DO SOMETHING

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This Tuesday, July 4, the United States celebrated 247 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Tragically, it also marked one year since a deranged shooter fired into a crowd celebrating Independence Day in Highland Park, Illinois, killing seven Americans and injuring nearly 50 with an AR-15-style weapon. Unfortunately, the bloodshed from gun violence continues.

Going into the holiday, new mass shootings in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Fort Worth claimed 10 lives while wounding 38. The Gun Violence Archive has logged more than 340 mass shootings (involving at least four victims) in the United States in 2023 year to date, including 15 mass shootings already in July. In the Philadelphia incident, a suspect with an AR-15-style weapon and body armor killed five people and injured a child and a toddler after targeting strangers.

Larry Krasner, Philadelphia’s District Attorney, slammed the lack of gun legislation as “disgusting.” Pointing out that “reasonable” regulations in nearby New Jersey and Delaware “might have made a difference here,” he warned the Pennsylvania legislature to “do something” or face the wrath of voters. Krasner also singled out Republicans “who like to walk around with an AR-15 lapel pin,” such as New York Rep. George Santos and Florida Rep. Anna Paulina Luna.

On Independence Day, President Joe Biden released a somber statement on the recent gun violence. Marking the year since the Highland Park massacre, Biden also noted that “our nation has once again endured a wave of tragic and senseless shootings.” Biden applauded the subsequent assault weapon ban in Illinois, which he said represented turning “pain… into meaningful action.” On this day that should encourage unity, Biden called upon Congressional Republicans to follow Illinois’ lead to enact “meaningful, commonsense reforms that the American people support.” This is long overdue.

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