My birthday and Fourth of July mini-vacation was going great until I heard the news late Monday night about the mass shooting in Illinois during a Fourth of July parade in the city of Highland Park. Seven people were killed and dozens injured.
I almost got whiplash as I went from extreme happiness and joy to sadness, and my first thought?
What could I possible post on the blog about this atrocity that is becoming way too common that I haven’t already said about it following Uvalde, Buffalo, El Paso, Las Vegas, Sandy Hook, and on and on.
I could not write a blog post about it, of course, but I’ve always had a hard time ignoring the news. Then I found this interview with LA Galaxy midfielder Sacha Kljestan following the win over Montreal Monday night. He didn’t want to talk about the soccer game. He wanted to share his reaction to the news of the mass shooting and he said it so well.
“I’m sick to my stomach about what’s happened in Illinois today, and I think we need to talk about gun control,” Kljestan said after the match, while calling on elected officials to take action. “You guys can write about the game if you want, but I don’t really give a s–t. It’s a sick, vicious cycle that keeps happening over and over, and we’re doing nothing about it, and it makes me sick.”
Kljestan went on, “I don’t know, Congress, senators, if anyone sees this, do something. Our kids get shot up and we say ‘thoughts and prayers,’ and it does nothing, and we talk about it on social media, and it does nothing, and then our government does nothing, and then someone gets shot up again.” The professional soccer player said he isn’t a politician but he is a human being with his own children, children he sends off to school every day. It makes it nearly impossible for him to think about sports or anything else when he sees the gun violence crisis our country has been facing for decades.
“My kids, I fear for them when they go to school, and it pisses me off, and if it doesn’t piss you off, if you don’t want new gun laws in this country, then there’s something wrong with you. I guess that’s all I have to say.”
My sentiments exactly.
The fact that the alleged shooter, Robert “Bobby” Crimo, was able to buy a high-powered rifle after a 2019 threat to Kill everyone had his weapons confiscated is unbelievable. How was that, as well as his extensive online profile that was littered with violence, hatred and signs he struggles with mental health issues, overlooked during the background check before his recent gun purchase?
A most recent report indicates that his father helped him buy the weapon. Shame on you, Dad.
That is all folks. Maybe there will be happier news in a few days.