CHICAGO — On Thursday, CEOs of 145 companies sent U.S. Senators urging them to address the gun violence epidemic by passing common-sense gun legislation. As the gun debates heats up, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz continue to trade barbs.
In Washington, urgent action is being taken to protect teenagers from e-cigarettes, but on guns, the action is slow.
After meeting with a bipartisan group of senators, President Donald Trump decided on a path forward. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell said he will only call new gun legislation that has Trump’s blessing.
Lightfoot — who routinely rails against illegal weapons — urged Washington to act.
“What I hope gets accomplished in a bipartisan manner is universal background checks and a serious conversation about banning assault weapons as a start,” she said. “If we can get those two things it will lay the foundation for further conversations.”
Trump continues to signal he’s open to new gun measures, angering some on the right. Cruz has warned Trump that making a deal with Democrats might cause conservative voters to say home in next year’s election.
A key figure in the gun debate, Cruz has taken aim at Chicago’s violence, even engaging Lightfoot in a Twitter spat.
“Gun control laws don’t work and when they’re implemented, they’ve proven to be a failure. Emblematic of that failure is the city of Chicago,” he said Thursday.
Arguing he doesn’t grasp the full picture, Lightfoot invited Cruz to Chicago. But Cruz dismissed the offer.
“The invitation as I perceive it is to a political circus that does not seem a terrible attractive invitation,” he said.
Hours later, the mayor said her invitation was sincere.
“It’s ironic that a guy like Ted Cruz talks about a political stunt, he’s the master of political stunts,” she said. “If you’re not going to come to Chicago, you’re not going to learn the facts, keep our name out of your mouth.”
Trump has made numerous pledges to tighten gun laws only to later back down.