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Highland Park shooting again highlights US’ need to end gun violence epidemic

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The newest carnage represents the 309th mass shooting thus far this 12 months, in accordance to the non-profit Gun Violence Archive, and comes at a time when the nation’s social and political divisions have deepened on a number of fronts: the overturning of abortion rights; file charges of inflation; the risk to democracy highlighted by the January 6 Capitol assaults.

Highland Park authorities released a photo of Robert Crimo III.

Highland Park authorities launched a photograph of Robert Crimo III.Credit:City of Highland Park

It additionally comes at a time when gun violence is contemporary on the minds of many: six weeks after the rampage at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas; seven weeks after a racially motivated shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York; two weeks after the Supreme Court struck down a New York law limiting who can carry a gun in public.

Illinois is not any stranger to gun crime – notably within the Democrat-led metropolis of Chicago – however Highland Park, which is house to a considerable Jewish inhabitants, is an prosperous space full of picturesque properties and leafy streets, and never the sort of place you’d anticipate to see such horror.

While the alleged gunman’s motivation stays unclear, his traits match a well-recognized sample: a younger white male armed with a weapon of mass destruction, intentionally focusing on harmless folks.

In Uvalde and Buffalo, the shooters have been each aged 18; in Highland Park, 22-year-old Robert E Crimo is the person of interest.

Larry Bloom, who was within the space when the shooting started, instructed NBC Chicago that spectators initially thought the “popping” sound was a part of the parade.

“You heard like a ‘pop, pop, pop’ and I think everybody kinda thought maybe it was a display on one of the floats,” he mentioned.

“Then it just opened up. I was screaming and people were screaming. They were panicking and they were just scattering … You know, it was right on top of us.”

The shooting places renewed deal with the small however vital step Congress took final month, when it passed the first major bipartisan gun reform legislation in almost 30 years.

The invoice – which president Joe Biden has now signed into regulation – enhances background checks for 18 to 21-year-old gun consumers; closes the so-called “boyfriend loophole” for home violence offenders not married to their companions; and units up grants for states to encourage red-flag legal guidelines, which empower the courts to order the elimination of a gun if the person is deemed harmful.

Empty chairs and an American flag blanket lie abandoned on the ground after a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade in downtown Highland Park, a Chicago suburb, on July 4.

Empty chairs and an American flag blanket lie deserted on the bottom after a mass shooting on the Highland Park Fourth of July parade in downtown Highland Park, a Chicago suburb, on July 4.Credit:AP

There’s additionally funding for psychological well being and faculty safety, however broader reforms – similar to common background checks, or an outright ban on AR-style rifles – have been non-starters.

Biden touted the modifications on Tuesday (AEST) however admitted there was “much more to do”, saying in an announcement he was “shocked” that one other mindless shooting “has yet again brought grief to an American community”.

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He additionally acknowledged, as he has many occasions earlier than, that gun violence is an “epidemic” within the US. The hassle is, so long as assault rifles stay simply accessible throughout the nation, it’s going to stay so.

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