PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Dom Giordano spoke to Father Michael Pfleger, a Catholic Priest from Chicago, on Monday about his request that a billboard featuring an assault rifle be taken down.
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The billboard advertisement shows a baseball glove, an apple pie and the rifle over the words “pure American.” There is also a Christian symbol next to the Statue of Liberty in the corner of the display.
“I respect that people have the right to own guns. What I don’t respect is the fact you’ve now made this a symbol of America. I just don’t really think we want to make assault weapons on a billboard with an apple pie, American baseball and a symbol of Christianity, calling that pure American. I find that offensive. I find it offensive that they’ve said that they chose Chicago because of the murder rate,” Pfleger said, voicing his opposition to the message and placement of the ad.
Pfleger said he is organizing a campaign to protest the billboard and wants it to be removed.
“This should be stopped…I strongly disagree as an individual, as an American citizen, and as a pastor that we want an assault weapon as a symbol of American life,” he said.
Pfleger believes the National Rifle Association is behind a push against reasonable gun restrictions and is not concerned with the damage associated with gun violence.
“There’s no responsibility. The N.R.A. has fought even universal background checks to make sure the mentally ill don’t get a gun. They N.R.A. is paid for by gun manufacturers and gun manufacturers have one thing in concern: making money.”
Slide Fire, a firearm parts manufacturer who paid for the ad, and Lamar Advertising, who owns the billboard, have both issued statements defending the controversial billboard and have thus far resisted calls for its removal.