Donald Trump & The NRA Are No Match For A Mother Who Lost Her Child
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Her name was Ayana McAllister. She was shot and killed in our nation's capital last week. And it has never been more important that people know her name.

More than four years ago, my son, Jordan Davis, was senselessly shot and killed in a dispute over loud music at a Jacksonville, Florida, gas station. Just like Ayana, he was a teenager, doing exactly what teenagers are supposed to be doing: hanging out with friends. My life changed forever that day. But since then, I've found a new purpose working with gun violence prevention advocates and fighting against a dangerous gun culture in America that abets the deaths of our children, our Ayanas and Jordans.

When I learned that just a few miles from where I had been earlier this month in Washington, D.C., 19-year old McAllister, was shot and killed while home for spring break from St. Augustine’s University, my heart broke her family and loved ones. And my heart broke for this nation.

The Washington Post reported that during a campaign stop on campus this fall, Ayana mentioned she was moved by the Clinton campaign’s “Mothers of the Movement," a group of women who have seen children taken by gun violence or police-involved incidents. As a proud member of this group, our charge was to speak out about the importance of electing leaders who will do more to end the senseless gun violence and shoot-first culture we have in this country. We heard from communities about what they wanted to see from elected leaders and what they need to thrive in a safer environment.

We, as a nation, must be better. We continually allow politicians to do nothing other than send “thoughts and prayers” when our children are gunned down in their hometowns out doing what normal teenagers do. We continually let politicians win their seats despite passing policies that put more guns in more places, with no questions asked. We continually let politicians off the hook for passing laws that disproportionately affect communities of color and women like Stand Your Ground or laws that allow domestic abusers to have guns.

This fight is long and arduous, but make no mistake about it, in the end gun safety will win. Our children’s lives depend upon it.

That stops now. The NRA leadership may have poured more than $30 million into the election of Donald Trump in hopes that their agenda would get a carte blanche, but they didn’t count on facing a powerful and passionate opposition.

So, while the gun lobby is taking advantage of the early days of the Trump administration and the new Congress, doing everything they can to gut our nation’s gun laws to sell more guns, we must get to work.

Already, the NRA leadership helped push dangerous policies that make it easy for people prohibited from gun ownership to pass checks, including blocking the Social Security Administration from submitting 365,000 records of prohibited purchasers into the background check system.

And in the midst of a suicide epidemic among U.S. veterans, gun lobby-backed lawmakers are pushing a bill that would put more veterans in danger by removing from the background check system nearly 170,000 records of veterans with severe mental illness who are prohibited from purchasing guns, allowing them to buy firearms again.

They are also trying to deregulate firearm silencers and thus, imperil Americans who won’t be able to hear the shots coming and take the necessary steps to protect themselves and their families.

As a woman of color and a mother whose child was taken away by senseless gun violence, I understand the importance of standing up and empowering others for the day of reckoning with the gun lobby.

And we can’t forget their top priority — what the gun lobby calls "concealed carry reciprocity," which would allow people with conceal carry permits in any state to carry their firearms in any state. I fear that it would lead to convicted felons and domestic abusers being allowed to carry hidden, loaded weapons everywhere.

This is where we come in.

We’ve fought against this dangerous policy before — and we’ve won. And just like we’ve been shutting down radical gun bills in statehouses across the country — we’ve learned how to be the David to the NRA’s Goliath and we’ll do it again.

As a woman of color and a mother whose child was taken away by senseless gun violence, I understand the importance of standing up and empowering others for the day of reckoning with the gun lobby.

In the wake of Ayana’s death, her mother stated, “We did everything we could to keep these kids safe.” No mother wants to utter those words after the kind of tragedy her family is experiencing — I know firsthand.

This fight is long and arduous, but make no mistake about it, in the end gun safety will win. Our children’s lives depend upon it.