As I’ve mentioned many times before, Oak Park, IL still has a handgun ban. Oak Park decided to keep that ineffective and likely unconstitutional law on the books, even as other Chicago suburbs such as Evanston, Morton Grove, Wilmette, and Winnetka wisely repealed their handgun bans in 2008. As the crime reports for the last couple of week show, the Oak Park handgun ban is continuing to infringe the rights of law abiding citizens, while failing to stop the armed robbers who prey upon its citizens:
- A robber in his 20s, about 5-feet, 10-inches and 220 pounds, used a black handgun to rob a woman of $240 on the evening of June 11 on the 100 block of Madison in Oak Park.
- A robber came up from behind a victim on the 300 block of South Austin Boulevard in Oak Park, wrapped his arm around the victim’s neck, and jammed a silver handgun against his ribs the afternoon of May 27. The suspect then took $30, along with the victim’s cellphone and driver’s license.
Once again, this crime in “gun free” Oak Park shows that passing a law which restricts gun ownership only effects the law abiding citizens, who weren’t going to commit a crime in the first place. The people who will pistol whip, shoot, carjack, or rob innocent people won’t think twice about some municipal ordinance that tells them they can’t have a gun, just as they disregard the laws that prohibit armed robbery, murder, etc. As a result, criminals know that Oak Park is where they can go to find unarmed victims, as criminals like easy targets and fear armed citizens who can defend themselves.
It is worth noting that the idea of armed Oak Park citizens being better able to defend themselves that those that are unarmed is not just some hypothetical that I’ve come up with, but rather demonstrated fact. In the time that I’ve covered Oak Park gun-related events on this website, there have been two cases of illegally armed citizens stopping a racist attacker and stopping an armed robber. These citizens were breaking both state and local laws by carrying a handgun, but by doing so they manged to save themselves from unprovoked and violent attacks. It is a sad situation indeed when only those willing to break the law are able to defend themselves – and then have to fear prosecution for doing so. Hopefully, Oak Park’s handgun ban (along with Chicago’s handgun ban) will soon be struck down by the Supreme Court in the pending McDonald v. Chicago case.