Georgia congresswoman Lucy McBath is celebrating and remembering the life of her late son, Jordan Davis by writing him a letter on February 16 — what would have been his 25th birthday.
On November 23, 2012 , the unarmed 17-year-old was gunned down by Michael Dunn at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida. Dunn, a 45-year-old software developer in town for his son’s wedding, was angry about loud music playing from Davis’ car and confronted him and his friends about it. Claiming he was afraid for his life, he fired several bullets at Davis and his two friends. A third struck the gas station. Davis was the only one who was shot.
During the trial, Dunn tried to use Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law for his defense, which holds that an individual is not required to retreat when responding to a threat with force. But police had never found a gun on Davis or in his car and no threat was established by Dunn’s lawyers. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Becoming an advocate for gun safety, McBath was elected to the House of Representatives in 2018 and has stood for the victims of gun violence since her son’s shooting. But on Davis’ birthday, McBath chose to focus on her son and how much she misses him.
Read the message McBath wrote for Jordan through a Twitter thread:
Eight years ago, you were stolen from me. The last conversation we had seemed so normal. You told me how much you had enjoyed Thanksgiving, and that you loved being able to see your friends. I had no idea that would be the last time I heard your voice.
I never got to kiss you goodbye. I never got to give you one final hug. We never celebrated your 18th or 21st birthday because you were stolen from me at just 17 years old. Today would have been your 25th – and I still miss you every single day.
I want you to know I’m proud of you. If you were still here, I’d tell you how proud I am of the person you’ve become – how happy I am of the kind & caring man you’ve grown up to be. You’d have jokingly told me to knock it off. If you were here. If our laws had not failed you.
We never got to celebrate the big milestones in your life b/c you were taken from us too early. Since then, I’ve worked to honor you. I’ve taken your legacy to Congress to fight for common sense gun safety. We’re fighting every day, Jordan. We’re making a change, together.
You live on through me. And I live on because of you. Today, you would have been 25 years old. Happy birthday, Jordan. I miss you. I love you so much.
McBath, a Democrat, made remarks on the floor of the House of Representatives earlier this month for Gun Violence Survivors Week as she told the story of Mary Miller-Strobel and her brother Ben, a combat veteran who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder who died in a suicide from a gun purchased locally, even though she had asked all the local gun dealers not to sell him a firearm.
“Too often we are told that we must accept these tragedies, McBath said. “I refuse to accept that.”