Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot ripped Senator Ted Cruz and "coward Republicans" after he cited the city as an example for why “gun control doesn’t work.”
On Monday, Cruz linked to a story from the far-right website Breitbart News in a tweet about fatal gun violence in "Democrat-controlled Chicago" over Labor Day Weekend.
"Gun control doesn’t work," Cruz tweeted. "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," the Republican lawmaker wrote. "Let’s protect our citizens."
Lightfoot responded in a tweet: "60% of illegal firearms recovered in Chicago come from outside IL mostly from states dominated by coward Republicans like you who refuse to enact commonsense gun legislation. Keep our name out of your mouth."
Lightfoot included a graph in her tweet from the 2017 Gun Trace Report, which analyzed data from 2013-2016 to identify the origin of guns being used in crimes. The report was released by the City of Chicago and its police department in collaboration with the University of Chicago Crime Lab.
“With consistent data trends now going back almost a decade, the majority of illegally used or possessed firearms recovered in Chicago are traced back to states with less regulation over firearms, such as Indiana and Mississippi,” the report stated.
In a follow up tweet, Lightfoot wrote that when Cruz and the GOP "dismiss common sense gun policies, they disrespect victims and their families, who deserve to live without pain and fear."
Their exchange on Twitter came two days after a 36-year-old gunman indiscriminately fired on motorists and police officers with an AR-15-style rifle while driving in the West Texas sister cities of Midland and Odessa. Seth Ator opened fire after a routine traffic stop Saturday, killing seven people and injuring more than 20 others. He was killed by police outside a movie theater.
Chicago's gun violence is often cited by conservative critics to push back against gun control proposals.
Last month, Lightfoot blasted President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump for an inaccurate tweet about Chicago's violence in the wake of the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.
"With 7 dead and 52 wounded near a playground in the Windy City — and little national outrage or media coverage — we mustn't become numb to the violence faced by inner city communities every day," Ivanka Trump tweeted.
Lightfoot responded that Trump conflated facts and falsely implied that all the injuries happened in one incident.
“It wasn’t a playground. It was a park. It wasn’t seven dead. It wasn’t 52 wounded in one incident, which is what this suggests. It’s misleading," Lightfoot said at a press conference.