Chicago Sun-Times (IL) - Saturday, January 19, 2013
BY TINA SFONDELES ; Staff Reporter ;
One, two, three souls of a family gone at the flash of a gun.
Three cousins dead in 10 years. All victims of Chicago gunfire in separate shootings on the Southeast, Southwest and West sides.
On Friday, the Bady family dealt with the latest emotional blow — saying goodbye to 28-year-old Gregory Bady Jr., a father of four “who wasn’t running the streets” killed in a robbery early Monday at an Austin gas station.
The family knows the drill.
“You all back at it again,” Rev. Ira Acree told family and friends as they walked into the wake.
They laid to rest 21-year-old Jamar Moore in 2010 after he was shot in South Chicago, and Maurice Brown, a John Marshall High School student, shot two doors from his Brighton Park home while getting ready for his 15th birthday party in 2003.
“No family — don’t matter what race, what your background is — no family should have to go through this in a civilized society today,” said Yancey Bady , who is Gregory Bady ’s cousin. “It’s just we have to cope with the fact that so far the murderer has not been found for Maurice and the murderer hasn’t been found for Jamar and there are those of us that just have to deal and cope with it pretty much with no justice and no peace behind it.”
Inside the packed church, there were wails of cries from Gregory Bady ’s family, including his sister and his fiancé.
But there were also cheers, support and words of defiance against Chicago’s endless gun problem. There were prayers for the young men in the neighborhood to ensure they wouldn’t be led to a life on the streets.
“There are a lot of angry people,” said Yancey Bady , also an associate pastor at the church. “People want vengeance but you want to try to tell them that’s not the way.”
And there were words of strength from a woman who has gone through the mourning three times.
Penny Bady is the first mother in the large close-knit family to bury her son from gun violence. Maurice Brown was her youngest child. Jamar Moore was her nephew, and Gregory Bady her cousin.
She came to her cousin’s funeral to tell the family that they would eventually be fine.
“I’ve been where you at. About 10 years ago, my son Maurice was gunned down on his 15th birthday, Dec. 12, 2003,” she told hundreds in the church. “I’m here to let you know, you’re gonna have some good days and some bad days… . I’m here to tell you, just look at me, even though it was a horrible thing that happened, I chose to fight my pain with power.”
Since her son’s death, Penny Bady , 47, has become an advocate for organ donation and for stricter gun laws. Her son’s organs saved the life of a mother of four who was dying of kidney failure.
She has been passing out petitions to pass a common sense gun legislation since last summer. Ushers at the funeral passed out petitions to pass House Bill 5831, which would create a more comprehensive system to promote gun owner accountability, including having Illinois gun owners register their handguns or to report a loss or theft to police.
“We need some tougher gun laws,” she said. “You can’t just slap them on the wrists when they first get in trouble with guns.”