POINT

I know more about the upcoming referendum than anybody in Oak Park! Why? Because I started a full-blown committee construct with the very able help of Ken Trainor and numerous other persons.

The so called Gun Rights and Responsibilities Committee (GRRC) met 13 times with about 20-22 members at each 2-3 hour meeting. The idea was that reasonably intelligent, thoughtful and deeply concerned citizens could blend their wisdom and come up with a recommendation for an ordinance that would lead the way as a model ordinance for possible adoption by communities around the country. Did we succeed? Bluntly, no. 

Did we, all of us, sincerely try with open minds? At first, yes. As time went on, even with an excellent moderator, John Trolstrup, more and more we did not find common ground. Finally, last year we agreed to disagree and called it quits. 

Why were we so unsuccessful? Lots of reasons come to mind. Time to get partisan and personal. Why did I want to form the GRRC committee? Because I thought individual citizens who were quite willing to think about the issue (named “gun control”) had something to say that was worth hearing and would temper my views, which admittedly are rather strongly in support of the recent Supreme Court rulings as to your rights to self-protection.

What I found out was extremely disappointing. The opposing viewpoint, unofficially led by John Barrett (a retired surgeon who performed thousands of life-saving surgeries on gunshot victims in the inner-city at Cook County Hospital over a magnificent
30+ year career) had, on behalf of “his side” of the GRRC, only assertions to make, i.e. we need ever stronger laws against private, law-abiding citizens to control the possession and use of firearms.
 

I asked myself why, when all the evidence (and I do mean all) collected painstakingly by pro- and anti-Second Amendment scholars clearly ended up supporting the appropriateness of the court rulings. Now the anecdotal evidence is doing the same thing! (Please remember you can call me and challenge me to some discussion anytime: 708-383-3850). Leave your name and number and message and I will get back to you, I promise.

Next week, I will name five examples of the Second Amendment assertions, lies, obfuscation and non-sense that they want you to swallow without gagging. But for now, how about an indication of that non-sense: 

After Newtown not quite two years ago, Wayne La Pierre, essentially CEO of the NRA, stated after appropriate expression of sympathy to parents, and families who had lost a child or loved one, that “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.” His comments were strongly criticized by America’s media as being, to put it delicately, inappropriate and wrong. 

About a week ago, President Obama who would clearly like to see law-abiding citizens lose their right to possess and use firearms, said while addressing the United Nations to gain support from other nations to jointly attack ISIS and ISIL: “The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force.” Tell me, dear reader, is there a striking similarity between Mr. La Pierre’s statement and that of our President? Do “bad guys” with guns have to be met with “good guys” with guns? Please call me with your thoughts about domestic terrorists like Adam Lanza versus worldly terrorists like ISIS and ISIL.

Counterpoint

Government has the right to regulate guns

The Supreme Court decisions to which Dave Schweig refers in his essay are Heller and MacDonald. Oak Park was a party to the MacDonald Case, along with the city of Chicago. Anyone can read these decisions and anyone who does will quickly conclude that they not only recognize an individual Second Amendment constitutional right, but also authorize government to regulate the exercise of this right when it is in the interest of the public to do so. Read more.

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