Jul 5, 2022 - Politics

What politicians are saying after Highland Park shooting

American flag on a lawn
An American-flag-themed towel lies at the scene of the Fourth of July parade shooting in Highland Park. Photo: Youngrae Kim/AFP via Getty Images

Officials weighed in on the Highland Park tragedy yesterday with pointed statements about gun policy and mental health.

  • Within hours, the shooting became the latest fodder for the ongoing political debates on gun rights and the causes of gun violence.

President Joe Biden: "Jill and I are shocked by the senseless gun violence that has yet again brought grief to an American community on this Independence Day."

Gov. J.B. Pritzker: "There are no words for the kind of monster who lies in wait and fires into a crowd of families with children celebrating a holiday with their community."

State Sen. Darren Bailey, the GOP candidate for governor: "We hope we can all come together in prayer and action to address rampant crime and mental health issues to ensure these horrific tragedies don’t happen again."

Yes, but: Before releasing that statement, Bailey led a group prayer on Facebook Live from the canceled Skokie parade.

  • "The shooter is still at large, so let's pray for justice to prevail and then let's move on and let's celebrate the independence of this nation."
  • Bailey later released another statement apologizing.

Other statements from Illinois lawmakers:

  • U.S. Rep. Sean Casten (Twitter): "This is the world the NRA, the @GOP and SCOTUS have created. We don't have to live like this. But they all have blood on their hands for making this our July 4th reality."
  • U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (Twitter): "To face senseless gun violence while out celebrating Independence Day is nothing short of horrific. The nation's prayers are with Highland Park today."
  • U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (Twitter): "Absolutely terrifying. Families from all over seek out this time-honored tradition on Fourth of July — and today, many found themselves running for their lives. Every community deserves to be safe from senseless gun violence."

What's next: After Pritzker called for a special session of the Illinois General Assembly to address reproductive rights, the Democrat-controlled chambers could also take up gun control measures, though no announcement has been made in that direction.

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