Last week, Chicago’s mayor, Lori Lightfoot, engaged in a Twitter war with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) over the city’s ongoing gun violence problem. Monday, she published an op-ed in the Washington Post blaming pro-gun Republicans like Cruz for the city’s sky-high murder rate, claiming the lenient GOP could save Chicago by instituting more stringent federal gun measures.
The social media interaction between Lightfoot and Cruz didn’t go well for Lightfoot, who stepped in after the Texas Republican claimed Chicago’s persistent gun problem was a perfect example of why more gun control laws don’t necessarily mean less crime. Lightfoot responded by telling Cruz that 60% of illegal firearms in Chicago come from outside the state of Illinois, and warned Cruz and “coward Republicans” to “Keep our name out of your mouth.”
Cruz fired back, pointing out that Chicago’s prosecutors are lenient on gun offenders and that Chicago’s policy to allow weapons law violators to return to the streets after posting as little as $1,000 bail leaves Chicago residents exposed to violence.
Lightfoot appeared to back off — until Monday, when she published an op-ed in the Washington Post, accusing the gun law-shy GOP of making Chicago a haven for gun violence.
The article, titled “Ted Cruz and others should stop using Chicago as a punching bag,” essentially claims that lax federal gun laws allow bad guys in Chicago to buy guns without a background check, reiterates that most of the guns used in Chicago shootings come from out of state, and blames Republicans in Congress for failing to enact universal background checks and to close the “gun show loophole.”
“Sixty percent of firearms owned or used illegally recovered in Chicago come from outside Illinois,” she writes. “These guns don’t recognize state lines or city boundaries. Cruz said the five U.S. cities with the highest murder rates ‘have had Democratic mayors for decades and aggressive gun control policies — none seems to be working.” He’s making my case for me: As long as people can drive from Illinois to Indiana and purchase a personal arsenal without a background check, Chicago’s gun laws will always be as weak as those of the closest permissive state.”