With the high rate of Chicago Public School children killed this school year, Father Pfleger, Pastor of St. Sabina Church, has put the American Flag upside down on a pole outside of St. Sabina Church and School on 7801 S. Throop to bring national attention to over 35 children killed by gun violence.
According to a letter from Father Pfleger, emergency steps were taken around the country to respond to the swine flu, but “Why can’t we have the same kind of national consciousness about gun violence” Pfleger asked? “In the last couple of weeks, we saw this national consciousness and direction about the swine flu. Every school was given information and what to talk about. Every city and state was being educated about it…
“The issue of violence is a complex issue. We have got to be as aggressive about this [gun violence issue] as we are about the swine flu,” he said.
“There is a lot of finger pointing where people are blaming the parents, police, and the government,” he mentioned. Banning assault weapons and teaching conflict resolution on a regular basis offer some solutions, he added. “We need to look at the positive alternatives for young people,” he said.
Pfleger, who received mixed reviews about the upside down flag, with some calling him unpatriotic and with others supporting him, said he’s urging everyone in the community to hang the American Flag upside down in protest against gun violence.
“We have to know where our children are and who they are with. People need to check their homes and make sure no one is hiding a gun in it. Communities need to send a message. If you shoot and kill, you are an enemy to this community. We will turn you in to law enforcement. There has to be a standard so that people understand.”
“We have to be as aggressive about this as we are about the flu,” he said. “There is an aggressive approach about swine flu, but we are laid back about children dying.”
Responding to the growing concern over gun violence and children dying, St. Sabina School has begun holding school year round which helps keep students involved in positive activities.
Pfleger suggests gun ownership should be treated like cars that are tracked right from the manufacturer. “Cars are tracked from person-to-person. Why can’t we do that with guns? We can control who gets guns, but we choose not to,” he said.