“We need to end this horror. We need to stop this violence,” Vice President Kamala Harris said Tuesday to thousands of teachers in Chicago for the National Education Association convention. “We must protect our communities from the terror of gun violence. I’ve said it before: enough is enough.”
On Monday, seven people were killed and dozens hurt when a gunman opened fire from a rooftop along a Fourth of July parade in Chicago suburb Highland Park. The purpose of Harris’ surprise visit was to comfort a shaken community.
“Our nation is still mourning the loss of those 19 babies and their two teachers in Uvalde. Teachers should not have to practice barricading a classroom. Teachers should not have to know how to treat a gunshot wound, and teachers should not be told that lives would have been saved if only you had a gun,” she stated to the crowd.
On that same visit, Harris later met with first responders, residents of Highland Park and officials as well as Mayor Nancy Rotering. “This can happen anywhere, in any peace-loving community, and we should stand together and speak out about why it’s got to stop,” Harris said to the media.
During this stop, Harris also apologized for the tragedy:
“We are so sorry for what you have all experienced... This should never have happened. We talked about it being ‘senseless’ – it is. It is absolutely senseless. I want for you that you hold each other tight as a community, that you know that you have a whole nation who cares deeply about you and stands with you. This is an incredibly tight community, and this person will be brought to justice. But it’s not going to undo what happened.”