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Rep. Speier Claims in Floor Speech That She's 'The Only Member of This House That Is a Victim of Gun Violence'

AP Photo/Mark Lenniha

On Wednesday night from the House floor, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) made the stunning claim that she's the only member of this current House of Representative who is a victim of gun violence. This is, of course, factually incorrect considering that House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) was shot at a baseball practice almost five years ago to the day by James Hodgkinson, a deranged Bernie Sanders supporter. 

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Rep. Jackie Speier used her time on the floor to describe how she was a victim of the 1978 Jonestown Massacre when cult members shot and killed four people, including then-Rep. Leo Ryan (D-CA). Ryan had led a congressional delegation, with Speier along as his aide, to investigate the cult led by Jim Jones in Guyana. 

"I believe I'm the only member of this House that is a victim of gun violence. My body is riddled with bullets," she said to begin her remarks in the clip from The Recount. "I live with that every single day," she went on to say. "A victim of gun violence is traumatized over and over again. I implore my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, if we had a 737-crash every month for 12 months in this country, we would do something about it. And that's what's happening to children in this country. Fifteen hundred kids die of gun violence every single year, we have to do something about it," she continued, seemingly citing the Gun Violence Archive.  

The Recount did not fact-check the congresswoman's remarks to point out that Scalise has also been a victim of gun violence, though the Twitter account did go after him for his stances against gun control in several subsequent tweets. In reporting on her remarks for The Hill, Jared Gans did not even mention Speier's false remarks, let alone fact-check them. 

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It does not appear that Rep. Speier has been asked to back up her factually incorrect statement. 

Also on Wednesday night, Rep. Speier took to Twitter to showcase that she and a handful of other Democratic members, including Reps. Jan Schakowsky (IL), Pramila Jayapal (WA), Mike Sherrill (NJ), and Abigail Spanberger (VA) boycotted a moment of silence on the House floor.

The tweet received close to 5,000 replies, and of the 1,199 retweets, 646 were quote tweets, many of them mocking the photo. 

That same night, the House passed by a vote of 228-199, with the help of 10 Republicans, legislation that raises the age to buy certain weapons. 

Rep. Speier's lies were brought up during Thursday's episode of "The Ingraham Angle," where Rep. Scalise was a guest. Host Laura Ingraham stated, "I can't imagine [Rep. Speier] forgot what happened five years ago," with Scalise pointing out, "Clearly, we all know what happened." 

Five people were shot on that baseball field on June 14, 2017, during a practice for the Congressional Baseball Game, and it could have been much worse had Capitol Police not been there as part of Rep. Scalise's security detail to neutralize the shooter. 

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Comments that Scalise has made about gun control also show that not every victim of gun violence reacts the same way to the issue. He recently called out "red flag" laws as "unconstitutional" and said in 2017, shortly after returning back to work, that his support for the Second Amendment has been "fortified" as a result. 

Rep. Speier, who is 72-years-old, announced last November that she is retiring from Congress. She is one of over 30 members who have made such an announcement, which is a particularly high number and does not bode well for Democrats when they are expected to lose in very big ways. 

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