Man Shot While Serving on President's Gun Violence Commission
A Fluvanna County man is recovering from gunshot wounds at the University of Virginia Medical Center. In a twist of fate, he was helping President Obama's campaign against gun violence when the shooting happened.
Greg Jackson, a graduate of Fluvanna County High School and UVA, volunteered for Barack Obama throughout 2008. He then joined a nonprofit called Organizing for Action, which he describes as a grassroots organization committed to moving forward with the President's agenda empowering people in their own communities to fight and move forward with the issues they care most about.
As the southern regional director, he oversees all the southern states - from North Carolina to Texas - and he's also the grassroots coordinator for gun violence prevention efforts.
"Basically helping our issues team develop our grassroots strategy for how we'll move forward the legislation around gun violence prevention," he said. "So, connecting with supporters in different states, we organize office visits and rallies and phone banks."
When Jackson joined the political organization, he never thought his life would so closely reflect this issue he was fighting for.
During the early morning hours of Sunday, April 21, Jackson was shot. He had spent Saturday night out in northwest Washington D.C. with his friends for a cousin's bachelor party. They were near a strip of bars and clubs in D.C. near the convention center when they noticed an altercation about a half a block away.
"We just kept walking," he said.
One of the people in the altercation drove off while another person began shooting at the car - which was driving in the same direction as Jackson and his friends. They were all caught in the crossfire, and Jackson was shot in the leg.
"Luckily I was the only one shot and I caught a bullet to my calf," Jackson said. "For me, it just felt like a fireball – It burns."
Jackson spent 10 days in a D.C. hospital, and then moved to his Fluvanna home to recover. A blood clot sent him to the UVA Medical Center where he spent several more days.
Nurses say Jackson has a pretty severe injury, but he has a positive outlook for recovery.
"He's a healthy young man. Once he gets through this hard stage he'll do just fine. He's motivated," said Mary Bristow, a registered nurse at the UVA Medical Center.
Jackson is motivated - now more than ever - to continue his fight for tougher gun laws.
"If anything, this inspired me to work a lot harder on gun violence prevention and definitely work harder for the folks who may not have a chance to speak out or fight for this the way that I do," he said.
Jackson just left the hospital Wednesday. His wound will still have to heal and he'll have to get physical therapy in order to walk properly again.
President Obama gave him a call last week to let him know he was thinking of him.
"I'm sorry you had to learn firsthand why this fight is so important, but I'm thankful you're okay and recovering," the President said to him. "Well Greg, listen to your doctor, do what they say, rest up and take care. We need you back out there."
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