On Monday, Americans learned of the latest tragic mass shooting, this time taking place at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, an affluent suburb of Chicago. As of this writing, seven people died and dozens have been injured.
It was an all too familiar sight, and in the aftermath, many in Chicago were willing to delve into the frustration of seeing this happen again and again, with no changes in restrictions on guns, particularly just weeks after the Supreme Court took away the ability of states to enact certain gun legislation. Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker issued one of the stronger statements from a politician of his stature in recent memory following a shooting.
“If you are angry today, I’m here to tell you to be angry. I’m furious. I’m furious that yet more innocent lives were taken by gun violence. I’m furious that their loved ones are forever broken by what took place today. I’m furious that children and their families have been traumatized. I’m furious that this is happening in communities all across Illinois and America. I’m furious because it does not have to be this way and yet we as a nation, well, we continue to allow this to happen…There are going to be people who say that today is not the day, that now is not the time, to talk about guns. I’m telling you there is no better day and no better time than right here and right now.”
On the Southside of the city, the White Sox played the Twins not long after the tragedy. After the game, pitcher Liam Hendricks, who is Australian, offered his thoughts on how, in his words, “stupid,” American gun laws are, explaining how Australia enacted gun restrictions following a mass shooting.
“I had to take a driving test when I [came] over [to America]. I won’t have to take a test if I want to get a gun. That’s stupid. Whoever thought that was a great idea is an idiot.” – Liam Hendriks pic.twitter.com/iErEJWfPzg
— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) July 4, 2022
As Hendricks notes, the continued response to mass shooting after mass shooting being “do nothing about the guns” is an incredible indictment of the country’s values.