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Jesse jackson at anti gun protest.

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Nearly 200 March To Protest Riverdale Gun Shop

Bob Roberts Reporting

RIVERDALE, Ill. (WBBM) -- About 200 people ignored light rain and marched for a mile through Riverdale to protest outside a controversial gun shop.

A handful of counter-protesters showed up outside of Chuck's Gun Shop, 14310 Indiana Av., in Riverdale, and business continued uninterrupted.

Ron and Annette Holt marched at the front of the line.

"So that every mother can see what my face looks like and know what I feel," she said. "You can't imagine the pain I feel from losing my only child -- and a good child."

Both Holt and her husband, a Chicago Police officer, are still grieving the loss of her son, Blair, who was shot aboard a CTA bus May 10.

Annette Holt wore a T-shirt and button bearing pictures of her son, and said other parents must learn from her loss.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson stood next to the Holts. He spoke of gun shops as "merchants of death," and said Congress needs to overturn a 2005 law that made it difficult to trace gun purchases.

"We've militarized urban America," Rev. Jackson said. ""We're terrorizing people."

They marched to Chuck's, which has been a named defendant in gun suits filed by the city of Chicago, has been investigated time and again and local and federal officials, and whose critics claim it allows straw purchases and is lax in its screening of potential purchasers.

Manager John Riggio (RIG'-ghee-oh) said he has no basis for comparison with other shops, even though he has been in business since 1971, said he believes he is "pretty tough" on potential purchasers, but said he is limited in what he can do to police purchases.

"The only way I can deny a firearms sale is if it's for somebody else, or your intoxicated or something like that, or you tell me you're going to do something silly," he said.

Asked by WBBM how many potential customers are ultimately denied a gun, he said, "a very small percentage."

Asked why, if he is tough on potential purchasers, that his shop has become such a target for anti-gun activists, he shrugged, and said, "You got me on that one. I don't know."

A handful of counter-protesters stood nearby. One hoisted a sign that read, "Jesse -- how many armed guards do you have?" And another carried a sign reading, "Stop crime where it starts -- support open and concealed carry."

Counter-protester Jason Covault (COE'-valt) came from Joliet to make his point.

"They've put Chuck through a lot of stuff, as far as trying to get him closed, and I just believe in the right to bear arms," he said.

Police kept the protesters in a fenced-off area to the north of the guns shop. A semi-tractor trailer truck stood curbside outside the shop, and business continued inside, with people entering and leaving freely during the protest.

I have always wondered why they never did this, I see Jesse jerk off has started it now to get some more money for himself.
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