CHICAGO — Twenty-four hours after a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at school, Texas’ governor deflected questions about the role gun control laws play in stopping violence by pointing 1,300 miles north.
“Chicago teaches that’s not a real solution,” Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) told reporters.
“I hate to say this but there are more people who are shot every weekend in Chicago than there are in schools in Texas,” Abbott said. “People who think ‘maybe if we just implement tougher gun laws it’s going to solve it,’ Chicago, LA, and New York disprove that thesis,” Abbott said.
“This is a man who’s determined to be in a race to the bottom. He’s obviously trying to burnish his credentials for what is likely a run for president and he’s doing that frankly at the expense of people in that state,” Mayor Lightfoot said. “The fact of the matter is that guy needs to focus on taking care of business there.”
Gov. JB Pritzker also said, “You are lying about Chicago and what perpetuates gun violence. The majority of guns used in Chicago shootings come from states with lax gun laws.”
Police and other experts have repeatedly said many of the weapons used in Chicago’s violence come from states with looser gun laws where they are purchased legally and then transferred – often illegally – to others. “60% of firearms come from out of state, with Indiana as the primary source for approximately one of our every five crime guns,” a 2017 gun trace report conducted by the Chicago police department determined. “This pattern also highlights Chicago’s challenge to address illegal guns within a loosely regulated national gun market,” the report said.
Gov. Abbott said he is committed to coming up with “real solutions that we can implement.”