The incident occurred amid a spate of high-profile mass shootings across the country in public areas such as grocery stores and schools. Pritzker told those watching to “be angry”:
If you’re angry today, I’m here to tell you, be angry. I’m furious. I’m furious that yet more innocent lives were taken by gun violence. And I’m furious that their loved ones are forever broken by what took place today. I’m furious that children and their families have been traumatized. I’m furious that this is happening in communities all across Illinois and America. I’m furious because it does not have to be this way. And yet we as a nation, well, we continue to allow this to happen.
The governor then called for a discussion on guns, stating that now is the time to do so.
“There are going to be people who say that today is not the day, that now is not the time to talk about guns,” he continued. ” I’m telling you, there is no better day and no better time than right here and right now. It’s the Fourth of July, a day for reflection on our freedoms. Our founders carried muskets, not assault weapons. And I don’t think a single one of them would have said that you have a constitutional right to an assault weapon with a high-capacity magazine.”