The village of Oak Park, IL is one of only a few municipalities in the United States which still has a ban on the ownership of handguns for self defense, despite the Supreme Court’s ruling in D.C. v Heller. In spite of the decades long handgun ban, there are weekly (and sometimes daily) armed robberies in Oak Park, along with the occasional shooting. Oak Park is also short on cash, but has decided to become embroiled in a lengthy and expensive legal battle to keep the pointless handgun ban, rather than to use common sense. Since money is limited, Oak Park is cutting police protection to save money, while violent crime against Oak Park residents continues:
Last winter it was announced that eight Oak Park patrol officer positions would be intentionally left unfilled in 2008 and, a deputy chief position was eliminated. The problem has grown worse with additional police officers leaving Oak Park for better funded and staffed police departments – all in a year when the crime rate is increasing.
This is a truly problematic situation: Law abiding Oak Park citizens face home invasions, robberies, attempted rape, and pistol whippings. As crime increases for the first time in years, police resources are being scaled back, and law abiding citizens are forbidden to have a handgun for self defense. Instead of spending resources to fully staff the police department and fight crime, Oak Park will fight to try and keep their handgun ban. What really bothers this author is seeing a progressive community such as Oak Park ignore the sexist nature of gun bans, the racist origns of gun bans, the real world implications of gun bans. The approximately 60% of Oak Park residents who voted to take away the gun rights of the rest of Oak Park’s law abiding citizens should recognize these facts, along with the fact that gun ownership is a privacy, safety, and self determination issue – the very type of right that progressive communities such as Oak Park claim to support.