I write about Oak Park, IL a lot, because it is one of the few municipalities left in the United States with a ban on handgun ownership – a ban which criminals ignore as they rob, pistol whip, and shoot Oak Park’s defenseless citizens. However there is good news this week, as one of the armed robbers who have been plaguing Oak Park was shot in self defense by a would-be victim:
The armed robber, a 25-year-old man, was with three other men when he spotted a citizen, wearing “a nice leather coat,” making a purchase in a gas station located at North Avenue and Hayes. The man parked the car in an alley behind the gas station, got out with an accomplice and confronted the man, demanding the coat. It’s still unclear exactly what happened next, but the robbery victim pulled out a gun and shot the robber in the mouth, the arm and in the pelvis area. The would-be robber lost a number of teeth, and suffered a split tongue. He was rushed to West Suburban Hospital and later transferred to Stroger Hospital, where he underwent surgery. He is expected to survive his injuries.
Cases like this highlight the need for concealed carry, as an ordinary trip to the gas station can become a life or death situation when criminals suddenly appear. Luckily for this man, he had a gun and was able to shoot the criminal, rather than become another armed robbery statistic. The fact is that criminals are unpredictable and violent, meaning that giving in to their demands is no guarantee that they won’t harm the victim. Nor can the police respond in time, meaning that self defense is the only viable option in many cases. As someone who spends time in the Oak Park area, I wish to extend my thanks to this armed citizen, who has put an armed robber out of commission and likely prevented Oak Park citizens from suffering at that hands of this robber. While the police have made few arrests and virtually no progress at stopping the armed robbery crime wave affecting Oak Park, this armed citizen has likely made a difference, all by himself. And this is not the first time that a citizen has defended themselves with a gun in Oak Park this year.
But the news is not all good, as the Oak Park police are reportedly looking for the man who defended himself. This citizen was morally in the right by defending himself, but could face years in jail because it is a felony in the state of Illinois to carry a gun. The fact that the citizen was going about his peaceful business and only fired after having his life threatened by an armed robber is no defense against such charges. While I am a person in believes in abiding by the law, I hope that this citizen is not caught and prosecuted for protecting himself against armed and violent criminals.