A prominent Chicago priest has blamed the city’s ongoing spate of violence and murder on the NRA and the failure of a federal gun law in remarks made over the weekend.
Despite cooler temperatures and rain last week, Chicago streets were once again rife with violence. Throughout the week 20 people were shot, and five were killed as a result of the ongoing violence. One mass shooting of 13 people occurred on a basketball court, fortunately killing no one but leaving all the victims wounded, including a three-year-old boy who suffered a gunshot wound to the head.
The three-year old Deonta Howard is recovering but will need more surgery; he reportedly did not suffer any brain damage.
Father Michael P. Pfleger is perhaps one of Chicago’s most notable Catholic Priests and liberal activists, and local media prop him up as a “community leader.” On Friday night, outside his Saint Sabina Church, Pfleger took to the media’s microphones to speak on the violence before marching with community members on a peace mission through the south side neighborhood.
In his address to the media, Pfleger said:
We want to get the resources to stop this violence. You have a perfect storm when you have poor schools, no jobs, communities been left like third world developments, and hopelessness in our streets… [Emphasis added]
He continued by declaring the shame he feels for America and slamming the [racist] NRA, for Congress’s failure to pass universal background checks, and the Illinois legislature passing [weak] conceal and carry legislation earlier this year.
I’m ashamed at America. Congress had an opportunity to pass universal background checks, hold people accountable with guns. They turned their backs on us to get fed by the NRA.
I’m ashamed at Illinois legislators. They had a chance to have a strong conceal carry law in the state of Illinois. Connecticut responded strong when their babies were killed. But Illinois gets a bill supported by the NRA, and didn’t stand strong. They don’t give a damn about our children, cause the primary children being killed out here are black and brown.
We have to fight the system in this country that doesn’t see our problems and our needs and our violence as important as anybody else.
Pfleger did echo a point that many residents of the south side have been raising for quite some time when he discussed the lack of national attention a Chicago mass shooting such as Thursday night’s receives compared to others around the country.
13 people got shot at a basketball court. That’s a mass shooting… 12 people got shot, some of them killed last week in the navy yard, it was called a mass shooting. All of America got angry. And all of America decided that they were going to respond, and do what ever had to be done to stop this from happening again. We want all of America to respond the same way to the shootings in Chicago.
What happened in Chicago is as important as what happened in Newtown, Aurora, Colorado, or Gabby Gifford, or Navy base. And we have to be dealt with the same way, but we also have to tell our brothers, lay down the guns, stop shooting each other.
Father Pfleger closed his remarks angrily at the suggestion of the Navy Yard Shooter’s “mental illness;” hedeclared his whole community is suffering from a “mental condition.”
We have whole communities have [sic] mental conditions, and hopelessness and poverty, and lack of good education, and lack of jobs.
We have a severe mental condition. I’m suffering from it cause I live here. We’re all suffering from it.
He ended by pleading, “Don’t shoot each other. Don’t kill each other. Put down the guns and live for another day, and fight to make a real change.”
Watch Father Pfleger’s unedited remarks to the media on Friday night:
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