Judge says Oak Park should cover NRA's legal fees

No cost determined yet; village will likely share expense with Chicago


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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

The Village of Oak Park may end up paying thousands of dollars in legal fees to the National Rifle Association, based on a judge's recent ruling.

The decision dates back to last June, when the Supreme Court struck down Oak Park and the city of Chicago's bans on handguns. The NRA had filed suit a couple of years earlier, looking to kill handgun restrictions in several communities. Chicago and Oak Park were the only municipalities which chose to fight the NRA in court, and ended up losing last summer.

Last Thursday, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the NRA has the right to recover its attorney fees from Oak Park and Chicago, overturning a previous court decision.

"The National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment prevailed against those who sought to deny the right to keep and bear arms in Chicago and Oak Park," Chris W. Cox, executive director for the NRA's legislative branch, said in a press release. "The attempt to avoid paying the NRA's attorneys' fees was rightly found to be unjust by the court."

Village Attorney Ray Heise and Manager Tom Barwin said Monday that they had not yet had a chance to look at the ruling, and would hold off in responding. Village President David Pope, too, had not seen the ruling on Monday, but he heard that the case would be sent to a lower court to determine the exact amount of the legal fees.

"I think we're all in a sort of wait-and-see mode," Pope said.

After the Supreme Court declared Oak Park's 26-year handgun ban unconstitutional last year, Oak Park responded by tweaking its gun rules. Changes included allowing people to carry a firearm in their place of business or home, though keeping it illegal to carry an assault weapon or any gun in a vehicle.

The NRA took a swipe at those prevailing gun restrictions last week.

"While we are grateful to recover our attorneys' fees, however, we remain steadfast in our belief that Chicago and Oak Park continue to circumvent the law of the land and deny their law-abiding residents the Second Amendment freedoms protected by the Constitution," Cox said in the press release. "We will continue to fight those efforts until the Second Amendment is fully respected."

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Arc Light  

Posted: June 13th, 2011 8:19 PM

You don't seem to remember the numerous self-defense shootings in Chicago last year that occurred in the homes that resulted in the wounding and killing of career criminals. If I remember correctly it was 4 at the last count. And in a city that banned ownership of handguns, but every shooting have been a handgun. And one shooting was from a retired Chicago Police officer.

Arc Light  

Posted: June 13th, 2011 8:05 PM

I DON'T think that in all situations to KILL anyone. The minumum amount of force to stop the attack or force the individual to flee or surrender will do. That's the law......

Arc Light  

Posted: June 13th, 2011 7:57 PM

The Police should be contacted - no doubt about it. The question is: How far do YOU go to protect yourself and your family. Remember you are the man of the house and you should know that you have to put your life on the line to protect your loved ones. Killing to me is abhorrant, but if you have no choice, then what? I am not saying that you just shoot away, or stick a knife, or bludgeon the person at the get go, while the police is minutes away responding to you distress call.

O P Rez  

Posted: June 13th, 2011 12:02 AM

Arc, For all those reasons that is why you call police. This is the real reason why guns dont help the problem. You probably think in all the situations you explained its ok to kill someone with a gun. The courts will overturn it? Please tell me you are kidding right?

Arc Light  

Posted: June 12th, 2011 7:38 PM

Here are some examples of Disparity of Force: 1) Large man vs. Small man. 2) Able bodied man against disabled man. 3)Man against Woman. 4) Two or more men against One man. 5) Two or more juveniles against one man or woman. 6) Man or Woman known to have training of the martial arts against untrained man or woman.

Arc Light  

Posted: June 12th, 2011 7:34 PM

The definition of Disparity of Force: Is defined as a situation that any reasonable person would conclude places you at a overwhelming disadvantage in your effort to protect yourself against immediate and serious body injury

Arc Light  

Posted: June 12th, 2011 7:17 PM

OP Rez: When the car came close to the bicycle and force it to the curb, the die was struck. You don't have to hit the bicycle, but forcing it to the side would consistute assault and a prelude to self defense......

Arc Light  

Posted: June 12th, 2011 7:13 PM

If the lone individual was licensed to carry the pistol and trained correctly, the previous comment would be valid.

Arc Light  

Posted: June 12th, 2011 7:11 PM

OP Rez, You only need ONE punch/kick in the right place to kill a human. Under disparity of force - 3 teenagers vs one? In this case, the lone person can carry a knife, club, or a gun to protect him or herself and claim self-defense and win in court and public opinion. See David Kochmann for example...


Posted: June 12th, 2011 5:30 PM

It's amazing to me that... some feel being hit by a car is not reason to fear for your life. Guns are bad, but running someone down is okay? Someone trying to run you over is pretty terrifying! As for why he flashed his gun, maybe the boys said something to him that frightened him? Is there any mention of what was said to him? If he was flashing the gun for "macho" reasons, it's one thing. But do we know the boys hadn't said something threatening first, giving him cause to fear for his safety?

O P Rez  

Posted: June 12th, 2011 3:46 PM

CSS was never in danger of losing his life. With their fists? No guns on the kids remember? He shot the kid in a gang way. How badly injured was he? I dont believe the car even hit the bicycle. I thought he did time.

Arc Light  

Posted: June 12th, 2011 3:25 PM


Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: June 12th, 2011 2:12 PM

The Chicago Tribune,Sat Nov. 16, 1985 second paragraph,"Cook County Prosecutors,who had charged Smith,29,with first degree murder," "opened a preliminary hearing Friday by dropping the murder charge and replacing it with two lesser counts of voluntary manslaughter".Beer or no beer a mob against one is still a mob no matter how fast you ride away on your bicycle.

Arc Light  

Posted: June 12th, 2011 1:27 PM

Brian, if you read the Tribune account, which I did, and your arrest record from the Police, I surmised that CSS was eventually charged with Manslaughter, a 5-10 stint in the pen. The State's Attorney at that time was the anti-gun Richard Daley tried to railroad CSS on a first degree charge and yes - there is a racial underpinning here. It also shows that the mob (boys) weren't charged with anything speaks volumes doen't it????

Arc Light  

Posted: June 12th, 2011 1:05 PM

Or hung the jury.

Arc Light  

Posted: June 12th, 2011 12:59 PM

If CSS kept riding his bike and ignored them, and the boys went after him with the car, knocked him down with it, chased by foot, and cornered him began to punch and kick, CSS shot them, he would charged with carrying a gun without a permit and violating the Oak Park ordinance. If I was on the jury, and this happened exactly what I wrote, I would have him acquitted on homicide charges.

Arc Light  

Posted: June 12th, 2011 12:53 PM

Brian, what you wrote is correct, but left one thing out - When the boys taunted him, he should have rode away without saying a word - not escalating the situation - The boys had "Liquid Courage" -ALCOHOL in their system. Showing the gun or implying that caused them to take action because the boys had something to prove (You threatened me with a gun?, I am going to beat you *** in) that caused the disasterous results. More above..

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: June 12th, 2011 11:45 AM

CSS was in fear for his life. He`was chased for two blocks and was knocked off his bicycle by a car driven by the mob. Why didnt the mob telephone the police prior to them giving chase, especially if the chased person is armed? Judge Rene Goier, withinn days of CSS being charged with first degree murder found no probable cause for the offense and the case was dropped. No one from official Oak Park sought any support for CSS, a minority victim. I have a copy of the police report.

Arc Light  

Posted: June 11th, 2011 5:05 PM

Graduated OPRFHS in 83, U.S. Air Force 84-88, Have long guns since Air Force. Exempt no. Shot firearms since back in the Air Force. Exempt no. Been in classes for knowledge of use of firearms in the State of IL.

O P Rez  

Posted: June 11th, 2011 4:49 PM

Arc, So 36 yrs in OP. Were you unarmed for the time that the No Gun law was in place? If not, are you a person that would be exempt? Do explain


Posted: June 11th, 2011 4:48 PM

You're forgetting dear that a lot of people you speak of, who are committing crimes, or shouldn't have guns, can or do obtain them illegally. Your logic is circular O P Rez, so I'll make this my last post. The Bill of Rights has already proven you wrong. Hope, gum drops, and cotton candy don't change the conditions in the world we live in. Travel. You really need to travel and reeeeally talk to people. Maybe then you'll see what I mean.


Posted: June 11th, 2011 4:42 PM

O P Rez- Weed is illegal, so are many other things people get their hands on. How much has this "war on drugs" cost us. LOL, you're not being rational! We been at WAR with drugs, and they still haven't gone anywhere lmao. Pumpkin, tell all the dead women who had restraining orders against their boyfriends/husbands that they fight fire with water and prevention. Tell the drug dealers that you're going to fight them with prevention! You don't see because you don't want to.

Arc Light  

Posted: June 11th, 2011 3:04 PM

Or Ma'am - sorry if I offended you.....

Arc Light  

Posted: June 11th, 2011 2:41 PM

Yes Sir.

Editor from Oak Park  

Posted: June 11th, 2011 2:22 PM

Is the Mr. Smith case, the case that involved a young man riding a bike? He carried the gun for protection because he rode the "L" early in the morning to work at the Market? If so, I recall that some teenagers chased him on this a porch and when he was cornered, he felt he was in fear for his life and pulled out his gun and diffused the threat to his life. At least that was how I understood the story in the local newspaper.

Arc Light  

Posted: June 11th, 2011 2:04 PM

36 and yes.....

Arc Light  

Posted: June 11th, 2011 2:01 PM

Make a another judgement: Go to http://keepandbeararms.com and scroll down to the bottom of the page. There you will read stories around the U.S. that handguns do protect people. Might as well see the other side and be informed. May not change your mind now but down the road.....you never know....

O P Rez  

Posted: June 11th, 2011 1:54 PM

Arc, How long have you lived in OP for? Did you grow up here?

Arc Light  

Posted: June 11th, 2011 1:41 PM

Another OP resident: I believe people have the right to have a handgun or not. I have been fair on the side of protection and pointed out major mistakes on the Smith case. Especially when a handgun is used incorrectly in a situation that caused a unneccesary death. Don't worry about me, worry about yourself and your family. Take care

O P Rez  

Posted: June 11th, 2011 1:30 PM

Most people with guns are the wrong people.Thats right, I made a judgement. Most of the gun toutin' crowd seem to be the emotional fly off the handle kind. Just sayin. Guns to a heck of a lot more harm than good. Prove me wrong.

Arc Light  

Posted: June 11th, 2011 1:27 PM

Most sane people, when a gun is being shown out in the street, or implied, would run the other direction and called the Police. Not these three boys, they decided to elevate this and became a tragedy for everyone involved.

Another OP resident  

Posted: June 11th, 2011 1:24 PM

Arc Light has alot of emotional involvement in this topic as well as a bit of an ego - makes me nervous to think of him/her with a gun.

Arc Light  

Posted: June 11th, 2011 1:10 PM

The Truth Hurts: I read the story on the Chicago Tribune website. Seem to me that the boys went to a party may have been drinking after curfew. Both the boys and Mr. Smith could have not start the trouble right? Better yet, Mr Smith should have shown some maturity as a adult and ignored them and went on his way. Simple. A gun was used not GUNS. I stand on my judgement that Mr. Smith lacked self control plus the boys were complict in the homicide by knocking down Mr. Smith with their car.

Arc Light  

Posted: June 11th, 2011 12:56 PM

Yes, the gun caused the death of the 17 year old, but the question remains - why was the boys doing there at wee hours in the morning? A party with alcohol being served. Mr. Smith was not a law abiding citizen - he was carrying a gun without a permit period. Like I said, this is a PISS POOR example of a story being used for a self defense topic due to HUGE mistakes made by Mr. Smith.

The Truth Hurts  

Posted: June 11th, 2011 12:44 PM

Arc, too bad that's not what happens. The case of CSS is a perfect example. Emotions get in the way. Thats how fights start. When guns are involved, there will be and there has been deaths. You tell me how to fix that prob.

O P Rez  

Posted: June 11th, 2011 12:36 PM

Sue this sue that. Where does it end? The one factor that led up to the death was a GUN!! No gun. No death. He was a law abiding citizen who became a criminal thanks to the gun. Get it. Guns gotta go.

Arc Light  

Posted: June 11th, 2011 12:35 PM

The Concealed Carry (CC) does not give you the right, to threaten, abuse or flash your gun in public. Also the major BURDEN of responsibilty lies with the CC holder. If an individual insults, verbally abuses a CC holder, the CC holder must leave the area and not cause a elevation of a incident. If a CC holder is driving a car, and he/she get cut off by a another driver, the CC holder must not chase the car or wave a gun at them. No Machismo Here - get it Max Clinger?.....

Arc Light  

Posted: June 11th, 2011 12:18 PM

In a Concealed Carry state, if Charles Smith was licensed to carry a handgun and was riding his bike and the boys were calling him names and taunting him, he ignored them and the three boys went after him and knocked down Mr. Smith with their car, jumped out and began to assault him while being incapacated from the impact of the car, the Disparity of Force would be used and Mr. Smith would self-defense and not be charged. The boy however would've been charged for the death of their friend.

Arc Light  

Posted: June 11th, 2011 12:02 PM

There more: Oak Park Police should have charged the homeowner for hosting a underage drinking party, also a contributing factor. The 17 year old family that was shot to death should've sued the living daylights out of the same homeowner. There is SO much mistakes made here on the two parties, that I crige when I read it. The homeowner and the boys who assaulted Mr. Smith also have to live with it for the rest of their lives. Just really stupid....

Arc Light  

Posted: June 11th, 2011 11:49 AM

Brian, Charles S. Smith did not start the altercation, but he inflamed more by commenting and displaying a handgun - a NO-NO. He should have just rode along and ignored them. chances are Mr. Smith wouldn't been assaulted. The Truth Hurts is wrong too. Ya think riding a bike and getting hit by a car is not "trying to kill him" you're serious right? BOTH parties should have been ARRESTED, arraigned, and inprisoned for the homicide of the 17 year old. All of the parties contributed to the death.

Arc Light  

Posted: June 11th, 2011 11:31 AM

OP Rez, You finally getting warm here...Prosecuting and incarceration the criminal element. But we have a problem - Governor Pat Quinn released 1,700 prisoners early. Cook County Judges giving probations to repeat offenders and doling out low bonds. The current State's Attorney is playing politics with her office - one example: David Kochmann homicide, that Robert Vanecko the nephew of Mayor Daley, committed is still free.

The Truth Hurts  

Posted: June 11th, 2011 11:03 AM

Charles Silvernail Smith was never in jeopardy of losing his life. Those high schoolers didnt have any weapons on them and were not trying to kill anybody. Apparently, he thought it OK to kill one of them. This is the exact problem with guns. He served time in jail for his actions. How did his "right" serve him well?

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: June 11th, 2011 10:46 AM

This was a VMA backed ordinance backed by a VMA backed board.The ordinance was not reviewed even after Charles Silvernail Smith, a minority,defended himself by shooting to death a member of a white mob that was trying to kill him,in Oak Park, within day of the ordinance being passed. The question is, why doesnt the VMA and the people who supported the ordinance come up with the funds to pay the attorneys fees? I voted against the ordinance. Why is my tax money being used to fund their mistake?

Max Clinger  

Posted: June 11th, 2011 10:39 AM

Guns are awesome. They make me forget where I have shortcomings elsewhere. I also like riding motorcycles and flying my own plane. I don't like to talk much, but let my gun do my talking. I am my own well-regulated militia, thank you very much. I am also judge, jury and excecutioner.

O P Rez  

Posted: June 11th, 2011 10:11 AM

Is it also the right of any law abiding citizen to commit a crime with a gun. Well guess what? Put more guns on the streets and thats what you will see. I love the "its my right" argument. This issue is more about the idiots who use guns against the innocent in our society and getting them away from them so there is no need to defend with one. You dont fight fire with fire. You fight fire with prevention and water.

Arc Light  

Posted: June 11th, 2011 8:03 AM

J.G. Morales- Well said, and I couldn't agree with you more........Take a bow...


Posted: June 11th, 2011 5:58 AM

You may think it's not equivalent or comparable, but it is. Should individual states and communities decide which rights we have or don't, even if the Bill of Rights has already laid it out for us? "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."


Posted: June 11th, 2011 5:50 AM

Not all aspects of our lives and safety are to be left up to government and law enforcement. No, we don't need to take the law into our own hands, but to some extent, we do need to be self-sufficient. In many domestic violence cases, in which women had restraining orders, the police never made it in time. If it is my right as an American to own a gun, then I should not have that right taken away just because I live in Oak Park. What if Oak Park wanted to take away my right to vote or protest?


Posted: June 11th, 2011 5:46 AM

The "need" stuff going on here is complete and total hogwash. How much freedom of speech do we really need? We could get into a debate about that, and attempt to moralize the issue for the next 500 years. The fact remains that these are rights. You may not think we need our rights, but we do. The bottom line always has been and still remains that we have a right to bear arms. Try telling the KKK that they don't need freedom of speech.

Arc Light  

Posted: June 10th, 2011 11:56 PM

On the other hand, here is a extreme example. In one county in Ohio, has laid off the majority of their county deputies and jail officers due to budget cuts and shortfalls. The county is approximately 50 square miles - How many deputies patrol the area - ONE. How many jail officers? - FOUR.....Their statement to the residents of that county - Be prepared to protect yourselfs. Their words....not mine.

Arc Light  

Posted: June 10th, 2011 11:50 PM

OP Rez, you need to know, if Chicago is suppose to have 15,000 police officers in their ranks, why do they have only 8700 officers available now? If it happens in Chicago due to the economy plus they have a huge tax base compared to Oak Park, ya think that Oak Park could have that same problem down the road? Oak Park have dropped in the last 4 years 25-30 police officer positions already. Want to bet that down the road it's going to get worse?

Arc Light  

Posted: June 10th, 2011 11:38 PM

No I don't live in fear, but I am prepared just in case. You still don't understand that the police can't be everywhere at once ok? Back in the 80's we had 13 officers on duty here in Oak Park. Now now. And down the road, I expect officers and firefighters to be laid off due to lack of funds due to the bad economy which is affecting us all. Still thinking that police will be available as fast as you think down the road? By the end of this month lots of municipaties will lay off up to 100,000.

O P Rez  

Posted: June 10th, 2011 11:11 PM

Arc, So you do live in fear? Get it straight. All those things happened to you and your loved ones and no gun to protect yourself?-yet you're still here and alive. Gee, guns didnt help you then and they wont now. Call police.

Arc Light  

Posted: June 10th, 2011 10:37 PM

If any of you folks want to know about the front line troops fighting crime in Chicago, not the SANITIZED information coming out of City Hall and the Mainstream Media, check out: Secondcitycopblogspot.com, you get a perspective that is totally unvarnished - Since we live next to the West Side......what affects them will eventually affect Oak Park.

Arc Light  

Posted: June 10th, 2011 10:22 PM

I'm irrational? Please. You are lashing out emotionally without thinking like a child. I have no right to protect myself or my family that is what you saying? Whomever you are, I have that right, and so do you. I am a realist and live in county that DOES NOT prosecute criminals and released them early IF they go to jail. Judges give slaps to the hands of young criminals, State's attorneys prosecute Cops but not bad guys. And I'm the problem.....RIGHT!!!!!

Doesn't need a gun to be a man  

Posted: June 10th, 2011 10:04 PM

"Why would I pull a gun in front of anyone unless I am in mortal danger." Because you're an irrational gun nut, as evidenced by every word you have posted to this thread.

Arc Light  

Posted: June 10th, 2011 9:58 PM

Let's see, my aunt, who lived with us back in the late 70's were robbed on this block which I lived, not once but twice, Had my garage broken into twice, OP Rez, you ever shot at, No? I have. So, being around I rather be prepared and deal with the consquences when they arrive. Not like you wishing having a gun when you NEED it the most when a situation happens. The Police will arrive after the situation have happened not during most of the time.....

O P Rez  

Posted: June 10th, 2011 9:51 PM

My point exactly Arc. Most people are never in mortal danger and dont need a weapon. Hello. You with me now? Just ask most adults who have lived in OP their entire lives and I bet most have never been in mortal danger.

Arc Light  

Posted: June 10th, 2011 9:48 PM

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserves neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin

Arc Light  

Posted: June 10th, 2011 9:46 PM

Why would I pull a gun in front of anyone unless I am in mortal danger. Don't transfer your FEARS to me and think that you are superior to me. You're not - you still pull your pants one leg at a time just as I do.

Arc Light  

Posted: June 10th, 2011 9:42 PM

When DC vs. Heller came down, I knew that the handgun ban here was going to struck down eventually. In the leading months during the McDonald vs. Chicago, Highland Park, Evanston, Morton Grove and Winneka dropped the handgun bans after review by their lawyers, but not Oak Park. Why? Ray Heise, the Village President, and others who pushed for this in front of the US Supreme Court should pay it, not the taxpayers. They screwed up royally on the decision making...

O P Rez  

Posted: June 10th, 2011 9:38 PM

Arc light, you seem so full of it. I guarantee you have never pulled out any weapon against anybody in self defense. Just like most others who thinks guns are the best thing since sliced bread. Ha.

Arc Light  

Posted: June 10th, 2011 9:22 PM

OP Guy, Jim, OP Rez, Most cops I know supports concealed carry, ONLY the buffoons like the Police Chief would support gun control. The Police cannot guarantee your safety period. Why does the other 44 states (pretty soon WI) have concealed carry? It works. Sorry to pop your balloon but the State of IL WILL have concealed carry soon. And by the way your general statements tell me that you are AFRAID of guns and wouldn't have the conjones to protect yourself or others.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 10th, 2011 8:45 PM

Good point, John. I agree that a worst case scenario needs to be part of most board discussions. Pope, Barwin or Heise should be able to shed some light on whether VOP ever considered the possibility that we could be held liable for NRA attorney fees if the court ruled against us. Exposure and cost to defend must have been discussed prior to deciding to appeal the case. The City of Chicago could also be on the hook and may be willing to pick up all of the costs. Let's hope so.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: June 10th, 2011 8:23 PM

Jim C, this could be another example of not running scenarios when addressing issues. If OP had run best case/worst case, the outcome would have been - no chance of winning and could face some financial penalties. I realize that OP wants to take stands on important social issues, and I agree with most of them. The problem is that the village government is spending the money of every resident not just those who agree. The board should be asking: what if this came out of my pocket before vote.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 10th, 2011 4:05 PM

I think a lot of residents were under the impression that Oak Park would not be on the hook for legal expenses relating to the appeal. However, that may have been in regards to the attorney fees relating to presenting our case. Whether that also applied to us being responsible for the NRA legal bills is unclear. I'm sure President Pope, Village Manager Barwin or Village Attorney Heise would be able to answer that question. Perhaps the Wednesday Journal can get one of them to provide that info.

Long-term Oak Parker  

Posted: June 10th, 2011 3:39 PM

30 years ago when handguns were banned they told us criminals would take over Oak Park...crime was cut in half. We have an example of a country where government doesn't tell people what to do and every family has guns to protect itself. It's called Somalia.


Posted: June 10th, 2011 1:09 PM

I would glady use OP monie$ to defend our no Hand gun policy. It will save us millions down the road.

Second Amendment Dem  

Posted: June 10th, 2011 12:49 PM

@Dan from RF: Completely correct, ergo why there should be hell to pay at Village Hall if any alleged indemnification agreement with Chicago did not include a judgment for fees AGAINST Oak Park...We were told by our Village leaders that Chicago was picking up the tab in this case. Did that alleged agreement include any judgment against Oak Park or not?

Dan from RF  

Posted: June 10th, 2011 10:58 AM

This story is about money not guns. I would like to see some reporting covering the decision by VOP to become a party to the lawsuit. Did our leaders act with the knowledge that this might cost VOP if they lost? If they did, they put their gun control ideology above VOP finances. If they had no idea this could cost VOP, then they just look dumb. Maybe VOP was indemnified from any cost and this is all about nothing. Our leaders have some explaining to do.

OP Guy  

Posted: June 10th, 2011 2:21 AM

Thanks, Jim.

O P Rez  

Posted: June 10th, 2011 12:34 AM

Guns are a mirage of safety. It looks like it will keep you safe except when it comes down to it-they fail. Time for guns to go. Just ask any copper and I'm sure they would welcome more guns in the hands of fools-NOT.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 10th, 2011 12:34 AM

Good Stuff, OP Guy!

OP Guy  

Posted: June 10th, 2011 12:29 AM

Cont. A good self-defense course should teach you not only h2h techneques against common holds and attacks, but should also teach you to practice awareness of your sorrounding. The techniques learned should be drilled again and again against resisting opponents. Practicing techniques against cooperative opponents is a complete waste of time. Teachers promising defense ability without preasure testing are crooks and criminals... Some advice for those looking to self-defense classes.

OP Guy  

Posted: June 10th, 2011 12:18 AM

I'd much rather have an effective police force then having to rely on gun ownership. Police can't be around all the time, and you can't carry a gun around either. Trying to "box" 5 dudes ready to pummel you is not a great option... the best form of self-defense is awareness. Learning a few self-defense tricks is not going to help that much unless you're some bad ass UFC fighter, and even they will tell you the street is a different ball game from the sport of mma.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 9th, 2011 10:26 PM

I've got say to say, Arc Light, that in an emergency situation I would prefer a law enforcement professional be called rather than relying on my ability to safely and accurately discharge a handgun. Remember the mother who warned, "You'll shoot your eye out!"? She was talking to me.

Arc Light  

Posted: June 9th, 2011 10:12 PM

OP Rez, The Flash Mob is 15 to 22 year old male who is black. Their Modius Operandi (MO) is to swoop and beat the daylights out of you, take money, wallet and cell. NO GUNS.... Plus my tactical training that I have received so far and more classes to come, I shall be ready. Plus the "15" guns that you quote, the the mob might have legally is INCORRECT. You have to be 21 years of age, background checked by the State Police and FBI. Plus paying a fee. Your ignorance have no bounds...


Posted: June 9th, 2011 9:40 PM

O P Rez - That's nice, but we don't live in lala land where guns don't exist. If we did, that would be great! Here, in this real world, against a mob of armed criminals, I'd rather have a gun than nothing at all. This is all pure rhetoric. Okay, so "guns are bad". So is Robitussin, but sometimes it's necessary. Even if guns could no longer be made legally, you better believe they would be made illegally. Wake up hunny. Look at England, for example.

O P Rez  

Posted: June 9th, 2011 9:28 PM

Guns are a false sense of security. If guns exist, the criminals will get them. If they dont, they cant. What makes Arc think one gun will protect him from 15 guns the mob might have legally!!! Joke

Nancy Trock T-Renegade Fitness from Oak Park  

Posted: June 9th, 2011 8:38 PM

Safety at Home. Two words: BIG DOGS. put a few BEWARE OF DOG signs up around your back/front/sides. or a huge chewed-up bone/bowl/collar by the door. easy, cheap, effective (and if you really DO have a dog it's a bonus!)

Arc Light  

Posted: June 9th, 2011 8:31 PM

You folks better be ready for "Flash Mobs" from Chicago coming into the Oak Park Mall and River Forest taking, beating, robbing citizens soon. Why? EL's and Buses come thru here - conveinence. Police - manpower issues, especially River Forest and the time to call for reinforcements. Plus, the "Money" is here. Are you ready to fight 10 to 20 teenagers from the West and South Sides of Chicago? To combat Dispirity of Force issues, a handgun will work here, everytime.....

Arc Light  

Posted: June 9th, 2011 8:22 PM

OP Rez - You still don't get it - "When seconds count, the Police will take Minutes to respond." Oak Park have seen home invasions in the past, arsons, beatings, and homicides. The police can't be everywhere, you need to protect yourself and your family - IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY!!! and using words to convince the criminal element to stop is not going to work.

T.J. from OP  

Posted: June 9th, 2011 8:22 PM

I've lived in Oak Park too long. This gun debate has been going on for 30 years...

Arc Light  

Posted: June 9th, 2011 8:15 PM

@NO GUNS from Oak Park - There you again, using your emotions without thinking through - If you put a sign that says "This is a Gun Free Household on your front door and front of your garage in the alley, you WILL be burglarized time after time. How? The same libirals in the State of New York back in the 60's place the same signs on their property were robbed and burglarized regularly until the signs came down......Put your emotions in check please before you and your family gets hurt. Think!!!


Posted: June 9th, 2011 5:34 PM

When was the last time someone was accidentally shot in a home in Oak Park? Sorry, but personal opinions simply can't wipe away our rights.

O P Rez  

Posted: June 9th, 2011 5:10 PM

Dial 911 if you see a crime...even in your own home. The OPPD response times are awesome. When is the last time an unarmed person was killed in their home by an intruder with a gun in OP?


Posted: June 9th, 2011 3:58 PM

@OP Rez- Grabbing a teenager is just too much testosterone, but people who choose to protect themselves are bad guys? @Coughlin - In an adult conversation, people would understand that not all who support gun ownership believe that all restrictions are wrong or unreasonable. But that's not what's happening here... and that's probably why the word "nut" was used.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 9th, 2011 3:40 PM

Why is someone who supports a handgun ban called a "nut"? Let's engage in an adult discussion and debate the issue. The 2nd Amendment focused on a citizens militia that would be used to support the military with our national defense. Some have expanded that to include protecting ourselves and property. And that means there can be no restrictions to the weapons including child-proof safety locks, armor piercing bullets, etc.,. Most agree that with gun ownership comes responsibility. Define it


Posted: June 9th, 2011 2:33 PM

OP Rez is correct, you need no guns in OP. As OP Rez alludes to time and time again, there is no crime here. Remember, when you see a criminal coming into your home, just say stop, and he'll stop, just say leave and he will leave. It's really just that simple, silly rabbits.

NO GUNS from Oak Park  

Posted: June 9th, 2011 2:08 PM

Absolutely no guns! In support of our solidarity, we should all put signs on our homes that say "THIS IS A GUN FREE HOUSEHOLD". Who's with me?

O P Rez  

Posted: June 9th, 2011 1:44 PM

" Hell to pay at Village Hall" ?? Really. That is SAD.

O P Rez  

Posted: June 9th, 2011 1:41 PM

Correct you are Coughlin. Does the NRA watch the news?

Second Amendment Dem  

Posted: June 9th, 2011 1:40 PM

You anti-gun nuts can whine all you want. The fact remains: Oak Park violated the Constitutional rights of its citizens (regardless of your own "Constitutional analysis"). Now that it is time to pay up, let's hope the Village actually has an enforceable indemnification agreement. If not, then there should be hell to pay at Village Hall.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 9th, 2011 1:22 PM

Discharging a weapon in the home is four times more likely to be unintentional rather than in self-defense. These incidents result in injuries to the gun owners and their families. Firearm injuries are the second leading cause of non-natural death of children.

O P Rez  

Posted: June 9th, 2011 8:59 AM

Guns Kill- mostly innocent people. Its ironic, but I would bet that all the commenters here who want to praise the NRA have never used their guns in their life time to protect themselves or their loved ones. For the sake of all, guns must go.

OP Resident  

Posted: June 9th, 2011 12:38 AM

I would like the NRA members posting comments to explain why they oppose child-proof trigger locks.


Posted: June 8th, 2011 11:10 PM

Oops! Maybe I got the story wrong. Haha, I see it was already mentioned. If the man hadn't shot the guy who had stabbed him and his parents, who knows what would have happened. No, I don't know the full story, but it is, in my opinion, all the more reason to keep a firearm. Mental patient or not, he stabbed 3 people!

Arc Light  

Posted: June 8th, 2011 11:06 PM

OP,- Look here, if you just go to a gun shop to learn how to handle a gun, safely, and to shoot correctly and teach your family members how to protect themselves by learning the basics of gun safety, you will do all of us a big favor. Protect yourself and others too. Don't be afraid - a gun is a inanimate object - it doesn't shoot unless the trigger is pulled. A loaded and cocked gun can be put on the table for years and wouldn't shoot by itself-unless you want to.....


Posted: June 8th, 2011 11:06 PM

@ OP Rez - Maybe if fewer people were afraid of guns, more people have them to defend themselves. It's not a matter of "weight", but a fact of reality in this world we live in. There was a home invasion in Marengo? recently. The son who was home from college shot the man who had stabbed him and his parents. Are you going according to the stories reported or that actual statistics? We live in a world where the bad guys have guns. I support RESPONSIBLE ownership of firearms.

Arc Light  

Posted: June 8th, 2011 10:59 PM

OP, Not realistic - Criminals use weapons to instill fear in their victims, How about a knife wielding person or a 3 to 6 teenage boys or men in your house at 1 am having their way with your female family members before killing them? You gonna compel them with your libiral logic eh? Or begging? Or watch you family members lose respect of you. Here is the facts: Guns have prevented attacks by displaying, but not firing, thousand times a week to criminals and your facts are wrong about shootings.

Arc Light  

Posted: June 8th, 2011 10:37 PM

Good story: During the height of Rodney King riots back in the 90's, Charleton Heston, the NRA President at that time, loaned his collection of guns to his LIBIRAL friends (who hated guns) because their fear of the rioters killing and looting their family and property. Plus the LAPD was nonexistant. Mr. Heston had to teach every one of them how to use a firearm and they learned quickly. When push come to shove and the excrement hits the fan, you have step up or die. Your have that right. Us it!

Arc Light  

Posted: June 8th, 2011 10:24 PM

OP Rez, Really?!?!? The 54 year did the right thing and shot the 27 year old mental patient, before he would've been slashed and cut to death beside his elderly parents - Your fear of guns have made you totally irrational - the real question is: Why was this 27 year old mental case with severe anger problems out on the street, not in a padded room with meds and incarcerated for a long time? Oh yeah, he has rights too, thanks to the libiral courts and folks like you.....

O P Rez  

Posted: June 8th, 2011 9:45 PM

Perfect ezample of how guns dont protect people. The story from McHenry Co IL when the 54 yr old son of a couple in their 80's was stabbed to death and the son shot and killed him. Who was really protected. 3 corpses and 2 dead parents. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chibrknews-3-dead-in-mchenry-county-home-20110608,0,1008048.story

T.J. from OP  

Posted: June 8th, 2011 9:43 PM

Guns aren't going away. You may as well accept this fact. If they did, the criminals would still find a way to get them. Just allow for concealed carry and the criminals will think twice. Criminals won't bother with all the permits, training and red tape needed to get a concealed carry permit.

O P Rez  

Posted: June 8th, 2011 9:31 PM

JGM, Your position would hold more weight if the news stories were about people defending and protecting themselves versus people being victims of gun crimes.

Another OP resident  

Posted: June 8th, 2011 9:31 PM

I was on the phone with my brother this evening and I told him I was watching a huge rabbit in the yard and his response was, "shoot it". NO GUNS. NO GUNS. NO GUNS. NO GUNS. NO GUNS.


Posted: June 8th, 2011 9:22 PM

@OP- The purpose of guns in our society is made very clear by the fact that so many of the wrong people have them. I think it's very naive to imply that exercising the right to protect one's self, family, and home (or even country) is "idiotic". Kudos to those who enjoy the idea of martyrdom, but I guess I'm not one of them.


Posted: June 8th, 2011 9:21 PM

If there are no guns for me or the criminals, I have no problem protecting me myself and my family with out any guns. Guns are ruining our society. There are 10 to 1 stories of innocent people being killed by them than there are stories of someone defending themselves. Guns gotta go!

Arc Light  

Posted: June 8th, 2011 9:13 PM

Here's the truth: The Oak Park Police can REFUSE service to you and your loved ones. And how? SCOTUS: Supreme Court of the United States - have ruled repeatedly that the Police protect the community as a whole, but cannot protect individuals. The onus of protection lies with the individual themselves. That means if the Oak Park Police is extremely busy or cutbacks, you NEED to protect yourself and know the law about firearms and how to protect yourself. No Excuses!!!

Arc Light  

Posted: June 8th, 2011 9:02 PM

Hey OP, Just remember this: The world is governed by force........Do you have the means and the internal fortitude to protect yourself and your loved ones and your property?


Posted: June 8th, 2011 7:53 PM

Guns have no use in our society. Guns have one purpose- To Kill. Period. Idiotic.

Jim In Houston  

Posted: June 8th, 2011 7:36 PM

Coughlin: "The NRA is seeking to overturn the gun purchase ban against people on the terror watch list. " You don't know what you're talking about. There is NO ban...yet. Civil liberties groups are fighting against the imposition of such an illegal measure.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 8th, 2011 4:53 PM

Sorry, Meghan. You're wrong. The NRA is seeking to overturn the gun purchase ban against people on the terror watch list. I'm sure you can find more info with a simple internet search or contacting the NRA. Please explain how the NRA is supporting values? I think you have confused rights with values. Have you read "A People's History of the United States" by Howard Zinn? You will learn quite a bit about those "values" you so admire.


Posted: June 8th, 2011 4:07 PM

The NRA does not support terrorists on the terrorist watch list purchasing firearms. The NRA supports the law-abiding American citizens who were mistakenly put on the list and remain on it even after their cases were vetted and closed. The NRA supports the values no which this country was built. I'm a lifelong member and do not even own a firearm but stand behind their standards and principles 100%.

Second Amendment Dem  

Posted: June 8th, 2011 3:31 PM

@Epic: Maybe the same can be said about you trying to cram your ideology down on others? If you do not want a handgun in your house, do not buy one. I live in OP and why do you and others get veto power over my Constitutional rights? Not the way it works, bro.

epic lulz  

Posted: June 8th, 2011 1:54 PM

It looks like the out-of-state carpet bagging gun fetishists are out in full force today, those big gvmt morons who wish to take away everyone's freedoms and have the federal gvmt force local communities how to run their own affairs. How about you morons worry about your own god-forsaken communities for a change, and stop trying to ram your cram your ideology down everyone else's throats?

Fiftycal from Austin  

Posted: June 8th, 2011 12:53 PM

Better keep raising those taxes becuz the NRA is not done with you yet! Until you get rid of ALL your unconstitutional laws and recognize that the Second Amendment even applies in your little burg, we WILL keep suing you. AND WINNING! AND GETTING YOUR MONEY! And if you don't pay, we'll confiscate your city hall or whatever it takes until you PAY UP!

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 8th, 2011 11:33 AM

You've got a problem, Jim in Houston. It is not an ACLU position that persons on the terror watch list be allowed to purchase guns. The NRA is leading the effort to lift the ban.

Frank Lloyd Wright from Oak Park  

Posted: June 8th, 2011 10:22 AM

I don't understand why all the fuss. Can't we simply raise property taxes again to pay for this? Living in such a safe village does come with certain costs.


Posted: June 8th, 2011 9:58 AM

I still get upset every time I walk past the old Los Cazadores store front -- still empty 3 years later. http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/12-09-2008/Los_Cazadores_wants_to_sue_Oak_Park I will never forget this complete blunder of Oak Park government -- I loved that restaurant.


Posted: June 8th, 2011 9:53 AM

Why do we read about VOP getting into various lawsuits all the time? Between the school district suing the village, suing condo associations, suing contractors -- seriously, give it a break. Figure out a way to lower our taxes on our dwindling home values.

Jim In Houston  

Posted: June 8th, 2011 8:34 AM

"The NRA does support allowing persons on the terror watch list to be able to purchase guns. If it not permitted at this time but the NRA has mounted legal challenges to lift the ban." So has the ACLU. Ever heard of Due Process? Do care at all about Constitutional rights?

OP Resident  

Posted: June 7th, 2011 10:14 PM

I hear you Dooper.Whenever the Village board finds itself strapped for cash it simply fires employees or cancel purchases of safety equipment for the Police and Fire Departments. God forbid they would even think of touching that big pile of money they set aside every year to pay for consultants and no-bid contracts for outside legal counsel. I guess we can forget about any significant repairs to Oak Park's crumbling infrastructure.

OP Resident  

Posted: June 7th, 2011 10:03 PM

Well said,Epic. Fowler wants to know the "real" names of the people who post comments. The last thing I want is this character showing up at my front door packing heat. I think he was shocked to learn that NRA supports allowing people on the terror watch list to purchase guns.


Posted: June 7th, 2011 9:33 PM

As tumbleweeds roll through the halls of Village Hall around the vacant Welcome Center and empty desk after desk we can only wonder which fund this money will come from.

T.J. from OP  

Posted: June 7th, 2011 9:12 PM

Why do I have this sinking feeling the Oak Park taxpayers are gonna be on the hook for a ton of money? Time will tell, but a smart bet says Oak Park will be paying lot of money to the NRA's lawyers.

epic lulz  

Posted: June 7th, 2011 8:38 PM

Isn't wonderful that an ignorant hothead like John Fowler is armed and living in our community? Thank you, Supreme Court!

OP Resident  

Posted: June 7th, 2011 8:02 PM

Poor John Fowler. You don't know the facts but will call out someone who does. You must be the darling of your Tea Party chapter. The NRA does support allowing persons on the terror watch list to be able to purchase guns. If it not permitted at this time but the NRA has mounted legal challenges to lift the ban. That's quite a catchy slogan you want printed on t-shirts. I'll take a pass on wearing it and ask that you and your pistols keep a safe distance away from me and my family.

The Real OP Resident  

Posted: June 7th, 2011 7:49 PM

Ha Ha Ha, I still wont use my name but I think OP Resident (June 7th, 6:34 PM) should DEFINITELY get the Jeff Foxworthy sign. For those of us refined Oak Parkers that don't understand redneck, the sign says "stupid" and is worn conspicuously around the neck for all to see.

John Fowler from Oak Park  

Posted: June 7th, 2011 7:45 PM

OP Resident (AKA: Liberal Loser Who is a coward and cant use his real name) Just so you know, a watch listed terrorist is not eligible to purchase a firearm. I would suggest to you that you wear a sign (No, not the Jeff Foxworthy kind of sign) that says "Citizens who are availaing themselves of their Second Amendment rights may not use their firearm to defend my family or myself because I hate gun owners."

OP Resident  

Posted: June 7th, 2011 6:34 PM

Ray Simpson stands with the NRA and opposes efforts to ban the sale of guns to persons who names appear on the terrorist watch list. I'm sure Al-Qaeda appreciates Ray's support.

OP Resident  

Posted: June 7th, 2011 4:00 PM

A history lesson for you, Jane. VOP did not have a "very good legal document" for the Tasty Dog fiasco or the parking garages at OP-RF High and the main library. Those errors were very costly and demonstrate the incompentence of Village Attorney Heise. I too am proud to live in Oak Park and salute the efforts of concerned citizens who stood and fought for diversity in our community. Credit for the success of those programs had little to do with Heise. Thank Art Thorpe and Dick Martens.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: June 7th, 2011 3:52 PM

John, Had you ever attended a NRA shooting competition you would realize that the NRA has very stern rules and regulations. They object to governments making unconstitutional rules that only affect otherwise law abiding citizens.I have not noticed any "wild west" scenarios since OP got their hand slapped.

Jane from OP  

Posted: June 7th, 2011 3:38 PM

VOP has a very good legal document. Of course the village wouldn't leave itself open for costs. OP is not the type of community that sits back and let's others do their bidding. If we did we would have gone the way of Austin and other communities long ago. If you believe in something stand up for it.Isn't that what we teach our children.I am proud to live in OP work

joe from Oak Park  

Posted: June 7th, 2011 3:34 PM

So does anyone know how you actually go about legally owning a handgun in Oak Park now? Have they updated the Village Code yet?

O P Resident  

Posted: June 7th, 2011 3:23 PM

I think Chicago is picking up Oak Park's legal costs. Not sure if that includes judgments against Oak Park.

OP Resident  

Posted: June 7th, 2011 3:00 PM

The cost to defend is always a consideration when deciding whether to proceed. I'm sure Village Attorney Heise presented that information to the trustees and they approved the action. I do recall that President Pope spoke about exposure and the potential liability for the Village Of Oak Park but that the City of Chicago would indemnify us. I trust that Pope obtained that promise in writing. If not, we are on the hook for millions.

Dan from RF  

Posted: June 7th, 2011 2:38 PM

Did anyone run the potential for legal fee reimbursement if we lost scenario by our leaders? I suppose now we see why no other municipality joined in the lawsuit. Unlike VOP, they were smart enough to realize that if Chicago won, they could adopt Chicago's gun restrictions as settled law, but if Chicago lost, it wouldn't cost them a dime. Maybe VOP should just concern itself with running the village and leave the national issues to those that can afford the fight.

Dan Hefner from Oak Park  

Posted: June 7th, 2011 2:32 PM

Thanks Ray.

John from Oak Park  

Posted: June 7th, 2011 1:48 PM

The idea that weapons should be completely unregulated, which seems to be the goal of the NRA, is dangerous and irrational. Where is the line drawn as far as the type of weapons they want Americans to have access to? Bazookas, tanks, grenade launchers? Are these also "protected" by the Constitution? Common sense has been trampled under by ideology. Dangerous and irrational.

Unanswered Question  

Posted: June 7th, 2011 1:42 PM

I thought the powers-that-be around here represented that the City of Chicago was indemnifying Oak Park in connection with this litigation. Am I alone on recalling that?

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