- On January 15, 2009, there was an attempted armed street robbery on the 5400 block of West Washington Street, right on the border of Chicago and Oak Park. Darnell D. DeMary of Chicago and Tommy C. Brothers of Bellwood were apprehended by Oak Park police on the 500 block of South Austin Avenue, and the police are also said to have recovered a realistic-looking BB gun.
- On January 17, 2009, police officers arrested Rasaan Smith and Antonio Sercye after they allegedly robbed a store on the 5800 block of North Ave.
- On January 18, 2009, a man walked up to a clerk in the 7-11 convenience store at 661 South Boulevard and displayed a pistol, before stealing $180 and escaping.
The ray of good news is that two of the alleged perpetrators were arrested. Unfortunately, it is virtually certain that such arrests won’t have any significant effect upon the armed robbery spree that has hit Oak Park over the last year, with a nearly 300% increase in such crimes. That is because there seems to be no shortage of criminals who are willing to thumb their noses at Oak Park’s handgun ban, not to mention the much more severely punished state laws against armed robbery or carrying a loaded gun.
On the other hand, illegally armed citizens have had a pretty good track record at defending themselves in Oak Park over the last year. First, an illegally armed citizen was able to fight off a racist attacker who came at him with a baseball bat. Then, another illegally armed citizen was able to stop an armed robber, who was himself illegally carrying a gun. It is a sad state of affairs that only those Oak Park citizens who are willing to break the law themselves are able to have a decent chance at defending themselves against criminals.
Gun control laws, such as the Illinois ban on concealed carry, and the Oak Park handgun ban only disarm the law abiding members of society, leaving them vulnerable to the gun-ban-ignoring criminals. It is long since past time to repeal these laws that just don’t work, and restore the ability of law abiding people to defend themselves in Illinois.