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.”
“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.
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.