Barack Obama State Of The Union Address: Relatives Of Gun Violence Victims In Audience (PICTURES)

13/02/2013 09:26 | Updated 13 February 2013

Many relatives and victims of high-profile gun violence, from Gabrielle Giffords to the parents of Hadiya Pendleton were at the State of the Union address, to hear President Barack Obama make an emotional plea to lawmakers over gun control.

Giffords, the former Democrat representative who was shot in the head at during a shooting spree in Tucson in 2011, applauded the President's speech.

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Obama, flanked by Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner

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Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly watch Obama's State of the Union address

The parents of Chicago shooting victim Hadiya Pendleton, who performed at Obama's inaugural parade just days before she was shot dead, were also there to hear the President say they "deserve a vote."

"Hadiya's parents, Nate and Cleo, are in this chamber tonight, along with more than two dozen Americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence. They deserve a vote," he said.

"Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote," he said, before turning to a list of other communities devastated in recent mass shootings.

"The families of Aurora deserve a vote," he said, to applause. "The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence - they deserve a simple vote."

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Bobak Ferdowsi, flight director of Mars Curiosity Rover, arrives as a guest

Other notable attendees at the State of the Union address were Bobak Ferdowsi, flight director of the Mars Curiosity Rover and Desiline Victor, a 102-year-old Miami voter who made headlines after it emerged she waited six hours in line to vote in the 2012 elections. Both were guests of First Lady Michelle Obama.

State of the Union 2013
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