For a while, I wrote almost weekly about Oak Park, IL, which is one of the few municipalities that still has a handgun ban. As would be expected, criminals in Oak Park ignore the handgun ban, and prey on the defenseless and disarmed victims. Since moving out of Illinois, I haven’t written about the Oak Park armed robberies as often – but they certainly have continued:
- As an employee of Oberweis Dairy, at 124 N. Oak Park Ave., unlocked the front door of the business around 8:30 a.m. Sunday, a man stepped up and placed a knife against his throat. The robber forced the employee to take him to the safe, then grabbed four bank bags containing an undisclosed amount of cash before escaping.
- Just before 8 p.m. a Chicago woman entering the stairwell of a village garage on the 900 block of Lake was accosted by a man who pointed a black revolver at her and demanded her purse. He ran off, however, when a security guard approached in his vehicle.
- Two criminals approached another man around 2 p.m. Thursday, as he sat in his truck on the 6100 block of North Avenue in Oak Park. One man placed a black semiautomatic handgun against the driver’s side and demanded his wallet.
- An Oak Park boy who was stopped by police at Ridgeland Common park, 415 Lake in Oak Park, was found to have a loaded revolver.
- Shortly before 3 p.m. a robber walked into another Shell station, at 401 Madison in Oak Park, and implied that he had a weapon. He demanded cash from the register and fled to a waiting car with $130.
- A man who had just parked his car on the 800 block of Lyman in Oak Park was approached by two robbers in their 20s. One of the men placed a knife against the man’s stomach and demanded his wallet and cellphone, which the man gave up. The two thieves then entered a waiting car and drove away.
For over a year, Oak Park has seen no shortage of shootings, pistol whippings, carjackings, and a nearly 3 fold increase in armed robbery, despite its 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 who will either ignore the handgun ban, or who can just overpower and beat their defenseless victims without a gun. 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 in Oak Park and stopping armed robbers in Oak Park. 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. 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.