Prominent politicians in the United States and Israel commented on Monday’s mass shooting in Highland Park near Chicago, Illinois, that took the lives of seven people and left over 30 injured.
US President Joe Biden issued a statement, saying “Jill and I are shocked by the senseless gun violence... we are grateful for the first responders and law enforcement on the scene. I will not give up fighting the epidemic of gun violence.”
Jill and I are shocked by the senseless gun violence that has yet again brought grief to an American community this Independence Day. As always, we are grateful for the first responders and law enforcement on the scene.I will not give up fighting the epidemic of gun violence.— President Biden (@POTUS) July 4, 2022
US Vice President Kamala Harris, who is in Chicago on Tuesday for a previously-scheduled visit to the National Education Association Representative Assembly, tweeted that “Doug and I are praying for the dozens of people who have been hospitalized and those who were lost today in Highland Park, Illinois.”
Doug and I are praying for the dozens of people who have been hospitalized and those who were lost today in Highland Park, Illinois.This shooting is an unmistakable reminder that more should be done to address gun violence in our country.— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) July 4, 2022
Acting Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid sent condolences via Twitter, declaring that, “today as always, Israel stands with our American friends.”
Devastated to hear the news from Highland Park, where a day of celebration became a day of tragedy. My thoughts are with the families of the victims and all the American people.Today as always, Israel stands with our American friends.— יאיר לפיד - Yair Lapid (@yairlapid) July 4, 2022
Former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was also among those to offer condolences after the July 4th parade shooting in Highland Park, saying that “The Fourth of July is a celebration of freedom and the founding of the great democracy of the United States. It should be a time of joy and not of mourning.”
Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and the people of America. The Fourth of July is a celebration of freedom and the founding of the great democracy of the United States. It should be a time of joy and not of mourning.— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) July 4, 2022
Calls to action
While prayers and condolences are offered across the political spectrum after such a tragedy, many US politicians took the opportunity to call for stricter gun control laws – especially amid the string of mass shootings that have already occurred in 2022.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said: “We pray for Highland Park today, but the time for real action on gun safety is NOW.”
On this day dedicated to freedom, we’re given a tragic reminder that our right to life and liberty will be at risk so long as we continue to allow illegal guns and violent gunmen to go unchecked.We pray for Highland Park today, but the time for real action on gun safety is NOW. https://t.co/apS1kNdZEi— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) July 4, 2022
New York Governor Kathy Hochul posted her call to action on Twitter. “The scourge of gun violence has struck yet another community — this time at a Fourth of July parade. Highland Park is in our hearts today. We must put an end to gun violence.
This should be a day to safely celebrate our rights and freedoms.Instead, the scourge of gun violence has struck yet another community — this time at a Fourth of July parade. Highland Park is in our hearts today. We must put an end to gun violence. https://t.co/y4l9PvTnLd— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) July 4, 2022
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) was also among those to renew their call for further firearm restrictions.
This AP photo of an officer on the Highland Park parade route once filled with little kids waving American flags says it all. This officer can’t fix it by himself. We must do more. Take on assault weapon sales and the gun lobby. Stop the carnage. pic.twitter.com/LsYdM03ywH— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) July 5, 2022
Mass shootings in 2022
There have been over 350 mass shootings in the United States so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit research group. The GVA defines a mass shooting as one in which at least four victims are shot, excluding the perpetrators (others have different criteria, such as that three or four are shot and killed). The archive further estimates that over 400 victims have been killed and over 1,300 have been injured in those mass shootings.
Highland Park was one of 10 mass shootings to have taken place on this July 4th, with 13 killed and 74 injured.
Natan Rothstein contributed to this report.