Michelle Obama is entering the gun control debate at a meeting on youth violence.
On Wednesday Mrs Obama made a deeply personal entrance into the gun debate by comparing herself to Hadiya, the honor student shot after performing as a majorette in the presidential inaugural parade.
Hadiya was shot in the back while hanging out with friends at a park about a mile from the Obamas’ South Side home.
‘Hadiya Pendleton was me and I was her,’ Mrs. Obama said.
‘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.’
Mrs. Obama attended Pendleton’s funeral and said she was struck by how familiar the Pendleton family seemed to her own.
Mrs. Obama said the only difference between herself and the young people killed on the Chicago streets is that she had a few more advantages – involved adults, good schools, a supportive community and a safe neighborhood.
‘That was the difference between growing up and becoming a lawyer, a mother and first lady of the United States and being shot dead at the age of 15,’ Mrs. Obama said, her voice gripped with emotion.