Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Where's Wallace?

Dave Kopel writes on activities of another one of Barack Obama's spiritual mentors, the (White) Catholic priest Michael Pfleger. Though noting that Pfleger has done some good works (on racial profiling, Darfur, and opposing abusive rap lyrics), Kopel focuses primarily on Pfleger's aggressive anti-gun pose. It culminates in his protest of "Chuck's Gun Store", the closest gun store to Chicago (there are no gun outlets in the city itself). Kopel writes:

Yet the Reverends Michael Pfleger and Jesse Jackson have been organized large crowds to repeatedly picket Chuck's Gun Shop. On June 23, 2007, Revs. Jackson and Pfleger were arrested for criminally obstructing the entrance to the store. The charges were eventually dropped, just as Governor George Wallace never was criminally punished for standing in a doorway to obstruct the exercise of constitutional rights. (The comparison is a little unfair, since Wallace eventually stood aside, whereas Jackson and Pfleger had to be physically removed by the police.)

Okay, hold it. I'm not an anti-gun zealot, and from Kopel's description it sounds like Chuck's is behaving like a good citizen in terms of training its employees so that it's guns do not get into the wrong hands (there could be more information, of course, that Kopel is not telling us). That being said -- worse than George Wallace? I realize that the sin qua non of Kopel's existence is protecting gun rights. But come on, let's keep our heads on our shoulders, yes?

Also, Kopel cites Pfleger as promising to "snuff out" the owner of the store. Pfleger denies that he was advocating violence, and instead meant only to reveal where the owner lived. Now, I'm not a fan of that sort of intimidation either, and as Kopel notes, "snuff out" actually is primarily slang for "to kill." But I'm guessing that Pfleger was mixing it up with "sniff out", which would mean exactly what he said he meant. Again, only a small consolation, because I think trying to reveal a political opponent's home address is pretty threatening behavior, but relevant data nonetheless.

1 comment:

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