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Illinois governor tells NRA to ‘leave us the hell alone’

The Hill logo The Hill 7/6/2022
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Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker told the National Rifle Association (NRA) in a tweet to “leave us the hell alone” in the wake of a mass shooting that killed seven people in Chicago’s Highland Park suburb Monday.

In a tweet on Tuesday, the NRA cited recent research from the nonprofit Crime Prevention Research Center, which found that “Since 1950, 94% of mass public shootings occurred in gun-free zones.”

Pritzker replied: “And 100% of mass public shootings happen with guns. As Governor, on behalf of the people of Highland Park — leave us the hell alone.”

The Illinois governor, in a press conference hours after the incident, called the Fourth of July shooting exemplary of “our uniquely American plague.”


Video: 'This madness has to stop' Illinois Governor Pritzker speaks out after parade shooting (MSNBC)

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“There are no words for the kind of evil that shows up at a public celebration of freedom, hides on a roof and shoots innocent people with an assault rifle,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker faces pro-gun Republican candidate state Sen. Darren Bailey in his bid for reelection in November’s election.

Shortly after the shooting, Bailey tweeted, “We need more police on our streets to keep our families safe.” 

Police report that the shooter, Robert “Bobby” Crimo, fired over 70 rounds of ammunition with a semi-automatic rifle, wounding at least 24 others

The CPRC, whose research the NRA cited, was founded by John R. Lott, Jr., a gun advocate hired by the Department of Justice during the Trump administration.

In October 2020, Lott wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed critiquing Biden’s gun control platform and arguing that “Mr. Trump is right: Democrats want to ban guns.” 

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