Nerf: The gateway to violence? Seriously?

So a Catholic priest,  one Michael Pfleger of Chicago, is outraged, outraged, that KMart, a large retailer, is selling… toy NERF guns. He wrote a fulminating letter calling down the Wrath of God on KMart executives, and of course published the letter as a press release and gave an interview to the Chicago Sun-Times. In the letter he wrote:

With the increasing gun violence in Chicago and across this country, I am amazed that you would choose to offer toy guns to our children to make them comfortable with playing with them.

Of course, “gun violence” is only increasing in Pfleger’s mind. Across the country, violent crime is down, and academics agree on that, although they can’t agree whether it’s despite of or because of a great increase in legal gun carrying nationwide. Pfleger’s a controversy magnate, as well, suspended in 2008, and on record that America is, quote, the “greatest sin against God.” The reason for Pfleger’s suspension is unclear. The above linked story suggests it was for “racially-charged remarks” about Hillary Clinton, but in this story the Cardinal suggested that Pfleger may have more serious problems:

Pfleger framed the offer to be reassigned to Leo High School as being “removed” from St. Sabina.

[The cardinal[ added that Pfleger should know that priests are only “removed” when they’re found to have sexually abused a minor child or are guilty of financial malfeasance.

In any event, Pfleger is back in charge of the same parish, making new waves.

KMart politely blew off the political priest, who is very much a part of the Chicago Machine. From that same Sun-Times article:

“We respect the opinions of our customers,” Chris Brathwaite, spokesman for Sears Holdings, Kmart’s parent company, said Tuesday. “However, we believe these items are clearly packaged as water toys and are almost identical to items sold by many other retailers.”

In other words, “you’re entitled to your opinion, however backward or childish it may be.” The reply, and the discovery that other retailers did indeed stock the toys both individually and — to Pfleger’s greater outrage — in Easter baskets for children, set Pfleger off even further. “[M]y anger on it is double,” he told the paper. He blamed the NERF guns for the drug-crime-related shooting of a 22-year-old “child” near his church.

“[A]ny psychiatrist will tell you a child who gets comfortable playing with toy guns and pointing them at people as a child becomes comfortable picking them up as an adult. In a nation that’s plagued with gun violence, neither Kmart nor any other store should be selling guns in Easter baskets to our kids.”

Hey, we played with war toys as kids and it never influenced us.

The political website Hot Air took the mickey out of the situation in Nerf: The gateway gun?

Seriously?  The candy in the Easter baskets are more dangerous than the Nerf guns and water pistols. 

Well, especially when it’s a Catholic priest offering you the candy, kid. Let’s look at the numbers, to date:

Number of kids killed by NERF guns like the one in the picture: zero.

Number of kids buggered by Catholic priests like Michael Pfleger: 10,000 plus (the Church reluctantly admits to having identified 3,000 perv priests in this Reuters interview, but doesn’t say how many kids each perv raped. In some publically-known cases, one priest diddled dozens). In comments, the Church says that only 1.5-5% of its priests are pervs intent on underage boys. To quote from Dirty Harry: do you feel lucky?

Conclusion: your kid is much safer getting his candy out of the Easter basket with the NERF gun,  than from Michael Pfleger.

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