Mayor Lori Lightfoot slammed U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz on Twitter Sunday, telling the Texas Republican to keep Chicago's "name out of [his] mouth" after he used the city as an example for his claim that laws on gun control don't work.
"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 tweeted, alongside a chart from the city's 2017 Gun Trace Report, showing the top 10 states from where firearms recovered in Chicago originated.
"When @tedcruz and the @gop dismiss common sense gun policies, they disrespect victims and their families, who deserve to live without pain and fear," Lightfoot continued, tweeting from her campaign account, not her official Twitter account as Chicago's mayor.
She then linked to the Gun Trace Report, writing that Cruz could "read more about where illegal guns in Chicago come from" in the study, a 2017 collaboration between the Chicago Police Department, then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office and the University of Chicago Crime Lab.
Lightfoot's remarks were in response to Cruz's tweet in which he claimed, "Gun control doesn't work. Look at Chicago."
"Disarming law-abiding citizens isn’t the answer," Cruz continued, commenting on the city's gun violence at the start of Labor Day weekend. "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."
Republicans and opponents of gun control legislation - including President Donald Trump - have often pointed to Chicago and its gun violence as an example of why any proposals further regulating gun ownership would not work, oftentimes coupling their criticism of Chicago with a general attack on the Democratic Party, to which a majority of the city's elected leaders belong.
Last month, Trump's daughter and White House adviser Ivanka Trump tweeted inaccurate information about shootings in Chicago over a particularly violent weekend, comments that also a sharp rebuke from Lightfoot.
"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 Aug. 6, after a combined total of 81 people were shot, 32 fatally, in separate mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, the previous days.
But the numbers in her tweet were incorrect. Police said that weekend that seven people were wounded - none fatally - in a shooting near a playground in the city's Douglas Park neighborhood, and that the total number wounded was 48 over the course of the weekend - not 52.
"It wasn't seven dead; it wasn't 52 wounded in one incident, which is what this suggests, and it's misleading," Lightfoot said at the time. "It's important when we're talking about people's lives to actually get the facts correct, which one could easily do if you actually cared about getting it right."
"That's the danger of trying to govern via tweet," she added. "If they want to help they should actually call us and ask for specifics, which we'd be happy to share."
The spat between Lightfoot and Cruz late Monday came at the tail end of a holiday weekend that saw at least eight people killed and 37 more injured in shootings across Chicago from Friday afternoon through Tuesday morning.