Fourth of July Parade Shooting in Highland Park, Illinois Leaves 6 Dead

Multiple people were killed and dozens wounded after a gunman opened fire during a Fourth of July parade in the Chicago area. Thus far, six people are reported dead following the shooting in the wealthy suburb of Highland Park, Illinois, and another 30 were wounded.

The shooting occurred a little after 10 am near a popular spot on the parade route, where police say a man with a “high-powered rifle” opened fire from a rooftop, sending hundreds of attendees fleeing. From the Associated Press:

Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek said the five people killed at the parade were adults, but didn’t have information on the sixth victim who was taken to a hospital and died there. One of those killed was a Mexican national, Roberto Velasco, Mexico’s director for North American affairs, said on Twitter Monday. He said two other Mexicans were wounded.

NorthShore University Health Center received 26 patients after the attack. All but one had gunshot wounds, said Dr. Brigham Temple, medical director of emergency preparedness. Their ages ranged from 8 to 85, and Temple estimated that four or five patients were children.

Temple said 19 of them were treated and discharged. Others were transferred to other hospitals, while two patients, in stable condition, remained at the Highland Park hospital.

A person of interest in the shooting, Robert E. Crimo III, was taken into custody after a traffic stop some five miles from the scene of the crime.

Authorities haven’t identified a clear motive for the shooting. A local law enforcement spokesperson described the incident as “intentional” and “random.”

Crimo had a history of posting violent self-made music videos online under his moniker Awake the Rapper. Several show a stick figure resembling Crimo carrying out mass shootings or being killed by police, reports CNN. Crimo’s uncle told CNN that they had seen no warning signs that his nephew might plan to carry out such a horrible crime.

Politicians have called for increased gun control in the wake of the shooting.

“There is no reason for a person to own a military assault weapon. It has no value for hunting, or sports or even self-defense,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (D–Ill.). “It is a killing machine.”

The type of weapon used in yesterday’s shooting, and how it was acquired by the shooter, aren’t yet clear.

Illinois already has a number of stringent gun control laws on the books. The state has a “red flag” law, instituted two years ago, that allows police to confiscate weapons from otherwise lawful gun owners deemed a potential threat to themselves and others.

Would-be gun owners are required to obtain a license from state police. There is a long list of reasons that disqualify someone from receiving a license, including past assault convictions, admittances to a mental institution, and failed drug tests.

A federal gun control bill passed by Congress last month expands background checks for younger gun owners, restrictions who can legally buy firearms, and provides funding for states to adopt their own red flag laws.

President Joe Biden said yesterday that the country “had a lot more work to do” in response to the shooting.


FREE MINDS

Government officials seem to think there’s no better way to celebrate Independence Day than to remind the public that they too could be the recipients of monopoly rents. Yesterday, the US Copyright Office issued a tweet informing amateur photographers that their pictures of fireworks celebrations could be eligible for copyright protection.

That could potentially allow for creators of these fireworks photos to bring infringement actions against people who share their pictures without authorization.

Libertarian scholars have long argued that intellectual property and copyright protections are an unjustified legal privilege granted by the government to content creators. Simply reproducing an image or work doesn’t stop someone else from using it, and therefore shouldn’t be prohibited by law, the argument goes.

More moderate critiques of US copyright law argue that too many works are granted protection for too long, creating an absurd system where even a snapshot of a fireworks display comes with monopoly privileges.


FREE MARKETS

Americans’ pandemic-era savings buffer is being quickly eroded by record inflation. A report shows that the savings rate has fallen to 5.4 percent, which is lower than the average savings rate over the last decade, and far below the 34 percent savings rate posted in April 2020. The Wall Street Journal has more:

Families have tapped about $114 billion of their pandemic savings so far, according to Moody’s Analytics, which analyzed government data.

“Most households have a cash cushion to navigate through the very high inflation,” said Mark Zandi, Moody’s Analytics chief economist. “This is allowing consumers to stay in the game.”


QUICK HITS

  • The DC Metro has many problems. One made evident last night is that it’s too cheap. Throngs of fireworks watchers waited in long lines outside the Smithsonian station entrance, the inevitable result of ticket prices being artificially held low during a surge in demand.
  • Liberal documentarian Michael Moore said in a Substack post that he was renouncing the privileges of “full citizenship” in the wake of the US Supreme Court decision in Dobbs, which gives states more powers to restrict abortion.
  • Most libertarian country ever? Zimbabwe’s central bank said it would start selling gold coins to combat runaway inflation in the African country.
  • Marshal of the Supreme Court Gail Curley has sent letters to Virginia and Maryland officials urging them to enforce anti-picketing laws in response to persistent in front of some justices’ homes.
  • Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, a Democrat, said yesterday that only police should be allowed to own guns. Two police officers were wounded in a shooting in the city last night.
  • Confidence in America’s institutions is at an all-time lowaccording to a new Gallup poll.
  • President Joe Biden’s latest plan to fight high gas prices is to demand, via tweet, that gas stations lower their prices to something a little more patriotic.

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