Mother of slain Chicago teen urges Congress to pass gun-control measures

The mother of a 15-year-old Chicago girl who was killed by gunfire a week after performing at President Obama’s inauguration is pushing Congress to enact gun-control measures in a new public service announcement.

“When my daughter performed at the president’s inauguration, it was the happiest day of her life. A week later she was murdered, gunned down near her school,” Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton says in the announcement, released Saturday.

Cowley-Pendleton urges lawmakers to pass “common-sense measures,” such a law requiring background checks for all gun sales.

Pendleton’s murder, for which police have arrested two men, has become a motif in the debate on gun control.

The president is pushing a gun-control plan that includes expanding background checks and bans for some semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines. While votes on the president’s recommendations are less likely in the House than the Senate, it still remains unclear whether the upper chamber will call the administration’s proposals on the floor.

Obama spoke of Pendleton’s death in an impassioned speech Friday in his old Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago, saying, “Too many of our children are being taken away from us.”

First lady Michelle Obama attended Pendleton’s funeral. Pendleton’s parents also sat with the first lady at Obama’s State of the Union address, where the president referenced Hadiya’s death.

The Mayors Against Illegal Guns Action Fund paid for the announcement, which will run during airtime donated by TV stations.