A Chicago teen lost her life just hours after her younger sister attended President Obama’s speech on gun violence.
North Chicago police are questioning two people in connection with the murder of 18-year-old Janay McFarlane, a young mom, who was gunned down on Friday night while walking down the street–the same day her sister, Destini Warren, attended the president’s talk pushing for stricter gun control laws.
Angela Blakely, mother of both the girls, told The Chicago Tribune that the shooting death of local teenager, Hadiya Pendleton, had a profound impact on her slain daughter, Janay.
“It’s terrible, it’s terrible the only thing I can remember is my daughter telling me, ‘Mommy, it’s so sad about Hadiya. That makes no sense,’” Blakely said. “She always asked me a lot of questions about death.”
Obama made special mention of Pendleton, who was shot and killed after performing in his second inaugural parade, during his speech Friday at Hyde Park Academy High School on the south side of the city.
“In my State of the Union, I talked about Hadiya and the fact that, unfortunately, what happened to Hadiya is not unique,” said Obama, noting the widespread epidemic of gun-related deaths and the need for tougher gun laws. “It’s not unique to Chicago. It’s not unique to this country. Too many of our children are being taken away from us.”
The president compared Chicago’s record-breaking crime stats to the recent massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut that left 26 students and teachers dead. Last year, 65 kids were killed by gun violence in Chicago. “That’s the equivalent of a Newtown every four months,” Obama pointed out. In 2012, another 443 people were killed by guns alone. “And that’s precisely why the overwhelming majority of Americans are asking for some common-sense proposals to make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun,” Obama said.
December’s mass shooting sparked a national debate on stronger ways to prevent gun violence. But, if you ask the NRA, they are winning the “war.”
Over the weekend, the National Rifle Association president David Keene said the country’s relationship with firearms has changed from the 1994 passage of the now-expired assault weapons ban. ”The difference between today and 15 years ago is that today, guns are cool,” Keene said.