Big crowd for Oak Park gun forum

Comments skewed toward gun-rights side at last week's meeting

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

A large crowd loaded into Oak Park Village Hall last week to talk gun regulations. Despite a few grumbles from the packed council chambers, attendees mostly kept their emotions holstered.

The Oak Park Board of Health, a citizen advisory panel to the village board, held the forum, Jan. 24, to gather input on how the community should regulate guns in the future. The forum followed in the wake of a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that struck down Oak Park's decades-long handgun ban, in addition to the recent opening of a gun store on Roosevelt Road.

Village Manager Tom Barwin, himself a former police officer, kicked off the discussion, urging speakers not to turn the forum into a shouting match over the right to bear arms. Rather, he wanted ideas on how Oak Park should react to the 2010 ruling.

"It's quite clear that firearm violence, accidents and crimes are very costly to our society in myriad ways," Barwin said. "Medical responses, rehabilitation from debilitating injury, loss of life, police and court costs, incarceration, all add up to monumental costs. From the board's perspective, firearm safety is clearly an important public health issue."

Twenty-two people spoke at Tuesday night's forum, about 15 of whom seemed to lean toward the gun-rights, anti-regulation side. Mike Weisman, vice president of the Illinois State Rifle Association and one of two non-Oak Park residents to speak, called it "contrived" to treat guns as a public health matter.

He pointed to the fact that Oak Park crime was the lowest it's been in 39 years in 2011, the first full year without the handgun ban since the 1980s. He said criminals are the problem, not legal gun owners.

"This issue is contrived and it's theater," Weisman said. "It's a need to do something because they lost the handgun ban. ... There's crime and there's bloodshed and there's heartache, and it doesn't come from honest, law-abiding people that want a chance to defend themselves."

Doug Hills, himself a gun owner, said he agrees that Oak Park should try to keep its streets safe, but gun regulations would be "very difficult to swallow." He and other gun owners said classes on gun use would be a better way to keep people safe, though it wouldn't benefit a knowledgeable firearm owner like himself, he added.

"It's about how do we protect our freedom as Americans to protect ourselves in our own homes, and what you guys come up with, I don't think, is really going to make us any more safe," Hills said.

On the other side, Alice Norris said Oak Park needs some type of guidelines to regulate guns. Her 14-year-old daughter was struck by a bullet in a drive-by shooting and tallied tens of thousands of dollars in hospital bills before eventually dying.

"The blood is crying out from the ground for us to do something about it," Norris said. "Not you, not me, but all of us, and you have a responsibility. Remember that you work for society. You're supposed to take care of us. You're supposed to be here for us and we're supposed to be safe. Didn't my daughter have a right to live?"

Reshma Desai said Oak Park should require owners to store guns separately from ammunition, and to keep them locked up. Local police could do "spot checks" at homes and issue fines to make sure people are complying, she said, which elicited grumbles from the mostly pro-gun crowd.

She also emphasized the need for educating children about the dangers of gun use, similar to how Oak Park treats drugs and alcohol. Having a gun in the home increases the chance of someone committing suicide, Desai said, and the village needs to pay special attention to people with mental health problems.

"If we're going to have guns in Oak Park, which it sounds like we already do, then we need to have some very simple ways of educating children on what to do when they see a gun," Desai said.

The health board is expected to compile the input from the forum to present to the village board in the coming months, according to Margaret Provost-Fyfe, head of the health department.

Back in 2010, the health board came up with a list of possible ways that Oak Park could respond in the event that the ban was overturned. Ideas included starting a handgun registry, holding safety courses and requiring owners to securely store their handguns.

Oak Park may explore zoning regulations related to gun stores, too, an idea suggested by a couple of attendees who are upset that a gun store just opened a few blocks from Irving Elementary School.

Reader Comments

71 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

Alistair Bernard from Oak Park  

Posted: November 5th, 2012 10:04 PM

80% of gun crimes are done with an illegally obtained weapon. regulating guns will only strip good citizens of their right to protect themselves. police cannot get to you door faster than a murderer can kill you, so we should not rely solely on the police for protection. more crime is stopped by armed citizens than by police. by allowing people to carry guns, its like having police around every corner. if criminals know that anybody walking by might be armed, it will deter them from doing crime.

Doug Hills from Oak Park  

Posted: February 2nd, 2012 4:07 PM

I love people who are afraid to leave their real name. I really enjoy the anti-gun comments regarding the idiot family member, etc. Everyone seems to forget that our country was founded on freedom. We had to fight for that freedom with guns. If you don't agree with gun ownership, that is fine, but your opinion does not make you intellectually or morally superior to anyone who does not agree with you. No one can further their cause with idiotic rhetoric and name calling.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: January 28th, 2012 8:17 AM

It's too early to put much stock in poll numbers but consider that Walker's lead over three of his potential challengers is within the margin of error. He's certainly acting worried and weird. The embattled governor has been jetting across the country collecting millions of dollars for his campaign from extremist groups.

Mares from River Forest  

Posted: January 27th, 2012 10:28 PM

Jim, please put down your Hopium pipe and look at the latest poll numbers. This recall nonsense is just the latest example of what left wing Dems do the best. WASTE TAXPAYERS $$$$$$. A good night to you sir. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/scott-walker-leads-in-wisconsin-recall-poll/2012/01/25/gIQAbtkfQQ_blog.html

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: January 27th, 2012 6:17 PM

Not sure about it being clever but accept that your dub is intended to honor two of your heroes. The jury's still out on Gov. Quinn but Gov. Walker's on the way out.

Luke ScottWalker from Oak Park  

Posted: January 27th, 2012 5:56 PM

Mr Coughlin, the moniker is a play on both the Star Wars hero, and the courageous gov of Wisconsin, which is why it's so clever. And I am indeed a big supporter of what Gov Walker is doing, and he is very successful so far. Compared to our inept Gov Quinn it's no contest. And please, stop with the Koch Bros boogymen nonsense. I'll see your Koch's and raise you a George Soros/Warren Buffet/Jeff Immelt ad nauseum. It's time to move along...Peace!

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: January 27th, 2012 5:21 PM

Lets have a gun range in Oak Park. Only bullets will be sold, and Barwin and Pope can add a flat 10 cents on each bullet sold. The range would charge per hour. It will give legal owners a place to shoot, and also bring in the illegal guns that can be confiscated.

Larry Dantonio from Berwyn, Illinois  

Posted: January 27th, 2012 4:47 PM

??????? The store is Windy City Firearms. http://www.windycityarms.com/

D  

Posted: January 27th, 2012 4:15 PM

Guns are like idiot family members. Some people have them but don't know what to do with them. bang.

?????  

Posted: January 27th, 2012 3:49 PM

Is the new gun shop open? What's it called and what's its website? I can't find anything about it anywhere, except mentions in news articles.

Mayor Rambo Emanuel (The Real Water Ho)  

Posted: January 27th, 2012 2:57 PM

@ J.C. Right from the Reader, not some right wing newspaper. http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/rahm-emanuel-and-the-water-and-sewer-budget/Content?oid=4966741

OP Crime reporter  

Posted: January 27th, 2012 1:52 PM

Well, I see how these thugs come over from autsin with guns and rob oak park people. But, I stay in my home and look out my window. I contact the PD asap if i see anything suspicious. I think all these things should be banned in Oak Park: all guns, knives, bats, dogs over 35lbs. fast horse power cars, NRA members, freedom of speech, fireworks, and the farmers market. Theres more, but Iam looking out my window right now. I think I see suspicious activity.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: January 27th, 2012 1:44 PM

Luke, I always thought your dub was a tribute to the Skywalker character in Star Wars. You cannot seriously be a supporter of the Wisconsin governor. Come on! Did you hear or read about the prank call he took from who he thought was one of the Koch brothers? They own him. Aren't you concerned about his efforts to giveaway the atate's water rights to those extermists? He doesn't have what's best for the citizens at heart and merely serves at the pleasure of the Kochs. They provided the financing for his election and are currently bankrolling the effort to halt the recall. He's a goner. The Koch brothers pose a greater threat than public employee unions. Know the enemy!

C'MON  

Posted: January 27th, 2012 1:18 PM

How did the kids at Columbine get guns, or the Va Tech shooter or the NIU shooter?

Thanks  

Posted: January 27th, 2012 10:52 AM

For all the comments. Now, can the WJ shut down the comment section of this article...frankly, nothing is going to be resolved here, or at the board table or at health services. not saying that it hasn't been interesting or informative or even fun seeing both sides chide each other but the fun is over and now it is time to get back to issues that can be impacted by community comments.

Mike Weisman  

Posted: January 27th, 2012 10:13 AM

I don't see an answer from Marty, the reporter, but I have already seen an answer that needs clarification. Two. There were two speakers that were not Oak Park residents, and I was one of them. However, I felt that i was representing the ISRA members from Oak Park that called me concerning this issue. All the residents went first by virtue of the white cards v blue cards that were handed out, blue for non-residents. The ISRA bused in no one, paid no one. It was all members, all volunteers.

Luke ScottWalker from Oak Park  

Posted: January 27th, 2012 9:48 AM

epic lutz...to answer your question, it was a lower percentage, by far, than the union thugs,OP "activists", & govt shills bussed into Wisconsin in their felonious attempt to recall my alter ego. Community activism is a bummer when it's used against you, isn't it?

OP Guy  

Posted: January 27th, 2012 9:40 AM

JKDIV, You either didn't read, or chose to ignore my post about the gun owners I mentioned to who were the one's fetishizing their weapons, and the common theories, and instead chose to spin it on me. That's fine, I expected as much from you. But speaking of common ground, it's going to be hard withe the likes of you when you've clearly distorted the 2nd to fit your own agenda. I wonder, if there a mail order catalog for stinger missiles?

JKDIV  

Posted: January 27th, 2012 8:40 AM

OP Guy, Not all 2A supporters are nuts. By referring to a gun as a "sexy piece of metal", you betrayed your underlying, irrational prejudice against gun owners. Neither I nor the shooters that I know are either nuts or the type that sexually fetishize firearms. In fact, I think it is really weird that you would even bring that up. I see a gun as a tool with a purpose; like a hammer. It's going to hard to find common ground with someone, like you, who sees a gun as a phallic symbol.

ArmandK  

Posted: January 27th, 2012 6:43 AM

Oak Park needs to get its face rubbed in the Bill of Rights, yet again? We, the People, have the right to keep and bear arms. Weapons. Guns. We're sick of arrogant OPers who think they can deny us our rights. Really looking forward to 2012, the year that Illinois passes a concealed-carry law.

OP Guy  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 10:37 PM

Ah, yes, I'm the ideological one where it's gun nuts that go around shoving their distorted, decontextualized version of the 2nd in everyone's face, telling us we're somehow taking away their freedom. And I'm the condescending one, when all the gun nuts portray anti-gun people as freedom hating oppressors who use "ideology to extricate" themselves from "bad situations". How "condescending" and "ideological". I suppose you'll have your gun on your hip all the time to "extricate yourself?

Condescending Ideological OP Guy   

Posted: January 26th, 2012 10:14 PM

All you gun nuts need to be heavily regulated because I know what is best for everyone. If I ever find myself in a very bad situation I will just use my idealogy to extricate myself

epic lulz  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 9:44 PM

Marty, any idea how many of the pro-guns speakers were actually from OP and how many were bussed in from outside the community?

Curious from Oak Park  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 9:38 PM

@GunLobby from Yorkville - There was several references to what you commented about at the meeting. For newer residents to Oak Park who aren't as familiar to the lawsuit do you (or anyone else) have a resource that we could find more information about this? There were several references at the meeting but no one seemed to be able to site references for further review. Thank you.

OP Guy  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 8:48 PM

2A, where did I say your address should be public knowledge based on gun ownership? I do believe that heavy regulation is in order for gun owners, but don't put words in my mouth.

OP Guy  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 8:44 PM

Hey Street Justice, I wondered when the "More deaths are caused by cars than guns" argument was going to rear its head... So, there are more deaths cause by cars than Heroin overdoses, should we legalize Heroin? That would follow your logic.

2A  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 7:49 PM

Your second amendment rights are written in the constitution. No town, city or village will ever be allowed to take that right away from the people. If you don't want a gun, if you don't own a gun, then do not. Just do not infringe on my right to have one. OP crime reporter and OP guy, you want me to make my house address public because you want to disclose I own a gun? I have a proposal for you. First, post YOUR address publicly first so the bad guys will know which house to safely rob.

Illinois Gun Licenses Rose By 6.1 % Last Year  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 5:27 PM

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-illinois-gun-licenses-rose-by-6-percent-last-year-20120126,0,6643472.story

GunLobby from Yorkville  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 5:24 PM

The village is on the hook for legal fees in the lawsuit, and after Chicago said they would not endemnify them, they could owe $800,000, half of the 1.6 million. pass another ordinance like Chicago and we will be back to sue you again. Looks like we had a room full of plantiffs to pick from. So how much more of your tax dollars do you want to waste on this? And if you pass a storage law, like was suggested, your gonna loose again. Want to start searching homes, get ready for even bigger suits

GUNZ KILL  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 5:13 PM

We must NEVER RATIONALIZE DEATH BY GUN!!!

Street Justice  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 5:09 PM

More deaths are caused by cars than guns. More accidental child deaths are caused by choking on food than bullets. Bow and arrows were designed to kill too, they're not banned. 100% of crime committed with a gun are by... wait for it... CRIMINALS, with illegally purchased/stolen guns. I think we should save the money on trying to ban guns and spend it on bubbles for everyone to walk in because everything is a potential weapon. Q: What's scarier than a gun? A: An uneducated mind.

OP Crime reporter  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 4:24 PM

Well, the police should randomly search suspicious individuals walking down the street. Anything, from a stick from a tree to johnnys apple in a monkey sock can be considered a lethal weapon. Butter knives, and even spoons as well. Certain cars should be banned from oak park also. Too much horse power, you can lose control and crash. Vicious dogs charging down lake st. as I've witnessed from my window. We need to stay safe, so I watch everthing from my window and call the authorities asap.

LeeG  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 4:05 PM

OP Crime Reporter, OMG! Who do you call at the PD when you go out and get petrified of your shadow? Man up a little bit here. You want the police to confiscate all legal guns, baseball bats, knives, forks, sharp pointy objects, scizzors, illegal contraband, and now certain breeds of dogs. Don't forget you can get a nasty scratch from a cat too! Those dogs you mention are trained to only bite people who want to sacrifice everyone else's 2nd Amendment rights. You might want to stay in the house.

LiquidEvil from Oak Park  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 3:41 PM

Seeing as how handgun ownership has been legal in nearly every other town in Illinois, the arguments from a public health standpoint are completely ridiculous. You don't see kids accidentally shooting themselves in large numbers in the surrounding suburbs, so why would we expect it to happen here? But even if it is a public health issue, it's not local government's place to try to regulate away a right. Even if a majority of Oak Parkers think it should. Attempting a roundabout ban is foolish.

OP Crime reporter  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 3:25 PM

Gun owners should be on a list of ownership thats available to the public so neighbors know who has firearms in their homes. I also think we should ban certain dog breeds in this town like the german sheppard, pitbull, boxer ect. These dogs are dangerous weapons as well. Than the police can search home to home for illegal cantraband and make arrests. I can report all wrong doings asap as I look out my window on lake st.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 1:40 PM

Wow a very poorly written article. I was there and the comments were about 15-7 against as mentioned in a post below.

OP Guy  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 12:36 PM

OP Crime reporter, I agree. If guns are going to be around, they have to be heavily regulated. It's we have laws for owning and using a car, we need regulations for an object that is design for the sole purpose of maiming and killing. Gun nuts can cry about the civil liberties all they want, but when you have the power to kill, or have others around you kill, with such ease, you can deal with regulations that aim to secure the safety of those around you.

LeeG  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 12:27 PM

OP Crime reporter, I can see that you are not one who believes your life is not worth saving and that is your right. Don't tell everyone else to have the same outlook on theirs. Most people want to live a full life and places a value on theirs. You can die without trying to save yourself, but don't expect others to give up so easily. Owning guns is not a power thing...it's a constitutional thing if you can grasp the idea. Don't own one if you don't like them. Nobody is forcing you to get one.

OP Crime reporter  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 12:08 PM

Well, I agree with spot checking Oak Park residents homes for firearms and other illegal contraband. These gun fanatics are consumed with fire power for what reason is unknown to me. Guns, knives, bats, any type of weapon should be illegal and the criminal caught should be in jail. I will report all illegal activity to Oak Park police if I see you any of you gun runners in my area. I watch everything through my window on lake st.

OP Guy  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 11:53 AM

Mike Weisman, you said "There is no crime wave since the lifting of the gun ban. The streets are not safe, but they are safer than they were. I repeat here what I said in forum: there is no public health menace posed by legal gun owners in Oak Park. None." It's not so much that all legal gun owners go crazy and start shooting people, but that guns DO fall into the wrong hands, be they kids, criminals, and fatal mistakes are made. Some people DO become mentally unstable, or become desperate.

Trade off from Oak Park  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 11:52 AM

I hope that we are not willing to bring guns into our homes to protect our property while putting our families at risk. Most Oak Parkers are not savy enough to use a weapon effectively or prevent children from handling them. For goodness sake most of you don't even have the good sense to lock your garage doors

Just Asking  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 11:44 AM

Thanks, Mike.

Common Sense  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 11:24 AM

Remember people. It's the people who have firearms ILLEGALLY that are the problem. Not the people who go through the propers channels and obey the law to own a firearm.

Mike Weisman  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 10:57 AM

TYPO: NEITHER implementation of public policy changes nor a zoning changes are going to be effective.

Mike Weisman  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 10:56 AM

@ Just: I hope that stray bullets are not a recurring or even occasional problem in your neighborhood nor anyone else's. But for where there are stray bullets in populated areas, implementation of public policy changes nor a zoning changes are going to be effective. Additionally, firearms accidents are at an all-time low due to training and other educational efforts by the NRA and ISRA.

Just Asking  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 10:28 AM

Hi Mike, pointing out the maximum distance a bullet can travel does not negate the minimum distance it can travel, say from one back yard to another, and still be random.

Mike Weisman  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 10:27 AM

I'm sure that Ms Desai realizes that her police spot checks would have to apply to everyone, including her. oooo Why just spot check the home of the people that stood up to be counted? Her spot checks would have to be a clear-cut 4th Amendment violation with warrant-less searches of everyone's homes in order to be effective. oooo You don't have anything to hide, do you?

LeeG  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 10:26 AM

My point is accidents are just that..accidents. You just don't legislate away everything that causes someone to be injured because of an accident. There are currently over 30,000 gun laws on the books in the U.S. Have criminals seen the light and stopped using firearms in the commission of crimes? No. Why do you think any new law passed would scare them more than the one's on the books now. I again say law abiding firearm owners are not the issue. Stop the criminals and you solve your problem

Just Asking  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 10:16 AM

LeeG: agreed, bad guys will always have guns and be bad people. and yes we teach our kids to look both ways before crossing, cross at the corner etc. the one major difference between cars and bullets: brakes. we have to stop making anthologies between two different objects(cars and guns) that can be lethal in the hands of a bad operator. And yes, I know I brought it up first, not you. Again thanks for your thoughtful response.

Mike Weisman  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 10:12 AM

>>>>but I can't protect them from a stray bullet that may have been fired from 2300m away(from the nra travel distance of a 120grain 9mm bullet)<<<< First Just is talking about his neighbor. Now he is talking about a stray shot from I assume someone unknown to him involved in criminal activity. This unknown person would be a hard sell to take some mandated education, register his firearm, keep it locked up with the ammo separate, consent to Ms Desai's "spotcheck", comply with zoning, etc.

LeeG  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 10:06 AM

I truly understand your concern. You can't mandate to parents to become educated on gun safety and then teach that to their children, but you would think any caring parent would do so without mandate! Don't they teach them how to safely cross the street so not to be hit by a car? There are still going to be accidents no matter what. We hope for the best. Guns in the hands of bad people or criminals will never go away, but we work to that end, and teach safety and responsibility in the meantime.

Just Asking  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 9:58 AM

LeeG. thanks for the thoughtful response. the only trouble with education...in all caps or all lower case, is how do you propose to mandate that a ten year old is taught the lessons? you can't, or it would infringe on some right that someone will think of. I can teach my kids about guns and gun saftey but I can't protect them from a stray bullet that may have been fired from 2300m away(from the nra travel distance of a 120grain 9mm bullet).

JKDIV  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 9:54 AM

The undisputed expert in the field of educating children about gun is the NRA and its Eddie the Eagle Program. Its message is simple. If confronted by a gun, a child should: Stop, Don't Touch, Leave the Area, & Tell an Adult. The program started in 1988 and has been taught to 20 million kids. It does not advocate either for or against the use of firearms. The sole focus is Stop, Don't Touch, Leave the Area, & Tell an Adult.

LeeG  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 9:34 AM

I understand your concerns Just Asking. This is no different than anything else in life. EDUCATION. None of us are born with the info on how to safely handle a firearm. I had to learn it just as the police do. There is no difference in our training. Teach children to never touch a firearm and if they see one laying out or in the hands of one of their peers, leave and tell an adult. You can't control your neighbors but with a gun you can protect yourself against them if they leathly threaten you

Just Asking  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 9:19 AM

not a direct challenge, LeeG. I get the if you don't want one don't own one. And I get teaching etc. But what if your neighbors don't? and say they have a hot headed resident of their household, or a young kid who thinks it's cool to take a gun out to play...and someone who is minding their own business gets shot? You could say the same thing about cars, but cars have built in protection of mass, seatbelts, airbags etc. i don't walk around wearing body armor

LeeG  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 9:14 AM

This boils down to a few simple facts. First, control the criminal element in your city and you will drastically reduce shootings the crime rate. Second, start teaching morals and the value of life to children at home and through religion. Next, realize law abiding citizens do not want to harm anyone when they own or carry a gun. They only want a chance to procted themselves if placed in a lethal threat situation. Last and most important... it's our right! If you don't want a gun don't own one!!

@ murielschnierow from Oak Park  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 8:03 AM

You never mentioned how to get the guns away from the criminals. Considering that criminals will not be following our laws anytime soon, guns only to the police hamper the law abiding citizens in the meantime. You mention gun shows and straw purchases which has to do with what? Gun shows is just a part of capitalism called marketing. Straw purchasing goes with cigarettes and alcohol (remember hs and college) not to mention prescription drugs. Some people on here straw purchase alcohol for teens

@ Renee Zoltowski from Oak Park  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 7:56 AM

You don't know your kids have a greater chance at not being at a house with a gun.If your kids ever come over my house, guess what? I have a gun and I won't be telling them about it. I don't talk about it much except for with my wife because I want her to be comfortable handling it also. A weapon is a tool that has its place. You have no idea which homes your children go to that have firearms. Don't kid yourself. Be concerned about the people who live there..that will determine their experience.

Mike Weisman  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 7:26 AM

>>>>Regarding Weisman: To suggest that it has some correlation to the lifting of the ban last year is idiotic. <<<< and to suggest that there is some "need to do something" now that the ban has been lifted and crime is at its lowest, is what, smart? There is no crime wave since the lifting of the gun ban. The streets are not safe, but they are safer than they were. I repeat here what I said in forum: there is no public health menace posed by legal gun owners in Oak Park. None.

OP Guy  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 3:33 AM

Citizen, I'm well aware of your take on it, but it's left open ended enough to appeal to any gun nut wanting to believe that guns keep homes safe. What about the gun that was stolen from a home near Culyer and Thomas last year? Isn't that gun "legal" gun in a criminals hand right now? And has possibly been used in 1 or multiple crimes? I guess we'll never know for sure cause we don't know who stole it, but we do know that THAT "legal" gun is not in the hands a a "responsible", "honest citizen".

Citizen of the Republic of the USA  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 2:50 AM

OP Guy mis-interpreted Mr Weisman's statement. He did not say that crime rates dropped to their lowest rate in 2011 because the Oak Park handgun ban was no longer in effect. He merely pointed out that the crime rate dropped even though honest citizens could legally possess handguns during the period. This was to support his statement that guns possessed by criminals are used to commit crimes, not firearms possessed by honest citizens.

OP Guy  

Posted: January 26th, 2012 1:10 AM

US Navy Veteran, I fight against the ideology of people like you on a daily basis. Oh, and they don't call it Oak NO Park for no reason. "freedom is not free", but unfortunately stupidity is. "Land of the free? Who ever told you that is your enemy."

2A  

Posted: January 25th, 2012 9:39 PM

Spot checks? Registrations? Mandatory Education? There is a reason why the Constitution call these your RIGHTS. I should not have to beg a Village to give me my RIGHTS. Guns don't kill people, people kill people. God bless the Illinois State Rifle Association.

@ OakPark USMC Veteran  

Posted: January 25th, 2012 9:18 PM

Well said sir. The only thing OP Guy has probably ever fought for in his life is a parking space. Unfortunately, freedom is not free. US Navy Veteran

clyde m from oak park  

Posted: January 25th, 2012 9:17 PM

The world is a dangerous place. home invasions occur. criminals prey on weakness. It is naive to think that the police can or will protect you in your own home. Unarmed you are weak. Armed, trained and willing you are not. nonviolence is an ideal but is highly unlikely to save you or your family if you are confronted with someone intent on harming you or doing bad things to your wife or kids. I would prefer to control my own fate.

Oak Park USMC Veteran  

Posted: January 25th, 2012 8:36 PM

Reshma Desai thinks OP Police should do spot checks in the homes of tax paying OP residents. Nope. I dont think so. Whats next, show us your papers? Poland all over again? These are your rights folks, fought for by our ancestors and all of them are under attack by fanatical anti-Americans whom are too ignorant, paranoid or blinded to what is going on in this country. I have served this great nation proudly, and many people have died fighting for your rights. Wake up before its too late.

OP Guy  

Posted: January 25th, 2012 6:34 PM

Regarding Weisman: "He pointed to the fact that Oak Park crime was the lowest it's been in 39 years in 2011, the first full year without the handgun ban since the 1980s. He said criminals are the problem, not legal gun owners." Crime has been on the decrease on a yearly basis since the 90s, and it has been a steady decrease. To suggest that it has some correlation to the lifting of the ban last year is idiotic.

murielschnierow from Oak Park  

Posted: January 25th, 2012 6:03 PM

i am confused.2nd amendment -guns to raise a militia-When i see a horrible home invasion yes i wish that the homeowner had a handgun and knew how to use it. Gun Shows? NRA? Straw purchases? guns in the hands of maniacs like loughner in Arizona? No absolutely not. and stangely there was a peacable man with a gun who almost shot the wrong person. trained owners for self defence maybe. The rest of the guns go to the police.

Renee Zoltowski from Oak Park  

Posted: January 25th, 2012 4:24 PM

I hope that part of allowing guns in Oak park is to send the owners to mandatory safety training classes. I have lived here for over 30 years and was happy about the ban. That way I knew my kids would have a much greater chance at not being at a house with a gun.

Wow  

Posted: January 25th, 2012 3:40 PM

"more than half seemed to lean"? Another local paper had it 15-7 on the anti-reg side. As I was there, have to say that is a more accurate (and unexpected, never thought OP had that many gun owners). Would have been nice if you included the comments of the man who explained how his family (and neighbors) had been harassed by drug dealers and gang members. Guess I should not be shocked that the WJ presents a somewhat distorted picture of the mtg in order to comply with local dogma.

powpow  

Posted: January 25th, 2012 3:01 PM

I can't believe they let the cops in this town carry guns.... Those things are dangerous!!!!

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