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Illinois Democrats Tell Gov. Greg Abbott to Keep Chicago’s Name Out His Mouth

·3 min read
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot

In the wake of a deadly school shooting in his state, Texas Governor Greg Abbott is pointing his finger at Chicago to argue the case for why he opposes stricter gun laws. At a May 25 press conference, the governor said, “I hate to say this, there are more people that are shot every weekend in Chicago than there are in schools in Texas,” Abbott said. “So, if you’re looking for a real solution, Chicago teaches that what you’re talking about is not a real solution.”

But Illinois Democrats, including the state’s governor and Chicago Mayor, Lori Lightfoot, are clapping back and telling Abbott to stay in his lane. In a tweet, IL Governor J.B. Pritzker wrote, “You are lying about Chicago and what actually perpetuates gun violence. The majority of guns used in Chicago shootings come from states with lax gun laws. Do better. You have 19 kids and two teachers who deserve our best.”

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot also chimed in to stand up for her city, tweeting, “I work day and night to stop the violence. I see the suffering. Open your eyes,” Lightfoot wrote. “Lives are being lost. Be a part of the solution or get the hell out of the way.”

And Chicago Alderman Gilbert Villegas took it even further, calling Abbott an @sshole.

In Tuesday’s shooting, the gunman used an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle to murder 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX. Authorities say he legally purchased two assault rifles just after his 18th birthday.

Democrats and Republicans have long been at odds about the best way to deal with the issue of gun violence in the country. Most Democrats, including President Biden, are pushing for stricter regulations, including cracking down on ghost guns and increasing background checks on individuals looking to purchase firearms. While Republicans continue to clutch on to their Second Amendment rights, stalling any proposed Democratic legislation. “Politicians from the federal level to the local level have threatened to take guns from law-abiding citizens — but we will not let that happen in Texas,” Abbott said in 2021 after signing seven pieces of legislation into law that protect the Second Amendment rights of Texans.

Gov. Abbott and his Republican cohorts are quick to use Chicago, which recorded 797 homicides in 2021, as a reason not to regulate guns. But a 2017 gun trace report released by the Chicago Police Department and the University of Chicago Crime Lab found that almost 60 percent of guns recovered in Chicago came from dealers in states with less restrictive gun laws, including Indiana and Mississippi.