Fr Michael Pfleger, Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow Coalition have been at it again, and now the two of them ended up in jail. Sounds to me like the good Fr is creating a hostile situation and is clearly fanning the flames.
This is the 3rd week in a row that Fr Pfleger and Jesse Jackson have held publicity stunt demonstrations at Chuck’s Gun Shop. It should be noted that the BATF and other agencies have not even accused Chuck’s Gun shop of anything!
In one of the dozen or so news reports I saw that Jesse Jackson stated about the gun store owner: “He was inviting violence” But it seems to me that if you lead marches against this store, and you do it week after week after week, then you, the leaders of the march, are the ones inviting the violence.
Their issues are pretty much bogus anyway, Illinois has very strict gun laws, and according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Violence, Illinois has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation. Even to shop for a gun you must have an Illinois Firearms Owners I.D. card before you are allowed to do anything, those take roughly a month to get, and they include background checks. Then they have additional waiting periods after that. And many cities have handgun bans. Seems that by harassing the few legal gun stores who cater to police and honest citizens they are missing the point that guns are coming into Illinois illegally. So they make their headlines and get more laws enacted that restrict law abiding citizens but do nothing to address the issues the pretend to care about.
The Chicago Sun Times reports:[INDENT]Pfleger arrested in protest outside gun shop
June 24, 2007
By MONIFA THOMAS Staff Reporter
An anti-gun rally ended Saturday with the arrests of the Reverends Jesse Jackson and Michael Pfleger outside Chuck’s Gun Shop in south suburban Riverdale.
Jackson and Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina parish, were each charged with one count of criminal trespass to property after they were arrested while leading their third protest at the store. They were later released.
Jackson said store owner John Riggio pushed him after he and Pfleger turned down Riggio’s invitation to enter the gun shop alone. They declined, Jackson said, because the store was filled with Riggio’s “hostile” supporters.
But Riggio said he didn’t push Jackson, whom he accused of orchestrating the arrests to grab headlines. “He bumped into me, and I bumped back into him,” Riggio said.
'Going to come back’
Riverdale Police said they arrested Pfleger and Jackson because the protesters wouldn’t stop blocking the entrance to the store. Police would not address Jackson’s assault claim.
Earlier this month, Pfleger drew heat from Cardinal Francis George for saying he was going to “snuff out” Riggio.
[/INDENT]Here is the story in the NY Daily News, so it is apparently well beyond a local story in Chicago:[INDENT]** Jesse’s ‘bogus’ gun-shop bust **
BY BILL HUTCHINSON
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Saturday, June 23rd 2007, 12:00 AMA heated confrontation at a gun-store protest in Illinois left the Rev. Jesse Jackson in handcuffs but saying the shop owner attacked him.
The civil rights leader called the trespassing charges against him “bogus” and accused cops of taking the side of the gun dealer who assaulted him.
“He [the gun shop owner] literally had us arrested,” Jackson, 65, told the Daily News after he was released on his own recognizance.
The angry encounter occurred outside Chuck’s Gun Shop, believed to be the state’s largest gun dealer, in the Chicago suburb of Riverdale.
Jackson contends the shop provides gang members and other criminals in nearby South Chicago with easy access to weapons.
He and the Rev. Michael Pfleger, a Chicago Catholic priest and an outspoken advocate of gun control, were arrested after leading a group of protesters to the gun store for the third time this month. The ministers say they were standing on the sidewalk in front of the store when John Riggio stormed out and confronted them.
“He pushed me,” Jackson said. “I said, ‘You don’t have to push me.’ He was provoking me, but I wouldn’t do it.”
Jackson said the encounter was videotaped, but police refused to hear his side of the story even after viewing the footage.
Riggio told cops Jackson and the protesters were blocking the entrance to his store and demanded they be arrested for refusing to leave, police said.