February 13th, 2013
10:13 AM ET
5 years ago

Pendletons: Gun control vote 'a start'

(CNN) - Cleopatra and Nathaniel Pendleton, who lost their daughter Hadiya to gun violence last month, talked Wednesday about how they now find themselves in the middle of the gun control debate.

"Talking about her and getting the word out and becoming more involved with the issue is empowering so to speak. It helps," Cleopatra said on CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien."

The couple sat with first lady Michelle Obama during the president's State of the Union address Tuesday night, days after Michelle attended Hadiya's funeral in Chicago on Saturday.

Hadiya, who was 15 when she was shot in a park about a mile away from the Obamas' home, performed in the president's inauguration festivities one week before her death.

Asked where they stand on the gun debate, Cleopatra said she comes from a family of hunters and firmly believes a person has a right to bear arms, but she disagrees that certain types of firearms should be readily available to the public.

"I know we need assault weapons, because we have an army," her husband added. "But how are they getting on our streets? That's what I would like to know."

It appears increasingly unlikely that Congress will pass an assault weapons ban, but President Obama called for lawmakers to at least vote on the proposal, as well as other provisions calling for universal background checks and a limit on the capacity of magazines.

"Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress," Obama said during his speech Tuesday night. "If you want to vote no, that's your choice. But these proposals deserve a vote."

Asked Wednesday if a vote is enough, Cleopatra said "it's a start."

"Something is better than nothing, so to say. They need to do something," she said. "This issue is extremely fresh."

soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Thor

    So.... the second amendment now is "an excuse" to bear arms? If so, I tnink the First Amendment is an "excuse" too! ...as well as all of the rest of the Amendments! How bout that one for slavery and womens rights?

    February 13, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    nce wrote:

    ..... However, guns should ALWAYS be locked up and secure! Responsible gun ownership is key. This is where Adam Lanza's mother failed. Let not emotions dictate policy, but common sense and facts. The evidence is overwhelming that gun control DOES NOT WORK to curb violent crime and that an unarmed populace falls prey to those who have murderous intent.
    Nice sounding words, fortunately the pro-terror NRA is opposed to everything that you have suggested. In fact, gun control does work. The problem is that gun control is inconsistent across different states, and sometimes within a single state. It is a fact that roughtly 80% of gun violence within NYC are committed with weapons purchased out of state, most commonly from Virginia. While Chicago may have strict gun laws, outside of the city limits they are not. To state that existing gun control laws are ineffective is more misleading than fact.

    February 13, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  3. much thunder.little rain

    this problem is about solved.. the us government is buying up all the ammo ..so there will be no bullets for the guns...

    February 13, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  4. WOTO

    Maybe Solidad will avoid quoting wikipedia this time.

    February 13, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. al hunt

    ok not wanting to argue but is a serious question I personally could care less if they ban ar-15, I am a vet and know it isn't all everyone is making out to be, I have way better firearms no one is wanting to ban. so whatever, but my question is, will it actually make a diffrence? we have seen many laws passeed befor, but they never get enforced, so will it be the same with a weapons ban? or background checks that someone finds a loophole? is there gonna be some sort of checks put into place to actually insure the job is being done? and what about the whole mental health issue, ok so they can't get to a gun, will it keep them out of cars, from knives, away from children, not holding positions of authority, like ohhhh I dunno maybe a cop in southern california? I am not saying no or yes to an assualt weapons ban, I am saying there is still too much left unresolved.

    February 13, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  6. James OD

    Chicago's murder rate has not "exploded" since the Supreme Court threw out Chicago's handgun ban. Chicago has had a high murder rate for decades, despite a ban on the mere possession of handguns since 1982.

    Carry of handguns is illegal in Chicago. In fact it is illegal through out the entire state of Illinois. Though the ban was just recently overturned and Illinois is currently appealing a judge's order to pass a concealed-carry permit law, this ban is still in effect at the present.

    So - despite Rudy NYC's lies to the contrary - there is no link between the NRA's part in the overturning of Chicago's handgun ban and the current high level of murders in Chicago.

    February 13, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
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