First Lady Michelle Obama, in an intensely personal speech Wednesday, called for Chicago to ban stolen handguns, the most commonly-used murder weapon, in a city that tallied more than 500 murders last year.
Although Chicago already has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country, Mrs. Obama said the city needs to “get serious about making illegally-acquired weapons illegal.”
The First Lady teared up as she recalled attending the funeral of a 15-year-old Chicago girl, shot in the back by a drive-by assailant, who reminded her of her own childhood in the same city.
“I realized that that young girl was me and I was her,” Obama said. “In other words, if I had been at that same spot just 35-years later, then Barack Obama would never have met me, and he would not be President of the United States today, so you would never get to hear this intensely-personal speech.”
President Obama said his wife’s gripping, emotional connection with that Chicago handgun murder should motivate Congress to pass more restrictive gun laws even if they would have no power to stop senseless murders of Chicago children.
“Republicans can argue that restricting magazine capacity, banning assault weapons or increasing background checks will do nothing to stem the tide of inner-city violence,” said the president, “but they can never counter the emotional impact of watching my wife cry. To them I say, your argument is invalid.”