Jackie Gordon (NY-02), "I retired from the Army, but came home to more gun violence"

Our country went to sleep on Saturday night with pain in our hearts.

We woke up the next morning to another tragedy.

In less than 24 hours, the shooters in El Paso and Dayton used a weapon of war to kill 31 innocent Americans and injure dozens more. In mere minutes, they took 31 mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters from their families.

I’ve been in combat. I’ve served in the Army. Assault weapons have no place in our communities.

Friends, we must take action today to make our country safer for all Americans. Please sign my petition calling on Congress to pass an Assault Weapons Ban and keep weapons of war off of our streets. >>

When I retired from the Army, I never expected to return home and watch scenes of violence unfold on our television screens from our own communities. That was something I'd expect to see on the battlefield -- not in grocery stores, at concerts, in places of worship, or in schools.

The heartbreaking reality is that gun violence in our country is now an epidemic: In the first 218 days of this year alone, we’ve already had more than 250 mass shootings.

That’s more mass shootings than days so far this year.

Frankly, if we don’t change the way we address gun violence and demand action from our leaders, that number will only grow.

Our thoughts and prayers are important, but it is our action that will save lives.