Friday, June 22, 2007

ISRA Press Release

ISRA Press Release:
ISRA Wonders Whether Saturday Gun Shop Protest Will See Father Pfleger Restore Dignity To His Vocation

CHICAGO, June 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA):

The ISRA has learned that Fr. Michael Pfleger, Pastor of Chicago's St. Sabina's Church, is planning yet another march on Chuck's Gun Shop, located in south suburban Riverdale. Late last month, Fr. Pfleger sparked an embarrassing controversy for the Chicago Archdiocese by urging those attending a similar protest to "snuff" Chuck's owner as well as any state legislator who votes against gun control legislation.

In a recent e-mail alert, the ISRA urged area firearm owners to attend a counter-protest at Chuck's scheduled for Saturday, June 23, 2007 at 12:30 PM. The purpose of the counter-protest is to demonstrate support for Chuck's embattled owner and to rally opposition to gun control bills pending in the state legislature.

"Fr. Pfleger's last performance in front of Chuck's shocked the nation," commented ISRA Executive Director, Richard Pearson. "Imagine hearing an ordained priest calling for a legitimate businessman and sitting state legislators to be "snuffed" because they do not subscribe to that priest's social philosophies. The outrage over Pfleger's hate-filled remarks was compounded by his refusal to apologize for uttering them, and the fact that the mainstream press pretty much gave him a pass."

"The Pfleger situation brings to light an interesting double standard," continued Pearson. "Earlier this week, the ISRA released the results of an investigation into the apparent harassment of gun owners by the Illinois State Police. In these cases, gun owners were treated to visits to their homes by state police detectives because they had sent faxes to Sen. Dan Kotowski expressing opposition to gun control legislation sponsored by the senator. Based on our investigation, there was not even the slightest hint of a threat conveyed in the content of the subject faxes. Nonetheless, these citizens had to bear the embarrassment of having the police show up at their homes with the additional strain of having to answer humiliating questions about their mental health and personal lives. In contrast, when Fr. Pfleger publicly advocated the "snuffing" of state legislators, the Illinois State Police turned a blind eye and a deaf ear. One would think that Sen. Kotowski would be especially sensitive to threats against legislators, yet his anti-gun alliance with Pfleger has left him totally mum on the priest's dangerous remarks."

"Fr. Pfleger can rest assured that the videotape will be rolling when he takes the stage this Saturday in front of Chuck's," said Pearson. "We'll be watching and listening. It will be interesting to see whether he displays the dignity and self respect that should accompany his calling, or whether his identity crisis casts him once again in the role of an absurd, yet malevolent, cartoon character."

The ISRA is the state's leading advocate of safe, lawful and responsible firearms ownership. For more than a century, the ISRA has represented the interests of more than 1.5 million law-abiding Illinois firearm owners.

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