Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco, San Mateo Counties) hosted a sit-in for gun control advocates at a Bay Area theater on Independence Day, using the crowded venue as a platform to call on her congressional colleagues to pass stricter gun control laws.
The sit-in, which took place at Fox Theatre in Redwood City, echoes those unfolding in state and federal levels of government across the nation.
“Today, we are declaring our independence from the gun lobby in this country, and what you are seeing are people standing in and sitting in here to say enough is enough,” Speier told NBC Bay Area.
Speiers is advocating for limits on the types of gun and ammunition that can be purchased, and she has been a staunch supporter of “no fly, no buy” bills that block suspected terrorists from buying firearms.
For the congresswoman, gun control is not just a political issue but a personal one: She was shot five times and left to die while trying to escape the commune built by cult leader Jim Jones in the late 1970s.
“I’m the one member of Congress that’s been the victim of gun violence,” she said. “I know what it’s like to live with that experience my entire life.”
Speier brought one of the bullets that nearly killed her to the house floor in Washington D.C. two weeks ago, where her fellow Democrats staged a similar sit in.
But not all passers-by in Redwood City agreed with the congresswoman’s stance on gun control.
“I disagree with it,” Steven Burke, a resident, said. “Guns are not a problem. We have other problems other than gun control.
Others seemed torn.
“People should have the right to have a gun and protect themselves, but I don’t think it should be easy to have an automatic weapon,” David Swift of Redwoold told NBC Bay Area.