Mass Murder in Highland Park, 12 Killed and 68 Wounded in Chicago Over Independence Day Weekend

Over the July 4th holiday weekend Chicago registered 12 individuals killed and another 68 wounded and on Independence Day a lone gunman shot and killed 7 individuals and wounded nearly four dozen more who were watching the Highland Park parade. The gunman is in custody after police tracked and pursued him for hours following the shooting. Yesterday, he confessed to the murder. The day after the mass murder, Gov. Pritzker issued a disaster proclamation for Highland Park to recover from the mass murder.  No similar disaster declaration has been issued at any time by Governor Pritzker for every weekend occurrence of violence in Chicago or elsewhere.

State Representative Brad Halbrook responds:

“I am saddened by the senseless loss of life by deranged individuals who are intent on doing evil.  I pray for the victims and their families. We need to look for answers as to why the Highland Park mass murder occurred and why the violence in Chicago continues.

It is time to get to the root cause of this violence.  More information comes out daily that the Highland Park shooter had a fascination with violence that was ignored. It should be noted that Highland Park had in place its own assault weapons ban, enacted in 2013, and that Illinois has Red Flag laws as well, both of which failed to prevent the shooter from owning the weapon he used.  More laws are not the answer.  I firmly believe we must look deeper for solutions to the violence going on in our society. We must be open to all conversations about why this violence continues to occur and look for real solutions to prevent this tragic loss of life in the future.

As to Governor Pritzker’s disaster declaration for Highland Park, I would like to know what criteria he is using to make such declarations.  The unfairness of declaring one zone of violence as a disaster area and ignoring other zones is troubling.