(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Last year, U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Speier was named to the top “150 Fearless Women of the World” by Newsweek and The Daily Beast, as an outspoken advocate for women’s rights. A member of the House Armed Services Committee, she has also pushed for accountability for rape in the military and is a staunch gun control advocate. Her district includes the southwest corner of San Francisco and most of San Mateo County.

Rep. Speier Shares the Story of Petty Officer Amber De Roche

Rep. Speier on Abortion and Planned Parenthood

Rep. Speier on The Colbert Report

Guests:
Jackie Speier, U.S. congresswoman (D) representing California's 14th Congressional District

  • Cal M

    Michael,

    Interested in Congresswoman Spier’s reaction to the following:

    The first three words of the 2nd Amendment are “A WELL-REGULATED…”

    Those conservatives who claim to be “strict constructionists” but then pretend that the OPENING clause of the 2A isn’t even there are hypocrites. It’s time we started calling them on it.

    Thanks,

    Bill

    • James Ivey

      True. Outside the preamble, it’s the only clause in the US Constitution with a state purpose. I think it’s a gross misreading of the Constitution to pretend that language isn’t there.

      • Ehkzu

        …especially since there’s good reason to believe that the 2nd Amendment’s inclusion–at the behest of Virginia–was to legitimize arming militias to put down slave rebellions. The word “bear” has shifted in its meaning since 1790. Back then it commonly also meant thrust, or press, with “bear arms” meaning “to carry out a military campaign.”

    • Another Mike

      True, as the Second Amendment points out, the prerequisite for a well-regulated militia is unrestricted firearms ownership.

      • Bob Fry

        No more “unrestricted” than “free” speech. There are plenty of well-known restrictions on speech in the US, just as there are on firearms (you can’t legally own fully-automatic weapons, grenades, RPGs, nukes, etc).

      • Ehkzu

        “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited…”. It is “…not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”

        “Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

        “We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller (an earlier case) said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those ‘in common use at the time’. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons’.”

        –Justice Antonin Scalia, from his statement of the majority decision in DC vs. Heller

        • Another Mike

          That was a “prudential” bit of dicta.

  • Jin

    How come NPR often mocked FOX on being “fair and balanced” yet again and again in these forum interview sessions, such as this one with Rep. Speier, only solicits one sided point of view, on topics like gun control and abortion? When did NPR stop pretending to be unbiased?

    • James Ivey

      Fox “News” has publicly declared itself biased time and time again. I don’t think it’s biased to point that out.

      • Jin

        Maybe you should read my comment again — it’s biased for NPR to dominate its airtime with one sided view; and it’s even more disgusting and hypocritical when it claims to be unbiased and mocks at FOX, which in reality, there is really no difference between them. However, there is a big difference between them: NPR is on public tax dollars while FOX is not.

        • Ehkzu

          NPR leans Left, to be sure (though you do realize the program you’re commenting on is not part of NPR, don’t you, as has already been pointed out to you?). But FOX doesn’t “lean” right–it might as well be the official mouthpiece of the GOP (as well as a major source of employment for former and future GOP presidential candidates).
          NPR constantly puts out pieces about saintly, sympathetic illegal immigrants–never about border-crossing human traffickers and drug smugglers. It does, however, interview conservatives on the topics of the day, and doesn’t shout them down as liberals often are on Fox shows.
          And Fox’s most popular commentator, Bill O’Reilly virtually called for the murder of a gynecologist who provides abortions and did this month after month until the doctor was in fact murdered by a “pro-life” fanatic.
          That’s the difference between an ounce of bias and a ton of it. And this is why claims of moral equivalency rarely hold up to close examination.
          Fox News isn’t called Faux News for nothing.

    • Chris OConnell

      First off, this is not NPR. Second, I wish NPR mocked Fox News and its laughable slogan of “fair and balanced” but they are too weak, and too nervous to do anything like that.

  • Another Mike

    Three-quarters of the “40%” who acquire guns without background checks get them from family or friends, per the Cook and Ludwig paper gun control groups cite as the source. These include birthday and Christmas gifts, as well as inheritances. Only 4% of all guns were bought at gun shows or flea markets.

    SB 649 would have required me to run a background check on my nephew before giving him a gun.

    • Ehkzu

      And if your nephew happened to be Adam Lanza, what then? Every thug and psycho has a relative, and relatives are the source of the guns of many if not most thugs and psychos–including Adam Lanza, as it happens.
      Seems like a background check is a small price for you to pay to help ensure public safety.

  • James Ivey

    I’ve been a huge fan of Congresswoman Speier since the days of the Enron scam, bilking California of billions. I wish she represented me, but I love where I live and don’t want to move to her district.

  • Chemist150

    “chemical weapons probably being moved around on truck…”

    I think I can find that exact quote before the Iraq war.

  • As a female veteran, Congresswoman Speier gives me hope that we won’t be forgotten. Thank you!

  • Lucas

    How does Representative Speier feel about the Ag-Gag bills pushed through state legislatures by ALEC? is there a role for federal law to protect those who document animal cruelty vs holding ranchers accountable for the cruelty inflicted by their employees?

  • Chris OConnell

    Glad to hear Congresswoman Speier on the program speaking to the people. And really proud that my Congresswoman (or former one until recent redistricting) rolled out the red carpet for Colbert.

  • Edward Lipton

    It is so refreshing to have a member of congress who demonstrates both integrity and common sense. I am very proud to say the Jackie Speier is my representative.

    A thought on gun control:

    What about a “gun owner license” similar to a drivers license? It would include a background check, a safety test, and would require renewal every few years. There could even be different classes (like a drivers license) to include hand guns, long guns, shotguns, etc.

    Anyone caught with a gun without a license would face mandatory incarceration.

    As a gun enthusiast, It would be great to have a national standard.

    Thank you Congresswoman Speier for your hard work and dedication – it is greatly appreciated!

    -Edward Lipton

  • Another Mike

    Does Representative Speier have an idea how to stop suicides? Because that accounts for 19,000 gun violence deaths a year, as well as 19,000 rope, poison, Caltrain, and knife violence deaths.

    • Ehkzu

      Countries and states with stricter gun regulation have fewer suicides overall. Suicide is often planned long in advance, and that version is hard to stop. But in many other instances it’s an impulsive act, and having a gun handy when you have that impulse is what leads to America’s spectacularly high suicide and homicide rates.

      • Another Mike

        China and Japan have suicide rates almost twice ours. South Korea’s suicide rate is almost three times ours. Is this a result of lax gun regulation?

  • Another Mike

    And why do we in the US pay 50% more of GDP on health care than does any other developed country?

  • James

    Congresswoman Speier just drew a comparison between Japan and America, and I wanted to point out as someone who lived there that they probably don’t have as much gun violence because there are strict laws against carrying guns. Perhaps if we could learn by their example, because the right to own guns is outweighed by the cost we are paying in children’s lives.

    • Another Mike

      Japan’s feudal system never allowed for the peasants to be armed. That’s why the martial arts were developed. Our British heritage was of arms ownership proportionate to one’s status in life. The right to keep and bear arms was imported to the US, but not the class structure.

      • Ehkzu

        From “Gun Rhetoric vs. Gun Facts” on FactCheck.org:
        >>…among advanced countries, the U.S. homicide rate stands out. “We seem to be an average country in terms of violence and aggression,” says Harvard’s Hemenway. “What we have is huge homicide rates compared to anybody else.”

        Says Wintemute: “The difference is that in this country violence involves firearms and firearms change the outcome.”<<

        • Another Mike

          So why quote the “gun rhetoric”?

  • Chemist150

    When I registered to vote when I moved to San Francisco, I registered as Libertarian. I received a thank you not with receipt of registration and when I went to vote during the Bush/Kerry election, I found that I “was not registered to vote”. I was a victim of voter registration fraud to prevent me from voting for Bush though I was voting third party.

    Having moved a few times since I voted in San Leandro (every election including primaries), I was once told that they did not have Libertarian voting ballots and for congressman, there were only a choice between Pete Stark and the Incumbent both Democrats with no other choice. Not even a write in. Appearently, the two top vote getters in the primaries get the ticket despite historic low turn out to primaries. This silences votes other than Democrat. This practice should be illegal. It’s certainly immoral but people say “it’s the law”.

    Frankly, I’m glad someone is standing against the corrupt Democrats grabbing power and using the filibuster. These are only the two worst examples that make me seriously angry.

    Clean up your party first and above all else.

    • Ehkzu

      We all have a little paranoia running around in our heads, but most of us try to resist it. Your assumption that you’re the victim of voter fraud, without any corroboration, excluding other more plausible alternative explanations, is illogical.
      As for your assumption that the Democratic Party is corrupt because you can’t cast a statistically meaningless vote for a 3rd party candidate–that’s also illogical. What the “best two” rule ensures is that the major political parties can’t determine who the legislators will be. Most districts are not competitive between the two major parties, such that whoever wins the primary wins the final vote–regardless of whether they’re Republican or Democrat.
      But now voters have a choice within whichever party dominates their area, Republican or Democrat. This will, overall, put more moderate legislators in place–ones who actually represent their district rather than their party.
      It does lose the small parties’ voices, but that’s hardly a sign of corruption.
      Lastly, your blanket condemnation of the Democratic Party as the sole source of corruption in government is massively illogical. Try reading FactCheck.org or PolitiFact.com to see how both major parties wander away from the truth.

      • Chemist150

        I registered. I received a receipt of registration but when I went to vote, I was not registered. I received literature from the party that I registered with. It was 100% fraud. You sir are discounting me why? It’s 100%. Are you Republican or is this another Democrat marginalizing a libertarian? Seriously where do you get off?

        There were only democrats as a choice on the ballot! If you doubt me, do your own fact check because it was fact. You admit to silencing what you call “small” parties. How sick is that?

      • Chemist150

        And understand this. It was 100% democrat. There was no Republican choice. NONE. The voters were only allowed to vote Democrat. That’s not an election. It’s a farce.

        • Another Mike

          Your fellow Californians voted for this. The so-called open primary. Basically every non-Dem gets eliminated at the primary election. This was supposed to encourage more moderate candidates, who didn’t have to play to their base.

          • Chemist150

            This is another example how props. can go wrong. With group mentality, people will supress minorities given most chances they get. Prop 8 was the same.

            Then voters didn’t even target the justices when they came up for “should they be allowed to continue” vote. There was only a slight inbalance against the prop prop 8 justices.

            I asked a few gays about their votes for justices and there response was “what?”. We elect officials to do their jobs, so we should not have to be so informed but being informed is infuriating.

      • Chemist150

        Change cannot happen with one and only one choice and this proves your corruption that you openly condone it.

      • Chemist150

        I’ll tell you about the lady that came to promote Pete Stark at my front door. She was looking to buy failing alternative energy companies within a certain value and work with them a year and then resale them. Basically the same ideas that made Romney a fortune but I’m sure she was feeding off tax payer money by getting the loan guarantees and paying herself a princess sum of money before unloading the failing company on someone else while she moved to the next eyesore to get more government money to make her rich risk free.

        Bottom feeder following around a Democrat she was helping to put into power is all I can say… Now it’s a matter of watching what benefits he grants to her… Makes me sick to the stomach.

        I can go all day with immoral stories such as this.

      • Chemist150

        Stockton now bankrupt: 100% democrat issued bonds to pay pensions… Bonds are intended to produce growth because they pay interest based on borrowed money. How were the pensions going to produce growth? They were in debt and issued bonds on something that produces negative growth. It’s unbelievable that anyone would back that bond. Now it’s left to insurance to pay. They knew the city was going bankrupt so they abused bonds and public money to ensure they, who were responsible, would not be subject to the consequences of gross misuse of funds.

        Appalling.

      • Chemist150

        Should I bother to mention Bell County?

        All day, I tell you…. It’s too easy.

      • Chemist150

        Perhaps we could discuss Pelosi’s brother’s company getting a $500 million loan guarantee…I’m sure there’s no nepotism there…

      • Chemist150

        What you said to me is the same as telling the guest speaker that the women were asking to be raped. You’re way off base on this. Can’t believe how angry you make me.

      • Chemist150

        Waving your hand and saying there is no corruption here may work on the democratic base but it’s a fact that the majority of people are of average or below intelligence and don’t pay close attention to what goes on around. If they do, they quickly forget with the wave of a hand.

        If you don’t look for it, you won’t find it.

      • Chemist150

        Pete Stark is a democrat. The incumbent is democrat. Choice between democrat and democrat! Whoa. That’s fair, forcing everyone in the district to vote democrat…

        So, it’s on record, you condone the marginalizing minorities…

  • Chris OConnell

    Why is the caller unable to protect the “person” in his wife’s womb? Does he need state intervention because of some sort of jeopardy? Of course not. His framing of the issue is ridiculous so I had to ridicule it. He just wants to control every other woman’s womb.

    • Ehkzu

      A recent peer-reviewed study in the prominent medical publication The Lancet found that where abortion was criminalized, the rate of abortions did not go down; however, it did go down when the kind of cared Planned Parenthood provides was widely available, along with sex education (not “abstinence only”).
      Meaning that the anti-abortion crowd actually promotes abortion, albeit inadvertently, following the Law of Unintended Consequences.

    • It is the responsibility of the government to protect the life of its people. I find it hard to believe how some (like the congresswoman) believe that life does not begin till birth. What my wife and I saw was a baby that is very much alive. She is alive, thus life has begun. This has nothing to do with control of a mothers womb. It has do with the life or death of a person being decided. That is not our choice!

  • Another Mike

    Going to Nevada or Arizona to “pick up a gun” would violate both state and federal law.

    • Ehkzu

      And when we achieve universal background checks and universal, federalized gun registration, and make gun trafficking a felony, we’ll be able track guns used in crimes back to the gun traffickers the criminals got their guns from and prosecute them.

  • Aida del Valle

    I have tremendous respect for Ms. Speier’s record. I am, and have always been, a supporter of a woman’s right to choose, up until the last trimester, at which point I believe that adoption is a more humane option. But my jaw dropped when Ms. Speier said on the air that as far as she is concerned, life doesn’t begin until the moment of birth. Let’s use a little commonsense here. Does she mean to imply that the baby that is born full of life and faculties today, was not “alive” two days ago? Just because the baby was still in the womb? That is an insult to my intelligence, and such thinking is what entrenches the position of those on the far right. It’s one thing for her to be willing to sacrifice that life for what she perceives to be a greater value, but please, refrain from statements that fly in the face of the most primitive logic, Ms Speier.

    • Another Mike

      If you knew you were carrying, say, an anencephalic child, would you really want to carry it the full nine months?

  • It is the responsibility of the government to protect the life of its people. I find it hard to believe how some (like the congresswoman) believe that life does not begin until birth. What my wife and I saw in the ultrasound was a baby that is very much alive. She is alive, thus life has begun. This has nothing to do with control of a mothers womb, as some would accuse me of. It has do with the life or death of a person being decided. This is not our choice!

    • Chris OConnell

      So your wife got pregnant and you suddenly realized that life begins at conception. Yes, the man’s sperm fertilizes the female egg and a new life form begins. This is not really news to anyone. It is not profound and it seems odd that you did not realize this until you looked at your wife’s ultrasound. But then the question is, what about the other life form carrying the zygote. Do they have rights? Must they be forced into parentage for having sex? Must they be held prisoner for 9 months by this other life?

      Your simplistic contention that you have seen the ultrasound and it is life and therefore abortion is murder is not compelling to me.

      • You’ve made false assumptions of me…No matter… 🙂
        It is said that seeing is believing. An ultrasound is an example that shows clearly, in my opinion, the simple truth that life begins before birth. The congresswoman (per her statement on air) does not believe this. I find her belief to be disturbing.

      • Danielle_Katarina

        My question to you, Chris, is not whether “the other life form carrying the zygote” has rights. Of course she does! The question is: Do our rights include a right to kill another human being? That “zygote” is a human child and can live even in the 2nd trimester if born premature (and certainly in the 3rd.) No one is forcing parentage…Many infertile couples (and even fertile ones) are desperately waiting to adopt unwanted children.

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