- The evening of March 11, 2009 a man was robbed by two men wearing hoodies and face masks in a private building’s parking lot on the 400 block of Lake Street. One man pointed a black pistol at the victim and said, “Don’t run or I’ll shoot.” The second man then said, “Empty your pockets.” The two criminals escaped with the man’s iPhone and $42 cash.
- The afternoon of March 12, 2009 two criminals walked into Athlete’s Foot on the first block of Madison Street. One walked to the register with a pair of shoes, displayed a black pistol, and demanded money while the other man stepped outside. The clerk placed $300 in the shoe box, and the two men escaped in a nearby car.
It should be clear that the Oak Park handgun ban doesn’t stop criminals from having a gun with which to commit crimes – but it does stop law abiding citizens form having a gun for self defense. The reason for this is quite simple: a law abiding citizen won’t want the embarrassment and shame of being dragged into court if caught with a gun, or the humiliation of paying the $1,000 fine and having their name in the newspaper. A criminal, on the other hand, doesn’t fear such such a penalty, as they would be in much deeper trouble if arrested for armed robber or murder.
Oak Park should follow in footsteps of Morton Grove, Wilmette, Winnetka, and Evanston by repealing its handgun ban. Doing so will allow Oak Park’s citizens to defend themselves against criminals, who already ignore the handgun ban. Repealing the handgun ban will also save the cash strapped village of Oak Park some much needed money in legal fees, which would otherwise be wasted trying to defend the likely unconstitutional handgun ban.