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Jesse Jackson Ally Calls for "Snuffing Out" Gun Store Owner:

The Second Amendment Foundation is complaining about this incident:

Chuck's Gun Shop, 14310 S. Indiana Ave., was the target of the protest [march led by Jesse Jackson]. The protesters blamed Chuck's, which is just across the border from Chicago, for many of the guns on the city's streets....

Jackson and Revs. James Meeks and Michael Pfleger encouraged the crowd to push for stricter gun laws. They vowed that the rally was just the beginning and that civil disobedience was possible....

The SAF reports,

In a stunning audio recording of Pfleger's remarks, the pastor of St. Sabina's Church can clearly be heard stating, "John Riggio ... we're going to find you and snuff you out." Moments later, Pfleger added, "We're going to snuff out John Riggio, we're going to snuff out legislators that are voting ... against our gun laws and we're coming for you because we are not going to sit idly."

The SAF argues that this is a death threat, and demands that the Justice Department investigate Pfleger for this.

My sense, from having listened to the audio, is that Pfleger meant "snuff out" as referring to lawfully driving Pfleger out of business using protest and social condemnation. This is a public, peaceful rally. The speaker does not have a history of violence. The surrounding statements relate to political actions. I know of no pro-gun-control violence against gun store owners; a statement such as this might be interpreted differently against the backdrop of such violence.

And of course whether something is intended to be understood, and is likely to be understood, as a threat does turn on context. The newspaper story, for instance, further reports: "About 30 counterprotesters stood outside the store. One man carried a sign that read, 'Jesse — How many armed guards do you have?'" In some situations, "How many armed guards do you have?" might be a threat, suggesting that you don't have enough guards to protect you against my retaliation. In this situation, it pretty clearly means "Isn't it unfair that you employ armed guards, but you're not respectful enough of law-abiding citizens' rights to arm themselves to guard themselves?"

This having been said, "snuff out" does seem like a pretty poor choice of words, since it sometimes means "kill," especially when used about a particular person. "Let's snuff out Jesse Jackson," for instance, would likely convey at least a possibility of physical menace, and a considerably stronger possibility than involved in the "armed guards" statement (which might be interpreted as threatening, but only with a good deal more indirection).

It's ambiguous enough that, in many contexts, people should understand it as likely not being a threat. But the ambiguity also suggests that it may rightly, and needlessly, worry people who think a less benign meaning is intended. Nor is there even the justification that there's something particularly logically or rhetorically apt about the statement that makes it an especially valuable way of conveying the message.

I see little justification in general for trying to drive out of business a particular gun store, at least in the absence of some evidence — and none is mentioned in the newspaper article — that it is somehow unusually lax in, say, checking buyers' backgrounds or stopping obvious straw purchases. That the gun store is particularly near Chicago is hardly justification itself; driving it out of business would simply require criminals to go a little further down the road. But at least there is a plausible argument to be had on these points. There seems to me no justification for putting the debate in terms often associated with murder.

UPDATE: Reader Brett Bellmore suggests that the call might be for illegal "civil disobedience" as well as legal protesting and social pressure; the article says, "Jackson and Revs. James Meeks and Michael Pfleger encouraged the crowd to push for stricter gun laws. They vowed that the rally was just the beginning and that civil disobedience was possible." I hadn't focused on possible civil disobedience against the gun store (I suppose a sit-in at a gun store would be conceivable but rather unusual). But if such action does turn from "possible" to "real," for instance involving blocking the door of the store or some such, then the action would indeed be illegal.

John (mail):
Hah. Just try using that language about the President, or Speaker of the House. Or to an airport security employee.

I wonder how the audience took those "snuff" remarks. Were they experienced in candle extinguishing?
5.29.2007 7:36pm
Joshua:
This is more than a little reminiscent over the debates over the meaning of another word with both violent and non-violent connotations, namely "jihad".
5.29.2007 7:52pm
Steve:
Is there any kind of context? You wouldn't normally pick the verbiage "snuff out" from a clear blue sky, although maybe the phrase is in vogue of late and I just didn't notice. But if it's some kind of play on words or a response to a slogan used by the other side or what have you, that would make a lot more sense.
5.29.2007 7:52pm
Bill Dyer (mail) (www):
Yeah, right.

If we're talking about a candle, it means one thing. If we're talking about a person, it means something else indeed — and indeed, there is only one generally understood meaning of the word "snuff" when used with respect to a person.

Or would you suggest that if someone offers to sell you a "snuff flick," it's really a movie about lawfully boycotting and picketing?

I think what you really mean, Prof. V, is that you interpret this as a death threat that you don't take very seriously. And you may be right that it ought not be taken seriously. But it is a death threat on its face, whether the maker subjectively intended it as that or not.
5.29.2007 7:55pm
Specast:
Eugene, I think the title of your post ("Jesse Jackson Ally Calls for "Snuffing Out" Gun Store Owner") is more than a little unfair. Why tie Jesse Jackson to the statement of another speaker, one who, according to the audio, spoke after Jackson did? There does not appear to be any evidence that Jackson endorsed the term "snuff out." The Chicago Tribute article you linked to reports him "exhort[ing] the crowd" with the chant "Futures not funerals!" You may not agree with his his political position, but you have to admit Jackson is clearly advocating non-violence.

I also think the term "ally" implies a stronger relationship between the two pastors -- and, more importantly, between Jackson and the phrase "snuff out" -- than is shown by the article or the audio. To say that the US and USSR were allies in WWII is not at all to suggest that the US endorsed all of the USSR's conduct during that war. (I realize that example is very attackable, but it's all I could come up with on short notice. You get my point.)

"Snuff out" was a very poor choice of words, but those words are Mr. Phleger's responsibility, not Mr. Jackson's. I also point out that, right before uttering that unfortunate phrase, Mr. Phleger exhorted the crowd toward "civil disobedience." In context, as you note, I think the attendees understood Mr. Phleger to be advocating strident, but non-violent, action.
5.29.2007 8:04pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
Steve: I think I linked to the audio; have a listen, if you'd like.

Bill Dyer: Even "slaughter" and "kill" may in context not be a death threat; consider, "we're going to slaughter the other team," or "we're going to kill the competition" (assuming you're not the Sopranos). My sense from listening to the audio is that they are talking mostly about lawful political action; maybe I'm wrong, but you can't tell just by looking at the words "snuff him out."
5.29.2007 8:05pm
Kovarsky (mail):
Also, keep in mind that "snuff" and "sniff" have different connotations, but are frequently mixed up. Things that say something to the effect of "we're gonna find you" suggest that he means he's going to find them.

I think the more likely explanation is that he meant to say "snuff," without full awareness that the term can mean to kill (it can also just mean "to extinguish"). Either way, the idea that this is a publicly announced death threat is silly.

Also, like Eugene, I see little justification for trying to drive a store out of business without evidence, but I also see little argument for why it would be illegal to do so.
5.29.2007 8:11pm
neurodoc:
My sense, from having listened to the audio, is that Pfleger meant "snuff out" as referring to lawfully driving Pfleger out of business using protest and social condemnation. This is a public, peaceful rally. The speaker does not have a history of violence. The surrounding statements relate to political actions. I know of no pro-gun-control violence against gun store owners; a statement such as this might be interpreted differently against the backdrop of such violence.

What is meant by "does not have a history of violence." Would we say that Reverend Sharpton has no "history of violence" because to our knowledge he has never personally inflicted physical harm on anyone, when he has certainly stirred the pot on a number of occasions (Crown Heights, Freddies, the Korean grocery), with innocents then suffering violence, including death? (I have in mind the "former" Reverend Al, not the "current" Reverend Al who was one of the Democratic candidates for president in 2004.)
5.29.2007 8:15pm
Kovarsky (mail):
I think what you really mean, Prof. V, is that you interpret this as a death threat that you don't take very seriously. And you may be right that it ought not be taken seriously. But it is a death threat on its face, whether the maker subjectively intended it as that or not.

Bill, the point is not that it's a death threat that is not to be taken seriously, it's that in light of the context in which the statement appears and the multiple meanings of the term "snuff", it's difficult to argue that it was a death threat. Schilling saying "We're gonna kill the Yankees" this weekend is a "death threat on its face" according to that logic, even though that's clearly not what Schilling means (although he is almost certainly correct in what he means to convey, which is that the Yanks are terrible).
5.29.2007 8:15pm
HSH (mail):
Who cares if Jesse Jackson protests in front of Chuck's Gun Shop? Who cares if the sun shines in Abu Dhabi?

There is nothing a protester hates more than being ignored. Now we have the SAF all fired up and we're discussing it on the most important and influential blog of the last century. Can an editorial in the WSJ be far behind?

Is the death threat a serious one? No.
Was the choice of words deliberate? Yes.

I don't know what the law in Illinois is on such questions and I don't know what it should be. But I know that any reaction is an over-reaction. Yes, I know what irony means.
5.29.2007 8:16pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
Unless I'm mistaken, Jackson introduced Pfleger; the march was led by Jackson, and featured Pfleger as well as Jackson as two of three speakers; Pfleger and Jackson have worked in the past on various projects (see, for instance, here and here). That's why I called Pfleger as an ally of Jackson's.
5.29.2007 8:28pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
“We are going to find you and snuff you out.” Sure sounds like a death threat to me. Even if the speaker really didn’t mean it as a death threat, most of that crowd is likely to interpret it as such. If someone screamed in my face, “I’m going to snuff you out,” I would take it as a death threat and act accordingly.

So here we are in 21st Century America where a teen girl is arrested and held without bail for condemning homosexuality, while public threats on people’s lives go (as yet) unpunished. Of course it’s all about race. If you are white you get arrested, if you are black you get a pass.
5.29.2007 8:32pm
Brett Bellmore:
How do you square "lawfully drive out of business" and, "They vowed that the rally was just the beginning and that civil disobedience was possible...."?

My understanding is that civil disobedience generally refers to unlawful activities.

BTW, I'm with Dwyer: I'm unaware of any use of "snuff" in connection with a person which doesn't imply killing them. The death threat may have been empty rhetoric, but it was indeed a death threat.
5.29.2007 8:37pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
Brett Bellmore: Hmm; you may be right, I hadn't focused on the civil disobedience against the gun store (I suppose a sit-in at a gun store would be possible, but rather unusual), but if it involves trespass -- say, blocking the door or some such -- then that indeed would be illegal.
5.29.2007 8:53pm
Milhouse (www):
Eugene, can you point to even one example of a usage of "snuff [a person] out" that clearly does not mean "kill"?

What about the threat to "drag you out" from where Riggio is "hiding like a rat"? Doesn't that clearly imply a lynch mob? As I hear the speech, that is exactly what he is threatening. "Right now we're protesting peacefully, but if you don't give in to our demands, next time we'll bring the pitchforks".
5.29.2007 9:29pm
big dirigible (mail) (www):
As applied to a business, "snuff" is incoherent. As applied to a person, the meaning is plain, and it ain't good. In sports, the meaning would be benign, but of course this is not such a context.
5.29.2007 9:30pm
neurodoc:
Right or wrong in the way he goes about things, Father Pfleger seems to a very different person from Reverend Al. I didn't mean to suggest otherwise.

Here is something about Pfleger's campaigns against liquor stores he thinks exploit poor neighborhoods:

http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/
pages/1238.html (drop the space)



[I use the "link" function, pasting in there the address I wish to link to and getting the ", but it doesn't turn into a workable link.]
5.29.2007 9:31pm
whit:
i gotta agree about snuff out. there are few words with less ambiguity than when you say you are going to SNUFF an individual out.

it means to kill them.

not to mention saying so makes it a hoplophobic hate crime!!! :l

granted, it was a speech, and i think you give a bit more latitude for oration than when you are telling somebody you are going to snuff them out to their face... but still.

at a minimum, it's a VERY VERY poor choice of words.

and i've seen protective orders issued based on similar types of threats, certainly.

but i think it's pretty silly.

context means a lot, and i really don't see this as a "true threat".

if the gun store owner had said he was going to "snuff out" jesse jackson or the pastor, would there be outrage? of course. but gun store owners are "evul", so it's ok to say you are going to snuff them out, don't ya know?
5.29.2007 9:33pm
Rob C.:
I've actually purchased guns at Chuck's Gun Shop; small storefront business, been in business at least 40 years, family owned, very police-sales oriented; not the kind of people to have anything to do with illegal gun sales if they could help it. But it's the closest gun shop to Jesse Jackson's South Side power base, so the circus comes to town.
5.29.2007 9:35pm
Brett Bellmore:
I'd add that a good friend of mine is currently rotting in jail for a 'threat' which was clearly unserious, nothing more than a joke. It's a pity the gun store isn't run by Scientologists...
5.29.2007 9:37pm
William Spieler (mail) (www):
I always thought that civil disobedience was the act of breaking an unjust law in order to highlight the very injustice of the law itself. Exactly what law that they feel is unjust could the anti-gun protesters break? Conducting a sit-in was civil disobedience because the very act that they were doing, namely sitting down in a whites-only establishment, was both illegal and the thing that they wanted not to be illegal.
5.29.2007 9:43pm
William Spieler (mail) (www):
I guess I'm a little unhappy that civil disobedience has lost all meaning.

As a linguistic aside, "snuff out" brings to mind Rocky and Mugsy, but that's probably because I was raised on old Bugs Bunny cartoons.
5.29.2007 9:46pm
armchairpunter (mail):
One wonders whether RICO charges will be pursued against the protesters if they engage in a pattern of intimidation directed at depriving gun shop customers of their (express) constitutional right to bear arms. No doubt the ACLU will be along shortly to make sure gun purchasers are given a proper buffer zone as they enter and exit Chuck's.
5.29.2007 9:49pm
Maureen001 (mail):
Perhaps there is no real threat of violence from the good reverend when he proclaims "we are going to find you and snuff you out", but if that isn't an incitement to violence, I don't know what is. Thank heavens no one in the crowd took that to be an invitation, at least not at that time. I'd sure take a different look at things if some fool does take it upon himself/herself to try to snuff out Mr. Riggio.

I agree: Snuffing out a candle is nonviolent. Snuffing out a person is violent in the extreme, and the threat to do so is clearly a threat to be taken seriously.
5.29.2007 9:54pm
Sebastian (mail) (www):
I think it was a pretty poor choice of words. I would hope it's not a literal death threat, but I don't think that's entirely clear to the listener, even if Pfleger was just spewing rhetoric. The only things working in his favor here are that it's a non-violent rally, and one would hope someone in Pfleger's position would have a better sense of decency.

After the recent incident in my state where pro-gun protesters held a sign saying a state representative who introduced a registration scheme should be "hung from the tree of liberty", I'm glad to see the other side has bozos too.
5.29.2007 9:58pm
gasman (mail):
'Snuff out' literally means to me to snuff a candle flame. The only other context under which I have heard it used was to mean to kill someone.
In this case 'snuff out' when used by a black man against a white man is somehow supposed to seem more benign and less threatening than if a white man (hood optional) were to comment upon 'snuffing out' a black man.
The speaker knew exactly what he was saying. Black men have some unfortunate experience with this; they cannot argue ignorance.
5.29.2007 10:03pm
Avatar (mail):
I'm personally wondering where they're going to find a group of people to commit "civil disobedience" against a gun store. If ever there's a guarantee that the aggrieved party is going to have (lots of) weapons and ammunition close to hand...
5.29.2007 10:04pm
dwlawson (www):
I'm more of the mind that he is guilty of attempting to incite violence against the owner...especially since he very deliberately spelled out the owner's name. I wonder that he didn't give out his home address as well.

If it does turn out that someone attempts violence on the owner, I'd expect incitement charges brought up against Pflegler and certainly civil action.

I was there at the rally. There certainly did not appear to be any threat of violence in the demeanor of the crowd, but that is cold comfort when outnumbered and disarmed (it's Illinois after all).
5.29.2007 10:13pm
Andrew Okun:
I'd add that a good friend of mine is currently rotting in jail for a 'threat' which was clearly unserious, nothing more than a joke. It's a pity the gun store isn't run by Scientologists...

Yikes! That is terrifying. There's goes my idea for a camping trip in Joshua Tree.
5.29.2007 10:18pm
Daniel950:
So to recap:

Distribute a flyer condemning homosexuality: A felony charge and denied bail while awaiting trial.

Threaten to "snuff out" someone: A misunderstanding.

I see. This country is so freaking doomed.
5.29.2007 10:25pm
dwlawson (www):
Seriously though I think the uproar is more about embarassing the main stream media in Chicago who don't even seem to make a pretense of reporting accurately.

They went out of their way to try to get the Gun Store owner or counter protesters to say something silly yet avoid lay-ups from the other side.

NBC5.com (
I know that the media is not required to report actual news, but didn't they used to at least pretend to be unbiased?
5.29.2007 10:32pm
dwlawson (www):
Sorry, posting error:

Seriously though I think the uproar is more about embarassing the main stream media in Chicago who don't even seem to make a pretense of reporting accurately.

They went out of their way to try to get the Gun Store owner or counter protesters to say something silly yet avoid lay-ups from the other side.

NBC5.com (http://www.nbc5.com/news/13397325/detail.html)even had the nerve to report that the counter protesters were 'playing with guns" in the store.

I know that the media is not required to report actual news, but didn't they used to at least pretend to be unbiased?
5.29.2007 10:33pm
Mark Field (mail):
Since no one else has bothered to post a dictionary definition of "snuff", I thought I'd contribute one:

Main Entry: 2snuff
Function: transitive verb
1 : to crop the snuff of (a candle) by pinching or by the use of snuffers so as to brighten the light
2 a : to extinguish by or as if by the use of a candlesnuffer — often used with out b : to make extinct : put an end to — usually used with out (an accident that snuffed out a life)


Note that definition 2b can be used to mean "kill", but does not necessarily have that meaning.
5.29.2007 10:38pm
Rob Crocker (mail):
I'd have to vote against your interpretation on this one. The extra context of "we're going to find you and..." seems to make this a much more personal threat. I mean they were rallying in front of the store in question, if they meant they were going to just run the store out of business then why the "we're going to find you" part?

Now I think all reasonable people would agree that he didn't actually mean to threaten him with death but the rhetoric was certainly way too heated there.
5.29.2007 10:46pm
Kim du Toit (mail) (www):
Sorry, I'm not buying it. If I said that I was going to "snuff out" Jesse Jackson or GWB, I'd shortly be getting visits from not-so-polite young men wearing badges.

At best, this moron reverend is guilty of using inflammatory language accidentally.

At worst, he's calling for violence against another person.

There are no other options.
5.29.2007 11:00pm
Chester White (mail):

Good God, man, do you not remember Freddie's Fashion Mart and the "Reverend Al?" I lived in the city of Chicago for 7 years and now in a 'burb for 5, and I GUARANTEE you the crowd down there sure as hell does.

If Pfleger (a super-prick from what I can tell) had wanted to say "We will run you out of business" or some such, he would have. "Snuff" has a very specific meaning here.

This extreme parsing of what some rabble-rousers egging on a crowd might have conceivably meant, or did mean, or might maybe mean, with reference to some dictionary is ludicrous. It was a strong, serious threat to life and property and everybody around here knows it.

You just watch.
5.29.2007 11:18pm
logicnazi (mail) (www):
Wow, people are trying really really hard to force this remark into the threat category. Ultimately remarks about what 'snuff' means or analogies to other words (kill etc..) aren't really that persuasive. What really matters is if someone gave the exact same speech about you would you think they intended to kill you? Especially coming from a public figure the idea that a reasonable person would infer they were actually calling for the mass murder of legislators and this gun store owner is absurd.

Suppose tomorrow you read a news story that said Pfleger was to meet with a pro-gun legislator at his (Pfleger's) home. Am I to take it that all of you who think it was a real threat would call up the police or at east the legislator's staff if you thought they might not have heard about the speech.

Now I could interpret this as merely a good faith difference about where to draw the threat line if people were also calling out the pro-gun protesters for their 'threat.' I certainly would feel more threatened by the comment about bodyguards. Especially given it was made by a non-famous member of a pro-gun group. I know that most pro-gun individuals are reasonable law-abiding folk, I'm even going shooting next weekend, but mixed in with them are a few fanatical paranoid gun nuts. I mean no matter how much you think gun ownership reduces overall crime knowing that someone has a gun should increase your subjective probability they will shoot you. Heck, even if you dispute this claim the mere fact that a large percentage of the American public understands pro-gun protesters to be crazies who like to shoot people creates a context where this remark is more threatening.

Of course I think the only reasonable position to take is that neither of them are threats. I mean maybe the person writing up the bodyguard sign had a chuckle about the double meaning but it still doesn't rise to the level of a real threat.

---

Also the criticism of this remark seems a bit harsh. Did he deliver an optimally clear speech? No, but few people even politicians do. So what if he made a poor choice of words. It isn't like this is a big deal.

As far as targeting this individual gun owner without proof he is being particularly lax it may very well be a good idea. Sure, if you were a law enforcement group with a mandate to fairly enforce the law you might not go after him but as the leader of a political movement your goals are somewhat different. Noticeable success breeds more support and energy for your cause so crushing one gun seller may do more for your ultimate goal than halting bad sales at a dozen stores.

Additionally the effect on gun owners from believing that your movement might reduce all gun sales by some minor amount is very different from the belief that their is a small chance you will target them and knock them entirely out of business. I mean people react a lot differently to being told something costs $50 and being told that it costs nothing for 999/1000 people but there is a 1/1000 chance that we take your house.
5.29.2007 11:30pm
logicnazi (mail) (www):
Note I suspect the SAF's ultimate goals are probably no better thought out than most of the ridiculous calls for banning assault weapons or other emotion driven anti-gun demands. I was just commenting on strategy.
5.29.2007 11:32pm
dwlawson (www):
This is Chicago we are talking about try:
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=snuff


1. (verb) To kill, assasinate, destroy, murder.
2. (adj.) A real (not staged) filmed murder; usually of raping and killing a woman. In some cases it is viewed for sexual arousal.

1. A lot of people got mugged and snuffed here.

2. There was this one underground snuff film of a guy getting tortured with a razor blade.
5.29.2007 11:34pm
bornyesterday (mail) (www):
"Won't someone rid me of that troublesome priest?"
5.29.2007 11:39pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
“Note that definition 2b can be used to mean "kill", but does not necessarily have that meaning.”

Do you think a “snuff movie” is about a trip to a tobacco shop? Let’s look at the Urban Dictionary, which, deals with contemporary street slang, and correctly captures the meaning as used in this context.

1. Snuff
1. (verb) To kill, assassinate (sic), destroy, murder.
2. (adj.) A real (not staged) filmed murder; usually of raping and killing a woman. In some cases it is viewed for sexual arousal.

1. A lot of people got mugged and snuffed here.

2. There was this one underground snuff film of a guy getting tortured with a razor blade.
Farther down the list of meanings:

5. snuff

to hit someone, to punch someone, to beat down someone.

I snuffed him good.

you shoulda seen craig last night man, he snuffed that kid good.
So strictly speaking “snuff” could refer to a punch, but any reasonable person would take his remarks as a threat to kill or at least injure.
5.29.2007 11:42pm
DRJ (mail):
Prof. Volokh,

Would you be as understanding if the gun store owner urged his customers to snuff out Rev. Pfleger?

I think Rev. Pfleger would be justifiably concerned if that happened, just as the gun store owner might be concerned that someone will act on Rev. Pfleger's rhetoric here.
5.30.2007 12:09am
Evelyn Blaine (mail):
This is really quite absurd. Metaphors of violence are used all the time in political speech, and have been for centuries, and no one has any trouble telling that they're metaphors; nor should anyone here. We throw people to the dogs, rake them over the coals, place their heads on the chopping block or ask for them on platters, break them apart, tear them to shreds, make them go to the wall, and invoke the nuclear option; we show no mercy, give no quarter, get out the big guns (or, if our tastes run that way, the hired ones), use scorched-earth tactics, poison the wells, etc., etc. "Snuff out" isn't as familiar as these, but I don't think it's a moral failing in a man to use an uncommon idiom rather than a cliched one; every cliche was, after all, once a new invention.
5.30.2007 12:12am
glangston (mail):


It sounds like the Revs are trying to make the point that they feel that their community is being threatened and in danger of being "snuffed out" by the actions of this Gun Shop (and it's owner), hence the tendency towards "fighting words".

One thing's for certain, Chuck's didn't have a thing to do with disarming the fine citizens of Chicago
5.30.2007 12:19am
vsd (mail):
I don't remember the priest telling me when I went to Confession when I was a kid, "Well, Lance, it was wrong of you to disobey your mom and talk back to her like that, but since you set the table every night and do your homework and sent your aunt a birthday card, what the heck! You're a good kid. Your sins are forgiven automatically. No need for you to do any penance."糖尿病 心脑血管 文秘 糖尿病 糖尿病症状 糖尿病饮食 妊娠糖尿病 糖尿病预防 糖尿病治疗 糖尿病的预防 怎样预防糖尿病 糖尿病并发症 糖尿病药物 糖尿病足 低血糖 胰岛素 血糖仪 胰岛素泵 什么是糖尿病 并发症治疗 糖尿病急救 糖尿病中医治疗 糖尿病常识 糖尿病食谱 糖尿病的预防 糖尿病人饮食 糖尿病肾病 And maybe it's happened a few times and I haven't heard about it but I can't recall a judge ever letting somebody walk on the grounds the crook was a good guy and his friends really like him.
5.30.2007 12:20am
whit:
part of the problem here is that (as far as i can tell), the subject of the "threat" is not a public figure. he's a frigging store owner. that's in reference to the above "political speech" thang.

like i said, i see this as somehwat of a tempest in a teapot, and probably more chargeable under some sort of disorderly conduct statute than an actual criminal (terroristic threat, etc.). threat, if even worth the trouble.

"What really matters is if someone gave the exact same speech about you would you think they intended to kill you"

i've charged a # of threat cases - felony and misdemeanor. what matters (at least in my jurisdiction ) is

1) the threat was communicated.
2) the person who is targeted by the threat feels in fear. note that they need not feel in fear that the actual exact elements of the threat be carried out, merely that they feel in fear due to the threat.
3) the fear is one that a REASONABLE person in those circumstances would feel.

there's that pesky "reasonable" word again :)

so, for example, if the defendant threatens to beat you to death, it is not a necessary element that you believe that he will actually beat you TO DEATH, but that you are in fear that he will beat you.

for example, i had one case where the threat recipient (who received it in a rather circuitous manner - from the defendant uttering the threat to his prison roommate from the prison roommate to his parole officer from that parole officer to another parole officer (actually called CCO but i digress) and from that parole officer to the victim of the threat. what is a big part of proving the reasonableness of feeling in fear, is the recipient's knowledge of the threatener's past behavior. since the threat recipient knew of several violent acts by the threatener in the past, the case was much more of a "winner" (and the guy was ultimately convicted). other factors were the specificness of the threat (involving hiring people to snuff the guy out, bury him in a grave with lots of lime, how to dispose of evidence, etc.)

it's not necessary that the threat recipient have some sort of knowledge that the threatener is a violent person, but it goes a long way towards the difference between a "true threat" and idle chatter.

interestingly, these cases are ones where a person's past history is admissable, if the victim knows of the history, and it made them feel in fear. kind of screwy for the defendant.
5.30.2007 12:27am
Kovarsky (mail):
I think I heard Mayweather, Jr. say he was going to kill De La Hoya several times. And every other boxer every other time there's ever been a fight. A lot of you have a lot to learn about connotation and context. Not that those of you who ran to your selective dictionary definitions surprise me in the slightest.
5.30.2007 12:48am
PersonFromPorlock:
One possible response would be for the gunshop owner to adopt a policy of refusing to sell guns to Blacks. Of course Rev. Jackson et al. would have a cow, but the fascinating question would be: which cow? ;^)
5.30.2007 12:54am
John Enright (mail) (www):
"If you are white you get arrested, if you are black you get a pass."

By no means do I wish to excuse his language here, but Pfleger is white.
5.30.2007 1:19am
A. Zarkov (mail):
“I think I heard Mayweather, Jr. say he was going to kill De La Hoya several times.”

After boxer Benny “Kid” Paret taunted Emile Griffith with the Latino slur maricon; Griffith swore he would kill him the next time they fought. On March 2, 1962 Griffith did just that. He knocked Paret unconscious against the ropes, and then hit him 13 times causing fatal injuries. Funny thing, at the time everybody knew what happened, but Sports Illustrated didn’t report on this correctly until 2005. When people threaten to kill you take them seriously.

“A lot of you have a lot to learn about connotation and context.”

Exactly. You think this was a Quaker rally? Blacks are the most violence prone group in the US. Why do you think half the people in jail for murder are black?
5.30.2007 1:26am
dwlawson (www):

One possible response would be for the gunshop owner to adopt a policy of refusing to sell guns to Blacks. Of course Rev. Jackson et al. would have a cow, but the fascinating question would be: which cow? ;^)


Actually I recall, and I wish I had my hands on a link for it, hearing that black activists have asked for gun shops to not sell to blacks. To me that sounds like more incitement to commit a crime. Or possibly a setup for some nasty federal charges.
5.30.2007 1:40am
K Parker (mail):
Evelyn Blaine, I think the absurdity is actually on your end, for thinking the gun-store owner is somehow a politician.
5.30.2007 1:56am
Michael B (mail):
The goodly Pastor Pfleger was likely speaking metaphorically, to bring his point home, but given his leadership role and the cause he is championing, not the best choice of metaphors.
5.30.2007 2:57am
Bill Dyer (mail) (www):
Prof. V, thank you for the reply. I agree that "slaughter" and "kill" and "murder" and many other words may indeed be used, frequently, to mean something other than literally killing someone. Context can indeed often demonstrate that a speaker is exaggerating, as when a football coach urges his punt return team to "decapitate" the punt return man. Moe never had genuinely homicidal intent all those times he promised to "murdelize" Curly, either.

But I haven't seen anyone here yet construct a sentence, or describe a context, in which "snuff" has been used as a transitive verb with respect to a person and yet did not mean literally killing them.

Can anyone provide a cite from literature or pop culture in which "snuff," used as a verb and with respect to a person, was clearly, in context, not meant to mean literally killing that person?

If he'd said, "Let's go cap that dude's ass," would someone here would be arguing that Pfleger was urging the crowd to turn Riggio upside down and then set a Chicago Cubs baseball cap on his inverted buttocks? That's less of a stretch than reading "snuff" to mean something like "lawful protest" or "picket" or "boycott."

If I were a prosecutor trying to establish premeditation, and my only evidence on point was a showing that the defendant told someone else that he intended to "snuff" the victim, do you have any doubt that would suffice?

I just don't see any ambiguity. Objectively, this is a death threat, however it may have been intended.
5.30.2007 5:52am
davod (mail):
Incitement, pure and simple. Stop making excuses. there will be enough excuses when the killer's uses this fools remarks as a mitigating factor at trial.
5.30.2007 8:39am
Ken Arromdee:
I'm going to have to agree with the people who call it a threat. It's barely plausible that 'snuff out' alone was just rough language for "put out of business", but "find you and snuff you out" can only mean to kill. You don't "find" a business (especially when you're already in front of it); the only thing that that phrase can mean is a threat against the owner's *person*, not a threat against his business.

I'm also not convinced by the claims that it's a nonviolent rally. It may be on the average nonviolent, but any such rally contains a range of supporters, some more extreme than others; there could very well be a fringe who will take such exhortations as a call for violence.
5.30.2007 10:22am
rarango (mail):
Tangential question: when did "snuff" enter the mainstream language as a verb for kill? Seems to me it was in the early 1970s and in the context of "snuff flicks" as the ultimate expression of pornography.
5.30.2007 10:56am
JK:
logicnazi,
Thanks for the reasoned response, and allowing me to not have to spend the time on a long post.
5.30.2007 10:59am
Chester White (mail):

Lots of naivete on here.

143rd and Indiana in Chicago is not the faculty club at UCLA where you can argue for hours about the shades of meaning in a word. It's a mean, tough, dangerous neighborhood. Not as bad as it was some years ago, perhaps, but bad enough. Probably no one posting here would even consider walking around there alone in the evening.

Here's an experiment for you deluded folks excusing the rally speakers: Go down there sometime and start telling passersby that you are going to "snuff them out" because you don't like what they are doing.

Tell me when and where and I'll run down and pick up your remains.
5.30.2007 11:14am
Happyshooter:
As long as we are playing Clinton-type word games to excuse a leader of the community calling for the death of a store owner and lawmakers who do not vote the way the democrat party wants....here is my BS play on words:

"Snuff" is the nickname for Aloysius Snuffleupagus, the loving purple creature on Sesame Street.

Far from calling for the violent deaths of those who oppose his political goals, the good pastor was actually offering a loving hug of peace from a muppet.
5.30.2007 11:39am
Philistine (mail):
I just think any time you have a catholic priest speaking at a gathering of people protesting murder, that you should probably give the benefit of the doubt on whether he is himself calling on his followers to actually kill someone.

Now, if he has a previous record of calling for violence, I could see thinking this might be more. Is there any evidence of that?

Do you all think when he also called on everyone to "fight the NRA" he was calling for physical violence?

I suggest people actually listen to the whole recording--it's quite short.
5.30.2007 11:50am
whit:
cmon.

there is a huge difference between saying "fight the NRA" and calling a certain person by name and saying to "find him and snuff him out"

let's reverse this. let's pretend a group of NRA supporters got together for a rally. a NRA representative got up and stage and said "Sarah Brady. We are going to find you and snuff you out"

would people be making the same excuses for the NRA as you are making for a catholic priest.

i don't care if he's a catholic priest, or whatever. that is beyond irrelevant.

and they are not protesting murder. they are protesting GUNS. again, not that this is relevant. i don't care if they are protesting whole milk vs. skim.
5.30.2007 12:04pm
Philistine (mail):
whit:

Did you listen to the audio? It is short.

In the first part, he is speaking about exposing legislators who take money from the NRA and embarrassing them. I took his comments about the owner (hiding like a rat, spelling his name, etc.) to also be about exposure and embarrassment.

I also don't think his call to "snuff out" legislators was a call for others to murder them, either.

YMMV.
5.30.2007 1:16pm
whit:
again, i say reverse it.

as i said. 1) the gun store owner is not a legislator nor a public figure (note that sarah brady IS a public figure).

he called the guy by name and said he needed to be found and snuffed out.

if an NRA repat an NRA meeting/rally (who was upset about anti-gun legislation) said the exact same thing about sarah brady etc. would you have the same opinion?

if so, i can respect that as consistent.
5.30.2007 1:20pm
davod (mail):
What do you think people in the crowd thought he meant?
5.30.2007 1:42pm
Kelvin McCabe:
Glad to see the racists come out of the woodwork. Im looking at you zarkov. And for everybody else to take this man of the cloth's words seriously - give me a break. Context is everything, and you guys arent grasping context. I think Philistine and Eugene nailed it here: the priests were protesting the needless killing going on in the streets because of easy access to guns, ergo they were protesting at a gun store which represents in concrete fashion the "market" of selling the guns which end up on the street and kill people. The rhetoric used was excessive, agreed, but to say the store owner should be in fear of his life or that the rally attendees are going to act on the rev.'s words and literally snuff the gun store owner out - - HAHAHA. Thats the most ridiculous thing I heard. I realize priests have gotten a bad rap since the whole homosexual pedophilia thing, but sheesh. Solicitation to commit murder? Seriously?
5.30.2007 6:18pm
whit:
fwiw, i don't think it's solicitation to commit murder, and probably not even criminal threats (although - that's arguable). probably disorderly conduct.

my point is the ridiculous double standard.

setting aside the argument that "easy access to guns" is the cause of "needless killing" (which is absurd, but let's assume the priest thinks this) - so what?

a gun owner could think that sarah brady, etc. are the cause of laws etc. that violate his first amendment rights.

if this group of gun owners (like an NRA rally) got together, and one of the speakers said "let's find sarah brady and snuff her out" especially if it was in reasonable proximity TO sarah brady where said (as this incident was nearby to the gun store), would that bother you?

look, the guys an idiot. he should not have said what he said. it is one thing to criticize a person. that's fine. it is not ok to call for that person to be "snuffed out".

and we keep bringing up the man of the cloth thing. SO WHAT? i don't care if he's a priest, an atheist, a rabbi, whatever. being a priest does not give you carte blanche to call for people to be "snuffed out".

if he's going to protest the killing in the street - then PROTEST the killing in the streets. don't call for some guy to get snuffed out.

there is a big difference.

also, last i checked, al sharpton is a "man of the cloth". does that make his comments that spurned a riot ok?
5.30.2007 6:25pm
whit:
oops. should be "that violate his SECOND amendment rights"
5.30.2007 6:26pm
dwlawson (www):

What do you think people in the crowd thought he meant?


I was there and I was shocked. I really didn't fear an immediate reaction, but I am concerned about some nut job taking the command seriously in the future.

The pastor took special care to spell the guys name out making it easier for people to try to find out where he lives.
5.30.2007 7:06pm
dwlawson (www):
Since when does being a priest mean someone is not a murderer?
http://www.cnn.com/2007/LAW/05/29/tuchman.btsc/index.html
5.30.2007 7:08pm
Chester White (mail):

Kelvin:

Look, goofus, I am not a racist. I can disagree with an African-American without being prejudiced, you mental lightweight. I am a 12-year+ Chicago resident (most of that in Hyde Park, the most integrated neighborhood in the US) who can perfectly well read the subcurrents here.

Everything is fine and dandy with one of these protests until some unhinged person, spurred on by a Jackson/Pfleger-type, takes action and attacks somebody. This fear is NOT farfetched. In fact, I'd consider it a pretty decent possibility over the next few months.

Look at Wikipedia for a description of what happened at "Freddie's Fashion Mart" when Sharpton started running his mouth. Nothing about "snuffing" or anything like that. Just a threat to "run these white interlopers out." Then a little later 7 people died (plus the attacker). Oops.

You say "context is everything." Wow, deep. No $hit, genius. The context of those remarks, at that location, by those speakers, to that crowd, are CLEAR AS A BELL to me and should be to anyone who knows ANYTHING about Chicago.

Here's a deal for you: Post your email address here. I will contact you, buy you a plane ticket to Chicago, take you down to 143rd and Indiana, and drop you off so you can tell random passersby that you don't like them and that you are going to "snuff them out." You do this continually for a couple hours.

This offer goes for anybody else posting here. I'll make sure the return leg of the ticket is refundable, since you likely won't be needing it.
5.30.2007 7:28pm
PTB:
The spin doctors among the commenters can say what they like, or smoothe on palliatives, but "snuff" has to me a very clear meaning. And I have in mind a really tragic case herein New York, now almost 20 years in the past. Al Sharpton (sorry, Rev. Sharpton)'s National Action Network ran a continuing, large and demonstrative protest at a retail store location on 125th Street in Harlem, characterized by a lot of inflammatory language, the cause of which I cannot recall. A mentally disturbed neigborhood resident who regularly attended these demonstrations took it into his mind one day to show up with a Molotov cocktail. I think the death toll was at least 5. Rev. Sharpton faded sharply from the scene, and I don't think this one is on his resume today. But make no mistake, this is the same sort of potentially very (I almost said, very Near) situation, which words like "snuff" will do nothing to alleviate. It may behoove public safety authorities to look at this before something irrevocable occurs. [Note- while proofing this, looked at the preceding comment. I'll accept Chester White's facts on the Freddy's Fashion Mart fire.]
5.30.2007 9:47pm
Dave Wangen (mail):
Something to consider: does the good Father deserve his tax-exempt status?

War on Guns examines St. Sabina's tax status
5.30.2007 10:05pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
“Glad to see the racists come out of the woodwork. Im looking at you zarkov.”

When all else fails play the race card. Unlike Donald Trump, I won’t engage responding to personal attacks other than to say that you are entitled to your opinion.
5.30.2007 10:30pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Don't fear the priest using colorful language. Words v. Actions.

It’s more than colorful language—it was a threat and incitement to do violence. No amount of spin or name calling is going to change the facts.
5.31.2007 5:01am
whit:
can somebody fire up the Revonnaspeak to English translator please?

mine just blew a gasket.

thanks
5.31.2007 1:25pm
whit:
can somebody fire up the Revonnaspeak to English translator please?

mine just blew a gasket.

thanks
5.31.2007 1:26pm
whit:
can somebody fire up the Revonnaspeak to English translator please?

mine just blew a gasket.

thanks
5.31.2007 1:26pm
quaker:
Kelvin McCabe: "to say the store owner should be in fear of his life or that the rally attendees are going to act on the rev.'s words and literally snuff the gun store owner out - - HAHAHA. Thats the most ridiculous thing I heard."

I view Pfleger (who is indeed white) as a kind of gatekeeper. As other commenters (PTB, Chester) have documented, people like Pfleger/Jackson/Sharpton have plenty of "lone nutcases" among their supporters, and they know it. With a (plausibly deniable) word from P/J/S/etc, the nutcases will act. It's not that Pfleger is threatening the store owner; Pfleger is reminding him that violence is available.

But it's not just lone nutcases. Organized bands of religion-stoked urban blacks have indeed committed acts of violence against store owners of whom they disapprove. Only here in CA it's arson, vandalism, and kidnapping, not (yet) murder.

Does kidnapping qualify for a "HAHAHA," Kelvin?
5.31.2007 4:17pm
whit:
i think it's wrong for anybody in any crowd to call for any person to be snuffed out - with some obvious exceptions: a murderer sentenced to death row, an enemy of the state (osama bin laden), etc.

it is just plain WRONG to name a specific person and say he should be snuffed out - whether he runs a gun store, is a registered sex offender, etc.

that has zero to do with political correctness. it has to do with thinking that people leading crowds should not publically advocate for the death of some business owner

it's simply not cricket
5.31.2007 5:37pm
Zekeriyah (mail) (www):
Hmmm... lets look at it this way, the vast majority of the crowd knows what the word snuff means, and even if Pfelger didn't, it sure sounds violent from the context. Plus, lets not forget the other parts, like "dragging him out like a rat" and the spelling out of his name, which will likely result in death threats from members of the crowd.

Lets put it another way. If it had been a religious leader from Iran, or Pakistan, or Saudi Arabia, or any other Muslim country making similar comments, how would the media take it? Indeed, had it been a Muslim leader within the US making similar comments (Farrakhan doesn't count, since he's NoI, which is completely different, and oddly, more socially acceptable) Homeland Security would be all over it.

Strikes me as a case of favoritism towards Christians, especially when they adopt "black street" culture and popular leftist agendas...
6.1.2007 9:50am