Ousted TN State Lawmakers Meet With Kamala Harris

[Screenshot/YouTube/NBC News]

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Vice President Kamala Harris met Saturday with the three Tennessee lawmakers who were ousted from the state legislature after they joined a mob of protestors who stormed the Tennessee State Capitol in the wake of the recent Nashville shooting. 

Speaking at Nashville’s historically black Fisk University, Harris told the crowd Saturday the so-called Tennessee Three, Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson, and a third Democrat, Gloria Johnson, who narrowly avoided being ousted by a single vote, were being silenced for advocating for the safety of schoolchildren, CBS News reported.

“Let’s understand the underlying issue is about fighting for the safety of our children,” Harris stated. “It’s been years now where they are taught to read and write and hide in a closet and be quiet if there’s a mass shooter at their school, where our children, who have God’s capacity to learn and lead, who go to school in fear.”

“Let’s not fall for the false choice — either you’re in favor of the Second Amendment or you want reasonable gun safety laws,” Harris continued. “We can and should do both.”

During her time in Nashville, Harris met privately with Jones, Pearson and Johnson who earlier also spoke via conference call with President Joe Biden. In the call, Biden “thanked them for their leadership in seeking to ban assault weapons and standing up for our democratic values,” CBS News reported. Biden also reportedly extended an invitation for the former lawmakers to visit the White House. (RELATED: Bipartisan Lawmakers Claim Capitol Riot Ruined US Reputation, ‘Damaged Our Standing In The World’)

“Rather than debating the merits of the issue [of gun control], these Republican lawmakers have chosen to punish, silence, and expel duly-elected representatives of the people of Tennessee,” the president stated, according to the outlet. (RELATED: Ilhan Omar Says If GOP Does Not Remove Marjorie Taylor Greene From Congress, Then Democrats ‘Must Do It’)

Jones, Pearson and Johnson were widely condemned by the members of the Tennessee GOP after they joined a mob of protestors who flooded into the Tennessee State Capitol during a session of the legislature. Prior to the session, Jones engaged in a heated exchange with Republican House Majority Leader William Lamberth who “made it clear to him that [this] behavior is not acceptable in this chamber,” according to The Tennessee Lookout.

“If you’re a citizen and you want to come up here and yell at the top of your lungs, it is a free country, you can do so. You can’t do so in this chamber,” Lamberth continued.

After joining with protestors, Jones, Johnson, and Pearson then took over the podium in the chamber where they, during a recess, led the mob with a megaphone demanding gun control, the outlet stated.

The three Democrats, Republican state Rep. Gino Bulso argued, according to CBS News, “effectively conducted a mutiny.” (RELATED: David French Condemns Expulsion Of Tennessee Dems After Calling For Cruz and Hawley’s Removal Over Jan. 6)

GOP leaders defended their decision to oust Jones and Pearson, stating it was “necessary to avoid setting a precedent” that disruptions to House proceedings like the one that occurred March 30 would be tolerated, the outlet reported.