Illinois Pols Blast Texas Governor For Calling Chicago An Example Of Failed Gun Control Laws

Democrats in the state blamed gun trafficking from red states like Texas for much of Chicago’s gun violence problems.

As the nation grapples for solutions after another tragic mass shooting, the partisan division between red states and blue states was on full display.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday (May 25) called Chicago’s widespread gun violence an example of why enacting strict gun control laws won’t stem the wave of mass shootings, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. 

He made that comment at a news conference the day after a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers in a Texas elementary school, which happened 10 days after an accused white supremacist gunned down 10 Black people in Buffalo.

“There are more people shot every weekend in Chicago than there are in schools in Texas. And we need to realize that people who think that, well maybe if we just implement tougher gun laws, its gonna solve it," Abbott said. "Chicago and L.A. and New York disprove that thesis…Chicago teaches that what you're talking about is not a real solution."

Illinois Democratic politicians pushed back against Abbott’s remarks, saying gun control laws fail because red states allow easy access to weapons.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker tweeted, “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.”

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot urged the Texas governor to “be part of the solution or get the hell out of the way.”

U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, who also serves as the chair of the Democratic Party of Illinois, criticized Abbott’s “tired argument,” adding that “half the guns used in crimes in Chicago are trafficked in from other states with lax gun laws.”

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul called it “appalling” that Abbott is “deflecting” after the tragedy and urged him to be part of the solution to gun violence.

Authorities believe accused shooter Salvador Ramos, 18, legally bought two rifles just days prior to Tuesday’s shooting. He allegedly used an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle to kill his victims at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. It was the deadliest mass shooting at a school since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults in December 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.

RELATED: 2021 Was Chicago’s Deadliest Year Since 1996, With More Killings Than NYC or L.A.

RELATED: Buffalo Reacts To Texas Mass Shooting 10 Days After Experiencing Their Own Tragedy

Abbott has signed seven firearms bills into law to protect gun rights during his time in office, according to the newspaper. The governor and other Republican gun-rights advocates argue that mass shootings mainly stem from mental health problems.

Still, the Sun-Times noted that a 2017 report from the Chicago Police Department and the University of Chicago Crime Lab found that nearly 60 percent of guns recovered in Chicago came from out-of-state dealers, which supports Pritzker’s response to Abbott.

During the press conference, Beto O’Rourke, who is running to unseat Abbot in the Texas gubernatorial race interrupted him, accusing the governor of doing nothing to avoid violence like the shooting in Uvalde, saying it was “totally predictable.”

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, shouted back at him: "I can't believe you're a sick son of a b**** to come to a place like this to make a political issue." Police ushered O’Rourke out as the yelling continued.

After he left the building, he spoke to reporters. "These kids died because the governor of the state of Texas, the most powerful man in the state, chose to do nothing," said O’Rourke "After every one of these, he holds a press conference just like this – and I wish to hell when he came to El Paso that someone would have stood up and held him to account and confronted him and shocked the conscience of this state into doing something."

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