Clarence Page: Texas, keep Chicago’s gun violence woes out of your mouths
Leave it to the supposedly serious Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, faced with the unspeakable horror of 19 children and two adults slaughtered in one of his state’s elementary schools, to try to deflect attention to one of the right wing’s favorite issues, crime in Chicago.
Have you no shame, sir?
“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 told reporters Wednesday after the tragedy in Uvalde, where the shooter also died.
“And we need to realize that people who think that, well, maybe we can just implement tougher gun laws, it’s gonna solve it. Chicago and LA and New York disprove that thesis,” the Republican governor said at Robb Elementary School where the attack took place. “So, you’re looking for a real solution, Chicago teaches that what you’re talking about is not a real solution. Our job is to come up with real solutions that we can implement.”
And the solution is …?
I’m still waiting. But first, while I will let Los Angeles and New York speak for themselves, here’s a brief bite from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s rebuttal:
“He’s obviously trying to burnish his credentials for what was likely a run for president,” the Democratic mayor said of Abbott at her own news conference that day. “It’s a long-standing Republican trope to try to put a city like Chicago in their mouths and criticize us. But the fact of the matter is, that guy needs to focus on taking care of business there.”
In other words, to paraphrase Will Smith after he smacked Chris Rock at the Oscars: Keep my beloved blankety-blank city’s name out of your blankety-blank mouth!
Gov. J. B. Pritzker was a bit more genteel, but no less blunt in his response.
“Shame on you, @GovAbbott,” he tweeted and cited a report that found a majority of guns used in Chicago crimes came from outside Illinois.