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IL Gov. Hits Back With A Stat Of His Own After NRA Claims Most Shootings Happen In 'Gun Free Zones'

IL Gov. Hits Back With A Stat Of His Own After NRA Claims Most Shootings Happen In 'Gun Free Zones'
Natasha Moustache/Getty Images

Like clockwork, barely 24 hours after the deadly Fourth of July parade shooting in Highland Park, Illinois the National Rifle Association (NRA) took to Twitter to respond with its usual propaganda about mass shootings.

And Democratic Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has clearly had enough.

After the NRA claimed 94% of mass shootings since 1950 have occurred in so-called "gun-free zones"--a go-to right-wing claim about gun violence that is essentially meaningless--Pritzker responded, as seen below, by saying what we're all thinking.

Pritzker wrote:

"And 100% of mass public shootings happen with guns."
"As Governor, on behalf of the people of Highland Park — leave us the hell alone."
Pritzker's blunt response has been applauded for subtly revealing the absurdity of the right's claims about "gun-free zones," which are trotted out after nearly every shooting and have even been touted by former Republican President Donald Trump.

But as usual with right-wing claims, this one is totally devoid of context. "Gun-free zones" don't actually prevent guns from being brought in--they're not invisible gun-deflecting force fields, after all--so the statistics are meaningless on their face.

More importantly, while Illinois' laws are stringent both the state and the Chicago metro area share borders with Wisconsin and Indiana, where gun laws are exponentially more lax--and in Indiana's case nearly non-existent.

Pritzker's response has also drawn widespread applause because of the frustration many feel towards top-tier Democrats, whose response to recent events, from a rogue Supreme Court to the recent waves of gun violence, many have found to be toothless.

Pritzker's reactions to the shooting in Highland Park in general present a stark contrast with Democratic leadership.

While Democratic President Joe Biden responded to the shooting with shock and solemnity, touting recent gun legislation and intoning about "more work to do," Pritzker has been visibly angry and unexpectedly blunt.

In his press conference held in the shooting's wake, he said:

"If you are angry today, I’m here to tell you to be angry."
"I’m furious. I’m furious that yet more innocent lives were taken by gun violence..."
"While we celebrate the Fourth of July just once a year, mass shootings have become our weekly — yes, weekly — American tradition."

Many Democratic strategists have theorized that Pritzker's palpable, plain-spoken anger about gun violence constitutes a blueprint for Democrats to rally a deeply angry and alarmingly pessimistic electorate to the polls for the midterms and in 2024.

On Twitter, Pritzker's willingness to show his anger and speak plainly about gun violence left many applauding him.

Much like with Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom, Pritzker's response to Highland Park has led to speculation about a 2024 presidential run for him.

He is currently running a reelection campaign against Republican Illinois Senator Darren Bailey, an NRA-backed supporter of former Republican President Donald Trump and outspoken proponent of gun rights.