Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., spoke out about the teen who was shot to death in Chicago on Tuesday, saying the city is "awash with guns."
King College Prep High School sophomore Hadiya Pendleton, who performed at President Obama's inauguration last week, was killed on Jan. 29, 2013 by a gunman who reportedly opened fire in a Chicago park she was enjoying with her friends.
Sen. Durbin spoke about Pendleton death, stating that her recent trip to Obama's Inauguration "was the highlight of her young 15-year-old life ... Just a matter of days after the happiest day of her life, she’s gone."
Pendelton's murder on Tuesday brought heightened awareness to the gun problem in Chicago.
NBC reports that more than 40 people have killed by a gun in just the first four weeks of 2013. Last year, there were 506 homicides, up 16 percent from 2011.
Durbin stated at the hearing that statistics show that six times as many guns are confiscated in Chicago compared to New York each year.
"We are awash in guns ... We have guns everywhere and some believe the solution to this is more guns. I disagree."
The news of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton's death traveled quickly to the White House, with spokesman Jay Carney stating that President Obama and the First Lady, Michelle Obama are "praying for Pendleton's family."
Carney called the Chicago shooting a "terrible tragedy."
Hadiya Pendleton’s mother, Cleo Cowley cried when she heard that her daughter's death was mentioned by Sen. Durbin during the Senate hearing.
She told NBC News, "Something does need to change ... Where are the guns coming from? I don’t own a gun. My daughter was not violent. I never would have thought she would die like this."