White House Press Secretary Jay Carney called the shooting death of a 15-year-old girl in Chicago a "terrible tragedy" and that the first family's "thoughts and prayers are with the family."
The girl, Hadiya Pendleton, who was in a band that performed at Obama's inaugural last week, was a bystander in a shooting in a park near Obama's Chicago home.
Carney said the case also points to the need for greater gun restrictions: "As the president has said, we will never be able to eradicate every act of evil in this country, but if we can save even one child's life, we have an obligation to try when it comes to the scourge of gun violence."
To that end, Obama plans to meet later today at the White House with former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly. Giffords earlier today testified before a Senate panel looking at ways to curb gun violence, saying that "Americans are counting" on Congress to be "courageous."
Carney defended the administration's call for universal background checks, singling out the NRA's Wayne LaPierre for his opposition to them: "That's an issue on which the NRA and Wayne LaPierre is in a very distinct minority, if that's their position."
And he suggested that it's unlikely that Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. will be getting an invite to Camp David anytime soon. A reporter asked Carney for his reaction to Blackburn's call for an invite to a skeet shooting match at the presidential retreat, saying she's skeptical of Obama's claims and believes she's a better shot.
"I have none," Carney replied.