on Davis still isnât sure how he made the 30-minute drive to the hospital. He was crying. He was praying he wouldnât crash into anyone. He was pleading with God to just let his son Jordan Davis, 17, be alive.
It was the day after Thanksgiving at around 7:30 p.m. All Ron Davis knew was what the mother of his sonâs best friend had called to tell him: Someone had shot at the boys in a Jacksonville, Fla., convenience store parking lot. The shooter apparently thought the music blaring out of the teenagersâ red SUV was too loud, she told Davis. Once Davis finally made it to the hospital, privacy rules prevented him from walking into the trauma bay where doctors were working on an unidentified boy. But after an hour of frantic pacing, Davis convinced a nurse to look at a picture stored on Davisâ cellphone of him and his son. Did the smiling boy in this picture have a face like the boy on the table? The nurse took the phone and went in. A doctor, two police officers and a hospital chaplain came out.
âI just heard a few words,â said Davis, 59. âI heard him say âI could not get a pulse.â He could not revive my son. I donât know what else was said. I just saw lips moving.â
As the nation reels from a spate of gun deaths in 2012 â- some of them singular tragedies like Jordan Davis, others coming in a bloody deluge like the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, the movie theater in Aurora, Colo., or in a deadly weekend on the streets of Chicago -â Davis and a small but dedicated band of parents have been transformed. Theyâve become activists.
What that means for them, and what tactics they will employ to try to prevent more parents from losing their children to gun violence arenât settled matters. Their views on gun ownership and gun control are far from uniform. But, as the country begins the contentious process of examining state and federal gun and ammunition laws, parents-turned-activists like Davis intend to have their say.
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