(The Center Square) – Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s rhetoric around the issue of gun violence is heating up and some say it’s “disgusting.”
Before Monday’s mass shooting in a Chicago suburb at an Independence Day parade, Pritzker spoke to a group of New Hampshire Democrats saying the Republican game plan heading into November is to focus on cultural issues instead of on gun control.
“And if we can’t call bull[expletive] on that, well then Democrats, we don’t deserve to win elections,” Pritzker told the crowd last month.
Monday, after the Highland Park shooter killed seven and wounded dozens, Pritzker said there’s no better time to talk about gun control and criticized the Second Amendment right to bear arms as antiquated.
“If you’re angry today, I’m here to tell you ‘be angry,’” Pritzker told reporters in Highland Park. “I’m furious. I’m furious that yet more innocent lives were taken by gun violence.”
State Sen. Neil Anderson, R-Andalusia, said everyone needs to come together to focus on solutions, including recognizing mental health issues. He said Pritzker’s emotional rhetoric isn’t helpful.
“The governor is using a tragedy to try and gin people up and it’s disgusting,” Anderson told The Center Square.
Authorities revealed Tuesday that police encounted the alleged shooter twice in 2019, once when he threatened to commit suicide and a second time when family members reported he threatened to kill them.
Pritzker issued a disaster proclamation for Lake County Tuesday because of the Highland Park shooting. The proclamation expedites the use of state resources, personnel or equipment to help affected communities recover, the governor’s office said.
The governor declaring Highland Park a disaster while overlooking the daily shooting victims in Chicago speaks volumes, Anderson said.
“Another example of the hypocrisy of the governor saying ‘this is so bad, this is so bad,’ but he never talks about what happens on a regular basis in Chicago is bad,” Anderson said.
Over the Independence Day holiday weekend in Chicago, scores of people were shot and at least nine were killed, a weekly trend in the Windy City.
Wednesday, Pritzker took to Twitter in an exchange with the National Rifle Association and told them to “leave us the hell alone.”