This time last week, Hadiya Pendleton was probably still coming down from the high of having performed with her school's marching band during President Obama's inauguration festivities. Today, the family of the 15-year-old King College Preparatory School student is making her funeral plans after she was shot dead just blocks from her school on Tuesday.
"It's a terrible tragedy anytime a young person is struck down with so much of their life ahead of them, and we see it far too often," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Wednesday during his daily briefing. "The president and first lady's thoughts and prayers are with the family of Hadiya Pendleton. All of our thoughts and prayers are with her family."
The tragedy occurred a day after Obama urged the nation's police chiefs to pressure Congress on gun control and the day before the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the subject. It also took place in a city that has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation — and the highest homicide rate. Carney said it's not possible to solve the gun violence problem entirely, but efforts should be made to at least try to in part.
"Surely we won't be able to prevent every act of gun violence — we need to take action to reduce gun violence," he said. "We need to take action on common-sense measures that do not infringe upon our Second Amendment rights, that do not take away a gun from any law-abiding American citizen, but that make sure that we're doing everything we can in a responsible way to reduce this violence."
When asked about a petition urging Obama and his family to attend Hadiya's funeral, Carney told reporters that he was unaware of it or any plans by the president to attend the service.
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(Photo: Hadiya Pendleton/Facebook)