Hadiya Pendleton could be one of my children. She could belong to any of us. Just like the young people in my life, the ones I pray for as they walk the mean streets of Chicago just trying to make it home from school. I have to keep as many tabs on them as I can, but I cannot be everywhere they are at all times.
The enormous pain felt by her parents, Nathaniel and Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton is one that no parent wants to have to experience. They have to bury their 15-year old daughter, who died too soon.
So far, in Chicago there have been 46 reported homicides in a year that is less than 40 days old. The rumblings about cleaning up the streets have become louder.
You have the gun-control debate that went on in December in Newtown, Connecticut, after an armed Adam Lanza went to Sandy Hook Elementary and took the lives of 27 people, including his own life. Unfortunately, that debate, in my opinion, was focused on the wrong thing.
What happened at Sandy Hook was tragic and somewhat unthinkable, but there is a Hadiya Pendleton story that happens daily in the inner city. Innocent children, just trying to be children are gunned down in random and senseless acts of violence far too often.
The shooter is usually someone who is close in age. The shooter is usually a teenager or young adult, trying to defend their turf. They do not pay taxes in that area, and in many cases, they do not live in the places where they wreak havoc. There is a difference between Adam Lanza and the unknown killer of Hadiya Pendleton. That difference is where the debate on guns must begin.
Lanza obtained his guns from his mother who purchased them legally. Whoever murdered Pendleton got their gun illegally.
The illegal guns need the controlling, while legal guns must be moderated.
It is not the legal guns, but the illegal ones that wind up in the hands of so many young people, and those young people commit unspeakable crimes and sadly, many of those crimes go unsolved.
As of now, Pendleton is about to be laid to rest while the killer is still on the loose and in position to kill again.
It is unimaginable that someone is currently housing the individual who shot Pendleton. They are feeding them meals and allowing them to come in to rest their head.
You know who you are and you know what they did. How could you allow them to move around without a conscious, without a care, without any responsibility? How can you live with yourself? Picture yourself in the same shoes as the grieving parents; you would want the killer of your child brought to justice.
Do the right thing, convince that person to turn themselves in, or you turn them in yourself. Make the decision that can bring peace into the lives of those who are in mourning. Consider it a major step in the direction of true gun control. It is too late to save Pendleton’s life but not the life of others.
- ‘Heartbroken’ Michelle Obama to attend Saturday funeral of Hadiya Pendleton (suntimes.com)
- Hadiya Pendleton’s family: ‘Just a matter of time’ before killer is caught (usnews.nbcnews.com)
- Religious leaders’ plea: Turn in Hadiya’s killer, end gun violence (suntimes.com)
- Rev. Jackson Leads March to Park Where Hadiya Pendleton Was Killed (atlantablackstar.com)