As the Wednesday Journal reports, there were an additional 3 armed robberies in Oak Park, IL this week. This follows on the heels of many other armed robberies in Oak Park, which have continued unabated despite the more than 20-year-long ban on handguns.
- On the afternoon of July 16, a man walking home from the Green Line elevated station was robbed at gunpoint. A criminal exited a car in the alley behind the 300 block of South Lombard Avenue and demanded the commuter’s backpack. When the man refused, the robber pulled a blue steel, short-barreled handgun and stated, “Give it to me or I’ll shoot you.” The robber escaped with the bag that contained a laptop computer, cellphone and recording device, valued in total at $2,550.
- On July 16th, a man stepped out of a 4-door blue car, possibly a Chevy Caprice, on the 1000 block of South Maple Ave. approached an Oak Park man and said, “Give me your wallet.” The victim refused, and the criminal pulled a .38 caliber handgun from his waistband and, using profanity, demanded the wallet, which his victim turned over. The thief then patted the man down and took a Blackberry phone from him, then handed it back before escaping.
- A man walking on the 300 block of North Lombard was approached by another man who asked for a cigarette, then pulled out a long barreled revolver, stuck it against the man’s neck and said, “You know what this is.” The criminal took the man’s wallet and ran to a waiting dark SUV, and escaped.
Perhaps no one has told the criminal in Oak Park that handgun ownership is punishable by up to a $1,000 fine? Or perhaps handgun bans just don’t stop crime? I’m going to bet that the criminals are aware of the handgun ban, but are choosing to disobey it, just as they disobey the laws against carrying a concealed handgun in Illinois, armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, etc. Since they aren’t deterred by those severely punished felonies, the fine for violating the Oak Park handgun ban certainly won’t stop the armed robbers.
Instead, the handgun ban does deter law abiding citizens, who don’t want the embarrassment of being fined. These law abiding citizens are then left defenseless, making them easier target for crimes such as robbery and home invasion.
However, the Oak Park village president wishes to keep the ineffective and likely unconstitutional handgun ban. Rather than spending large sums of taxpayer money in pointless effort to keep this handgun ban on the books, Oak Park might do better to follow on the heels of Wilmette, by getting rid of the ban and focusing that money on actually fighting crime.