This holiday weekend brought a surge of gun violence to Chicago and Sen. Ted Cruz to Twitter, eager to spin the headlines in his party’s favor.
Breitbart News tweeted, “at least 25 people were shot, seven fatally, during the first half of Labor Day weekend in Democrat-controlled Chicago,” not so subtly implying that the city’s gun control policies did not help. Cruz tag-teamed with the right-wing news source, replying to elaborate that “Gun control doesn’t work. Look at Chicago. Disarming law-abiding citizens isn’t the answer. Stopping violent criminals—prosecuting & getting them off the street—BEFORE they commit more violent crimes is the most effective way to reduce murder rates. Let’s protect our citizens.”
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted back at Cruz to enlighten him on the facts he was leaving out of his claim: “60% of illegal firearms recovered in Chicago come from outside IL — mostly from states dominated by coward Republicans like you who refuse to enact common sense gun legislation. Keep our name out of your mouth.” She also tweeted out resources to back up her statement, bringing statistics where Cruz just brought his opinion.
Lightfoot continued, tweeting, “When @tedcruz and the @gop dismiss common sense gun policies, they disrespect victims and their families, who deserve to live without pain and fear.”
Cruz’s statements do feel disrespectful, especially considering the recent gun violence in Texas, the state he represents. Last month, a shooting at an El Paso Walmart left 22 dead and 26 wounded, while on Saturday, seven were killed and 25 wounded in a shooting rampage in West Texas.
Perhaps the most frustrating thing about this exchange is that Cruz is sitting on the power to create stricter gun laws, as are many senators and representatives in Congress. While Cruz is not likely to change his stance (or his news outlet), determined voices like Lightfoot’s in positions of leadership offer some hope for new policies in the future.