By now, we’re all painfully aware of the process that plays out in the wake of a mass shooting like the one that occurred during a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois yesterday: While the world mourns, lawmakers who have no intention of broaching the topic of gun control offer meaningless “thoughts and prayers” and claim that “now” is not the time to talk about how we can prevent further incidents of mass gun violence. But Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker is a different kind of lawmaker.
On Monday, as Mediaite reports, Pritzker took a hardline stance on the need for further gun control when he held a press conference and addressed the people of Highland Park, the state of Illinois, and America at large. Pritzker relayed that he had just spoken with Joe Biden, who “agrees with me: this madness must stop.” He went on to address the events of the morning directly, powerfully noting that “the families of six individuals woke up today to join a community celebration of our nation’s independence. They will go to bed tonight less than whole.”
Pritzker, noting how “furious” he was, let others know that they have every right to be angry, too:
“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. It’s the Fourth of July, a day for reflection on our freedoms. 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.”
Highland Park police arrested a 22-year-old suspect on Monday; he has yet to be formally charged.