I know I keep talking about this (also here), but I'm still not quite ready to drop "Father" Michael Pfleger's call to "snuff out" gun shop owner John Riggio, along with unnamed pro-rights legislators. Here in the U.S., we're just not accustomed to the clergy advocating murder. This isn't Moqtada al-Sadr chanting some variation on "Death to America"--this is an American born and raised Catholic priest calling for murder.
Some might claim that Pfleger didn't really mean that Riggio and Pfleger's enemies in the legislature should be killed. In fact, one of his minions makes just that claim
Vince Clark, a spokesman for Pfleger, told Cybercast News Service Wednesday that the pastor wasn't aware of the violent connotation of "snuff" and didn't mean to threaten bodily harm.So, Vince, just what did the good Father think "snuff" means? There are, admittedly, some definitions of the verb form of "snuff" that do not mean "to kill." It can also mean to "sniff," or "inhale." Maybe that's what Pfleger meant: "We're going to drag John Riggio from his shop like a rat, and sniff (or inhale) him." Doesn't really make much sense, does it? Snuff can also mean "to extinguish." The problem with that is, when one is talking about a living being, "extinguishing" is pretty synonymous with killing (unless, I suppose, the person to be extinguished happens to be on fire, in which case extinguishing him would presumably be doing him a favor--but that's clearly not what's going on here). So, I ask again, what did the suddenly English-challenged Father think "snuff" means?
"I've never heard that compared before with the word murder," Clark said. "He [Pfleger] was never aware of that. If that was the case he would never have used that language."
As it turns out, Vince has an answer to that question.
Clark said Pfleger's use of the word "was meaning 'to expose' but to do no bodily harm." He said the backlash from gun rights advocates is "uncalled for, but they're going to take the angle that they desire.""Expose," eh? Now that's a . . . creative way to use the word "snuff." So could a flasher be said to have "snuffed himself"? While we're at it, what exactly would Pfleger be "exposing" about Riggio--the fact that he is a gun dealer? Riggio hasn't exactly tried to hide that fact (which would, after all, not be particularly good for business). He is even in the Yellow Pages. I also could not help but notice that Clark says that condemning Pfleger's vile rhetoric is "uncalled for." Calling for the "snuffing out" of a man who makes his living and feeds his family on the profits from a legal business of which you disapprove is perfectly acceptable, but expressing outrage over incitement to murder is "uncalled for"?
If I were the type with a propensity for intemperate speech, I might call Vince Clark a lying motherpflucker.
Also see: The War on Guns: The Pfleger Cover-Up Begins