Highland Park’s Democratic Mayor Nancy Rotering on Tuesday called for a nationwide ban on assault rifles as it was the gunman in yesterday’s massacre was able to legally obtain his and smuggle it into the town despite them being outlawed in the town nine years ago.
Robert ‘Bobby’ Crimo, 22, ‘legally obtained’ the high-powered rifle that he used to kill six people and wound dozens more yesterday at the Highland Park July 4th Parade. It remains unclear exactly where he purchased the weapon.
In 2013, the Highland Park City Council banned semi-automatic rifles from the town. Mayor Rotering – then a member of that council – spearheaded the effort.
It failed to stop yesterday’s tragedy which she says is proof of the need for a nationwide ban on the ‘weapons of war.
‘I don’t know where it came from but I do know it was legally obtained. At some point this nation needs to have a conversation about these weekly events involving the murder of dozens of people with legally obtained guns.
‘If that’s what our laws stand for, we need to re-examine the laws.
‘Our values are askew. Yesterday we came together to celebrate independence and freedom after two years of not having a parade.
‘We were ready to come together and celebrate our nation and as a result, because of this gun culture, our nation turned its back on us,’ Rotering said during an appearance on TODAY.
Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering on Tuesday called for a nationwide ban on assault rifles as it was the gunman in yesterday’s massacre was able to legally obtain his and smuggle it into the town despite them being outlawed in the town nine years ago. Suspect Bobby Crimo, right, is shown in one of his sinister music videos
‘We have to have a very strong conversation with ourselves. I don’t know how many more of these incidents need to occur, we’ve been talking about this literally for decades at this point,’ she fumed.
She rejected the idea that the problem was with the mental health of shooters and not the weapons themselves – a strongly-held view among pro-2nd amendment activists.
‘Someone clearly had a mental breakdown but I don’t want to ascribe it to mental health.
‘I want to talk about the fact that there are weapons of war on our streets that people can legally obtain and take out dozens of people.
Someone clearly had a mental breakdown but I don’t want to ascribe it to mental health. I want to talk about the fact that there are weapons of war on our streets that people can legally obtain and take out dozens of people.
Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering
‘Our community is never going to recover from this wound. This is an absolutely devastating blow to all of us.
‘Why do we as a nation allow this to happen with such regularity? I can’t tell you how many mayors I heard from yesterday… it was like “here we are again”. I never thought I would be one of “those mayors”, well none of us do.
‘This is unbelievable to me that this is an acceptable part of who we are as a nation.’
In 2013, the Highland Park City Council, led by Rotering, proposed the ban on semi-automatics in response to the Sandy Hook school shooting that shocked the world.
‘Sandy Hook had just happened. It was a common-sense step to reduce gun violence and to protect our children and our community,’ Rotering said in 2015.
The ban outlawed AR-15s and AK-47s specifically, but also prohibited the possession of ‘assault weapons’ in a wider sense, making it illegal for residents to own semiautomatic guns that hold large-capacity magazines.
The Illinois Rifle Association challenged the ban, as did a local doctor.
The gunman opened fire at 10.14am on Monday, barely 15 minutes into the parade. He then fled the scene and hid throughout the day before eventually being arrested at 6.30pm in Lake Forrest, eight miles north of where the massacre unfolded
Law enforcement escorts a family away from the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade on July 4, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois. Police have detained Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo III, 22, in connection with the shooting in which six people were killed and 19 injured, according to published reports
The gunman’s father Bob Crimo (left) ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Highland Park in 2019 where he owns a deli
The case went all the way to the Supreme Court which ultimately decided not to weigh in. As a result, the ban remains in tact today.
On May 27, three days after 19 children and two teachers were slaughtered at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, Bob Crimo liked this tweet
But Justice Clarence Thomas – known for his recent controversial ruling on Roe vs Wade – wanted to rule on the Highland Park assault ban.
He wrote that the court should have heard the case, and in a dissenting ruling to its refusal to do so, said that the ‘overwhelming majority of citizens who own and use such rifles do so for lawful purposes, including self-defense and target shooting’.
President Biden recently enacted a gun reform bill that tackles the issue of who can buy firearms, but it does not deal with the types of weapons still legal in the US.
He has been touting the bipartisan bill as a success and the biggest shift in reform for 30 years.
The new law was in response to the Uvalde school massacre on May 24, during which 19 children and two teachers were killed by gunman Salvador Ramos.
Ramos had been able to legally purchase two AR-15-style rifles within days of his 18th birthday and use them in the attack.
In the wake of the attack, leaders in Texas blamed it on sloppy background checks rather than the guns themselves being available for purchase.
The NRA has not released a formal statement on the shooting in Highland Park. Before the first shots were fired, it said on Twitter: ‘Happy 4th of July, America!
‘We are a country because of brave souls with guns who valued and fought for liberty and freedom.’
Controversial Roe vs Wade Justice Clarence Thomas called the ban on assault rifles in Highland Park ‘highly suspect’. He said the ‘overwhelming majority of citizens who own and use such rifles do so for lawful purposes’ and that the majority of gun violence in America is caused by hand-guns, not assault rifles. He wanted to hear the case in order to rule against the local City Council but SCOTUS voted not to weigh in
Hours later, after the gunman was apprehended, the same account retweeted someone defending it saying: ‘The NRA is once again the only organization in America that gets blamed for crimes their members never commit.’
In 2019, the gunman’s father – Bob Crimo Sr. – ran against Nancy Rotering to become Mayor of the town. He campaigned on a platform of improving conditions in the town for small business owners but lost to Rotering with fewer than 30 percent of the vote.
Crimo had owned a local deli.
‘We need to take a hard look at Highland Park’s many ordinances, rules, and regulations, and see if we can improve them or change them in order to stimulate new business growth within our downtown business district. I’m running for Mayor as a person for the people of our community.
‘I have no interest in using the Highland Park Mayorship as a stepping stone for higher office,’ he said at the time.
In the days after the Uvalde shooting, he ‘liked’ a tweet about protecting Americans’ 2nd Amendment rights.
The family’s home shown here in Highwood, just north of Highland Park. The shooter’s family has not yet commented