As reported, the village of Oak Park, IL has suffered additional armed robberies this week, as criminals continue to ignore the handgun ban. However there was one piece of good news that came out of these armed robberies.
- An Oak Park woman was robbed at gunpoint inside her garage on Christmas night. The woman had just entered her garage on the 300 block of S. Oak Park Avenue when a man grabbed her from behind, placed a hand over her mouth, and put a gun against her throat. He stated, “Shut up. Don’t tell anyone. Give me your money,” and took $40 from her. The criminal then escaped in a car.
- A similar garage robbery reportedly occurred a short time later on the 900 block of Ferdinand in Forest Park, which is a neighboring suburb.
- Christmas Eve morning, a delivery man was robbed on the 700 block of N. Harlem by a gunman who brandished a silver revolver. The deliveryman was relieved of $2,300 in cash, and the robber escaped.
- An Oak Park resident of the 200 block of North Austin was confronted outside his home by a criminal who displayed a 9 mm pistol and demanded money. When the man turned over $7 and his cell phone, the robber pistol whipped him. The victim fought back, managing to take the criminals gun. Amazingly, the criminal then tried to bargain with the man, telling him he’d return the cash and cell phone if the man would hand the gun back. The man declined to do so, the robber fled, and the man turned the gun into the police.
First, as we’ve seen time and time again, the handgun ban doesn’t prevent criminals from having a gun. This should come as no suprise, since a person who is willing to risk many years in jail for armed robbery won’t fear a relatively minor gun possession charge, which carries only a $1,000 to $2,000 fine. The handgun ban does ensure that law abiding people, who weren’t going to commit a crime in the first place, are without the means to defend themselves against violent home invaders and other criminals.
Next, I would like to once more point out that complying with a criminals demands is no guarantee that the criminal won’t become violent. The man in the 4th armed robbery discussed above complied with the criminal’s demands, only to be pistol whipped, just as this Oak Park resident was pistol whipped in May of 2008, despite complying with the robber’s demands. Neither complying or running is necessarily a good choice when attacked by a criminal.
Finally, I must say that I’m glad that the citizen who suffered robbery #4 was able to take the gun from the criminal without being shot by the criminal. I personally would have held the criminal at gunpoint until the police arrived (and fired if necessary to defend myself), rather than allowing the criminal to escape to rob another day, however this citizen should still be commended. I try not to second guess people who have defended themselves, since I wasn’t there and can’t fully appreciate the situation.