After Las Vegas Shooting, Trump Administration Criticizes Chicago's Gun Control Laws. Politicians Fire Back.
By Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas
When the chief White House spokeswoman again brought up Chicago having a high level of violence despite its having the "strictest gun laws in the country," U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly and others were quick to respond.
Kelly, D-Ill., responded Monday on Twitter. Sarah Huckabee Sanders' information, mentioned in the wake of the mass shooting in Las Vegas that left at least 59 dead and more than 500 people wounded, was not only seriously outdated, but: "More than 1/2 of (Chicago's) crime guns come from outside IL."
Her tweet noted the guns mostly come from Vice President Mike Pence's turf of Indiana and House Speaker Paul Ryan's Wisconsin. U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives statistics have shown that about 60 percent of guns used in Chicago crimes come from outside Illinois.
It was the first in a series of tweets Kelly began by addressing Huckabee Sanders, who in a press briefing Monday afternoon answered a series of questions about policy discussions after the Las Vegas mass shooting.
Sanders at first said she didn't want to create laws that wouldn't stop the problem and she continued: "I think if you look to Chicago, where you had over 4,000 victims of gun-related crimes last year, they have the strictest gun laws in the country. That certainly hasn't helped there, so I think we have to -- when that time comes for those conversations to take place, then I think we need to look at things that may actually have that real impact."
Chicago is a go-to drum on which President Donald Trump and his administration like to bang. Trump in January claimed that if Chicago didn't "fix the horrible 'carnage' going on ... I will send in the Feds!"
Then in June, Chicago police sent out a news release announcing 20 federal gun agents had been assigned to Chicago to join a newly formed task force aimed at cutting the flow of illegal guns into the city and cracking down on people repeatedly arrested on gun charges.
Chicago police First Deputy Superintendent Kevin Navarro said the department had been working on arrangements to receive more assistance from federal law enforcement since November, during former President Barack Obama's administration.
Yet hours later, Trump claimed credit for sending in the agents from the ATF. "Crime and killings in Chicago have reached such epidemic proportions that I am sending in Federal help," he tweeted.
Monday, Kelly began her comments on Twitter by writing: "Congress, 50 people went to a concert & didn't come home because of one man with a weapon of war. #AssaultWeaponBan #EnoughIsEnough"
After the White House news briefing, Kelly began by addressing Huckabee Sanders, ending by mentioning Indiana and Wisconsin.
Kelly went on, in subsequent tweets: "In February, @realDonaldTrump made it easier for people with mental illnesses to get guns," with a link to a news story about Trump signing a bill revoking Obama-backed legislation.
As of Monday night, she had just one more tweet on the subject, in which she quoted her own earlier tweet about job creation helping to stem violence in communities such as hers. She ended the tweet by inviting the president to her district, where she could show him.
"Nothing stops a bullet like an opportunity. Let's pass a #jobs bill & spur growth," the congresswoman wrote.
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