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Sound familiar? Ken Trainor used it last week as the headline of his column [Why we should talk about guns, Viewpoints, Jan. 16]. He and I had breakfast recently. I am 77 and have supported (not blindly supported) the Second Amendment to our federal Constitution for most of my life. Ken is about 60 and doesn't really say directly how he thinks and feels about the Second Amendment.
More importantly, he does agree: let's get 10-12 critical thinking Oak Park citizens together in an ad hoc committee and see if they can, to quote Ken, "… engage in some in-depth discussion from a variety of angles, followed by recommendations for the village board and staff to consider." Almost sounds like the old "12 good men and true" phrase to describe a jury. Not quite accurate for a few reasons:
1) Ken and I hope several critical-thinking women (maybe a majority) will be stalwart members of this group. Also, varying ages from the "age of reason" (teenagers) to me and older — and perhaps, not 10 or 12 but nine or 14 participants.
We both agree that mutual respect, a sense of humor and the dedicated seeking of truth must be how the committee handles itself. Easy? No. Rewarding? Yes. History making? Hopefully.
Ken said last week and I strongly endorse: "The outcome I'm hoping for is a set of clear, reasonable, enforceable rules/ordinance on gun control measures that protect public safety and can stand up in court should they be challenged."
This is a complicated issue — protect all of us as "the public" while protecting "individual citizens' rights." The state has been charged by the 7th Federal Circuit Court to create a statute in not over 180 days (starting about six weeks ago) that extends to Illinois citizens the basic right to conceal and carry handguns as is now the law in all the other 49 states.
Lisa Madigan, the state's Attorney General, has vowed to fight this 7th Circuit decision to somehow prevent its being implemented in Illinois. Remember, the citizens of 49 states say concealed-carry is a very good idea. Are they wrong? Is what Oak Parkers want on this issue more obstruction or creative implementation? Do we really want Lisa Madigan, and our local state politicos to control Oak Park?
Think about it (that's critical thinking!). We have six stalwart citizens who are willing to donate a good bit of their time to this issue. If you can think critically, please call me very soon.
708-383-3850 or 708-491-1179 (cell)