'We have mass shootings every week,' Mayor Lori Lightfoot tells US Conference of Mayors

Craig Wall Image
Saturday, January 25, 2020
Mayor Lori Lightfoot talks Chicago gun violence during US Conference of Mayors in Washington, DC
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Mayor Lori Lightfoot wrapped up a series of meetings in Washington, D.C. for the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Friday.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot wrapped up a series of meetings in Washington, D.C. for the U.S. Conference of Mayors Friday, skipping a meeting with President Donald Trump to instead briefly observe the impeachment trial.

Earlier, the mayor moderated a panel on mass shootings, something she told her colleagues Chicago deals with every week.

"Guns in the hands of people who have no respect for the sanctity of life are one of the biggest challenges that we face as mayors," Lightfoot said.

Lightfoot moderated a panel discussion with counterparts from across the country who have experienced mass shootings, sharing ways to prepare for, prevent, and respond to those tragedies.

"We have mass shootings every week," Lightfoot told the group. "Mass shooting is defined as two or three getting shot. It's happening every week and in some instances, sadly, multiple times a week in a city like Chicago."

Lightfoot called the level of violence vexing to big city mayors.

"Just last week, we had a gunman walk into a barber shop, where some children were getting their hair cut, had a conversation or a confrontation with the barber, walked outside and then turn around and shoot through the window, even knowing that there were children inside," Lightfoot said.

The mayor said part of the underlying problem is the lack of investments in certain areas of cities.

"But the bottom line is there are way too many guns out there. And they are out there in the hands of people who never should possess them," Lightfoot said, drawing a round of applause.

The mayor's rising prominence on the national political scene should make her a sought-after endorsement. But when Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren came to Chicago to show support for teachers before and during the strike, they never reached out to Lightfoot. Joe Biden hasn't either, despite several visits to Chicago.

The mayor said she's not going to endorse someone who has never bothered to reach out, but she will be making that decision on who to support before the Illinois primary on March 17.