By now, you’ve heard the tragic news surrounding the death of 16-year-old Hadiya Pendleton. According to reports, the bright student (a member of the King Band drill team, who traveled to D.C. for the president’s second inauguration) was innocently gunned down Tuesday afternoon in a South Side Chicago park, not too far from the president’s old stomping grounds. EURWeb reports that Obama expressed his condolences to the family of the victim Wednesday with a one liner via the White House press:
“The president and first lady’s thoughts and prayers are with the family of Hadiya Pendleton.”
Some critics suggest that Obama’s comments are not enough and that the Chicago native should be more aggressive in his stance against violence in the city. A petition has been posted on the White House’s web site, asking for the president to attend Hadiya’s funeral. The petition (penned by Slog the Stranger) reads:
As Newtown swirls down the memory hole and passion to implement sane gun control gets sidetracked by whatever the latest Congressional bullshit circus will be, President Obama should stand up and take advantage of a tragic opportunity to keep the anti-gun violence movement engaged. Sixteen-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, a sophomore at the selective enrollment King College Prep, a young woman who performed in the King Band at Obama’s Second Inauguration, was shot to death Tuesday afternoon in a South Side Chicago park. From the National Mall in the District of Columbia to Harsh Park in the 4400 block of South Oakenwald Avenue. From the inauguration to the mortuary.
The petition continues:
President Obama and his entire family should attend her funeral. Pendleton died about a mile from their Kenwood home. And then maybe America will pay some attention to the everyday, routine, one-at-a-time death toll wrought by guns in this nation, instead of waiting for the next mass shooting to sit up, notice, talk, and do nothing.
What are your thoughts on this? Should Obama’s stance be stronger, because the young woman’s death was so close related to his homestate? Or should he focus on the overall bigger issue of gun violence in the country?