- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering on Tuesday said she does not know where the alleged July 4 parade shooter got his rifle “but I do know it was legally obtained” and the U.S. needs tougher gun laws even though Congress just passed the most sweeping gun-control measures in decades.

Shootings that target innocent Americans and children with legally obtained firearms seem to be weekly events, she said.

“If that’s what our laws stand for, then I think we need to reexamine our laws,” Ms. Rotering told NBC’s “Today Show.” “I don’t know how many more of these events need to occur. We’ve been talking about this literally for decades at this point.”

A rooftop shooter opened fire Monday on a crowd assembled for the Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois —  a suburb north of Chicago — killing six and wounding dozens.

It was the latest in a series of mass shootings across America, including a racist attack on a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, that killed 10 Black people and a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 children and two adults.

President Biden recently signed a bipartisan gun bill into law that includes expanded background checks and more spending on mental health services, though some are clamoring for more stringent measures.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, speaking Monday after a shooting in his city injured two police officers, said the Second Amendment is too lenient, and he wants to see a society where only cops are carrying guns. He said the frequent violence makes him eager to retire and that U.S. violence is a huge contrast to the situation in Canada.

“We live in America where we have the Second Amendment and we have the Supreme Court of the United States telling everybody they can carry a gun wherever they want,” he said. “I was in Canada two weeks ago and never thought about a gun. The only people I knew who had guns in Canada were police officers.”

“That’s the way it should be here,” he said.

The suspect in the Illinois shooting, Robert E. Crimo III, was arrested in a nearby town after a frantic search for him. Investigators have described his weapon as a high-powered rifle but haven’t released additional details.

Ms. Rotering said she does not believe Mr. Crimo was known to the police. However, she knew the suspect as a child when he was in the Cub Scouts. She was the scout leader.

“He was just a little boy,” she said. “It’s one of those things where you step back and you say, ’What happened? How did somebody become this angry, this hateful, to then take it out on innocent people who literally were just having a family day out.’”

Ms. Rotering said she is fed up with people purchasing “weapons of war” and wreaking havoc.

“This tragedy should never have arrived on our doorsteps. As a small town, everybody knows somebody who was affected by this directly and, of course, we’re all still reeling,” she said.

“Why,” she said, “do we as a nation allow this to happen with such regularity?”

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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