Mike Felker knows first hand how damaging and painful it is to witness a gun death—he lived that trauma as a U.S. Navy corpsman from 1968 to 1972. In an article published on Philly.com earlier today, Felker injects meaning into the stark gun violence statistics that we’ve come to accept as normal: 80 Americans lose their lives to guns daily and 30,000 are killed by firearms annually.

Felker highlights the inherent agony of each of these deaths and draws a jarring comparison between our streets at home and our battlegrounds abroad. “[These 30,000 Americans] are the casualties of war, a war caused by reckless gun policy,” he writes. “In contrast, the number of U.S. combat casualties during the long wars in Afghanistan and Iraq has been approximately 6,000.”

“Gun violence has made a combat zone of our country, wreaking havoc from the inner city to rural communities. Our schools and streets flow with the blood of the victims of gun violence,” writes Felker.

For Felker and others who have served our country, this reality is unacceptable. “I and other members of the Philadelphia chapter of Veterans for Peace have dealt with the wounds and death caused by gun violence; we feel it is imperative that we stop the slaughter.” Felker has taken action to put an end to the gun violence that plagues our nation and we are proud that he supports our work to expand background checks, require lost and stolen reporting, and prioritize gun violence prevention among our legislators. We are also very grateful for the powerful message that Felker wrote to Ceasefire PA supporters this past Memorial Day.

Read his entire article here.