“Great Gun Turn-in today….248 Handguns,,,,86 Rifles/shotguns……and 59 bbs and replicas….. a total of 393……,” Father Michael Pfleger touted on his Facebook page earlier this month then went on to say, “For those that say this don’t help…tell that to the grandfather who turned in his grandson’s gun or to the several young brothers who said they want to make a turn in their life and then talked to our employment folks to try and get a job…….Good Day…….”
The truth is Pfleger is great at drawing attention to himself, but when he steps up to the plate of reality and swings, he invariably strikes out. Ironically, that bogus gun grab took place on April Fool’s Day.
One thing you can say about Chicago’s renegade priest, Pfleger upholds the tradition of the Roman Catholic’s Dominican order. I’m a product of the Dominican Order elementary school system so I know a bit about Ordo Praedicatorum.
The Order of Preachers was founded to preach the Gospel and to oppose heresy. In my opinion, the Order of Preachers has two faces. It is first and foremost a teaching activity which catapulted it’s clerics to the forefront of intellectualism during the Middle Ages.
Any good Catholic boy who went to a Dominican elementary school will tell you with great glee how the nuns were fond of corporal punishment but the truth is we got little more than a finger thump behind the ear and a stern, finger-wagging exhortation about how we were on track to go to Hell if we didn’t clean up our act. That’s one face of the Order of Preachers; the other face, the one that Pfleger represents, is that of the first Grand Inquistor of Spain, Tomás de Torquemada. You think I’m exaggerating?
In 2007, it was Pfleger who stood in front of Chuck’s Gun Shop in Riverdale, Illinois and told a group of anti-gun protesters, “He’s the owner of Chuck’s. John Riggio. R-i-g-g-i-o. We’re going to find you and snuff you out… You know you’re going to hide like a rat. You’re going to hide but like a rat we’re going to catch you and pull you out.”
So you have a Catholic priest standing in front of a gun store, fomenting a crowd of anti-Second Amendment acolytes with talk of kidnapping and publicly executing a law-abiding business owner; definitely shades of Tomás de Torquemada’s Spanish Inquisition face of Catholicism.
His strident anti-gun rhetoric and political activism has garnered rebukes from the Archdiocese of Chicago including a suspension but to no avail. Pfleger continues to constantly foment against the Second Amendment but never against those who use guns to kill their neighbors. They are his parishioners at St. Sabina; without them he wouldn’t have a bully pulpit. So the marketing plan is anything Second Amendment is evil and those socially deviant miscreants that create the mayhem in Chicago’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood are poor, misunderstood children.
And now, interspersed in his never-ending litany of anti-Second Amendment rhetoric is a gun turn-in event. Two hundred forty-eight handguns, 86 rifles and shotguns, and 59 BB guns and assorted gun replicas – all fodder for the press and not one whit of impact on violent crime. David Codrea of Oath Keepers points out that while the Guns for Gift Cards scheme was going gun violence racked up another six people dead and 17 wounded.
According to the National Institute of Justice’s “Summary of Select Firearm Violence Prevention Strategies,” gun buybacks are ineffective as generally implemented. The buybacks are too small to have an impact, the guns turned in are at low risk of ever being used in a crime, and replacement guns are easily acquired.
Once again, Father Pfleger stepped up to the plate and struck out.