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Highland Park shooting: ‘Active shooter’ a ‘quintessentially American’ July 4th symbol, WaPo columnist writes

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Christine Emba from the Washington Post penned a scathing op-ed on Tuesday suggesting that the active shooter is the “new symbol for the Fourth of July.”

She began by discussing the events surrounding the Highland Park shooting during a Fourth of July parade in Illinois. The shooting left dozens seriously injured with 7 now reported dead.

“These events should shock us, but more and more they appear inevitable. In 2022, this is how we mark America’s greatest civic holiday: flags and fireworks as background, firearms to the fore. How desperately sad that on a day we are meant to commemorate our exceptional brand of freedom, gun violence has made our lives manifestly less free,” Emba wrote.

On July 4, a gunman opened fire from a rooftop in Highland Park, Illinois, onto a parade, killing seven people and injuring more than 30 others.
(Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service)

She also criticized the Supreme Court’s decision in June to rule New York’s concealed carry law as unconstitutional as partially to blame, lamenting “years of Second Amendment fetishization” and dedication to the “Constitution’s frozen-in-amber lines.”

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“For a shocking number of Americans, this misguided, selfish definition of freedom has overrun any recognition of duty to care for one’s fellow citizens. The most reasonable restrictions on gun ownership for the safety of others — training requirements, age limits, background checks — are described as unbearable offenses against a twisted definition of personal liberty,” she wrote.

After a shooting in his own city on Monday, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney likewise ripped the Second Amendment. He also openly suggested that only police officers should carry guns in the United States.

Emba lamented further that mass shootings are now known as a uniquely American issue, despite high profile mass shootings in Norway and Denmark within the last two weeks.

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HIGHLAND PARK, IL - JULY 05: FBI agents work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade on July 5, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois. Police have detained Robert "Bobby" E. Crimo III, 22, in connection with the shooting in which six people were killed and 19 injured, according to published reports. 

HIGHLAND PARK, IL – JULY 05: FBI agents work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade on July 5, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois. Police have detained Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo III, 22, in connection with the shooting in which six people were killed and 19 injured, according to published reports. 
(Photo by Jim Vondruska/Getty Images)

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“The Fourth of July is meant to be a salute to our exceptional culture, a tribute to everything quintessentially American,” Emba wrote. “But the shootings over the weekend drive home the obscene truth that mass shootings and gun scares are now a quintessentially ‘American’ image as well — what the United States has become known for around the globe.” 

She closed, “Thanks to our gun regime, that ever-present fear is now as American as apple pie. And in contrast to what the NRA might have us believe, it’s hard to imagine anyone is celebrating that.”

CORONADO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 03: American flags decorating a street side in 2021. (Photo by Daniel Knighton/Getty Images)

CORONADO, CALIFORNIA – JULY 03: American flags decorating a street side in 2021. (Photo by Daniel Knighton/Getty Images)

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The New York Times published a similar opinion piece on its site one day earlier, decrying the “doom spiral of gun worship” present in Americans.



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