Local Editorials | Northwest Herald

Could parade cancellation signal a look at the future?

The Buffalo Grove High School Marching Band plays during a previous Buffalo Grove Days parade. Joe Lewnard | Daily Herald Staff Photographer

If political leaders need a glimpse of the future in an over-armed America, they can get a pretty clear picture right here in the suburbs.

Organizers of the annual Buffalo Grove Days festival have called off this year’s parade because nervousness about security in the wake of the Highland Park killings is keeping participants away.

Could this be a harbinger in communities throughout the suburbs and across the country as they increasingly find their residents to be targets of convenience for any aggrieved, angry or just plain addled homicidal individual looking to make a horrific public statement?

If so, what does that say about our future and about our freedom?

Organizers of Buffalo Grove’s community celebration say they expect the parade to be back in 2023, and they’ve scheduled other activities to replace the parade that should attract and engage participants. Perhaps, they told the Daily Herald’s Steve Zalusky, the biggest concern this year was simply the proximity to the Highland Park tragedy.

Let’s hope so. But the conclusion also cannot be ignored that, more and more, communities and residents are going to be wary of gatherings that could invite danger. Local leaders play an important role in ensuring everyone’s safety at these events, and it will become increasingly important for them to work together on that goal, not only in their own towns but with neighboring communities and surrounding police departments.

Even so, as long as almost anyone can easily acquire a weapon that can fire off scores of rounds in matters of seconds, that job is going to be difficult in the extreme. Already, Buffalo Grove Trustee Lester Ottenheimer III said some politicians “have said they will never be in a parade again now.”

Who can object to the concerns various groups and institutions have? And it seems likely many more such events are going to be affected as the nation grows increasingly concerned about our abilities to keep large gatherings safe.

This should send a strong message to political leaders that if they don’t do something significant, our communities and our daily lives will be increasingly held hostage to the gun lobby and ridiculous interpretations of the Second Amendment.

Society will lose. Freedom will lose. Obviously, no one, include Buffalo Grove officials, has totally given in. We still go to outdoor concerts. We still go to sporting events. We still have summer celebrations in our suburban downtowns.

But we shouldn’t have to live constantly under the shadow of threats like those that led to the cancellation of the Buffalo Grove parade. And we will, until our leaders quit submitting to the gun lobby and bizarre constitutional reasoning that says every American should have the right to whatever weapon of war they want.

The Daily Herald