Justin Pearson refuses to back down amid threats of eviction from the Tennessee House
Courtesy of Rep. Jones campaign page, votejustinj/about
Representative of the State of Tennessee Justin Pearson (D-Memphis) is not letting an impending expulsion from the State House stop him from fighting for gun reform amid America’s gun violence crisis. The Tennessee House of Representatives earlier this week announced plans to bar Pearson along with two colleagues, Knoxville Rep. Gloria Johnson and Nashville Rep. Justin Jones, the latter of whom was fired after a 72-25 vote; Johnson was saved by a mere vote.
Republicans had sought to disfellowship each of the three Democrats over allegations they had broken House etiquette by engaging in “disorderly conduct” as they – armed with megaphones – took the lectern to chant with a crowd Lead that protested against the lack of legislative action on gun violence.
However, while speaking to reporters, Pearson confirmed the vote, noting that the House of Representatives “would do what it does” but his focus is to “keep fighting.” The young politician added: “If we never give up, we never lose.”
House Speaker Cameron Sexton also compared the group’s protest to that of the insurgents who stormed the US Capitol in Washington, DC on January 6, 2022. Pearson was quick to denounce these claims before listing the incidents that day that did so not occur as he and his colleagues took the stand — as did multiple deaths, including those of law enforcement officers. Pearson called Sexton’s analogy a “terrible comparison.”
Pearson’s push for gun reform reflects not only his political duty but also a personal one, after revealing to ABC News’ podcast “Start Here” that he had recently lost a classmate to gun violence. The politician also highlighted homicides in his district, which have reportedly increased by 44% this year compared to last year.
The trio’s disagreement came after six people were killed in a mass shooting at a private Christian academy in Nashville; three of those victims were young children.
Next up is a vote to expel Pearson.