Background checks won't stop everyone

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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Firearm fact check – The November gun referendum will not stop armed assaults in Oak Park. On July 13, two males accosted (i.e. attacked or assaulted) an Oak Park woman and a Forest Park resident. One robber showed a handgun and demanded their valuables. One or both never graduated from high school. Neither could pass a background check. They procured the gun illegally from someone who knew they were criminals and doesn't run background checks – no exceptions. The offenders were gone before police arrived. (Did they leave quickly because a man with a badge was on his way or a man with a gun?) 

How do I know all this? I don't. But anyone want to bet $10,000 the two robbers were upstanding citizens who would have been stopped by the upcoming referendum (universal background checks – no exceptions)? I didn't think so.

On July 14, an armed man held a homeowner at gunpoint in his backyard while accomplices emptied his ATM account at a bank nearby. The victim said his wife, children and nanny were inside the house while the robbery took place. The gunman threatened to kill him and then go into the house.

Firearm fact check – None of the attackers graduated from high school. None could pass a background check. They procured the gun illegally from someone who knew they were criminals and doesn't run background checks – no exceptions. The attackers had no fear that anyone inside the house had a gun. The offenders were gone before police arrived. (Did they leave quickly because a man with a badge was on his way or a man with a gun?)

[Editor's note: The suspects were later arrested

How do I know all this? I don't. But anyone want to bet $10,000 the robbers were upstanding citizens who would have been stopped by the upcoming referendum (Universal Background Checks – no exceptions)? I didn't think so.

The voters of Oak Park Township are still waiting for an explanation of how the upcoming referendum will protect us and make society safe. 

And not make things worse.

Vote No on the gun referendum in November.

Don't settle for feeling good about yourself, demand laws that work!

John Erickson

Oak Park

Reader Comments

8 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

Brian Slowiak from Westchester  

Posted: August 23rd, 2014 10:56 AM

Thank You, Dominick Aherns, especially for statement about the felony murder statute that is on the books and seldom used.

Dominick Ahrens  

Posted: August 20th, 2014 1:14 PM

Another flaw with the fallacy that background checks will somehow reduce "gun violence" is twofold. Besides the mistaken belief that criminals engaged in drug sales, robberies and murder would suddenly abide by _this_ particular law, a not insignificant source of firearms to the criminal community is friends and relatives who purchase for the prohibited person, often without caring that such an act is a crime. If you want to really see a change in the girlfriend/babymama/cousin gun supply, start charging them with the same murder or aggravated assault charge as the bad guy themselves under the Felony Murder rule.

Dominick Ahrens  

Posted: August 20th, 2014 1:10 PM

Observer - While that is true, many of the deaths included under the crafted term "gun violence" are lawfully justified homicides - that is, the killing of a felon in the commission of a crime by law enforcement or a law abiding citizen. Another group of deaths by gun are suicides. While suicide by firearm might be significantly reduced if the most draconian anti-gun laws were enacted, the deaths themselves would still occur.

Ryan  

Posted: August 20th, 2014 12:37 PM

Great article and valid points! Laws like the one proposed only harm law-abiding citizens. Criminals actually prefer such laws, because they help disarm their intended victims.

observer@observer.com  

Posted: August 20th, 2014 12:28 PM

Many killings happen with legally purchased guns. James Holmes purchased his guns legally and killed 12 people. Many perpetrators who use guns in domestic violence purchase them legally (http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d02720.pdf). No law will completely irradiate gun violence and looking for a panacea to completely irradiate violence is illogical. We should look to make it more difficult to perpetrate gun violence, even if it just saves one life. A background check is a good start.

Brian Slowiak from Westchestter  

Posted: August 20th, 2014 8:22 AM

Quick, let me get in here before Bill Dugan to say that Todd Vandersomething used someone and labor tactics or something to dupe Mcdonald into Duty To Inform resulting in African Americans having their rights violated by down state rednecks. Or something to that effect.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 20th, 2014 7:16 AM

Good work John! The core issue here is that everyone agrees that bad people should not have access to guns. The referendum in question fails to solve the basic problem and only impacts those citizens who are NOT the problem. This is sort of like a super computer designed by a graphic artist. The outside looks great but nothing inside works at all - but Gee-wiz it sure looks nice. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Vote NO from OP  

Posted: August 19th, 2014 10:55 PM

Brilliant piece! Hopefully facts and logic will overcome the usual OP emoting. Think!

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