Mother of Chicago gun violence victim meets with federal commission

January 9, 2013 9:01:44 PM PST
Blair Holt's violent shooting death shocked Chicagoans nearly six years ago.

On Wednesday Blair Holt's mother Annette Nance-Holt talked to Vice President Joe Biden as part of a White House commission on gun violence.

"It wasn't just about Blair's story, it was Chicago's story," she said.

Holt was killed in 2007 when Michael Pace jumped on a CTA bus packed with students and fired several shots.

Chicago made national headlines after more than 500 homicides occurred in the city in 2012.

Nance-Holt said she realizes it's the school shooting in Connecticut that sparked the commission and national gun debate.

"I wanted them to know that we have been living this the whole time and we do sympathize, and empathize with them, and hate they joined our fraternity, but this is our life every day," she said.

Nearly 20 people representing victims and gun safety organizations met with the commission Wednesday.

"So we're here today to deal with a problem that requires our immediate action, urgent action," Biden said. "And the president and I are determined to take action."

"Overall, the one theme we all agree on is there needs to be background checks and we need to fix the mental health system," executive director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence Colleen Daley said.

On Thursday Biden and commission will meet with the NRA and gun ownership groups.

"It's important you hear everybody's side so we can come to the table and come up with a solution that keeps our kids living," Nance-Holt said.