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Michelle Obama Joins Gun Control Debate

Image: Michelle Obama Joins Gun Control Debate 2011 photo of First Lady Michelle Obama, right, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

By Sandy Fitzgerald   |   Wednesday, 10 Apr 2013 09:49 AM

Michelle Obama is becoming personally involved in the gun control debate, traveling to Chicago Wednesday to appear at an event to help push one of her husband’s top agenda items.

The First Lady will appear alongside Windy City mayor Rahm Emanuel, with her speech being part of the White House’s efforts to push lawmakers in Washington to pass legislation that includes more stringent background checks on gun purchases, reports The Hill newspaper.

The Senate will begin the debate Thursday, and the background check issue is likely to be central. The First Lady has not previously publicly pressed Congress on passing laws.
Her office said Wednesday morning that she will give a “deeply personal speech” in Chicago, a city that saw more than 500 murders in 2012.

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In January, the shooting of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who performed at Barack Obama’s second inauguration ceremony, touched the first family. Michelle Obama attended the teenager’s funeral, and her husband mentioned the girl’s death in his State of the Union address, which her parents attended.

The first lady will speak “as a mother” in her address Wednesday, the White House said.
Obama will later visit Harper High School, a mostly black public school on Chicago’s South Side, which was featured in a two-part segment on the weekly public radio show “This American Life” about gun violence. Last year, 29 students at the school were affected by gun violence.

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