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California in Congress

Rep. Ted Lieu says he won't participate in gun violence moments of silence any more

 (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

Rep. Ted Lieu walked out of the House chamber Monday night when Speaker Paul D. Ryan called for a moment of silence for the 26 victims of a shooting at a Texas church.

"It wasn't something I planned. I just felt angry. I've been to so many of these, and then nothing happens. I just thought, I can't do another one," the Democrat from Torrance said Tuesday.

Lieu, who is Catholic, said he prayed for the victims Sunday after hearing about the shooting, but he couldn't stomach another moment of silence that isn't followed by congressional action. He called it a spectacle and said he doesn't plan to stand for another one, joining other members of the California delegation who don't participate in such moments of silence.

"All we choose to do is a 60-second moment of silence, and then that's it and then we move on and I think that is very disrespectful," Lieu said. "Until we get reasonable gun safety legislation, I'm just not going to do any more moments of silence."

In a Facebook video shot outside the House chamber as the moment of silence took place, he explained why he walked out.

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