Chuck’s Gun Shop, responsible for more crime guns than any gun dealer in the nation was “closed for lunch” today when 300 anti-gun violence demonstrators converged at its Riverdale location outside of metropolitan Chicago. The activists, many displaying photos of their slain loved ones, were participating in the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence’s “Stop Bad Apple Gun Dealers” action which asks dealers like Chuck’s to agree to a Gun Dealer Code of Conduct. The proposed code, which includes refusing to sell to straw and prohibited purchasers, screening of employees, reporting thefts and cooperating with law enforcement violates Chuck’s “rights” owner John Riggio said on the day before the demonstration Brady president Dan Gross told the crowd. Other groups supporting the event were Rainbow/PUSH, Chicago Citizens for Change, the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV), Hadiya’s Promise, Kids Off the Block, People for a Safer Society, Purpose Over Pain and National Gun Victims Action Council.
Yet, five percent of U.S. gun dealers supply 90 percent of crime guns and in Chicago one out of 12 crime guns is traced to Chuck’s said Colleen Daly of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV). Illinois has more gun dealers than it does McDonald’s, said Daley and none are licensed.
“The NRA, gun makers and John Riggio want you to think I am a gun grabber,” said beloved anti-gun violence Chicago priest Father Michael Pfleger of Chicago’s St. Sabina Church in whose parish gun violence is relentless. They are wrong, “I am a life liver,” he said who is appalled by “cemeteries” filling up. It is true that criminals will always get guns “as long as Chuck’s is around,” Pfleger continued, while the owners and profiteers from crime guns “live in gated communities where there are no gun shops like Chuck’s.”
There was no shortage of personal stories at the demonstration from a woman who personally witnessed a straw purchase at Chuck’s (after a woman “bought” a gun for her companion, he “walked out with an AK 47 and headed for 88th and Ashland—and there is no hunting going on at 88th and Ashland”) to the murder of Pamela Bosley’s son Terrell who was a church musician and enrolled in college. “He did everything right,” said Bosley who founded Purpose Over Pain after his death.
Calling the fight against bad gun dealers and crime guns “fighting the obvious; the death machine,” Rev. Jesse Jackson traced the power of confronting wrong from Biblical stories through Rosa Parks and pointed out that police are victims of gun violence too. Chicago is “Chiraq” said Rev. Jackson referring to its characterization as a war zone and as you would do in Iraq, you need to “break up the supply route” in Chicago, he said.
There was no shortage of pro-gun demonstrators at today’s event, corralled behind a fence reminiscent of the chicken wire that protected the Blue Brothers from beer bottle throwing fans when they gave a country and western concert in the famous movie. Ninety-nine percent white males, their signs largely read “Blame Gangs Not Chuck’s” though one sign read, “Free People Own Guns,” Enslaved People Don’t.” One gun advocate yelled in frenzied repetition “hypocrites” and “cartel.”
One of the few women gun advocates screamed that demonstrators needed to find “Jesus”—was she unaware of the Rev. Jackson and Father Pfleger’s presence?—and that demonstrators were hypocrites if they believed in armed guards. Of course there is a big differene between asking the biggest crime gun provider in the nation to sign a code of ethics and being against “armed guards.” But just as illogical is blaming Chicago’s gun violence on “gangs.” Most of the industrialized world has gangs but it doesn’t have Chicago’s 2,500 shootings and gun deaths a year.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.