Village President Comments on the Highland Park Shooting

At the July 21 Village Board meeting, Village President Howard Roin began the meeting with a moment of silence in memory of those killed and in honor of those who have been impacted by the tragic shooting in Highland Park.

President Roin also shared a statement. Due to technical difficulties, his statement was at times disrupted.  The full text of President Roin’s statement is included below.

Village President Howard J. Roin Comments on the Highland Park Shooting
7/21/22 Village Board Meeting

This is the Village Board’s first meeting since the terrible Fourth of July shooting in Highland Park. On behalf of the trustees, employees, and residents of Glencoe, I offer our condolences to the families and friends of the victims. We ache for you and with you, and we will continue to support you in the coming days. Let us begin this meeting with a moment of silence in memory and honor of the Highland Park victims.

Before we turn to our agenda, I’d like a moment to talk about the mass shooting in Highland Park.  Because I am Village President, I was invited to speak at two different events in Glencoe. At those events, I said I was sad, but also angry. Angry because among western democracies, only in the United States are gun massacres like the one in Highland Park routine. They happen every day, literally every day. I am angry about that. Perhaps you are too.

I recognize that Glencoe Trustees are not, and I was not, elected based on our political views on national issues like gun regulation. I believe we were selected by the nonpartisan Caucus and elected by the voters because we displayed two things: a desire to give back to this community we love and a commitment to commonsense solutions. By and large, municipal government in Glencoe is not political. In my experience, people of good faith, even people with differing national political views, can almost always agree on commonsense solutions. We hire the best Village Manager, and the Village Manager hires the best employees. We maintain our infrastructure. We regulate our zoning and business districts. We provide for public safety.  

Public safety takes me back to guns. There are many things that our national and state governments can and should do to reduce the carnage from guns. Ban assault weapons, for example, which would have reduced the body count in Highland Park, Uvalde, and Buffalo, to name three very recent gun massacres. There are many other things that could be done as well.

But today gun regulation—any gun regulation—is deeply political. It wasn’t always so. We are suburban, and it wasn’t that long ago that we had a suburban Republican congressman who supported gun control. But times change, and now any gun regulation is political.

  In addition, and I’m sorry about this, Glencoe cannot solve our gun problems. Under Illinois law, we simply do not have the power to do it. And even if we had power within our borders, which we don’t, we are way too small. Cities and towns are too small. Our gun problems require national solutions, or at a minimum, statewide solutions.

I believe that a substantial majority of Glencoe residents, perhaps an overwhelming majority, support a variety of gun regulations, including a ban on assault weapons. But the Village can’t do it. So, what can we do?

We can work with our state and national representatives to make those regulations a reality. We can work with the State and local governments to enforce our laws. And we can look for areas where Glencoe can act. If I have anything to say about it, we will do all of those things. As a start, earlier this week, the Village Manager, the Public Safety Director, and I met with two Glencoe moms who represent a gun safety organization called Moms Demand Action. We talked with them about things the Village can do to promote safe gun storage.

As I said, this is our first meeting since Highland Park. We haven’t talked about guns before. Well, now I believe that it’s time. So, I have asked the Village Manager to schedule a special Committee of the Whole meeting so that the Board can discuss with the community what we can do about guns.”