Billboard featuring baseball mitt, apple pie and assault rifle sparks controversy

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Gun control activists want a billboard hovering over the Stevenson Expressway taken down.

“I was  insulted, angry when I saw it,” Father Michael Pfleger said.

The sign can be seen on eastbound Interstate 55 near Central Avenue.

It features a baseball mitt, an apple pie and an assault rifle, all above the words “Pure American.”

Father Pfleger, pastor for St. Sabina on the south side, is too familiar with how gun violence consumes his south side community.  He’s been working years to beat the statistics and has marched tirelessly in the streets to be heard. This billboard, paid for by Slide Fire, a TEXAS firearms parts manufacturer, doesn’t help his cause, he says.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the group called Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America says it’s exposing children to a harmful message.

The billboard company, Lamar Advertising, says the rifle company has a First Amendment right to advertise.




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  • Zane Adamson

    You cannot take away others rights to free speech because you don't like it. And that's what sets bad example for your kids, not guns or anything else you don't like. Talk to your kids and be a parent instead of trying to make any mistake they make someone else's fault.

  • Brian

    What is this "harmful message"? It tells me that I have the right to protect myself, my family, and my belongings just as much as I have the right to enjoy a ball game this summer!

  • keeping real

    I'm an American and DAV from gulf war!!! freedom!!! go to Russia or China!! and that idiot white power you are a monkey dude!!!

  • Mark

    I love it when I see a bunch of obvious down-staters or suburb people commenting on issues that involve the City of Chicago – situations that they have no frame of reference for. Leave the comfort of your double-wides downstate or mansions in Barrington and spend a day on the south/west sides and we'll see if you have an issue with that sign.

    • Camjacked

      Why do you have an issue with the sign? Your comment seems to imply that somehow, the message is contributing to Crime or some other negative aspect of your Community.

    • From Anywhere

      So are you saying that you don't think a public discussion about the intersection of first amendment rights and commercial speech involving its emotional impact on a community are applicable to people outside of Chicago?

      As an aside, no need to name call people who are different than you.

      • Michael

        No one should have to surrender their rights, whether it be the right to own a firearm or any other right just to satisfy someone else's emotional state. If you don't like guns, don't own one, speaking for myself, I will more then happily keep mine.

  • dan

    Chiraq doesn't have a gun violence problem they have a GANG- violence problem and chiraq does not deserve preferential treatment just because they think their so special

  • Scott

    I have only one thing to say. I would support any group that stands behind this texas company. It is our second amendment right to own guns. The problem with chicago isn't the guns its the fact the guns are in the wrong hands and the communist mayor wants to make it difficult for law abiding citizens to have guns.

  • D-man

    I'm really getting tired of WGN's continued inflammatory language about our rights. More outrage from FF? Get your own house in order, FF. When is WGN going to get the clowns out of the morning news program so the anchors can do their jobs? Where is FF's outrage over the morning comedian's pulling his shirt tail out through his fly to make an obscene reference?

  • syzito

    Assault rifle…….Give a definition of what that is? Looks,Action,Color. What exactly is an assault rifle? Don't have a clue do you,you only parrot what you hear from Democrats.

  • Beth

    Why are people outraged? This IS America now. This is what American's want or it would change. The kooks have taken over.

  • Joey

    A picture of a rifle does not have an effect on real-life violence. It's a picture. If people want to address the violence in Chicago, they should be focused on the high school dropout rate, broken families, teen pregnancy, gang involvement, and illegal drug use instead of an advertisement for a type of gun used in less than 2% of crimes.

  • JC_ IN_KC

    This is the USA… If you don’t like guns, then exercise your right as an American and feel free to leave this Country, and go live in a gun controlled country.

  • GlocKitty

    Excuse me stupid communist media and other communist Lieberals Their is no such thing as a assault rifle, assault style riffle or any other freaking variant. Who are you stinking LIEberals to say what America is? You contribute NOTHING but disgusting garbage and PS the pResident's home town is mombasa KENYA 

  • biglou13

    It's now very common to hear people say,"I'm rather offended by that." as if it gives them certain rights. It's no more than a whine. It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. "I'm offended by that." Well, so f**king what? – Stephen Fry

  • Robert V.

    What harmful message, apple pies are harmful!?!

    Guns have been part of history since they were created, they’re not going anywhere!

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