A highly symbolic date

A highly symbolic date


Even though gun violence is sadly common in the United States, a killing on such a symbolic date as the 4th of July will make an impression, experts say.

“The only thing that can shock Americans with gun issues is when shootings happen in schools or in an event like this,” says Jason Opal, a history professor at the McGill University.

This time, the killer targeted the iconic Independence Day Parade, featuring high school students and local bands.

“We have someone looking for notoriety who took advantage of a national event to shoot into a crowd. It's very well thought out and it's a growing phenomenon,” emphasizes Francis Langlois, member of the Raoul-Dandurand Chair's Observatory on the United States.

The tragedy is all the more more brutal than the Fourth of July is historically a day when Americans put aside their deep differences to celebrate “by pretending to always be united”, underlines Mr. Opal.

Nobody is safe

Several residents of Highland Park, near Chicago, also expressed their disbelief on Monday at the shooting that left six people dead during the celebrations.

“It’s horrible to say, but these people are accustomed to being safe from the violence of the United States. They live in a fairly prosperous suburb of Chicago,” notes Mr. Opal. in this suburb of Chicago as well as across the United States – cause a minority of victims of gun violence.

“Most of the violence is underprivileged and ethnic communities who suffer [ because of crime]. And that, we talk about very little, ”says the specialist in the question.

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