The signs in our yards state “Imagine a world without gun violence.” This is what we all want! To achieve this, we must commit to taking whatever steps we can to make our lives safer. Risks we can address are guns in private homes. Unsecured, unwanted, and accessible guns are used by toddlers, by curious children, angry or insecure teens, and individuals facing a crisis. They are vulnerable to theft and ending up in the hands of violent people. We can do something about unsecured, unwanted and accessible guns in our homes.

Trustee Brian Straw is taking action. He has two motions: an ordinance on secure safe gun storage and an amendment to the village code to allow Oak Park gun buybacks.

Both create the opportunity to make our homes safer.

Gun buybacks prompt individuals to surrender unwanted guns. People bring guns to a buyback for many reasons. Perhaps parents want to be sure their gun can never be misused and harm their child. Perhaps their gun was inherited, and it was never wanted. Perhaps a gun is received after a family member died by suicide and the new owner wants to ensure the gun is never used for harm.

Although Oak Park police can receive unwanted guns, a gun buyback event can create the nudge to actually take action to surrender the gun. Amending the village code to create the opportunity for a gun buyback gives the village of Oak Park Police one more tool to increase safety and reduce gun violence.

Oak Park gun owners may be mistakenly confident that their gun is unlikely to be in a child’s hands or misused. For gun owners, each should follow the practices of secure storage spelled out explicitly by the Be Smart campaign. Passing a secure gun storage ordinance in Oak Park will prompt gun owners to secure their gun and, thereby, create a much safer home.

Help us support these initiatives to increase gun safety in our homes. One day we may not need to imagine a world without gun violence. We may experience it!

Join us at Village Hall on Wednesday, July 5 at 7 p.m.

Lois Thiessen Love
Sandy Jefferson

Oak Park

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