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Jamaica woman tells story of loss in mayor’s campaign against guns

Mayor Michael Bloomberg watches a video testimonial about gun violence surrounded by shooting survivors and victims' relatives. AP Photo by Seth Wenig
TimesLedger Newspapers

Dionne Gordon, whose brother was gunned down 2 1/2 years ago while visiting their parents’ house in South Jamaica, stood behind Mayor Michael Bloomberg at City Hall Monday in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre to call on Washington to take immediate and long-term steps to curb gun violence.

She was one of 34 people who shared their stories of losing loved ones to guns in a new campaign for Bloomberg’s coalition of mayors against illegal guns.

“Gun violence takes the lives of 34 Americans every single day,” Bloomberg said. “That means that during President Obama’s next four-year term, some 48,000 Americans will be killed with guns.”

“Today, Mayors Against Illegal Guns — a bipartisan coalition of more than 700 mayors from cities and towns across America — is releasing a set of 34 very powerful, and very personal, brief video statements,” he added. “These videos, I think, bear testimony to the sorrow and trauma produced by gun violence in our nation.

Maurice Gordon, a border patrol officer with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration from Freeport, L.I., was killed in a hail of nearly 30 bullets from a high-powered rifle June 21, 2010.

“He believed that we lived in the greatest country of them all. He believed that when he took the oath to protect and serve that that was what he was going to do until the day he died. It’s unbelievable the pain that this has caused,” Dionne says in her somber video. “I need to know what are our leaders are going to do to stop the gun violence.”

Bloomberg laid out a set of proposals, including renewing and strengthening a ban on assault weapons, which he said the president and Congress should make a priority.

Several Queens lawmakers expressed their condolences to the victims’ loved ones and echoed the mayor’s calls for stricter gun laws.

“In the wake of this unthinkable tragedy, it is time for a new national conversation about the role of guns in American life,” said U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Ridgewood).

State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) called the shooting a “sickening tragedy.”

“The blood stain of gun of violence will only grow larger until we resolve, at every level of government, to bring common sense and sanity to our laws governing firearms availability, sales and possession,” he said.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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