Orlando "moment of silence" disrupted over tighter gun policy debate

By Reuters/Patricia Zengerle   June 14, 2016 | 07:55 am GMT+7
Orlando "moment of silence" disrupted over tighter gun policy debate
Attendees pause under a giant pride flag during a vigil for the victims of the mass shooting at Orlando's Pulse nightclub, in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. June 13, 2016. Photo by Reuters/Gretchen Ertl

The U.S. House of Representatives erupted in shouting on Monday as lawmakers held a moment of silence to honor the victims of the Orlando mass shooting as Democrats protested the Republican-led chamber's refusal to consider tighter gun regulations.

After Speaker Paul Ryan, the House's Republican leader, called for the moment of silence, Representative James Clyburn asked for recognition to ask about guns. Clyburn, the number three House Democrat, is from South Carolina, where a gunman killed nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church a year ago on Friday.

Ryan ruled Clyburn out of order, and the chamber erupted with shouts of "No Leadership," and chants of "Where's the bill? Where's the bill? Where's the bill?" from Democrats.

Several Democrats had said they would not participate in a moment of silence to mark the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, in which a gunman killed 49 people and wounded 53 at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

They said they were frustrated that Congress does not respond to mass shootings with more than symbolic gestures.

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