By Ashley Yarchin
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (KSDK) - The president is expected to make an impassioned plea for stricter gun laws at Tuesday night's State of the Union address.
The galleries will be filled with people affected by gun violence. That includes the mother of the slain Chicago teen, who just days before her murder, performed at the president's inauguration. A Belleville woman who knows what that mom may be going through spoke to NewsChannel 5.
"I kissed her goodbye. I never saw her alive again after that," remembered Mata Weber, 75, of her 21-year-old daughter, Karen. "She was murdered. It was just starting to get dark. I said, I knew something bad happened...How do you explain to two little kids what happened to their mother when I couldn't explain it to myself?"
It's the story she has told over and over again. For 31 years, she has been mourning the murder, and all this time she's been asking, "How do we stop this violence? How do we take these guns away from these kids?"
She's never been alone in that fight, and she thinks it's the reason President Obama invited the mother of 15-year-old Chicago honor student Hadiya Pendleton. So, that mom, too, will know she's not alone after the girl was shot and killed January 29.
"He would never ever want that to happen again, and he's fighting a never ending battle," Weber said of the president.
With gun control on her mind, Weber will take a front row seat at her home watching and waiting to see what will come when President Obama puts the victims of gun violence front and center.
"I don't know what the answers are but I found that through 'Parents of Murdered Children,' if I helped the next person who called me on the phone or walked into the office, if I could give them help, that helped me," she added.
Weber is the local chapter leader for the group. They hold monthly meetings to offer support for others, whom they call, survivors.
For more information about the group, visit their website.