The “gun free” village of Oak Park, IL has seen plenty of armed robberies, as criminals laugh at the decades-old handgun ban. Most of these robberies involve criminals threatening the lives of innocent people, while taking their money or car. However during a recent robbery, the armed criminal took something much more precious:
On the 1000 block of N. Austin Avenue on May 30th, 2009, a man was confronted by a criminal who pointed a revolver at him. The criminal then demanded the man’s dog. The victim dropped the dog’s leash, and ran back to his home. The robber picked up the leash, and took away the man’s dog.
When I read this story, the first thing that I thought of was the barbaric practice of dogfighting. There have been numerous cases across the US of criminals stealing family pets, and using these pets as dogfighting bait. Just thinking about that situation makes me sick to my stomach, for both those poor pets and the families that loved them. I see dogs as members of the family, just like people, and could not allow preventable harm to come to a dog of mine. Indeed, I have never been as sad as the day my first dog died of old age, after a long and happy life, and could not imagine having a dog stolen from me. My fiancé shared that sentiment, immediately saying that she would not give a robber her dog, even if it meant being shot herself. Fortunately, my fiancée and I live in a state that allows concealed carry, and I have a concealed carry permit – meaning that we will be in the best position possible to defend ourselves should we ever face this sort of attack.
Luckily, there was a happy ending to this dog theft: The dog later returned home on his own. The newspaper article didn’t indicate whether the dog was harmed, but I’m hoping that it was completely OK. The lesson to take from this armed robbery, and all the others, is that Oak Park’s handgun ban doesn’t work. It fails to disarm criminals, since a person willing to commit a robbery or shooting won’t think twice about violating some village ordinance, punishable only by a fine. Instead, the handgun ban just ensures that criminals know where they can find defenseless victims.