In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision that handgun ownership is a right, the Oak Park, Illinois handgun ban will soon be challenged in court by the NRA. Rather than acknowledging that that the handgun ban doesn’t stop crime, only leaves law abiding citizens vulnerable, Oak Park Village President David Pope reportedly argued that the Supreme Court’s decision was “squarely on the side of the gang-bangers”:
Gun ownership is a fundamental and constitutionally protected right
As the Supreme Court made clear, the Second Amendment protect the individual’s right to own a handgun for self defense in the home. Fundamental rights, such as the right to have a gun, the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, the right to a lawyer, etc. cannot be legislated away, even if a majority of the people in a village wish to do away with the right. Just as Oak Park should not be able to pass a law that allows random and arbitrary searches of resident’s home, neither should Oak Park be able to ban the right to own a handgun.
Oak Park’s handgun ban doesn’t deter criminals
Over just the last few months, Oak Park has had a shooting, many armed robberies, and other crimes involving handguns. It is clear that the criminals are ignoring the handgun ban, just like the criminals ignore every other law. This fact should come as no surprise, given the way that gun control has failed in other cities such as Chicago and the District of Columbia. The reasons for this failure are rather simple: A person bent on committing murder or some other serious crime isn’t going to be concerned about a relatively minor handgun possession charge. The only people who will obey the law are Oak Park’s law abiding citizens, who are then easier targets for the gun toting criminals. Instead of being able to defend themselves, they become victims. Making the matter worse, it is often women that are most disadvantaged, given the sexist nature of gun control.
It is also important to note that both Federal and Illinois law prohibits convicted felons from possessing guns, and Illinois law extends that ban to domestic abusers and those under orders of protection. In short, there are already laws much stronger than Oak Park’s handgun ban in place, and since the criminals ignore those laws, what chance does Oak Park’s ban have of deterring crime?