McBath references late son at gun markup: ‘I know that phone call’
Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.) on Thursday reflected on the phone call parents in Uvalde, Texas, received last week with news that their children had died in a school shooting, adding, “I know that phone call” — referring to the death of her son, who was fatally shot in 2012.
The comment was made during a House Judiciary Committee markup for a package of gun-related bills, which Democrats are looking to push through the lower chamber following mass shootings in Buffalo, N.Y., and Uvalde that together killed 31 people.
Lawmakers are looking at a number of bills, including measures that would raise the legal age requirement to purchase semi-automatic rifles to 21 years old and enact restrictions on high-capacity magazines.
“Do we have the courage right here in this body to imagine the phone call parents across Uvalde receive last week? The phone call that confirms our fear, our singular fear that my child is dead. That I was unable to protect them. Because I know that phone call. Parents across the country know that phone call,” McBath said.
“It’s a sucker punch to my stomach every time I learned there’s another phone call. A phone call that brings you to your knees when the desperation will not let you stand. That leaves you gasping for air when the agony will not let you breathe,” she added.
McBath’s son, Jordan Davis, was fatally shot when he was 17 years old at a gas station in Jacksonville, Fla., during an argument over the volume of the music he was playing.
The Georgia Democrat has spoken about her son’s death in the past. In 2019, she shared a note she wrote to her son on the seventh anniversary of his death.
“You and your friends were at a gas station, putting gas into your car. Without warning, a man confronted you and opened fire. He shot 10 rounds into the car, and sped away,” McBath, wrote in a series of tweets addressed to Davis. “I didn’t get to hug and kiss you goodbye. You were 17 years old. My heart is still broken.”
McBath on Thursday said in the time following a tragedy, loved ones of those lost “cry out to God in your grief.”
“Was my child afraid? Did he feel the pain as the bullets ripped through his skin? How long did it take him to die? Was it quick or did he suffer?” McBath said.
“My son Jordan was only 17 years old when he was shot by a man with a gun who didn’t like the loud music that he was playing. I had dreamed of who he would become. I dreamed of watching him walk across the stage for his high school graduation filled with excitement for college, hope for his future and dreams for the world that only a teenager can have,” she added.
Earlier in her remarks on Thursday, the congresswoman said, “We are paying for gun violence every single day of our lives.”
“We are paying for the weapons of war on our streets with the blood of children sitting in our schools. We are paying for unfettered access with mothers and fathers waiting in line for a DNA test, forced to find out if it’s their child that’s riddled with bullets, and maimed beyond recognition. We are paying for this deadly culture with the lives of the American people. With the lives of who we in this room are sworn to protect,” she added.