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Lori Lightfoot Calls Ted Cruz a ‘Coward’ Over Gun Control Claims

Lori Lightfoot Calls Ted Cruz a ‘Coward’ Over Gun Control Claims

“Keep our name out of your mouth,” the Chicago mayor said.

Never, ever mess with a Chicago girl.

Lori Lightfoot, the Windy City's newly elected lesbian mayor, had some choice words for Ted Cruz after the Texas Senator used her city as an example of why he believes "gun control doesn't work." Over the weekend, he tweeted a Breitbart link which claimed that 25 people were shot and seven fatally wounded in "Democrat-controlled Chicago" over the Labor Day weekend.

"Look at Chicago," Cruz wrote. "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."

Lightfoot quickly fired back at Cruz, claiming that her city is actually an example of why gun control is so important.

"60 percent 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," she tweeted. "Keep our name out of your mouth."

The Chicago mayor added that Cruz' tweets "disrespect [gun violence] victims and their families, who deserve to live without pain and fear."

Cruz didn't back down, pointing to the fact that Chicago annually has the "most murders of any city in America." In 2017, at least 650 people were killed, nearly twice as many as Baltimore, the next closest city.

"Mayor, your anger is misplaced," he said.

Those figures, however, don't take into account the fact that Chicago is significantly larger than Baltimore. When adjusting for population side, the Second City doesn't even rank among the top 15 U.S. metropolitan areas with the highest murder rates, eclipsed by St. Louis and Detroit. Milwaukee, WI; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Anchorage, AK also have higher per capita murder rates.

Lightfoot added that if Cruz really wants to understand the "root causes of gun violence," he should pay Chicago a visit. In the meantime, she advised him to stop exploiting her city to score cheap political points.

While politicians like Cruz continue to use Chicago as an example that restrictions on firearm use wouldn't have prevented the shootings in Odessa, TX and Dayton, OH in recent weeks, studies show that gun control works. According to a 2017 study published in the BMJ journal, states with stricter gun policies have fewer school shootings. Banning convicted abusers from owning guns has also been shown to decrease rates of domestic violence.

Meanwhile, the U.S. murder rate skyrocketed after 2004, when Congress allowed the ban on assault weapons to expire. Almost 40,000 people died as a result of gun-related violence in 2017, the highest such figure in five decades.

Shortly after she became Chicago's first lesbian mayor with a decisive victory in the April runoff elections, Lightfoot called to classify gun violence as a "public health crisis." In an interview with PBS, she added that the city would "need to invest in our people, neighborhoods, small business, rebuild our neighborhood schools" in order to reduce its murder rate.

"[W]e have 25 percent unemployment or higher in the crime-plagued neighborhoods," she said. "We have -- a vast majority of people that live in those neighborhoods are on some form of government assistance. Forty percent of African-American children in the city are living in poverty."

"If we focus on those things," Lightfoot continued, "we're going to absolutely drive down violence and create an environment and an infrastructure for positive change."

RELATED | Don't Get Too Excited About Chicago's New Black Lesbian Mayor

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