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Pfleger: Easter Baskets With Toy Guns Must Go

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Rev. Michael Pfleger leads an anti-violence march through the Gresham neighborhood, four days after a 22-year-old man was shot and killed a few blocks away from St. Sabina Parish. (Credit: CBS)

Rev. Michael Pfleger leads an anti-violence march through the Gresham neighborhood, four days after a 22-year-old man was shot and killed a few blocks away from St. Sabina Parish. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s time for buying Easter baskets for children, but the outspoken Rev. Michael Pfleger would liked some changes in the items being included in some of baskets.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, some Easter baskets sold at K-Mart, Walgreens, Toys ‘R’ Us, Wal-Mart, Meijer and other stores include toy guns. Pfleger would like to see the toy guns removed.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports


“With all the gun violence in our city and nation, why do we want to make our children comfortable with playing and pointing toy guns at each other. And then to wrap it in an Easter Basket.. Give me a break!” Pfleger writeson his Facebook page. “If you also have a problem, please tell the Managers of any store you see it in to please REMOVE them. We have POWER , we are the CONSUMERS!!!”

Pfleger has written to K-Mart to ask that the toy guns be taken out of baskets.

On his Facebook page, Pfleger urges others who believe as he does to tell the managers of stores to remove Easter baskets with toy guns from their shelves.

The toys in question are plastic water guns or Nerf dart shooters in sizes ranging from pistol- to nearly rifle-length, contained in Easter baskets sold by the retailer for prices starting at $9.99.

“As a Christian, I’m insulted that Kmart or any store would use this celebration of life to have images of guns in Easter baskets, encouraging parents to buy them for their children,” Pfleger said. “But equally important is that any 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.”

As of Wednesday morning, 17 people had chimed in on Facebook page. None of them favored the idea of toy guns in Easter baskets.

“They have been putting guns in Easter baskets for years since I was kid, my son was a kid and he is 23. I never understood it then and even more now,” one woman wrote.

“I just don’t understand what Easter egg hunt needs a gun, what celebration of our Lords Resurrection requires a gun, what part of spring says ‘we need a gun for our child,’” another poster wrote. “This is so strange.”

Chris Brathwaite, a spokesman for K-Mart parent company Sears Holdings, tells the Chicago Sun-Times the retailer respects customers’ opinions, but the guns are clearly marked as water toys.

The Chicago Sun-Times contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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