Democrat who survived Jonestown shooting: Honor victims with action on gun violence

Democrat who survived Jonestown shooting: Honor victims with action on gun violence
© Greg Nash

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), who survived being shot five times during the Jonestown massacre in 1978, is calling for Congress to honor victims in the Las Vegas mass shooting by taking action on gun violence.

“No more moments of silence — the best way to honor the #LasVegasShooting victims is a moment of action to prevent further senseless deaths,” Speier tweeted Monday.

 

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The Democratic lawmaker was a congressional staffer for Rep. Leo Ryan (D-Calif.) when she was shot and severely wounded during a trip to investigate the Jonestown cult in Guyana in 1978. Ryan and four others were killed when people loyal to the Jonestown temple run by Jim Jones opened fire at an airstrip near the settlement.

Speier is one of two current members of Congress to have survived being shot as part of a mass shooting. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) was severely wounded in a shooting at a congressional baseball practice in June.

She also served as a vice chair on former President Obama’s task force to fight gun violence in the wake of the deadly mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

Speier is one of a growing list of Democrats calling for Congress to pass gun control legislation after Sunday night's mass shooting in Las Vegas, the deadliest in U.S. history. More than 58 people were killed and hundreds of others were wounded.