March , 2019

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Demands baskets be pulled from shelves


By Chinta Strausberg


Saying he has a “serious problem” with K-Mart, Walgreens and other stores selling Easter baskets that include toy guns, Saint Sabina’s Father Michael L. Pfleger Tuesday called for their removal especially in one of the holiest seasons of the Christian religion.

During bible study, Pfleger held up several Easter Baskets that clearly showed toy guns included in the candy and toy-filled saran-wrapped packages that were made in China. They contained warnings that said, “Warning: Choking Hazard – Small Parts Not for children under 3 years.”

The Easter Jubilee baskets, for the age group 3+, cautioned: “Remove attachments, hang tag, and packaging materials before giving to children” and warned the contents may contain splinters.  Some of the items were made in the USA, some in the USA and Canada, Mexico and others in China.

Holding up the baskets, Pfleger said, “I don’t think we need toy guns in Easter baskets. I have a serious problem with that,” he told his students.

Pfleger said after he objected to the selling of the inclusion of toy guns in these Easter baskets, he said the Sears Holding Company, which owns K-Mart, called him. He wants these stores to pull the baskets from the shelves, and Pfleger asked his bible study students to check the stores and also to demand their removal.

To confirm his suspicions that giving children toy guns could make them immune to violence, Pfleger said he called noted black psychiatrist Dr. Carl Bell who agreed that giving toy guns to children could be a subliminal message that guns are acceptable and a normal part of life. 

Reached in New York, Dr. Bell said, “It is extremely bizarre to put toy guns in children’s Easter baskets; it borders on psychotic thought process. I cannot see the logic in this act and to me it suggests moral bankruptcy.”

Pfleger agreed saying, “Just like candy cigarettes” given to children,  they can easily move to the real cigarettes.” He said the same would be true of giving children toy guns. “If you get used to pointing toy guns, it makes you less sensitive when you point a gun at a real person.”

He was outraged that these packages containing toy guns would be sold as Easter baskets—around one of the holiest weeks in the Christian religion.  It is a time when Jesus rose from the dead after his crucifixion and at the ending of Lent which ends a 40-day period where Christians fast, pray and celebration of Resurrection Sunday. It is a day of peace.

Pfleger has a problem with toy guns being mixed in with children’s Easter baskets since the flood of illegal guns in Chicago and across the nation represent a major problem in the communities given the increased shootings and including the killings of innocent children.

Pfleger asked the students to do their own investigations to see which stores were selling the baskets and to demand that they be pulled from the shelves.

After bible study, this journalist stopped by Walgreens at 55th and Lake Park and spotted several baskets containing toy guns. When asked that they be removed, the night manager gave me a card and asks that I send a letter to Michael Kampe, store manager, Walgreen Co., 1554 E. 55th Street, Chicago, IL 60615, asking him to pull the baskets or call him at 773-667-1177. She said I could also fax a letter demanding that the baskets be pulled at: 773-947-0226.

According to Wikipedia, Walgreens Company operates 8,270 stores in America, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The headquarters for this area is located at 200 Wilmot Road, Deerfield, IL 60015, and the number is: 847-914-2500.

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

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