JESSE, PFLEGER THREATENED WITH ARREST AT CHUCK's GUN SHOP
Jesse, Pfleger threatened with arrest at Chuck’s Gun Shop
By Chinta Strausberg
In a standoff with Riverdale police who were guarding the controversial Chuck’s Gun Shop & Pistol Range, officers Saturday threatened to arrest Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. and Saint Sabina’s Father Michael L. Pfleger who demanded to talk to the owner about the 1500 gunsused in Chicago in criminal acts between 2009 and 2013 that were allegedly purchased at Chuck’s.
Jackson, who came with one busload of Rainbow PUSH Coalition members and Pfleger who had two buses, joined the Brady Campaign toPrevent Gun Violence’s “Stop Bad Apple Gun Dealers” campaign, Purpose Over Pain with Pam Bosley, Colleen Daley with the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV), Million Moms March, Moms From Moms Demand Action and Joy McCormack with Chicago Citizens for Change, to demand Chuck adopt sensible gunlaws.
This year, Riverdale police had cordoned off the pro-Chuck Gun Shop supporters; however they held up their pro-gun signs, taunted the protesters and chanted “gangs are your problem, not Chuck’s.”
According to Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign and Daley, Chuck’s is contributing to gun violence in Chicago. Hesaid, “Chuck’s is one of Chicago’s ‘bad apple’ gun dealers…part of the 5 percent of gun dealers in America who supply 90 percent of guns used in crimes.
“From 2009 to 2013, 1,516 guns recovered in crimes in Chicago were traced back to Chuck’s,” Gross said. He urged Chuck’s to abide by the Brady Campaign’s Gun Dealer Code of Conduct that prevents sales to straw buyers who in turn sell guns illegally to gang members.
In addressing nearly 300 people, Pfleger, who wore a white T-shirt saying, 'Don't forget about Jarvis Franklin, his son, who was killed on May 30 1998, said, “Gun violence is an epidemic in Chicago and around he country….2600 people shot in 2014, over 148 killed since January 1st. That is almost one a day. Over the July 4th weekendwhen we’re celebrating independence, in Chicago last year 14 killed, 68 shot ina weekend.
“Last night in Chicago 3 were killed and 10 were shot just last night in Chicago. The NRA lobby, the gun manufacturers and John Riggio from Chuck’s try to make you think I am a gun grabber…. I am a lifelover, and I love life more than the death they are perpetrating,” Pflegersaid.
“I am tired of the NRA. I am tired of them prostituting themselves and buying politicians in this country. I am tired ofgun manufacturers and John Riggio making money off the blood running down our streets and our children laying in cemeteries while they live in gated communities where there are no gun shops like Chuck’s.”
Pfleger said he wants Chuck’s to be responsible including titling guns like cars “Make gun ownership responsible…. The flow of guns in our streets and the bodies lying in ourstreets are directly tied to places like Chuck’s Gun shop. Enough Chuck’s.We’re tired of your shady gun practices.”
Rev. Jackson told the crowd, “Stop the violence,save the children.” Jackson said the next big anti=-gun march will be in Barrington, Illinois where guns are manufactured.
Referring to Spike Lee’s movie, Chiraq, Jackson said, “It is Chiraq.” Jackson said more people were killed in Chicago than in Iraq. “It’s also a shame….” Jackson said police a “walking target” every day. He said they are fighting a “death machine.”
Bosley, who lost her son, Terrell, to gun violence, said, “We need commonsense gun laws….. The first year when my son was taken, Itried to take my life twice; so the goal is for us to save other mother’s and father’s who are going through this.”
Referring to the pro-Chuck protesters who claim thegun violence in Chicago is due to gangs, Bosley disagreed saying her son did everything right including being in college, working and a member of a church band. “They are not all gangbangers…,” she said. “The reason I fight the way Ido is because I cannot afford to lose another child in the streets of Chicago.I can’t do it no more…. Get the laws together…. Nobody is exempt” in the gun violence war.
Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-16th), who was at the protest, said she introduced a bill that would title guns like car; however, it remains in committee. “This struggle to preserve life will take ourtotal commitment because we are engaged with a long-distance race with aculture that celebrates violence in our movies, in the media and in ourmusic….”
Representing the millennium generation, activist Camiella D. Williams sad she once went into Chuck Gun Shop and though she did not have identification or a FOIA card. She said one man “walked out with an AK 47 and went to 80th and Ashland. They don’t hunt there….”
After the speakers told their stories about losingtheir loved ones due to gun violence, led by Jackson and Pfleger, they marchedby Chuck’s Gun Shop but were prevented from entering by three Riverdale policeand later by John Riggio, the owner who refused them entry citing the store wasclosed for a lunch break.
And, when Jackson and Pfleger refused to move andclear the sideway, police threatened to arrest them. Pfleger yelled out, “Weain’t going no where” then sat down in front of the door of Chuck’s store.Supporters began cnating, “Shame on Chucks,” and “shame on Riverdale.” Thenbegan singing “I Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Us Around.” Jackson then led in prayer.