As reported, on November 1st, 2008 there were 3 armed armed robberies in Oak Park, IL. This is despite the longstanding handgun ban, which has disarmed Oak Park’s law abiding citizens, while not stopping the criminals from having a gun:
- The manager of the Lake Theatre, which is located at 1022 Lake St., was walking near the Community Bank night deposit box, at 1001 Lake, when he heard someone run up behind him. He turned to see a man holding a black semi-automatic pistol. The gunman said “Give me the money” and the manager complied, for a loss of $5,109.50. The robber then escaped.
- On the 200 block of N. Austin Boulevard, a man was approached outside his home by a man who pointed a black semi automatic handgun at him. The robber searched his victim’s pockets, warning him, “Don’t do anything stupid.” After finding nothing of value on the victim, the robber escaped on a nearby bicycle.
- A man outside the BP Amoco gas station, 6119 North Ave., was robbed by a criminal wearing a ski mask and holding a chrome semi-automatic handgun. The gunman is reported to have said, “This is a stickup,” pushed his victim against his car, and robbed the man of $600, before escaping.
The Oak Park handgun ban doesn’t stop criminals from having a gun with which to commit crimes, but it does stop law abiding citizens form having a gun for self defense. The reason for this is quite simple: a law abiding citizen won’t want the embarrassment and shame of being dragged into court if caught with a gun, or the humiliation of paying the $1,000 fine and having their name in the newspaper. A criminal, on the other hand, is doesn’t fear such shame. They criminal won’t fear the $1,000 fine either, as they would be in much deeper trouble if arrested for armed robber or murder.
The Oak Park handgun ban is also costing Oak Park money at a time when it has none to spare. After the Supreme Court declared handgun ownership to be an individual right, the NRA sued Oak Park, and several other suburbs of Chicago that infringed the right to handgun ownership. Most of these suburbs recognized that their handgun bans were ineffective, that the lawsuit would be expensive to defend against, and that the NRA had a very good case. Those suburbs, which included Morton Grove, Wilmette, and Evanston wisely repealed their handgun bans. Oak Park decided to fight the lawsuit, and will end up spending a good deal of taxpayer money to do so, in a year when they have had to cut back on everything from police to road salt due to budgetary shortfalls.