Highland Park Reminds Us That Guns Kill People and Destroy Our Liberty

Highland Park Reminds Us That Guns Kill People and Destroy Our Liberty

I did not want to be the first person to write about the outrage in Highland Park or even one of the first ten or the first hundred.

I was not there on that horrible July 4th morning. Nor was anyone from my family, nor any neighbors. And I don’t know any of the deceased nor any of those left orphaned or widowed or just bereft. I wanted those people to have a chance to tell their stories first.

But I have walked those streets in downtown Highland Park. I’ve had an apple pancake at Walker Brothers, bought canasta supplies at Ross, selected camp stuff for the kids at Gearhead when it was still Uncle Dan’s. This deadly act felt so personal.

My life has been touched by death many times. Natural causes, suicides, and even a few murders. But I can’t think of anything so senseless, so selfish, or so shameful as this tragedy. The gut-punch won’t go away.

We lament today but I fear that except for a handful of people whose lives have been irretrievably altered, nothing will change.

High-powered rifles will continue to be a fact of life and death. Handguns will continue to kill police, to kill offenders, to kill bystanders. And don’t tell me they are needed for self-defense. I’m not buying it, and these guys aren’t either.

I am not sure how and why our country reached this state of firearm saturation. I am not sure what we can do about it. The new Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is a first step, most significant in showing that congressional sanity is a possibility.

Freedom to yield a weapon needs to stop when it touches my freedom or your freedom or anyone’s freedom to live a long, loving, and legal life. That’s what Independence Day now means to me.

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Hi! I am Les, a practicing pathologist living in the North Suburbs and commuting every day to the Western ones. I have lived my entire life in the Chicago area, and have a pretty good feel for the place, its attractions, culture, restaurants, and teams. My wife and I are empty-nesters with two adult children and four grandchildren.

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