Jackson and Pfleger continue marches on gun shop
June 29, 2007 (WLS) -- Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Michael Pfleger staged another protest outside a suburban gun shop Friday, less than one week after both were arrested for a similar demonstration.
Now, Jackson and Pfleger have gained a high-powered supporter of their efforts outside Chuck's Gun Shop in Riverdale: Chicago Police Superintendent Phil Cline says the demonstrations bring much-needed attention to the firearms debate.
There were no arrests in Thursday afternoon as marchers announced an expansion of their anti-gun shot crusade.
"Vote gun shops out of your city. Vote them out so they can't have a business," said the Rev. Michael Pfleger of the St. Sabina Church.
Pfleger and Jackson vowed more protests at Chuck's and at eight other suburban gun shops that surround the city of Chicago.
"We're going to close down the merchants of death to save our children," said Rainbow/Push Coalition's Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Riverdale police, many on overtime, cordoned off Chuck's front doors to avoid a repeat of last Saturday's incident when Pfleger and Jackson were arrested after entering the shop.
Riverdale's mayor says the demonstrations cost taxpayers and hurt the village's image. She also said that any gun-related protests should be aimed at state lawmakers.
"Hopefully, they'll take the fight to where I believe it belongs in Springfield," said Mayor Zenovia Evans.
A handful of gun rights supporters also showed up at the gun shop.
"The constitution is still our consitution. It's not a piece of toilet paper yet, and we respect that," said gun rights supporter Howie Morissey.
The Jackson/Pfleger marches began at Chuck's symbolically a few weeks ago after the murder of 15-year-old honor student Blair Holt, who was shot to death on a CTA bus in May. Since then, at least a half dozen other city teenagers have died as the result of gunfire.
"I understand Chuck wants to stay in business, but let Chuck's only child be killed, then let him tell us how he feels," said Annette Nance-Holt, a victim's mother.
As the 200 demonstrators marched, miles away in downtown Chicago, police Superintendent Phil Cline announced his support of marchers' efforts to bring about stricter gun control.
"It seems to be getting more attention, we welcome that attention because it's an issue we should all be outraged about," Cline said.
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