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I`m joined tonight by Congresswoman Jackie Speier of California, who
is the vice chair of president`s gun violence task force.
Congresswoman, great to have you with us.
REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D), CALIFORNIA: Great to be with you.
SCHULTZ: You have been touched personally. You are a victim of gun
violence. You`ve survived a massacre at Jonestown. What do the
president`s words mean to you personally today?
SPEIER: His words today said to me that it is time to do everything
in my power to make sure that the lives that were lost in Newtown, and the
32 lives that were lost each and every day in this country will not
continue to be the norm.
And I am absolutely committed to follow his lead and even go beyond
that, to making sure that we turn this society into a civilized society and
not a gun-riddled place where people have to fear going to the shopping
mall or to the movie theater, or to school.
SCHULTZ: Congresswoman, what do you hear from your colleagues in
private? What`s the back chatter? Is there a chance for change that maybe
the lobbyists won`t have the influence this time around because it`s had
such an emotional impact on the country?
SPEIER: You know, I`m so concerned that the NRA bogeyman that kind of
floats around the Capitol dome is not real but is believed to be real by so
many of my colleagues. I think the American people are going to be
critical -- and I think the president is right -- if the American people
demand action, we will get action.
But I`m not going to sit back and be a defeatist on this. We have got
to move this issue forward. We have got to show the American people that
this Congress can do something. We have a moral imperative to do
SCHULTZ: Here`s a reaction from Speaker Boehner`s office. "House
committees of jurisdiction will review these recommendations and if the
Senate passes a bill, we will also take a look at that."
What`s your response to that? Is that passing the buck?
SPEIER: Well, there`s plenty of passing the buck that goes on. There
is an effort to start it in the Senate to create pressure on the House.
And I believe that we can force a vote on the House floor, if necessary.
And, again, the American people will be a critical part of that effort.
SCHULTZ: Universal background checks, overwhelming support for that.
Is that a good start for Congress in your opinion?
SPEIER: It is probably the best thing we can do at this particular
point in time. When 40 percent of the guns that are purchased in this
country are not subject to a background check, it absolutely I think floors
the American people. Even members of the NRA, when they were polled
recently, were under the impression that everyone has a criminal background
check. But it`s not the case.
So there are many thousands upon thousands of people in this country
who illegally have guns because there isn`t a universal background check.
So, it is the number one priority in my book.
SCHULTZ: All right. Congresswoman Jackie Speier, appreciate your
time tonight here on THE ED SHOW. Thank you so much for joining us.
And I agree with her. It has to start in the Senate, because this is
really going to put the Republicans up against the wall. Are they going to
turn to the American people and say, no, we`re going to filibuster this,
too? That will be a real eye opener to a lot of people who are just novice
news consumers because this story has consumed this country.
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