As the Wednesday Journal reports, a highly intoxicated man who jumped out of a car on Austin Boulevard hurling racial slurs and swinging a bat was shot by one of his would-be victims. This is particularly interesting because it happened right on the border of Oak Park and Chicago, which both ban handguns, and in the state of Illinois, which bans concealed carry:
While riding in a friends car, an intoxicated Hispanic male spotted several African American individuals exiting the Austin Boulevard Blue Line elevated train stop. The drunken criminal told his friend to pull over so he could “mess” with the pedestrians. The criminal then exited the black Envoy with a baseball bat and confronted one of the men, yelling racial slurs. After the criminal took two or three swings at the pedestrian, the would-be victim drew a pistol from his waistband and shot his attacker in the leg and hip, then escaped. Oak Park police were called to MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn where they interviewed the criminal who had been shot. At first he told police he was attacked while walking on Austin, however, the SUV’s driver told police the victim had in fact attacked the group of men because they were black.”[The assailant’s] got a long criminal history,” Police Commander Clemet Harbour stated. Police are still seeking the man who fired his gun in self defense.
As I mentioned above this case of self defense is particularly interesting, because of where it took place: in Oak Park, right on the border of Chicago, in the state of Illinois. Both Chicago and Oak Park ban handgun ownership, and the state of Illinois bans concealed carry. The self defense shooter faced the possibility of being charged with a felony for carrying the gun, a misdemeanor for having the gun in Chicago, a fine for having the gun in Oak Park, a fine for discharging the gun in Oak Park, and possibly several other related charges. However this risk didn’t deter the man from having a handgun and carrying it for self defense, in a rather rough neighborhood. Had this man not taken it upon himself to break the law and carry a gun, the news story might have read “Several dead in racial hate crime.” It is truly sad that a citizen who defends himself from assault with a baseball bat has to then fear gun possession charges because he was in Illinois – while the citizens of 48 other states could lawfully have had concealed carry.