State Watch

Illinois governor on mass shooting: ‘A celebration of America was ripped apart by our uniquely American plague’

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) pointed to the “uniquely American” problem of gun violence in the wake of Monday’s deadly mass shooting at an Independence Day parade in his state, which left at least six people dead.

“It is devastating that a celebration of America was ripped apart by our uniquely American plague,” Pritzker said in a speech Monday evening from Highland Park. 

The governor said he is “furious” that more lives have been lost to gun violence and loved ones are “forever broken” and traumatized from the shooting.

“It’s the Fourth of July, a day for reflection on our freedoms,” he said. “Our founders carried muskets, not assault weapons, and I don’t think a single one of them would have said that you have a constitutional right to an assault weapon with a high-capacity magazine or that that is more important than the right of the people who attended this parade today to live.” 

A gunman killed at least six and injured at least two dozen more at the parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park on Monday. Police have a suspect in custody.

In response to potential arguments that the aftermath of such a shooting is not the time to talk about guns, Pritzker said there is no better time. 

He called on the public to pray for those who were killed and who remain in the hospital after being injured. 

President Biden signed into law last month a bipartisan gun reform bill that was crafted in the wake of the mass shootings at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and a supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y. The law is the most significant gun legislation in decades, and includes measures cracking down on illegal gun sales, enhancing background checks for buyers under 21 years old and closing the so-called boyfriend loophole. 

Gun rights advocates, however, received a victory last month when the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to carry firearms outside one’s home, striking down a New York law. 

Darren Bailey, Pritzker’s opponent for the Illinois governor’s race this year, apologized on Monday after he said to a group of supporters that people should “move on” from the shooting and celebrate Fourth of July festivities.

Tags Darren Bailey Fourth of July Gun control gun deaths gun legislation Gun reform gun right gun rights Gun rights gun violence gun violence Highland Park shooting Illinois Independence Day JB Pritzker July 4 shooting July Fourth Mass shootings
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