Oak Park health board was right to stand down on guns, for now

Opinion: Editorials

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By Editorial

The moment will come again when it is right for Oak Park to join a wider battle to eliminate the scourge of handgun violence in our country. But in this moment of perverse partisanship in the national arena, the levers of power are set just too firmly in the pro-gun direction for this village to tilt again at expensive windmills.

The Oak Park Board of Health got it right last week when it made preliminary recommendations that the village forego restrictions on handgun ownership following the 2010 Supreme Court ruling, which overturned Oak Park and Chicago's brave effort at handgun control.

The health board was right in noting that Oak Park, standing alone or with a handful of like-minded communities, is not going to be effective in reducing violence through a series of limited restrictions on owning a handgun. The highest court in the land, now tucked neatly in the pocket of the NRA, is not going to allow any substantive handgun restrictions.

Despite living on the edge of a tough West Side riddled with gun mayhem, this is a time for Oak Park to seek other means to protect its citizens — and we are not referring to concealed carry laws. We need to wait for, and work for, the tide to turn, for new Supreme Court members to arrive.

Oak Park and its taxpayers still wait for clarity on just what the legal costs of the joint City of Chicago/Village of Oak Park defense of handgun bans at the Supreme Court will cost us. It has the potential to be substantial. While we remain troubled that Oak Park's financial exposure was not more clearly set in advance, we don't begrudge the village's long-shot defense of the local gun ban.

But we do know in the present circumstances — financial and political — that discretion in making this fight is the better part of valor.

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Chicago's Great Gun "Turn In" Scam   

Posted: June 19th, 2012 8:54 PM

The Windy City's Political Gadflies will be out in force once again. They are hosting another so-called Gun Turn In for guns, bb guns and toys. People once again will be enticed with immunity from arrest and gift cards to turn in virtually anything that even looks like a gun. These events bring people in from suburban areas, Indiana and Wisconsin who are able to sell Chicago some completely unserviceable and worthless firearms. The truth is that area firearm dealers (remember Chicago

Chicago's Great Gun "Turn In" Scam   

Posted: June 19th, 2012 8:54 PM

has no firearm dealers) go out of their way to collect junk to bring in for substantial profits. Chicago's gun-rights hating political and religious advocates will all sing and hold hands while they convince each other that they are somehow saving lives. The problem here is there exists no data whatsoever, anywhere that can even provide a shred of empirical evidence that a single injury or death is prevented by these efforts. One thing for sure, is that anyone wanting a serviceable

Chicago's Great Gun "Turn In" Scam   

Posted: June 19th, 2012 8:54 PM

weapon can use the proceeds obtained at the Gun Turn In to buy a working gun and live ammunition. This is not going to lower the vast numbers of senseless shootings that almost exclusively happen in Chicago's ghettos. This will not save lives. This is nothing more than a very extravagant and expensive effort at symbolism over substance. This will however cost taxpayers a bundle for media ads, manpower and the cash paid out. We can continue to wonder how many additional burglaries and

Chicago's Great Gun "Turn In" Scam   

Posted: June 19th, 2012 8:54 PM

gun thefts will take place because of this heavily promoted Chicago fencing operation? As usual, Chicago's worthless members of the media will ask no questions or talk to nobody from the NRA or Illinois State Rifle Association. They will never ask who pays for this fiasco or how much it really costs taxpayers. That's because Chicago's media has become nothing more than public relations agencies for local incumbent Democratic political campaigns.

Chicago's Great Gun "Turn In" Scam   

Posted: June 19th, 2012 8:54 PM

Chicago's political incumbents can always count on lots of valuable face time courtesy of local media by simply repeating the same failed and money wasting programs like the Gun Turn In.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: June 12th, 2012 9:54 PM

Not any of the 10 dead and 40 hurt have anything to do with my lawful possession of a firearm.Ever.


Posted: June 12th, 2012 1:41 PM

about 10 dead and over 40 hurt in shootings this weekend. Guns must go!!!

CPD work for Chicago NOT Oak Park  

Posted: June 12th, 2012 7:26 AM

Maybe if chicago cops stayed in Chicago instead of eating and lounging around in Oak Park, the crime rate wouldn't be so horrible. But take a ride down any major street in Oak Park, and there you will see chicago cops parked in front of their favorite eateries or just walking around. Or they may even be parking illegally in front of fire hydrants, handicap spaces or expired meters! They need to stay where their job employs them IN CHICAGO!!!! Our cops do a fine job. CPD is worthless.

KR from Oak Park  

Posted: June 11th, 2012 7:44 PM

Frankly, Oak Park and Chicago should be ashamed of themselves. If we only care about the COST of the situation, we're painfully blind. Where was CPD when I was held up at gunpoint? Not there. What about OPPD? Not there. Funny how that works, no? So OP and Chicago want to strip me of a right to own a handgun, AND charge me money to strip me of said protection, which lessens funds available to adequately staff police. Taxing for "protection"? CPD and OPPD are the biggest gangs in town.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: May 29th, 2012 5:37 PM

GUNZ: I accept your numbers. Those countries are smaller in population and dont have our problems. However, with 2.5 million crimes a year prevented by firearms arent we ahead in the victim count.Sice you want protection of innocent victims,it seems that firearms just might be doing then job.Please post your response to taxing ammuniion only if non gun owners agree to be taxed for any injury or loss to any person who could have defended themselves or their property with a firearm.


Posted: May 29th, 2012 5:16 PM

he numbers around the world are sobering. In one year, people murdered by guns 17 Finland, 35 Australia, 39 UK, 200 Canada, 9,484 in United States. The difference? Strict gun policy vs. NRA-fueled madness in US, in my opinion. I'm all for personal responsibility. I'm in no way shifting responsibility. I just don't personally feel the founding fathers had automatic handguns purchased freely and easily in mind when they drafted that amendment. Just have to agree to disagree. It's a tough issue.


Posted: May 29th, 2012 5:14 PM

unstable Jared Loughner was able to legally buy a Glock in Tuscon. I believe the parents of 9 year old Christina Green, shot dead that day, might disagree that a gun is just "an inanimate object."


Posted: May 29th, 2012 5:13 PM

Guns don't kill people. People with guns kill people. People without guns have a harder time executing their violent impulses. Japan has a thriving cash-based economy which would make it an armed robbery paradise, they enjoy "violent" entertainment in the form of action movies, yet they have one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Virtually no homicide by gun. Why? Heavily regulated gun laws. Only used by military and police. Low barrier gun policies in this country is the reason mentally un

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: May 29th, 2012 5:10 PM

To GUNZ: guns are used 2.5 million times a year to prevent a crime. University study confims private firearms are used 2.5 million times a year. Phd.Gary Kleck,an ACLU member did the study.J. Neil Schulman wrote the article. Google words"firearms used to prevent a crime" see also rense.com

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: May 29th, 2012 4:03 PM

GUNZ KILL, human beings are the most dangerous weapon. If you take away the guns, that will not end it. I won't even suggest what other methods could be used by thugs, and short tempered people who get even shorter tempers in hot weather could use, but they are cheap and accessible to anyone of any age. You can't stop the killing by removing guns, and no, it is not even a start, and no, it does not make other ways to kill more difficult. People are going to want weapons to defend themselves.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: May 29th, 2012 3:58 PM

OPRFDad, you have to be fair. You know once in awhile even a White guy does some of that too.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: May 29th, 2012 3:56 PM

GUNZ KILL, if someone is coming at you with a Zweih?nder, a War hammer, or even a Scramasax, would you thank that person for not using a gun.


Posted: May 29th, 2012 3:16 PM

Brian, how many stories in comparison, do you hear or see about people using their weapons to defend themselves? Another false sense of protection. The only true protection is if there are no guns for anyone to have and use against anybody.


Posted: May 29th, 2012 1:59 PM

@OPRFDad. The Mexican government loves exporting THEIR poverty problem to the U.S. in the form of illegal immigration. Sanctuary city is just another term for breaking the laws of the United States. Guess Obama and Holder can't be bothered.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: May 29th, 2012 1:55 PM

To GUNZ:"The good owners have to take one for the team and give up their guns"I dont want to be on your team. As a gun owner I propose a tax on ammunition to indemnify victims of gun violence. Balance that with a tax on all non gun owners to pay for all damages done to any person who could have defended themselves or their property with a firearm. Time for you to take one for the team.


Posted: May 29th, 2012 1:35 PM

Guns don't kill people in Oak Park, rather people from the Austin neighborhood and illegal immigrants with severe mental illness who are shipped to the US to rid Mexico of the problem, in each case brandishing weapons of many types, kill people in Oak Park.

OP Resident # 545 from Oak Park  

Posted: May 29th, 2012 1:10 PM

GUNZ, you're half right. Actually, good guns make it into the hands of bad people, & will continue to do so even if banned completely. Bad people, i.e criminals & dictators, will still get their weapons. Sorry, you're Polyanna solution won't work in this world because someone has to take the guns away. That someone is usually the GOVT, & simply look to Nazi Germany & Soviet bloc to see how many more MILLIONS die due to a society being unable to defend itself from a criminal GOVT.


Posted: May 29th, 2012 12:14 PM

Correct. They broke every law. So much for the laws. Only left with banning guns completely. It will make a difference. Good guns somehow make it into the hands of bad owners. The good owners have to take one for the team and give up their guns.

OP Resident # 545 from Oak Park  

Posted: May 29th, 2012 10:44 AM

OK, Gunz...here we go. Yes, a horrible tragedy, and it's getting worse. So, your solution, other than the usual "let's get rid of all guns" would be what, exactly? In those 40 shootings, I'm guessing that every single city/state/Fed gun law was broken in some way. It's likely, of course, that much bigger issues are at play here, but some only want to spew simplistic platitudes. Yes, GUNZ, I'm outraged by the failed social programs & failed public schools that help cause & prolong this carnage.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: May 29th, 2012 10:42 AM

I am outraged. however, the outrage has no bearing what so ever on my ownership of a firearm.


Posted: May 29th, 2012 9:03 AM

40 people shot, 10 people killed- including a 7 year old playing outside her home over the holiday weekend in the city of Chicago. Anyone else outraged?

O from Oak APrk  

Posted: May 16th, 2012 2:11 PM

Paxton Will has some original thoughts.

Will from Paxton  

Posted: May 16th, 2012 12:51 PM

All this hippy peace talk about outlawing or not allowing gun due to violence....we want to take away guns because someone got shot but i don't see them outlawing driving cars because a drunk driver hit someone, it doesn't matter how many legally owned guns you take away or restrict....."When guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns"


Posted: May 10th, 2012 2:47 PM

Wasp spray can be sprayed from 20 ft. How about peeper spray?

Michael from Chicago  

Posted: May 10th, 2012 1:29 PM

Wasp spray for self defense is a bad idea. It is a myth! Stick with the Pepper Spray. Wasp spray is unproven and has never been tested on humans. Wasp Spray will NOT work on those who cannot feel pain i.e. drugs or alcohol. Pepper Spray is an inflammatory which will cause the eyes to slam shut no matter the situation. That's why over 40,000 law enforcement agencies carry it nationwide and even the smallest canisters will fire 10 ft while the larger canisters will fire 25 to 30 ft. This lin

O from Oak APrk  

Posted: May 10th, 2012 8:42 AM

I would rather follow you lead and engage in ad hominem attacks. Were you on Danziger Bridge, rooting on the police? Or, were you stationed at Gretna?

John Galt  

Posted: May 9th, 2012 10:17 PM

Okey dokey. Another vacuous cranium rears its empty head. I see that O has heard and even remembered a couple of multi-syllabic words. Lets test for comprehension...........O, please qualify your use of the words paranoid and self-righteous based, on anything I have posted.

O from Oak APrk  

Posted: May 9th, 2012 7:11 AM

Have it your way, you are a scalawag. Now back under that paranoid yet self-righteous rock.

John Galt  

Posted: May 8th, 2012 9:46 PM

lol. Thanx Max. I got a good chuckle from a guy in New Orleans being referred to as a carpetbagger by a guy in Illinois. Ironical, huh?

O from Oak Park  

Posted: May 8th, 2012 4:56 PM

The Constitution says that "A well regulated exterminator, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to bear wasp spray shall not be infringed." Suck on that, OP!


Posted: May 8th, 2012 1:47 PM

Wasp spray can be used to fend off attackers in your home. It sprays farther than mace and can temporarily blind someone.

Max Headroom  

Posted: May 8th, 2012 1:08 PM

Thanks, Brian, I was wondering where that VERY old joke went. Otherwise, welcome carpetbaggers! Nothing like gun talk to drive traffic.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: May 7th, 2012 8:52 PM

To John Galt: We are safe, the Cubbies have bats, but never use them for anything.Do You know why the Cubs and Michael Jackson only wear one glove? No reason,no reason at all.

John Galt  

Posted: May 7th, 2012 8:07 PM

Only incomprehensible if one lacks a functioning cerebral cortex.

John Galt  

Posted: May 7th, 2012 8:04 PM

Nope. Sometimes its entertaining to cast pearls before swine.

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: May 7th, 2012 7:49 PM

John Galt, shouldn't you be rehearsing your tedious, incomprehensible 43 page long speech right about now?

John Galt from New Orleans  

Posted: May 7th, 2012 7:17 PM

I applaud the Oak Park Board of Health and its solid commitment to side-step the Constitution, even if it means waiting for some new Supremes who have no understanding or reverence for it, in general, or, the Bill of Rights,in particular. I hope they continue to fight the good fight. End knife violence - ban kitchen knives End bat violence - ban bats (and the Cubbies) End rock violence - ban rocks Sheesh you folks must love your petty tyrants. You keep electing them.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: May 6th, 2012 4:14 PM

Marc Kruer from Frankfort, "FYI - Oak Park banned handgun sales in 1977. From 1977 to 1984" That is absolute B.S.. Don't tell crap like that. I bought plenty of guns in Oak Park from an Oak Park gun dealer. Anything you say must also be considered as B.S..

Marc Kruer from Frankfort  

Posted: May 6th, 2012 3:57 PM

FYI - Oak Park banned handgun sales in 1977. From 1977 to 1984, Oak Park's murder rate rose 58 percent, while nationally, the murder rate of suburban jurisdictions dropped 13 percent. So, in 1984, Oak Park's local officials did what all ideologues do when their judgment proves flawed: they doubled down, banning handgun possession altogether. Forget about the guns do something about the people committing the crimes, try that or just pass some more stupid laws that the criminals will not

Marc Kruer from Frankfort  

Posted: May 6th, 2012 3:51 PM

I am waiting for the day the politicians and publicity seekers leave the word "Gun" out their talk about violence. Guns and the NRA do not belong in the discussion. IT IS NOT GUN VIOLENCE IT IS JUST VIOLENCE. Guns do not murder people - PEOPLE DO!!. The drug dealers, robbers and gang bangers will not go away even if every gun in the world magicaly disappeared. QUIT TALKING ABOUT GUNS and start talking about the real problem the people who commit the violence. They do not obey gun laws anyway.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: May 5th, 2012 1:02 PM

How many people who legally own a weapon in Oak Park have killed or shot someone in Oak Park? How many criminals who have illegally carried a weapon used it against people in Oak Park?

Doc,m from Ft. White  

Posted: May 5th, 2012 12:17 PM

I would suggest that you look at the country's that have banned ownership of fire arms. Has the violent crime rate gone down? Or the gun related crimes? No in each and every country that has gone this way the crime rate has gone up dramatically. The criminal element always will have guns, and an unarmed society is the best work environment that a criminal could ask for.


Posted: May 5th, 2012 9:25 AM

Unfortunately for Oak Park and Chicago you chose to "break constitutional law" by infringing the rights of the people and making it LESS safe for everyone by simply denying rights to the just and allowing criminals to have guns. If we were to break a local ordinance or law we would pay a stiff fine. Now, you will have to pay a "fine" for your actions. Lets hope that the message is clear and that you do not continue to do things that are not legal or just.


Posted: May 5th, 2012 9:19 AM

I really don't understand the peoples logic in wanting to ban guns. In IL. we need to pass a background check just to touch ammo. This is silly, stupid and clearly an infringement of rights. Those in favor of banning guns simply don't seem to understand that only law abiding people are affected. Do criminals pass back ground checks and possess FOID cards? NO. Now, imagine (just like all other 49 states) that IL has a carry law. People go through FBU checks, training and more. B progun


Posted: May 4th, 2012 12:36 AM

Audit: Illinois FOID card system is broken.http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-foid-card-audit-20120504,0,4141457.story

O from Oak Park  

Posted: May 3rd, 2012 8:47 AM

I appreciate your admission of being paranoid. You are not in denial. I can think I know better than you (and might), but that's just how I think. The Board may think that too, but is TAKING NO ACTION. No imposition of anything. Spending money fighting you guys is as worthless as brick streets. Sore loser? I joined this conversation to get you to accept your victory. I already have. Let's end the conversation, and then wait to shake our heads when your loved one kills themselves or others.

Joe from South Oak Park  

Posted: May 3rd, 2012 8:34 AM

Having been at every health department meeting since January, I can assure you that this decision was made firmly on evidence and not on political grounds. If you don't want to have a firearm in your house nobody is going to stop you. But it's crazy to think that your preference should overide my constitutional right to own a firearm. It would be like arguing that the author of the article be arrested for their views. I may disagree but you have every right to say what you want.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: May 2nd, 2012 3:17 PM

O - had the SCOTUS decision gone the other way, would you be as good a winner as you are a bad loser? Paranoia is something we have learned to live with and we are not asking you to change anything in your life. What we are demanding is that you stop trying to impose your liberal "I know better than you" will on those of us who don't see things in the same light as you. Thought police judge your thoughts, we only ask to be judged on our actions and we will reciprocate.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: May 2nd, 2012 1:54 PM

To O: "But they didnt take your guns away". True, however I did take other residents guns away from them. Their handguns/property was sometimes destroyed and/or not given back to them.I know,I did it. We now fight and stay vigilant so that this wont happen again.

O from Oak Park  

Posted: May 2nd, 2012 11:14 AM

But they didnt take your guns away. They tried, and lost. You won. Now you are just paranoid. We can still be anti-gun, but we know the law is on your side. Must we change our minds as well? There is no new push for restrictions. Just the opposite. The editorial(by definition, they arent even handed) suggests no restrictions. Now you are thought police?

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: May 2nd, 2012 10:59 AM

Read this editorial and tell me it was an even handed report of the hand gun control situation. Every paragraph dripped with anti-gun sentiment. Yes, we 2nd amendment supporters are being vigilant. We know if we let our guard down, new ordinances will pop up that will support the 'only weapons for bad guys' mindset. Our argument is for the rights of legal - responsible gun owners and we would join any effort to keep illegal guns off the street. It is an easy argument to ban all guns - harder is to selectively go after people who don't give a damn about your laws or ordinances. Weapons violations by children should void their child protection status and put them away with adult sentences.

Brtian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: May 2nd, 2012 10:43 AM

O from Oak Park: "You have guns, so why worry". I worry because village government and some citizens took gun owners rights away them. I am worried that the dead might have had a chance at self defense.

O from Oak Park  

Posted: May 2nd, 2012 9:45 AM

Some read racism into everything, some read "we are coming to get you" into everything. You admit you are afraid of a "small seeming" group. You have guns, so why worry?

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: May 2nd, 2012 9:30 AM

Never enough - Who is whining/ Read the first sentence of this editorial and you will discover that 'We will come after you sooner or later.' The anti gun sentiment in Oak Park seems small but very vocal and the logic seems to be my way or nothing.

Never Enough  

Posted: May 2nd, 2012 8:46 AM

The gun people win, and still complain. The editorial is recommending no action taken towards guns in Oak Park. Still can't keep people here from whining. What will it take to shut them up? You win. We lose. Uncle.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: May 2nd, 2012 6:41 AM

Why don't we strive for a community where legal gun ownership is just"Not an issue" and expend our effort on becoming a community where illegal gun violence is not tolerated. For the money we spent defending that stupid, toothless handgun ordinance we could have hired a handful of lawyers to sit in court and demand maximum sentences for armed thugs.

Mike Hunt from Oak Park  

Posted: May 2nd, 2012 12:02 AM

Oh, so are you implying that the law abiding citizens are the ones causing mayhem? Do you really think this the answer? Banning guns from people that follow the law? With your strictest gun laws, guns will be in the hands of the real problematic people. THE CRIMINAL. Just throw us good people under the bus for being law abiding. I see. If you don't like it here move somewhere else. Try Australia.

Lowell Mills from Marine  

Posted: May 1st, 2012 11:37 PM

Hold it, you mean that the folks riddling the West Side with "gun mayhem" are FOID card holders? Because that's who you're talking about restricting with this "brave effort at handgun control." How is further restricting law-abiding citizens' rights going to change this? Criminals will always be able to get illegal guns, just as they can get illegal drugs anywhere. SCOTUS is finally recognizing that law-abiding citizens have an individual right to self defense outside the home. IL should too.

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