Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a press conference in Uvalde, Texas, on Wednesday that gun reform is “not a real solution.”
“There are ‘real’ gun laws in Chicago, there are ‘real’ gun laws in New York, there are real gun laws in California. I hate to say this, but there are more people who are shot every weekend in Chicago than there are in schools in Texas,” Abbott said after being asked about his stance on gun laws following the school shooting. “And people who think that, ‘well maybe if we can just implement some tougher gun laws, it’s gonna solve it,’ Chicago and LA and New York disprove that thesis.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott 🔥: “I know people like to try to oversimplify this…There are ‘real gun laws’ in Chicago. There are ‘real gun laws’ in NY. There are real gun laws in California…[T]here are more people who were shot every wkend in Chicago than…in schools in TX.” pic.twitter.com/BvfUiAnAKu
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) May 25, 2022
“Chicago teaches that what you’re talking about is not a real solution,” Abbott continued. “Our job is to come up with real solutions that we can implement.”
Abbott mentioned throughout the conference that he believes that the way to solve the gun issue is to focus on mental health. (RELATED: Oklahoma Stalker Detained For Allegedly Threatening To Kill Congressman Kevin Hern And His Family)
“The ability of an 18-year-old to buy a long gun has been in place in the state of Texas for more than 60 years,” he said earlier in the conference. “Why is it for the majority of those 60 years, we did not have school shootings? And why is it we do now?”
“The one thing that has substantially changed is the status of mental health in our communities,” he added. “Anybody who shoots somebody else has a mental health challenge, period. We as a government need to find a way to target that mental health challenge and do something about it.”
Chicago is considered to have the most restrictive gun laws in the country, requiring residents to complete a 16-hour course and rejecting all out-of-state concealed carry licenses, according to the Chicago tribune.
Despite these obstacles, Chicago ended the year 2021 with a record-high 797 homicides and 3,561 shooting incidents, NBC Chicago reported. This is a higher rate than any U.S. city, and overtakes Los Angeles and New York City by at least 300 murders, the outlet reported.
New York also touts itself for strict gun laws, as a citizen wishing to buy a firearm is required to be at least 21 and must get a separate license in order to purchase a rifle, according to NY City Lens. Although New York Mayor Eric Adams has made gun control his priority, New York has seen a 40% surge in homicides over the past two years.