Last month, the Congressional Black Caucus assembled on the steps of the U.S. Capitol with a declaration: When it comes to gun violence and mass shootings, “thoughts and prayers are not enough.” As fellow members spoke, Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Ga., stood alongside colleagues in solidarity, her face a study in anguish.

With deadly mass shootings in Buffalo, New York; Uvalde, Texas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and beyond in recent days, the country has been here before. So has the congresswoman. And for her, the issue is deeply personal.

McBath lost her 17-year-old son, Jordan Davis, after a man complaining about loud music opened fire on a car of teens at a Jacksonville, Florida, gas station in 2012.

At a House Judiciary Committee hearing about gun violence measures Thursday, she shared her still-palpable grief. “Was my child afraid? Did he feel pain as the bullets ripped through his skin? How long did it take him to die? Was it quick, or did he suffer?”

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