This year’s July 4th celebrations were marred by another mass shooting in the United States. President Joe Biden initially shared an optimistic and reassuring statement but quickly responded when news of the Highland Park shooting broke.
“Jill and I are shocked by the senseless gun violence that has yet again brought grief to an American community on this Independence Day,” Biden said in a statement on Monday.
Six people died, and more than 30 were injured in a shooting during a July 4 parade in Highland Park, Illinois.
Biden stressed that he had “urged federal law enforcement to participate in the urgent search for the shooter,” alluding to the recently signed gun safety law.
“But there is much more work to do,” the President added. “I’m not going to give up fighting the epidemic of gun violence.”
Referring to the signed legislation, Vice President Kamala Harris said, “Today’s shooting is an unmistakable reminder that more needs to be done to address gun violence in our country.”
On Monday evening, Biden observed a brief moment of silence during a July 4 picnic at the White House. He also shared that he spoke with Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering.
Earlier this afternoon, Biden referenced the new gun safety law and the shooting in Illinois during remarks commemorating the holiday with military families at the White House, saying, “You all heard what happened today. Each day we’re reminded there’s nothing guaranteed about our democracy, nothing guaranteed about our way of life.”
The tragedy of July 4th only adds to the number of challenges facing the country, including inflation. A recent poll found that most Americans on both sides are dissatisfied with the country’s state.
President Joe Biden still tried to reassure Americans by saying, “I know it can be exhausting and unsettling, but tonight I want you to know we’re going to get through all this.”
Earlier that day, Biden released an upbeat statement that “better days still lie ahead.”
“The Fourth of July is a sacred day in our country – it’s time to celebrate the goodness of our nation, the only nation on Earth founded based on an idea: that all people are created equal,” tweeted Biden. “Make no mistake, our best days still lie ahead.”
Opinions expressed by NY Weekly contributors are their own.