His announcement — which we wrote about here — took place on Twitter and reverberated across Capitol Hill on Monday. Reps. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) and Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) were among those who joined Himes in refusing to join other lawmakers on the steps of the Capitol Monday afternoon, where lawmakers gathered to honor the Orlando victims.
Not everyone agrees with the stance of Himes and others. “Politicizing a moment of silence for victims of a terrorist attack. Disheartening,” Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) spokeswoman AshLee Strong wrote on Twitter.
His choice might have limited appeal on Capitol Hill, but Himes used language on Twitter that has reinvigorated a rallying cry for stricter gun laws. Advocates for restrictions on gun purchases — both politicians and voters — are attaching#NoMoreSilence to their tweets, and the hashtag appears to be picking up steam.
The phrase has been used by activists for various causes, most commonly by those who joined Vice President Biden’s campaign against domestic violence and sexual assault in 2013.
But it sprang to life as a mantra for gun-control advocates late that year when it was used by the group Everytown.
Soon, it became shorthand for Everytown’s agenda following the Sandy Hook shooting, which saw 26 killed at a Connecticut grade school.
The hashtag was mostly dormant among verified Twitter feeds until last December, when Democratic lawmakers used it to draw attention to legislation, ultimately defeated, that would prevent people on the federal terrorism watch list from buying guns.
In the wake of the Orlando killings, the phrase is back as Democrats seek new momentum for the bill: