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18-Year-Old Mother Fatally Shot — Hours After Her Sister Attends President Obama’s Gun Control Speech

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gun violenceJanay McFarlane was visiting her family and friends in North Chicago. She was 18 years old, walking down the street, when she was shot in the head. Just hours earlier, her 14-year-old sister Destini attended President Obama‘s Chicago gun control speech.  Now, Destini’s sister is dead and Janay’s three-month-old son is motherless, all due to the city’s horrible epidemic of gun violence.

The growing escalation of violence in Chicago and high-profile killings, like that of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, have added pressure to the gun control cause and the national conversation about gun violence. The deaths even made their way into President Obama’s State of the Union address, where Pendleton’s parents sat with First Lady Michelle Obama.

This latest case is just another horrible example of the ways that lives are ripped apart by  murders like Janay’s. Her parents have lost a young daughter. Her sister, who went to see the President speak about this very subject, now has a personal connection to the tragedy that guns inflict on our country. And most heart-wrenching, a newborn infant will never know his mother. He’ll grow up hearing about her from relatives. He’ll see pictures. But this little boy had his mother ripped from him because a criminal got his hands on a gun.

Two suspects have been questioned in Janay’s shooting. Like Hadiya’s murder, it is thought that a friend with Janay was the target of the murder. This was just another innocent young woman caught in the gunfire. Now she’s gone, leaving family and a child behind her.

As a nation, we tend to pay attention to the big stories. We remember the Newtowns and Auroras. Murders like Janay’s are too numerous and too frequent for us to keep them all in mind. And yet, these deaths are so much more common. They steal away so many more of our young people. They each deserve our attention and our sympathy.

Gun violence takes another innocent life. I wonder how many more it will claim before our nation does anything?

(Photo: mozakim/Shutterstock)