Highland Park survivors rally at US Capitol for gun control

AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe

Highland Park was particularly awful as mass shootings go. It was an Independence Day celebration, a parade commemorating the founding of this great nation. I’m just glad it wasn’t worse as far as the dead and injured numbers go.

Yet it seems those who survived the attack think we need gun control.

Organizers are expecting up to 1,000 people to converge on the U.S. Capitol Wednesday in support of stricter gun laws in the wake of the July Fourth mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois.

The “March Fourth” rally is part of a broader call for action in the wake of recent mass killings, including most recently the attack in Highland Park, where a gunman climbed to a rooftop in the wealthy Chicago suburb and opened fire on those watching a Fourth of July parade. Seven people were killed and dozens of others were wounded. Organizers say harsher policies need to be enacted to prevent the steady stream of mass killings. There have been 333 mass shootings so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

On Tuesday, organizers of the rally and survivors of the Highland Park shooting met with legislators about stricter gun control laws, Pryor said.The group spoke with Democratic lawmakers, including Illinois Sens. Duckworth and Dick Durbin, as well as Sen. Chris Murphy. Murphy’s term began as his state was reeling from the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, after 26people were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. They also met with Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.

Now, while I disagree with them, I get the desire to do something.

Unfortunately, those who survived Highland Park need to remember that they were supposedly protected by numerous gun control laws.

For example, Highland Park has an assault weapon ban on the books there.  The state of Illinois has a red flag law as well, the very law we keep being told will stop these shootings from taking place. It didn’t in this case, though.

Then again, the assault weapon ban there didn’t accomplish a hell of a lot either, now did it?

Illinois has tons of gun control, all measures that are supposed to prevent such shootings from taking place, but it still did, so why should we believe more of what failed is the answer?

The desire to demand action is understandable. It’s human.

The desire to demand something that failed, however, isn’t. It’s doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result, the very definition of insanity.

Of course, these survivors are free to make whatever demands they want of Congress. That doesn’t mean anyone has to listen. More importantly, they shouldn’t listen. These are emotionally-driven demands that don’t necessarily reflect anything but those emotions.

Luckily, at this point, we know nothing else is coming out of this. They’re screaming into the wind, which is fine. Let them, if it makes them feel better.

But at no point should anyone take their demands seriously. As a nation, we deserve better than to have our laws dictated by those who don’t understand how precisely those laws failed them already.