White House Press Secretary Jay Carney lamented the murder of a teenage girl who performed with her school band at President Obama’s inauguration last week, adding that her death underscored the need to implement the administration’s proposals to reduce gun violence.

“The president and the first lady’s thoughts and prayers are with the family of Hadiya Pendleton,” Carney replied when asked if Obama had heard of the shooting.  “If we can save even one child’s life, we have an obligation to try when it comes to the scourge of gun violence . . . We need to do everything we can to protect our children, including Hadiya Pendleton and others.”

Pendleton, an honor student, “was taking shelter from the rain with a group of 10 to 12 teenagers under a canopy in Vivian Gordon Harsh Park on the 4500 block of South Oakenwald Avenue around 2:30 p.m., when someone jumped a fence, ran up to them, and opened fire,” according to CBS.

Carney added that “the president has more than once when he talks about gun violence in America referred not just to the horror of Newtown, or Aurora, or Oak Creek, or Virginia Tech, but to shootings on the corner.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee is debating the assault weapons ban and other gun violence policies today.“The proposed assault weapons ban is a singularly ineffective piece of legislation,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said during the hearing, citing a Justice Department review of 1994. “That was the Janet Reno Department of Justice under President Clinton that said that the assault weapons ban was singularly ineffective. Under it, there has bee no discernible reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence.”

The Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney pointed out recently that FBI data shows that 6,000 murders were carried out with handguns in 2010, compared to just  358 deaths by rifles — 745 people were killed with “hands/feet/fists.”