Monday, September 15, 2014

Michael Pfleger Receives Death Threats - Explains His "Snuff Out" Remarks

 michael pfleger
In this 1 June 2007 file photo, Rev Michael Pfleger, left, of Saint Sabina Catholic church is seen with Rev Jesse Jackson in Chicago. 

The Guardian
A Catholic priest on Chicago’s South Side claims he has received death threats from gun-rights advocates following a weekend rally in front of a local gun shop that authorities say is the number one supplier of guns recovered from crime scenes in the city.

Father Michael Pfleger, the pastor of Saint Sabina church, says the threats originate from social media posts and internal emails from the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA), an affiliate of the wider National Rifle Association (NRA), and its supporters which are calling Pfleger a “terrorist” and likening him and similar advocates to Isis, the terrorist organisation also known as Islamic State.

The threats escalated last weekend when Pfleger led about 300 people in front of Chuck’s Gun Shop & Pistol Range in suburban Riverdale, an effort in coordination with the Brady Centre to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington. NRA members staged a counter-protest. According to Pfleger, local police barred his assembly from entering the shop door to meet with its owner and forced them to walk back and forth between two assembled NRA groups where they were verbally threatened. He also says he received many threatening emails and phone calls at his church before and after the event.

Rich Pearson, the ISRA executive director, says he stands by his effort to label Pfleger a “terrorist”.

“You have to call him what he is. He’s an anti-gun terrorist, he’s trying to destroy businesses, he’s trying to prevent people from having the right of self-defence,” Pearson says.

According to local media reports, an internal email sent to ISRA members painted Pfleger as delivering “frothy-lipped lunacy” and suggested that “few will forget Pfleger’s rant in front of Chucks several years ago when he called for the Isis-style murders of gun shop owners and elected officials who support gun rights.”

Pearson says the Isis reference is connected to comments Pfleger made several years ago when he suggested he wanted to “snuff out” state legislators and gun shop owners who refuse to concede to stronger gun control measures. Pfleger admits he used the phrase, but says he intended to say he wanted to “sniff out” where gun rights advocates live to suggest it is not the inner city where their actions have the severest consequences.

“They keep trying to go back to that [statement], but it is their manipulation of the word without putting it into the context of the sentence,” he said. “If you want to own a gun, fine, but for God’s sake, put some responsibility on the ownership.”

38 comments:

  1. Oh yeah, that's a convincing explanation. "When I said I wanted to snuff out group A and B I really meant that I wanted to sniff out where group C lives.

    Why not just admit to using rhetorical hyperbole? That would be more believable than this line of horse puckey.

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    1. Exactly. As if a Catholic priest, with all the candle snuffing that happens in Catholic churches, got confused about the difference between "snuff" and "sniff."

      Besides, why would Riggio and the pro-gun legislators Pfleger wanted dead have to be "sniffed" out, anyway? Pfleger and his goons already knew where they were.

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    2. I thought that's what it was. I thought he meant put them out of business or take their guns away. But this explanation makes more sense if you think about it.

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    3. Kurt, I don't think they already knew were they were. Sniffing them out and putting them out of business makes perfect sense - you just don't like it because it makes even more sense than what I had thought which was that he was speaking metaphorically, meaning put them out of business.

      You're so desperate to vilify anyone who favors gun control that you'd say anything.

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    4. Kurt, I don't think they already knew were they were

      What do you mean they didn't know where Riggio was? They were right outside his place of business, with him inside. As for the legislators, they're not exactly hard to find.

      I don't have "to vilify anyone who favors 'gun control'"--they do a fine job all by themselves, with their own words.

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    5. No, Mike. This does not make more sense. Especially since he said snuff out in relation to group A and B and is now claiming he meant sniff out group C.

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    6. Actually, Kurt's right that Pfleger was talking about Riggio. Here's the quote:

      ""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.""

      As I said, the "sniff out" explanation makes perfect sense in the context of "hiding like a rat," "catch you," and "pull you out."

      But, this ruins Kurt's longstanding vilification of the man. For gun rights fanatics like Kurt, it's not enough that we strenuously oppose unlimited gun rights and go after crooked FFL guys, Kurt and the other lunatics have to invent even worse offenses for us.

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    7. For gun rights fanatics like Kurt . . .

      There is no such thing as "gun rights fanatics like Kurt," because being in no way fanatical, I can clearly not be like any fanatic.

      Thanks for playing (very poorly), anyway. I do enjoy a good laugh.

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    8. Oh, so "snuff you out" was supposed to be "sniff you out", synonymous with “find you”. So when he said, “We're going to find you and snuff you out…” he was trying to say “we going to find you… and then we’re going to find you some more.”

      That makes perfect sense.

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    9. Yes, Mike, in the original context, it's clear he was talking about Riggio.

      However, in the article above:
      "Pfleger admits he used the phrase, but says he intended to say he wanted to “sniff out” where gun rights advocates live to suggest it is not the inner city where their actions have the severest consequences."
      That's not talking about Riggio or the legilators--that's talking about figuring out where gun rights people are to set up a geographic divide to use as a talking point.

      In other words, the excuse is NOT what he was saying in the actual remarks.

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    10. So, what's the truth? Is Father Pfleger a murderer who announced his intentions beforehand and then what, changed his mind? What's wrong with you guys?

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    11. Is Father Pfleger a murderer who announced his intentions beforehand and then what, changed his mind?

      No--to be a murderer, one has to have, well . . . murdered someone, and as far as I know, Snuffy has never been accused of having done that.

      He certainly threatened murder. One could certainly argue that since, like 99.99% of "gun control" advocates, Pfleger is an abject coward, the threat was not credible, but credible or not, it was very publicly uttered.

      And what is "wrong" with us is that we state the truths you so desperately deny, Mikeb.

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    12. No, he's not a murderer or wannabe murderer. He's a guy who used hyperbolic and violent language to make his point, and who has been subsequently lying about it, trying to say that he was really saying something completely different.

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    13. He should have just owned up to the hyperbole, but it would have ruined the narrative of "gun owners are the violent ones with violent terminology."

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    14. "like 99.99% of "gun control" advocates, Pfleger is an abject coward" says Kurt, who is definitely a fanatic.

      Anonymous, what's the difference? Hyperbole or misspeaking, the pro-gun folks have been using this incident to malign the man, and in the case of the true fanatics, to malign 99.99% of all gun control advocates.

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    15. . . . and in the case of the true fanatics, to malign 99.99% of all gun control advocates.

      I am, of course, not among these notional "true fanatics," but I'll assume I'm being addressed here, anyway. The thing is, I have never tried to malign "99.99% of all gun control advocates" with what Snuffy said--that's all on him (well, and to a lesser extent, on those who condone and make up excuses for it). The abject, sniveling cowardice is what I claim is the shared quality among "gun control" advocates, but no worries--they have plenty of it to go around.

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    16. The difference is that the man clearly used a violent hyperbole, and then, rather than own up to it and either justify it as rhetoric or apologize for it if he thinks it's wrong, he took the easy way out of trying to claim it wasn't hyperbole and trying to claim he was trying to say something clearly different from what he was originally saying. It makes him a gutless, unprincipled weasel same as it would a republican who tried a similar tactic.

      It's also pretty rich considering your side's narrative about civility and how evil Palin was for the map with cross-hairs on "targeted" districts.

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  2. Pearson says the Isis reference is connected to comments Pfleger made several years ago when he suggested he wanted to “snuff out” state legislators and gun shop owners who refuse to concede to stronger gun control measures.

    Wouldn't we all love to see them disappear much as the flame of a candle? Maybe the guy has never heard of snuff films. I'm sure that all reasonable citizens of this nation would just as soon see gun merchants and their NRA loving supporters in the congress more or less disappear from the current scene. We're talking merchants of death. I think that the "snuff film" genre belongs more to those who espouse deadly weapons than to those in the Catholic church who oppose killing.

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    1. If you want people to "disappear," and for that disappearance to be accomplished by "snuffing," as in a snuff film, you want them murdered.

      As far as I'm concerned, I hope you try it, tough guy.

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  3. "In May 2007, during a Rainbow/PUSH Coalition protest outside a suburban Chicago gun shop, Pfleger was accused of threatening the life of the owner, John Riggio. The Illinois State Rifle Association released a tape where Pfleger was heard telling the assembled crowd, "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." Pfleger later claimed his use of the phrase "snuff you out" was misinterpreted.
    Cardinal George rebuked Pfleger, saying, "Publicly delivering a threat against anyone's life betrays the civil order and is morally outrageous, especially if this threat came from a priest." Pfleger claimed that he did not intend to use the word "snuff" as a slang term for "kill", but rather as a substitute for "pull", as he used later in his statement."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Pfleger#Controversy_during_anti-gun_protests

    And in this video which has a recording of the speech, during the discussion, a statement is read that the good Father somehow is unaware that the term "snuff out" doesn't mean to kill? And this is someone who has lived in Chicago for over twenty years prior to his inflammatory speech.
    Father Pfleger is not a stranger to controversy and has managed to aise the ire of those, both liberal and conservative, though when you look at his history overall, he is following his conscience.
    I think the man meant exactly what he said, and he got his hand slapped by his boss for it. Inflammatory rhetoric however doesn't further discussion in the public arena inhabited by Pfleger and Pearson.
    The attorney in the video does have a good point. Do you think that a gun rights advocate using the term "snuff out" in a public forum could have sold the explanation the good Father used? It would have been far better to apologize for his words and admitting they were unwise

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    1. Well, it sounds like he's changed his excuse over time.

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    2. But it's OK for your gun loons to threaten his life?
      If you are chastising people for free speech why make it sound like a one sided incident? The priest was out of line, but none of you mentioned the gun loons death threats were out of line. All of it is free speech no matter how ugly, but you freedom loving gun loons apparently approve of the death threats against a priest because of what he said. Just like the gun loons who think it's fine to shoot and kill someone who threw popcorn, or was playing music to loud. You gun loons are not freedom loving Americans as you pose to be. It's your way, or no way and you will back that up with your guns.

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    3. I noticed that too Anon, back when it happened he claimed he didn't know that "snuffed out" is a slang term for kill, now he claims he meant to say an entirely different word.
      In the long run, especially in the day of YouTube where he could have easily refreshed his memory, it doesn't help with his credibility.

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    4. The two explanations are not mutually exclusive. In the early stages when he was attacked for having said "snuff" he responded by saying he didn't know what it meant. That doesn't mean he didn't misspeak.

      The whole thing is ridiculous. The man did not call for the murder of Riggio. Do you believe that's what happened?

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    5. No, I believe that he meant it metaphorically--i.e. we're going to snuff out your business, and in the case of the politicians, your careers.

      And yes, He knew exactly what he was saying, despite his changing stories. He should have just said that he meant it metaphorically, but it would have been bad for the narrative of "conservatives use violent rhetoric, we don't."

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    6. SS, you reply with another point of his supposed forgetfulness, or not knowing, but again, you can't even bring yourself to say the gun loons were wrong for their death threats the point of my comment.

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    7. "you can't even bring yourself to say the gun loons were wrong for their death threats the point of my comment."

      I did say it Anon, right here. Though perhaps you didn't notice that I mentioned the director of the state gun rights advocacy group mentioned in the article.

      "Inflammatory rhetoric however doesn't further discussion in the public arena inhabited by Pfleger and Pearson."

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    8. Anonymous, I originally thought he was exaggerating and using inflammatory language to mean put out of business or disarm. But his recent explanation makes sense too. In the context of the whole quote, it makes sense.

      In your opinion why would he change his story? What's to be gained for him? To me both explanations are equally minor on the offensive scale.

      The one thing we agree on is he didn't threaten anyone with murder. Only lying gun-rights fanatics insist on that nonsense.

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  4. Snuffy Pfleger still at it, huh? Who's he directing his violent rhetoric at now?

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  5. Well... There will always be Robert Burns' beloved poem, The Twa Dogs which speaks of the happy excursions of the Collie Luath and his friend, the noble Newfoundland, Caesar.


    Nae doubt but they were fain o' ither,
    An ' unco pack an' thick thegither;
    Wi' social nose whilst snuff'd an' snowket;
    Whilst mice and moudieworts they howket;


    So, it is true that the ancient Scottish dialects that predated our fair bard from the eighteenth century did actually use the term "snuff" to refer to a dog's sniffing. Yet, the entire problem we have at hand is most often referred to as a tempest in a teapot. The good priest has no more intention of threatening anyone with death than do I of "disappearing" dear friend, Kurt.

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    1. "Yet, the entire problem we have at hand is most often referred to as a tempest in a teapot. The good priest has no more intention of threatening anyone with death than do I of "disappearing" dear friend, Kurt."

      I agree FJ. And when you look at his history of issues that he is passionate about, you can see that his passion on this issue is his norm. But for some reason, he seems quite reluctant to take responsibility for his speech.
      He has had experience at taking this responsibility when he made some very inflammatory comments at then candidate Obama's church where he said this,

      "On May 25, 2008, Pfleger gave a sermon at Trinity United Church of Christ, then Presidential candidate Barack Obama's church, where he made controversial statements concerning Senator Hillary Clinton, Obama's opponent for the Democratic Party nomination. Pfleger said, "I really believe that she just always thought, 'This is mine. I'm Bill's wife. I'm white, and this is mine. I just gotta get up and step into the plate.' Then out of nowhere came, 'Hey, I'm Barack Obama,' and she said, 'Oh, damn! Where did you come from? I'm white! I'm entitled! There's a black man stealing my show!'" He then pretended to wipe tears from his face, a reference to Clinton's emotional speech before the New Hampshire primary, and added, "She wasn't the only one crying. There was a whole lot of white people crying."

      "After hearing about Pfleger's remarks, Obama said he was "deeply disappointed in Father Pfleger's divisive, backward-looking rhetoric". Pfleger later released a statement through St. Sabina that read, "I regret the words I chose Sunday. These words are inconsistent with Sen. Obama's life and message, and I am deeply sorry if they offended Sen. Clinton or anyone else who saw them."[23] On May 31, 2008, Obama resigned his membership in Trinity Church, saying that his campaign had caused the church to receive excessive media attention.[24] On June 1, 2008, Pfleger released a longer apology to the St. Sabina parish regarding the incident and its aftermath"

      After making these comments which caused a parishioner to feel the need to resign his membership, the Father received a two week suspension.
      While I applaud the Father's zeal and willingness to take on social issues that others might not want to address, his comments don't further addressing the issues.
      The statements by Mr. Pearson of the ISRA also don't further any meaningful dialogue. But then that likely wasn't the intent. These back and forth statements to me more resemble appearance by boxers or professional wrestlers talking trash about the opponent to stir up the audience. But then, that is the intent.

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    2. Thanks for that fascinating incident. Pfleger ran his mouth about the Cinton - Obama challenge and lived to regret it.

      Also, thanks for clearly admitting that you agree that Pfleger didn't threaten anyone with murder. I really appreciate that in spite of the fact that you're an unflagging opponent in the gun debate you have the integrity and honesty to tell the simple truth.

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  6. Tell me this, Mikeb. If someone--say Mike Vanderboegh--publicly announced that he and like-minded individuals were going to "snuff out" Obama, or some lesser anti-gun politician, would you calmly dismiss it as simply a declaration of an intention to smell him? Or if Mr. Vanderboegh's supporters offered such an explanation, would that be good enough for you?

    I think I can be forgiven for having serious doubts about any affirmative answer to either of those questions.

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    1. Answer Kurts ? Mike..or do you lack the courage to do so


      MBIAC.....

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    2. Kurt, the context in which Pfleger used the word "snuff" included three or four other mentions of looking for, and uncovering the hiding place of.

      ""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, if President Obama were hiding and running away and Mike V. said we're going to snuff you out and later claimed he meant sniff, I'd accept that.

      I'll go even further. If one of you nuts had said you were going to snuff Obama out in the context of the reelection and explained that you meant to beat him and put Romney in the White House, I'd have accepted that. I swear to God, I wouldn't insist for years, like a whiny fucking baby, that he'd threatened to murder the president.

      You know damn well that Pfleger did not mean to threaten murder, but you're such a whiny fucking baby, and so desperate for something to attack us with that you pretend to believe this ridiculous lie.

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    3. Ooh--someone sounds a little fussy today. What's wrong, Mikeb, finally seeing the futility of your forcible citizen disarmament agenda? Please continue with your anguished bleating and puerile tantrums--they make me so happy.

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    4. By the way, I must say I'm simply fascinated by this notion, Mikeb:

      So, if President Obama were hiding and running away . . .

      So Riggio was "hiding and running away," by virtue of his tending his place of business, as per his usual practice?

      So Obama would similarly be "hiding and running away," by conducting the nation's business in the Oval Office, meeting foreign dignitaries, speaking to the press, etc.?

      Oh--I realize that the equivalency can only be taken so far. Riggio, after all, is in the business of empowering people to protect their lives and liberty--clearly not Obama's gig.

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