A tragedy introduced Lucy McBath to the American public. But now she's working to transform that pain into progress.
McBath's 17-year-old son Jordan Davis was killed in 2012 after an argument with another man at a gas station over loud music. After her son's death, McBath became a public advocate for gun control, joining Everytown for Gun Safety and appearing at the White House with President Barack Obama in 2016 for a summit on gun violence. Later that year, she campaigned with Hillary Clinton during her presidential run.
It was only after the Parkland school shooting, however, that McBath decided to run for federal elected office herself, with gun safety as the main issue on her campaign platform.
"You've got to have people on the inside that are willing to do the work, creating the bills and initiatives, who will push the issue," she said. "You've got to have gun-sense champions on the inside."
Photo by Thos Robinson/Getty Images for VH1.
On July 24, she narrowly won the Democratic primary in Georgia's sixth district, meaning her determination to change gun policy will remain in the spotlight.
She will face Rep. Karen Handel (R) in the fall.
The former flight attendant was the only mother and black candidate in the primary, she's a two-time breast cancer survivor, and she has a mission that’s about more than sending a message to Trump — she's trying to save lives. And she wants to do so with an commonsense agenda.
McBath isn't trying to ban guns; she's simply pushing for basic safety reforms, including implementing expanded background checks, raising the purchase eligibility age from 18 to 21, keeping guns away from domestic abusers, and limiting both stand your ground and concealed carry laws.
"While I support the 2nd Amendment rights of Georgians, we can still advocate for common sense gun violence prevention to make our communities safer," McBath wrote on her campaign website.
She has a tough road ahead, but her story could help change the national debate on guns.
Election forecasters say McBath's congressional district continues to lean Republican and that this is the same district that gave anti-Trump activists so much hope in 2017 when Jon Ossoff ran an upstart campaign against Handel that ultimately came up short.
But it would be a mistake to count McBath out.
She's spent the last six years fighting to transform her son's tragic death into tangible change. And she's not showing any signs of slowing down.