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While gun control has become a huge topic of conversation all over the country since the Sandy Hook elementary school shootings last December, most people know that it has been a massive problem for people living in and around Chicago for many years now. Every summer is a bloodbath and innocent young students are dying senselessly, often by the hands of their classmates involved in gang activity.

As President Obama continues to make a push for tougher gun laws (an agreement between Democrat and Republican senators was made on expanding background checks and tightening gun trafficking laws yesterday in Washington), First Lady Michelle Obama headed to her hometown of Chicago to make a push at a fundraising lunch to encourage residents to fight against the gun violence in their streets and to push politicians to fight for tougher gun legislation. A big change for the First Lady. To get her point across in her speech, she spoke about Hadiya Pendleton, the 15-year-old with her whole life ahead of her who was gunned down at a park while with friends just a week after performing as a majorette at President Obama’s inauguration events. Her shooters mistook Pendleton and her group for rival gang members. Obama pointed out that she could have easily ended up the same way, especially since Pendleton’s family went out of their way to keep her busy and out of trouble:

“Hadiya’s family was just like my family. 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. And Hadiya, oh we know that story.”

“…Many of our children have never been to the Art Institute or Millennium Park. Many of them don’t even know the University of Chicago even exists. They are consumed with watching their backs. They are afraid to walk alone because they might get jumped. They are afraid to walk in groups because they might get identified as a gang.”

“The president 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. These reforms deserve a vote in Congress.”

Check out her very moving speech on the next page and let us know what you think of what she had to say, as well as your stance on what can be done, if anything to curb gun violence.

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