Rev. Michael Pfleger blasts gun advocates over recent high-profile killings

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Police Cmdr. Paul Bauer presents gifts on behalf of the Police Mounted Unit in 2013 to Kira Mammoser , 9, who was battling a rare disease. | Sun-Times files

The Rev.Michael Pfleger, Chicago’s anti-gun pulpit protest peace priest, just hit the firing range.

In the wake of the murder of Pfleger’s friend, Chicago Police Cmdr.Paul Bauer, and the death of 17 people in a Florida high school Wednesday, the fiery Pfleger is accusing gun advocates of complicit behavior.

OPINION

“President Trump and every senator and congressman who are blocking commonsense gun laws have blood on their hands for what just happened,” Pfleger told Sneed.

“They offer condolences . . . well, they should shut up because they are co-conspirators in this violence because they are doing nothing! How do they sleep at night?

“When they say a gunman acted alone . . . that’s not true,” he said. “They were assisted by every president, governor, congressman and senator who stopped real gun legislation!”

Cmdr. Bauer, who was killed Tuesday in the Thompson Center while chasing a man wearing body armor, “wasa police officer who knew how to respect people . . . to me, anyway, more the exception than the norm,” said Pfleger, pastor of Saint Sabina Church in the violence-torn, gang-infested Auburn Gresham neighborhood.

“He [Bauer] always let me know he could work with us, especially when we marched down Michigan Avenue at the end of December carrying crosses representing everyone killed by a gun in Chicago,” said Pfleger.

“He knew it was important to raise the issue of violence, but he didn’t want people to feel frightened; he wanted to make sure people would feel safe.

“He even gave me his private cellphone number.”

“Call whenever you need me, he’d say,” said Pfleger.

“What a tragedy.”

The Bauer legacy . . .

Bauer, who was once the commanding officer of the CPD’s Mounted Patrol Unit, will have a few hooves making an honorary mark when he is buriedSaturday.

“The way his old mounted unit will honor him is still in the planning stages, but he loved the police horses and he named each one of them,” said a member of the mounted unit who asked not to be identified.

“He [Bauer] used to joke horses were easier to work with than police officers because you don’t have to buy them lunch — and they don’t complain,” said Chicago Police Chaplain Daniel Brandt.

“The only reason he left that job was because he was promoted, and everyone in the mounted unit was sad when he left. I’m told even the horses had sad faces,” Brandt quipped.

Cmdr. Bauer also had a passion for kindness.

During his tenure as head of the mounted patrol, Bauer was told about a little girl named Kira Mammoser, 9, who was dying from a rare syndrome (ROHHAD) at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge.

“Kira loved horses, and her hospital bed was surrounded by stuffed pet horses,” said Brandt.

“Without a moment’s hesitation, Paul arranged to lead two of his horses to a hospital atrium where Kira could meet them. She three weeks later. And when she died, Paul, unannounced, led a mounted unit to her gravesite during her burial,” added Brandt.

“Kira’s father, Sergeant Chuck Mammoser, was so touched. That’s the kind of guy Paul Bauer was.”

Psst!

Sneed hears rumbles former Cook County Board CommissionerLiz Gorman is in line to replace Illinois tollway executive director Greg Bedalov, who is expected to resign this week.

Background check . . .

Robert Runcie, who is superintendent of Florida’s Broward County Public Schools — where 17 people were killed in a shooting rampage at a high school in Parkland on Wednesday — was once the chief information officer when former U.S. Education czar Arne Duncan was CEO of the Chicago Public Schools system. Brushed aside and demoted during a CPS shake-up by new CEO Jean-Claude Brizard, Runcie left for the Broward County job.

The Ivanka thing . . .

Ivanka tell ya: News reports Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean strongman Kim Jong Un, was being equated with President Donald Trump’s daughter,Ivanka, during her brief but electric visit to the Winter Olympics in South Korea recently, are expected to heat up again.

At last peek, Ivanka was still penciled in to attend the Olympics Closing Ceremony inPyeongchang.

Sneedlings . . .

I spy:Former Chicago Bulls starJimmy Butler and some Minnesota Timberwolves teammates spotted last week dining at Blue Door Kitchen. . . . Ditto for actor Oliver Platt. . . .Today’s birthdays:The Weeknd, 28; Lupe Fiasco, 36; and Ice-T,60.

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