Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday used the Fourth of July parade killings in Highland Park to demand that Congress pass a new assault weapons ban — during a speech to a teachers union just miles away from the massacre.
Harris began her address by saying that “yesterday should have been a day to come together with family and friends to celebrate our nation’s independence and instead, that community suffered a violent tragedy.”
“We need to stop this violence,” she said to applause at the annual convention of the Nation Education Association in Chicago.
“And we must protect our communities from the terror of gun violence. You know, I’ve said it before: Enough is enough.”
“Congress needs to have the courage to act and renew the assault-weapons ban,” she said.
“An assault weapon is designed to kill a lot of human beings — quickly,” she said.
Raising her voice, she added: “There is no reason that we have weapons of war on the streets of America. We need reasonable gun-safety laws.”
Harris — whose speech was repeatedly interrupted by cheers from the audience in the McCormick Convention Center — also said Congress needed to “stop protecting these gun manufacturers with the liability shield.”
“Repeal it! Repeal it!” she shouted.
Earlier, Harris invoked the May 24 slaughter at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, saying, “I mean, here we are and our nation is still mourning the loss of those 19 babies and their two teachers.”
“Teachers should not have to practice barricading a classroom. Teachers should not have to know how to treat a gunshot wound,” she said.
“And teachers should not be told that lives would have been saved, if only you had a gun.”
More coverage on the Highland Park parade shooting
Accused Highland Park shooter Robert “Bobby” Crimo III, 22, allegedly used a legally purchased, AR-15-style rifle to fire more than 70 rounds that killed seven people and would about 40 more.
Two rapid-fire bursts, separated by a pause, were recorded on a chilling video clip that also showed spectators fleeing the carnage in terror.