During the last week, criminals have continued to show contempt for the Oak Park, IL handgun ban, along with the laws against carjacking and armed robbery:
As reported, on Wednesday, February 4, 2009, a man parked his new 2009 Ford Taurus behind a building on the 1000 block of Superior in Oak Park, IL. An armed robber appeared, placed a gun to the man’s head, and told him to get back in the car. The armed robber than made the man drive to the bank on the 800 block of Lake Street, and withdraw $500, the maximum amount the ATM would allow to be withdrawn. The robber then told the man to drive back to the 1000 block of Superior, but the man refused, and stopped his car at the intersection of Maple and Erie. The gunman then ordered the man out of his car, and drove off with the car, money, and some medication samples. The car was later taken on a rampage through the Triton College area, which ended after the suspect crashed the car multiple times and unsuccessfully tried to flee on foot. Multiple law enforcement officers were injured during the chase, including one who suffered a broken ankle.
For about the last year, I’ve discussed Oak Park’s crime wave, which has seen shootings, pistol whippings, carjackings, plus a nearly 3 fold increase in armed robbery. In most of these crimes, a criminal has ignored the Oak Park handgun ban, plus the many serious state laws that are violated by armed robbery. This should come as no surprise, as a person willing to commit a serious felony like armed robbery won’t be deterred by the potential $1,000 to $2,000 fine imposed upon those who violate the handgun ban.
Instead of keeping Oak Park citizens safe from criminals, the handgun ban just ensures that the law abiding citizens are defenseless against criminals will either ignore the handgun ban, or who can just overpower and beat their defenseless victims. Indeed, it is only those who are willing to break the law and have a handgun in Oak Park that have had a high success rate at stopping violent attackers and armed robbers. Sadly, such individuals then have to face the prospect of being prosecuted for defending themselves – a situation which truly represents a perversion of justice.
Despite the unqualified failure that is the handgun ban, village officials continue to fight to keep the ban on the books. I would encourage Oak Park’s residents to recognize the handgun ban as a failure, and to insist that their elected officials repeal it – and pursue measures that can have a real effect upon crime. Perhaps then, Oak Park residents will be able to defend themselves against violent criminals like many other citizens across the country.