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In honor of X'avier

Five years ago, my entire life changed forever! X’avier was a charismatic 21-year-old artist who walked to the beat of his own drummer! He stood out and challenged social norms. Everyone he came into contact with easily gravitated towards him. There was no middle: People either loved him or liked him but barely anyone disliked him. X’avier scored in the top 5 percentile of the ASVAB Test and became a geospatial engineer with the Army National Guard. He was also sophomore at Savannah College of Art and Design.

X’avier was living his dreams, including telling his long-term girlfriend that she was the one during the Christmas holidays in 2013. X’avier was and is my oldest son (I say “is” because his energy lives on daily, and no one can destroy energy.)

On November 24, 2013, he came home for holiday break from school. X’avier got a job temporarily while here at home, and on December 26, 2013, one month later, he was shot and killed in front of his girlfriend. A 14-year-old and a 22-year-old tried to rob my son, his girlfriend and his best friend. The 14-year-old held the gun on all three as the eldest attempted to go through my son’s pockets. My son and the robber began to tussle after he pushed my son’s girlfriend. As my son was getting up from the ground, the older assailant laid on the ground and told the teen to shoot. The teen pulled the trigger, shooting my son in the head fatally! My son left a host of friends and family behind that loved him tremendously, but most importantly he left his baby brother, who was diagnosed with high functioning autism (Aspergers) and looked at X’avier as his protector and hero.

Today I join Moms Demand Action as an advocate to promote gun safety laws and fight against the loopholes that are a part of our laws, which equip dealers to sell guns on the black market for street value or at gun shows, where background checks are not performed nor ages verified. I fight against laws that mandate law enforcement agencies to auction guns back into society that will go back into our poorest neighborhoods to the highest bidder, even if that bidder is a child! I fight to keep another child from serving 300-plus years because his foundation wasn’t solid enough to keep him out of the streets. I stand for mothers and fathers and loved ones who never imagined that they would be saying goodbye forever to a child or young adult!!! I am a mom who demands action!

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.