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'The First Thing I Think About On Mother's Day:' 8 Moms Affected By Gun Violence Share Their Hopes For Real Gun Reform In America

On Mother's Day, ESSENCE speaks with eight mothers whose children have been killed or injured by gun violence. Today, we lift up their stories as they share their hopes for comprehensive gun reform in America.

Today will be my fourth Mother's Day without my son, Jordan.

On November 23, 2012, my only child was shot and killed over a dispute about loud music at a Jacksonville gas station. His shooter was White, and seventeen-year-old Jordan was Black. The shooter swore he saw a gun in the car, but of course, Jordan and his friends were unarmed.

Gun violence affects everyone — 93 Americans are shot and killed every day and hundreds more are injured. But it's communities of color that experience the brunt of gun violence trauma.

Not a day goes by that I don't miss my son, but on Mother's Day, I bury my face in his old polos and try to remember the feel of the hugs I'll never again receive. I’ll try to turn that mournful sadness into resolve once again.

Jordan died, but I am still his mom.

And on Mother's Day — and every other day — I fight to end gun violence through my work with Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. I was not able to save Jordan. But I can save other moms from going through a Mother’s Day without their children.

Too many families bear the burden of spending holidays childless after a son or daughter has been taken by gun violence. By demanding solutions from our lawmakers and asking more from our communities, we can save lives.

- Lucy McBath

Mothers from all walks of life give testimony on how gun violence has affected their families. Here, we lift the names of those they lost as they share their experiences. These are their stories. This is their heartbreak. And these are the hopes they have for the future of this country and the legacy of their children.

EDITORS NOTE: Responses have been shortened for clarity.

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