Gun owners just want to be left alone

Opinion: Columns

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By Ray Simpson

Open letter to Ken Trainor on the last meeting of the Gun Rights and Responsibilities Group – RIP:

The Gun Rights and Responsibilities Group effort is coming to an end and as the meeting was concluding, you asked the gun rights members "What do you want?"

The reply that was never stated was that we want to be left alone. We participated to protect our second amendment rights from those of you who seem to believe that you know what is best for our community and feel that creating endless regulations will solve a problem that exists mostly outside of our community.

Hundreds of hours have been expended trying to solve a serious inner-city gun violence problem by dreaming up regulations to place controls on the legitimate, reasonable, non-violent gun owner. Why haven't we attempted to develop draconian restrictions on the violent, irrational people who possess and use guns outside of the law? Why? Because it's hard!

We would be required to admit that there are crazy people who follow the dictates of those little voices they hear. We would be required to admit that a sector of our population has no problem resolving disputes by killing one another and anyone who happens to get in the way. We would be required to admit a drug trafficking problem and its resulting turf wars. We would have to admit that a lawless, less-than-civilized group of citizens is not one bit concerned about any law, rule, ordinance or regulation we might concoct.

It would be necessary to critically examine politically explosive subjects like welfare, poverty, race, education, political corruption, destruction of family values and on and on. Not one member of this committee wants a mentally ill person to have access to firearms. None of us want felons, gang-bangers or drug dealers to have guns of any description. Equally important, not one of us want our neighbors to think we are "politically incorrect," "insensitive," or the granddaddy of them all "a racist."

In any honest evaluation of the gun violence problem, societal issues must not be removed from the table, but rather should be made the core of the discussion. Suppose that every recommendation of this committee became an implemented part of federal, state and local law. Past history tells us that after the legislative change, Oak Park would see no statistical improvement. Honest, law-abiding citizens conscientiously follow the law whereas gang-bangers, felons and druggies predictably do not!

The Gun Rights and Responsibilities Group has struggled to define and understand a daunting problem and we have, mistakenly, assumed that controls on the law-abiding will in some way change the behavior of the criminals and thugs.

I hope this exercise has revealed the complexity of our society's gun-violence problems and a raft of problems that far exceeds this group's scope of purpose. I believe that this exploration and these discoveries have made our trip worthwhile even if the final conclusion, of our group, is that we agree to disagree. I feel that I have made several good friends from both sides of this issue and hope we keep in contact in spite of our difference.

Ray Simpson is an Oak Park resident and a member of the Gun Rights and Responsibilities Group, an ad hoc citizens committee that has been discussing the issue of gun violence since January.

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Posted: October 31st, 2013 11:34 AM

Well said!

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: October 23rd, 2013 3:16 PM

@ Uncommon - you sound as if you were at all of our meetings. We could not even agree to a common goal, so getting there was impossible. We all seemed to think that firearms safety training was a good idea. If I am required by ordinance to take the class I think it would be a good idea for every adult in Oak park to take the training. Do it for the children!

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: October 23rd, 2013 2:07 PM

The problem is that the left argues from an emotional standpoint on issues like gun control, so no matter how much facts and logic completely destroy their argument for greater gun control, it won't matter to those who fear firearms. I also find it amusing how they want to "fix" the 2nd amendment with background checks, etc, but think you are trampling on constitution if you suggest someone should have to show simple ID to vote.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: October 23rd, 2013 11:55 AM

BeeKaaay- if you want someone to respect your rights, it might be a good idea to respect theirs. Folks are entitled to an opinion, no matter how wrong others may feel it is, and calling left leaning folks "Wackos" is really no different than left leaning folks calling gun owners "criminals". It's one thing to have a conversation, educate and make a case to someone with an opposing point of view and entirely another to stand hurling insults at the other party. Both sides are guilty of this.

Lone Gun from Los Angeles  

Posted: October 23rd, 2013 11:43 AM

Gun Ownwrs will NOT be left alone. There is and will be constant efforts to nibble away at the 2nd Amendment until it is left an empty hollow shell. At every level of Government. Witness D.C., Chicago, NY, Detroit, at al. Fight it as best you can as strogly as possible. But the fight is being lost bit by bit everywhere. So sorry.

Guest Guesty from Los Angeles, CA  

Posted: October 23rd, 2013 11:36 AM

Writer is right. No law prevents criminality. By definition. That leaves force-on-force against criminals. An armed socirety is a polite society. Unfortunately my rights to carry protection for myself and family have been taken away from me by law in Los Angeles and most of California by many Legislators and Legislation. So I am forced to either be a criminal myself or travel defenselsess against the criminal elements that skulk amongst us. So stand up strongly and loudly for your gun rights.


Posted: October 23rd, 2013 11:18 AM

Leftwingwackos want to disarm the law-abiding population because they love thugs, criminals and rapists. They believe that only criminals have the right to have the right to self-defense. Leftwingwackos are bloodthirsty.

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