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Vice President Kamala Harris Visits Highland Park Shooting Scene

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CNN

Vice President Kamala Harris said on Tuesday that Americans need to understand that gun violence “can happen anywhere” during a visit to the city of Illinois, where a gunman killed at least seven people in a mass shooting at a July 4 parade.

“There will be a lot of healing to take place, both physically and emotionally. There is no doubt that this experience is something that will linger in terms of the trauma,” Harris told members of the media gathered at the scene of the Highland Park shooting. “I would urge all families and all individuals to seek the support you so rightly deserve.”

On gun security in the United States, the vice president continued: “As a country, we need to be smarter in terms of who has access to what – and assault weapons in particular. We must take this matter seriously. As serious as you are because you are forced to take it seriously. The whole nation needs to understand and have a level of empathy to understand that this can happen anywhere, in any peace-loving community.”

Harris was joined on the visit by Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering, U.S. Representative Brad Schneider and Senator Julie Morrison.

Rotering told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on “AC360” that her team “shared with (Harris) the deep sadness our community is now experiencing.”

“And she gave a very important message to our first responders, that they should take care of themselves,” the mayor said. “We know the scene was incredibly horrific – the aftermath. And it was important for them to hear that message that while they are tough, they should be able to get the help they need.”

In a phone call Tuesday morning, Rotering had invited the vice president to join her in Highland Park after Harris’ speech to the National Education Association in Chicago.

In those remarks, just miles from Highland Park, the vice president emphatically told Congress to “have the courage” to act against a ban on assault weapons and to “stop protecting” arms manufacturers.

“Yesterday should have been a day to get together with family and friends to celebrate our nation’s independence and instead that community suffered a violent tragedy,” Harris said during the speech, adding that “we must end this violence.” stop.”

“You know, I’ve said it before. Enough is enough,” she said forcefully. “I mean, here we are, our nation is still mourning the loss of those 19 babies and their two teachers in Uvalde.”

President Joe Biden signed the bill late last month, the first major federal gun safety legislation passed in decades, marking a major two-pronged breakthrough in one of the most controversial policy issues in Washington. The legislation came in the wake of recent mass shootings at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, in a predominantly black neighborhood.

“God willing, it will save many lives,” Biden said at the White House as he finished signing the bill.

The suspect in Monday’s mass shooting has been charged with seven counts of first degree murder, Lake County State attorney Eric Rinehart announced at a news conference Tuesday night.

If convicted, Robert E. Crimo III, 21, could face a mandatory life sentence, and more charges are expected to follow, including attempted murder, aggravated discharge and aggravated battery, Rinehart said.

Police said Crimo used a “powerful rifle” in the attack and may have planned the shooting “several weeks”. He has been detained by the police since Monday evening.

This story was updated Tuesday with additional developments.

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