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I woke up on the Fourth of July, very much in the spirit of celebrating Independence Day.After all, it’s a great day to feel patriotic and recognize that, for all its mounting problems, America is the greatest country on Earth.And then, the day turned dark as we were reminded yet again that we have no independence from mass shootings. In a way, July 4 was stolen from us.
Robert Crimo III, 21, was taken into police custody Monday evening.
(Katherine Rappel/Inset: Highland Park Police)The shooting from a rooftop in a Chicago suburb by yet another crazed and heinous gunman raises so many chilling questions. Can we no longer have July 4 parades without police sharpshooters stationed on every nearby roof? Who will feel comfortable attending next year? Can we no longer have parades at all? What about other mass gatherings where it’s impossible for authorities to secure the area?MEDIA CONSERVATIVES SPLIT OVER TESTIMONY AGAINST TRUMP, SOME STRONGLY DEFENDING HIMThis may sound like an overreaction, but the purpose of terrorism, of which this is a textbook definition, is to instill fear. Even if the chances are infinitesimal that you might be shot at, it’s hard to push it out of your mind after the massacres in Buffalo, Texas, and now Highland Park, on the nation’s birthday, that killed at least seven people and wounded 40 others.The police have a "person of interest" in custody – once again, I won’t reward insane attention-seekers by naming him – but the evidence is highly suggestive. He is a white rapper from the Chicago area whose social media page describes him as a "hip-hop phenom," his face and neck covered with tattoos. You will not be surprised to learn that his page features violent imagery, including a heavily armed shooter going into a school. Police say they made a DNA match.The shooting comes just nine days after President Biden signed a modest bipartisan compromise aimed at gun safety, mental health and school security. That is all he is likely to get from Congress.But even if Biden, who says "we got a lot more work to do" and "we have to fight for it,", had gotten the more sweeping changes that he and many Democrats support, it’s questionable whether it would have stopped the slaughter.
FBI agents work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade on July 5, 2022, in Highland Park, Illinois. Police have detained Robert "Bobby" E. Crimo III, 21, in connection with the shooting.
(Jim Vondruska/Getty Images)The president’s party wanted to raise the age for the purchase of rifles from 18 to 21; the suspect is 21, but of course could have waited till he turned 22.Biden and most Democrats wanted a national red flag law, but it wouldn’t have worked here and didn’t work in New York state, where the Buffalo shooter unleashed a racially motivated attack on mostly Black supermarket shoppers.It’s possible that a nationwide ban on assault-style weapons, which Biden helped pass in 1994 and Congress repealed a decade later, could have mitigated the damage. Police say the Highland Park shooter used a rifle similar to an AR-15, and if such semiautomatic weapons were banned, he might not have gotten off 70 shots. (He had a second rifle in his car.) Authorities said many victims suffered "war wounds."RISING DEMOCRATIC FRUSTRATION WITH BIDEN ON ABORTION FUELS NEW DOUBTS ABOUT 2024It’s time to be honest and admit no law can stop every mass shooting. The bipartisan bill was a step forward, and will have been worth it even if it stops one or two shootings. Every life is precious.But with the number of privately owned guns flooding this country, the goal of stopping people with criminal intent – but no past criminal record – is like climbing a very tall mountain.Let’s look instead at the rise of violent rage in this country. How did America produce so many young men who are so consumed by hate, so drawn to shooting people, so desperate to go out in a blaze of glory that they are willing to die in the process?
Police deploy after gunfire erupted at a Fourth of July parade in the wealthy Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Illinois, U.S. July 4, 2022.
(ABC affiliate WLS/ABC7 via REUTERS)They plan these attacks for months–there is clearly a copycat aspect–seemingly determined to top previous massacres. They indiscriminately open fire, in theaters, nightclubs, at marathons, on college campuses, in elementary schools–twice–and, now, parades. They are beyond remorse, beyond any semblance of normal human feeling. They want to kill as many strangers as they can.This is not some kind of plea to examine the root causes of alienation. How sick and twisted do you have to be to aspire to the random taking of human life?SUBSCRIBE TO HOWIE'S MEDIA BUZZMETER PODCAST, A RIFF ON THE DAY'S HOTTEST STORIESPolice said the suspect had no clear motive. I really don’t care what his motive is. The victims ranged in age from eight to 85. This is sheer madness.J.B. Pritzker, Illinois’ Democratic governor, said he was "furious" and that "there are going to be people who say that today is not the day, that now is not the time, to talk about guns. I’m telling you there is no better day and no better time than right here and right now."CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPHighland Park, where "Home Alone" was filmed, has large Jewish and Asian communities and a historically low crime rate. Illinois has the sixth-toughest gun laws in the country. But authorities say many of the crimes committed there, including in everyday Chicago street crime, involve guns from out of state, underscoring that no governor can seal the borders.And so the community and the nation is left with a sense of searing pain that Independence Day was hijacked, darkening the day that so many of us yearned to celebrate.
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Authorities were investigating an apartment complex shooting in Raleigh, North Carolina, that left a baby dead and two adults injured, according to local reports.The suspect was transported to a local hospital in police custody after a brief fight with officers, WNCN reported. At least one other individual was also transported to the hospital, per WTVD-TV Raleigh-Durham.More than a dozen officers responded to the scene and Raleigh police are investigating what is believed to be the domestic violence shooting as a homicide investigation, according to the report.
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Recent comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin amount to little more than posturing after a disastrous campaign in Ukraine, but any comment from a world leader with a nuclear arsenal should be taken seriously, military experts told Fox News Digital. "I think when Putin says stuff like this, all he does is really kind of reinforce the point that [Russia’s] not really responding to a legitimate external threat," James Carafano, Vice President of The Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy at the Heritage Foundation, said. Finland and Sweden reversed historically neutral positions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, explaining that the "security landscape" in Europe had changed. Turkey said it would not support either country’s bid to join the alliance, which would effectively block their entry since any applicant requires full support from native members. But Turkey on Tuesday said it would now support the bids after reaching an "agreement" that "paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO," Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed.Putin on Wednesday said that Sweden and Finland could "go ahead" and join NATO, but warned that Russia would "respond in kind" if either country hosted the alliance’s military forces or infrastructure. PUTIN PUSHES TOWARD RUSSIA, BELARUS UNIFYING AFTER NATO EXPANSION"I'm not sure I would read anything strategic into it because on its face: It's a completely ridiculous statement," Carafano said. "I don't think you can really read anything strategic into it."Carafano explained that establishing any such infrastructure would take "months or even years" to complete, and the two countries already cooperate with NATO allies even if they aren’t currently members. "Finland and Sweden already cooperate and integrate its stuff with the U.S. military, so the notion that any NATO member would allow an outsider like Russia to dictate what kind of deployment infrastructure could be in a NATO territory is just laughable on its face," Carafano said. ERNST TAKES ON PUTIN, GLOBAL FOOD SHORTAGE IN PUSH TO DE-MINE THE BLACK SEACarafano suggested that Putin could have intended the comments sarcastically, but that "only Putin knows what Putin is going to do." "The guy’s pretty much a dictator, and he has an arsenal of nuclear weapons and a military, so I would never say, ‘Oh, geez, he’ll never do that,’" Carafano added. "But if you look at this consistent pattern of Russian behavior, where they have been threatening all kinds of things – everything from implying nuclear exchanges to military activity – in the end, all the Russians have done is annoy." James Anderson, acting Under Secretary of Defense for Policy under President Trump, argued that Putin needs to save face after causing two neutral countries to join the NATO alliance thanks to his invasion of Ukraine. RUSSIAN MISSILE STRIKE NEAR ODESA KILLS 18 UKRAINIANS, INCLUDING 2 CHILDREN, GOVERNMENT SAYS"[The Russian people] see – and he no doubt fears they see – his aggressive actions in Ukraine have driven historically neutral countries to seek membership [in NATO]," Anderson said. "In a strategic sense, Putin’s invasion has made Russia as a whole less secure – not only because of the fact that the invasion did not go well, but now NATO is poised to grow." Anderson called Putin’s recent comments efforts to "reframe" the course of the war and its outcomes, calling Sweden and Finland’s efforts to join NATO "strategically significant." "All one has to do is look at the map to see that [Sweden and Finland] are in a geographically important position on the northern flank: It will become easier for NATO to operate in the Baltic Sea," Anderson explained. "It will also complicate to an extent Moscow's Arctic strategy."CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP"Within NATO, there’s an East-West divide: You have countries that are closer to the border, including Poland, the Baltics … who more directly feel the threat of the Russian bear," he added. "I think both Helsinki and Stockholm are doing this given what Russia has done in Ukraine and what they fear Putin may do in the future. They want that NATO Article Five guarantee - and who can blame them?"