First lady Michelle Obama said Wednesday that the murder of Hadiya Pendleton drove home, for her, the need to provide resources to inner-city kids who don’t have the opportunities needed to escape gang violence, as well as to tighten gun control laws.
The first lady described grieving with the Pendleton family at Hadiya’s funeral earlier this year. “Hadiya Pendleton was me and I was her, but I got to grow up and go to Princeton and Harvard Law School and have a career and a family and the most blessed life I could ever imagine.”
Obama also lamented the opportunities lost by the young people charged in the Pendleton shooting.
“What if, instead of roaming around with guns, boys like them had access to a computer lab, or a community center, or some decent basketball courts?” she wondered. “Maybe everything would have turned out differently?”
The first lady then turned to the gun control legislation pending in Congress. “Right now, my husband is fighting as hard as he can and engaging as many people as he can to pass common sense reforms to protect our children from gun violence,” she said. “And these reforms deserve a vote in Congress.”