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Vice President Kamala Harris, in Chicago to speak to a teachers’ convention, addressed the July 4 mass shooting in Highland Park, Ill., saying “We need to end this horror. We need to stop this violence.”
Seven people were killed and dozens injured Monday when a shooter opened fire from a rooftop along a Fourth of July parade route in the suburban Chicago city.
Harris said July 4 “should have been a day to come together with family and friends,” but instead ended in violence.
“We must protect our communities from the terror of gun violence. I’ve said it before, enough is enough,” Harris told thousands of teachers gathered for the National Education Association convention.
“Our nation is still mourning the loss of those 19 babies and their two teachers in Uvalde,” Harris said, her voice rising. “Teachers should not have to practice barricading a classroom. Teachers should not have to know how to treat a gunshot wound, and teachers should not be told that lives would have been saved if only you had a gun,” she said.
Later Tuesday, the vice president visited with local officials, first responders and residents of Highland Park at the invitation of Mayor Nancy Rotering.
“This can happen anywhere, in any peace-loving community, and we should stand together and speak out about why it’s got to stop,” Harris said in brief remarks to the media near the scene of the shooting.
Speaking to the NEA, Harris noted that Congress had passed some gun safety measures in the wake of Uvalde, which President Joe Biden has signed into law, but she said more was needed.
“Congress needs to have the courage to act and renew the assault weapons ban,” Harris said.
“An assault weapon is designed to kill a lot of human beings quickly,” she said.
“There is no reason we have weapons of war on the streets of America. We need reasonable gun safety laws,” she said.
Shortly after the shooting on Monday, Biden issued a statement saying the law he signed 10 days before will save lives. “But there is much more work to do, and I’m not going to give up fighting the epidemic of gun violence.”