow," one witness said after a shooting that left one dead and four injured in Atlanta. "[It] almost sounded like a war zone," added her friend.
The most horrific shooting occurred just before the Democrats surrendered the floor.
Around 1 pm, a 4-year-old Philadelphia girl was shot in the face. She died before the eyes of her 25-year-old mother and 4-year-old sibling.
The Dems’ sit-in comes after Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy’s 15-hour filibuster last week. As we reported, during that filibuster, 48 people were shot.
While the Democrats ultimately ended the filibuster and the sit-in, these actions are part of a larger push to heighten the public’s awareness of gun control. It seems to be working: On Twitter, sit-in hashtags — #NoBillNoBreak and #HoldTheFloor — were mentioned more than 1.4 million times.
The Democrats' fight will surge onward.
"Too many of our children, too many of our sisters and brothers, our mothers and fathers, our friends, our cousins are dying by guns," Rep. John Lewis told CNN. "And we have to do something about it."