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With the parents of murdered Chicago teenager Hadiya Pendleton in attendance last night, President Obama called on lawmakers to give  the Pendletons and other victims of violence a vote on gun control.

pendleton parents
Cleo and Nate Pendleton, parents of Hadiya Pendleton, joined CNN for an interview.

Cleo and Nate Pendleton were First Lady Michelle Obama’s guests at the State of the Union address.

“It meant the world,” Cleo Pendleton said in a CNN interview this morning.  “It was quite an honor.”

It is an honor the Pendletons have paid dearly to receive. They have become the focus of attention in the debate over gun violence only because their 15-year old daughter was gunned down by gang members who wrongly thought they were aiming at a rival gang.

Even so, Nate and Cleo Pendelton support the second Amendment.

“I believe that there is a right to bear arms,” Cleo Pendleton said this morning.  “But as far as putting weapons on the street that could hinder the performance of police officers and law enforcement officials trying to protect people, those weapons should not be readily available to anyone.”

Hadiya Pendleton’s death gained national prominence and focused the spotlight on the issue of gun violence in America. First Lady Michele Obama traveled to Chicago to attend her funeral services, demonstrating the special nature of this case.

Nate Pendleton is concerned that assault weapons are sold not only to the military but also to the public.

“I know we need assault weapons because we have an army.  But how are they getting on our streets? That’s what I would like to know,” he said this morning.  “Why can’t we just stop them from being sold in regular stores?