President Biden has said he was “shocked” by Monday’s mass shooting that killed six people and injured two dozen others during a Fourth of July parade outside Chicago.
“[First lady] Jill and I are shocked by the senseless gun violence that has yet again brought grief to an American community on this Independence Day,” the president said in a statement released by the White House. “As always, we are grateful for the first responders and law enforcement on the scene.”
Biden added that he had spoken to Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering and offered the “full support” of the federal government.
“I also surged Federal law enforcement to assist in the urgent search for the shooter, who remains at large at this time. Members of the community should follow guidance from leadership on the ground, and I will monitor closely as we learn more about those whose lives have been lost and pray for those who are in the hospital with grievous injuries,” the statement went on.
Monday’s mass shooting was the third major American massacre in two months. On May 14, a gunman murdered 10 Black people at a Buffalo supermarket in what police called a racially motivated shooting. On May 24, 19 children and two teachers were shot and killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
The twin tragedies spurred Congress to pass new gun control legislation, which Biden signed into law June 25. The measure calls for enhanced background checks on potential gun buyers under the age of 21 and provides millions of dollars for states to boost mental health services and enact so-called “red flag” laws allowing family members or law enforcement to petition courts to take away individuals’ firearms if they are deemed to be a danger.
“I recently signed the first major bipartisan gun reform legislation in almost thirty years into law, which includes actions that will save lives,” said Biden, who has called for Congress to ban so-called assault weapons or raise the legal age to buy one from 18 to 21.
“But there is much more work to do, and I’m not going to give up fighting the epidemic of gun violence.”
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