Less than two days after the brutal attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan called for a moment of silence in congress, honoring the victims— 49 killed and 53 injured at the hands of a lone gunman.

“The chair asks that the House now observe a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the terrorist attack in Orlando,” Ryan said, bowing his head. Most of the chamber participated in the following moment of silence, except for a handful of Democrats, including Rep. Katherine Clark and Rep. Seth Moulton, who walked out in protest, refusing to partake in the gesture.

“If the LGBT community has taught us anything, it’s that silence is the enemy of progress,” Clark said in a social media post. “I refuse to take part in a moment of silence by a Congress that takes part in empty gestures rather than do something – anything – that could actually prevent these horrific acts from happening.”

In an interview with Boston Public Radio, Congressman Seth Moulton said the customary “thoughts and prayers” response to tragic events is not enough. “The people of Massachusetts didn’t send me to Washington to stand around in silence,” Moulton said. “They sent us here—me here, to make a difference, to help keep people safe. We’re not doing that if we can’t even have a vote on common sense gun reform.”

On Sunday, following the shooting, Moulton tweeted, “My thoughts and prayers are with those in Orlando and across the world impacted by this horrific mass shooting.” Immediately, responses flooded in, expressing frustration that “thoughts and prayers” were not enough. “They really made me think and changed my mind on the proper response to these ongoing mass shootings,” he said. The next day, Moulton expressed a different point of view. “Many people have expressed frustration with the “thoughts and prayers” I and others tweeted yesterday, demanding more. They’re right,” he tweeted. In another post, he wrote, “The tradition is to send “thoughts and prayers” first, then perhaps demand policy change later. I’m done with that.”

Following Monday’s moment of silence, a shouting match broke out in the chamber, with shouts of “where’s the bill?!” From Democrats, raising their voices over Ryan’s call for order. “Where’s the bill, so that we can just have a vote on this?” Moulton said. “If it gets voted down, some common-sense piece of gun reform like preventing terrorists on terrorist watchlists from purchasing guns, for example, if that gets voted down, then fine.  Then people can go back to their districts and answer for their votes. But the Republican leadership won’t even bring these bills to a vote, won’t even let us do our jobs.”

The feedback, Moulton says, has been “overwhelmingly positive.” As hashtags #Enough, #NoMoreSilence and #WheresTheBill emerged on Twitter, Moulton and other congressional protesters faced backlash from critics who said the walkout was disrespectful to victims and their families. “I think doing nothing is disrespectful to the victims and their families,” Moulton said. “That’s what this is all about—it’s demanding action.”

Congressman Seth Moulton represents the 6th Congressional District of Massachusetts. To hear Moulton’s full interview with Boston Public Radio, click on the audio link above.