It's hard to believe that it's been five and a half years since I got the call that there had been a mass shooting at a constituent event in Tucson, Arizona and that my friend, Gabby Giffords, had been shot. The shooter was armed with a semi-automatic pistol and high-capacity magazines. Six were killed, and Gabby and a dozen others were shot point-blank and critically injured before he could be stopped.
It's hard to believe so much time has passed -- because in spite of all our hope and resolve that families and loved ones would never again have to be on the receiving end of a call like that, nothing has changed. In 2011, we pleaded for commonsense gun reform. We did it again in 2012, after 20 first graders and six adult teachers were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School. And again in 2015, after nine worshipers were killed at their historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina.
And we find ourselves there again today, after the worst shooting in U.S. history, when 49 of our fellow Americans were killed and many others injured in a gay club after a night of celebrating, like so many of their LGBT brothers and sisters across the country, this month of Pride.
Last year, President Obama said, "At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn't happen in other places with this kind of frequency. And it is in our power to do something about it."
And yet nothing has been done -- because after every tragedy like this, when we should be able to unite as Americans, instead we find ourselves divided because of leadership that lacks the conviction to stand up to special interests and take commonsense, bipartisan action.
This November, we have the power to do something about it. We saw how Donald Trump behaved in the aftermath of yesterday's events. Rather than show he can comport himself like a leader, he fed into the bigotry and divisive rhetoric that creates bigger problems for us rather than try to solve the ones we can if we unite around a common goal -- and moral imperative -- to do better as a country.
If you're committed to that, as I know I am, I know we -- along with President Obama and every Democrat on the ballot in November -- can make a difference. Add your name if you're with us:
Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Democratic National Committee