Looking at the bucolic and posh town of Highland Park, ILeveryone can think of a similar community near their home.
Rich, orderly and largely homogeneous, Highland Park is the type of place Norman Rockwell always seemed to have in mind.
The kind of people in the community are not quick to leave; where residents pay high property taxes knowing their schools and children will be better off; where desirability is high because it is perceived as stable and secure.
Highland Park is so picturesque that it was the favorite location for popular 1980s films, including ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’, ‘Home Alone’, ‘Risky Business’, ‘The Color of Money’ and ‘Ordinary People’ .
On July 4, in the midst of the most American of things – a parade – the peace that pervades Highland Park was shattered by a mass shooting.
There was Independence Day Parades across the country in communities similar to Highland Park.
So why weren’t they attacked?
Pure stupid luck.
More charity:Doing nothing defeats us
A common phrase heard after the shooting in Highland Park is that such horrific acts simply don’t happen in a community known for its safety.
Of course they do. It happened at Sandy Hook; on Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh; in Parkland Springs, Florida; in Poway and in Columbine and Aurora, Colorado, all upscale and presumably safe communities.
This nearly performed in Jackson Township in 2018 if it wasn’t for people who see something and say something.
If you live in the United States, there is no hiding place. Maybe the denial that it might be happening in our city is how our minds deal with it.
Some pundits have written that maybe we should finally see pictures of the kind of carnage caused by high-powered weapons, but given the stress of COVID and our ongoing social and political unrest, I don’t think we could. support.
Like the point setters, some people have tried to link Highland Park to Chicago and the shootings that devastated some of that city’s southern neighborhoods; a scourge of violence that holds law-abiding residents hostage.
No one deserves such a fate, no matter where they live.
Over the holiday weekend, more than 250 Americans were shot. There was something tragically ironic about the sight of the people of Philadelphia – the birthplace of our democracy – fleeing a mass shooting under a hail of fireworks.
And as always, arguments erupted over the Highland Park killer’s politics based on his social media.
He murdered seven innocent people. What difference does it make to their families if it’s right, left or upside down?
We know this to be true: seven people died, including Nicholas Toledo, a disabled grandfather from Mexico; and Kevin and Irina McCarthy, who left behind a 2-year-old found wandering in bloody socks.
We know this country has a subset of rootless and disgruntled young men; those who equate violence with manhood, who view it as the way a man walks through the world, and others who see guns as a means of revenge on a society they blame for their chess.
We know that weapons of war are too easy to acquire and that too many people are irresponsible and careless when it comes to guns.
We know that something inside us is badly broken.
Uvalde. Buffalo. Vegas. San Bernardino. Orlando. El Paso. And too many others to detail them in a single column.
Now Highland Park has been added to this list of synonyms for broken innocence, terror and tears.
Charita M. Goshay is an editor for the Canton Repository and a member of the Editorial Board. Contact her at 330-580-8313 or [email protected] On Twitter: @cgoshayREP