At least six people were fatally shot and at least 24 others were injured on Monday after a suspected gunman fired dozens of rounds from a rooftop above the crowds.
The shooting follows mass acts of violence that have stunned Americans and left craters in the communities across the US.
A mass shooting that left 10 Black people dead in a grocery store in Buffalo, New York on 14 May was the deadliest mass shooting of the year, until 10 days later. The massacre of 19 schoolchildren and two fourth-grade teachers in Uvalde, Texas on 24 May is the deadliest school attack since the 2012 killings of 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.
The tragedy in Highland Park is the 15th mass killing of 2022 and the 11th mass shooting of the holiday weekend, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Halfway through the year, there have been at least 309 mass shootings.
The organisation defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people are shot or killed. Within the first 185 days of 2022, there have been an average of 11 a week.
There were 692 mass shootings in 2021, according to the archive. In 2020, there were 610, and 417 in 2019.
Despite the proliferation of high-powered guns and regular acts of mass gun violence across the US, lawmakers have been slow or absent in their response, while gun control advocates continue a decades-long push to demand their political and moral courage to combat the crisis.
The violence in Buffalo and Uvalda moved elected officials in Washington DC and in state legislatures across the US to consider gun reform legislation to combat the proliferation of firearms. Following years of gridlock, members of Congress passed a measure signed into law by President Joe Biden that aims to strengthen restrictions for domestic violence offenders and increase background checks for prospective buys under 21 years old, among other measures.
In New York, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill into law that implements new restrictions on firearm owners seeking a concealed-carry permit and limits where people can carry a weapon.
That legislation follows the US Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a century-old New York law requiring handgun owners to show “proper cause” in order to obtain a license to carry a concealed weapon, dealing a blow to state-level efforts to combat the proliferation of firearms and potentially expanding the scope of Second Amendment protections.
The decision could invite legal challenges in at least six other states with similar laws, opening them to scrutiny, and potentially expanding how, and where, guns can be carried in public.
Four gun owners in the Washington DC area already have filed a lawsuit challenging the district’s law that prohibits people with concealed-carry permits from bringing firearms into the city’s transit system.
The federal lawsuit is the first of many that are likely in the wake of the high court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc v Bruen.