As reported, a 29 year old man from Chicago has been charged in connection with the February 3, 2009 robbery of an elderly and handicapped person in Oak Park, IL. Police allege that Ray Griffin, a 29 year old man who resides at 928 North Monticello in Chicago, followed the disabled and elderly woman out of a store and to her home on the 700 block of South Humphrey in Oak Park. Police say that Griffin then asked the woman if she needed any help, and when she declined, he grabbed her purse and caused her to fall down a flight of stairs and break her shoulder. Police are said to have uses security camera footage to track down Griffin, who is reportedly charged with aggravated robbery of a person older than 60, aggravated robbery of a handicapped person, and felony unlawful use of a credit card.
This crime that the handicapped and elderly woman suffered shows the real problem in our society – criminals preying on innocent victims. Whether they are committing this type of unarmed robbery, or armed robbery in Oak Park, or rape in Chicago, or any other crimes that they commit, the real issue is the intentional actions of the criminal. Until we address our failing eduction system, poor parenting, insufficiently long sentences for those convicted, underfunded and understaffed police departments, and a whole host of other factors, crime will remain a problem in our society.
Unfortunately, there are those politicians who like to shift the focus from the criminal’s action to inanimate object, and blame guns for society’s woes. Even if handgun bans worked (which they don’t), an unarmed criminal is still more than capable of overpowering an older handicapped woman, as we can see here. Indeed, since criminals are often young men, they tend to be able to overpower children, women, the disabled, and other men who are not as physically strong.
Shifting focus back to this particular crime, there was no gun – yet this woman suffered a severe and painful injury at the hands of a criminal who cared more about quick money than her safety. The handgun ban won’t stop this kind of crime, or the armed robberies that plague Oak Park – but it does ensure that Oak Park’s elderly/disabled residents can’t defend themselves the way that this elderly man, this elderly woman, this elderly man, or many others were able to defend themselves.