This is from a correspondent who sent a letter to the Oak Park board:
Dear President Pope and Oak Park Village Board:
I live in Brookfield, and as your neighbor and frequent Oak Park visitor, am
concerned with a statement by President Pope (Tribune, 26 June 2008, "Suburbs
with gun bans split over impact of court ruling").
In that article, President Pope was quoted ""The ruling puts [Justice Antonin
& gt; Scalia] and the four other conservative justices squarely on the side of the
gang-bangers who terrorize far too many of urban American neighborhoods today."
I have followed this case, and have read the majority opinion and both dissents.
I am also thoroughly schooled on second amendment history, constitutional law,
and firearms laws in Illinois State and her municipalities.
The purpose of this letter is to point out that the Heller ruling unequivocally
does NOT square with "gang-bangers" or anyone else who criminally terrorizes
neighborhoods, urban or otherwise. I am certain that Scalia and the four other
"conservative' justices ... or all justices, for that matter, are not on the
side of criminal gang members. For you to say so is quite frankly misquidedly
judgemental and bigoted, if not altogether disingenuous.
As you fully are aware, there is no right to conduct criminal activity - and
nothing in the constitution gives anyone such authority to conduct illegal
actions against others or their property. Quite literally, the second amendment
guarantees citizens (non-felons and non-mentally ill) the right to keep and bear
arms for any and all lawful purposes, including recreation, collecting, pursuit
of historical or mechanical interests, hunting, lawful self defense (persuant to
the Illinois Criminal Code), and the fulfillment of the constitution's militia
clauses. Under no reading whatsoever does the second amendment protect unlawful
activity, such as that often perpetrated by criminal gang members or other
miscreants. I suspect you fully understand that.
I trust that Oak Park will take this ruling in stride, as will the District of
Columbia, Chicago, Ev anston, and other municipalities with unconstitutional laws
on their books. You don't have to agree, necessarily, or even like it, but you
must comply with the law of the land should the time come that you are forced
to. The sky will not fall, you will not lose your jobs, and your community
will not loose its ability to enhance community safety and build strong
neighborhoods via lawful means. I know you are responsible citizens of Oak
Park, and of Illinois. I know you love your wonderful community ... Oak Park is
one of the "gems" of Chicagoland. We ALL love our communities and our children,
and strive to make them better. But also, we are all "grown up" enough to know
that wishful, idyllic thinking or policy (including the enactment of "gun free
zones" or "gun free towns") doesn't make us safe. This ruling doesn't mean guns
will be legal for gangs and criminals. It simply means that prohibiting good,
lawful people from owning and bearing firearms is off the table.
Thank you for your time, and I welcome any questions or concerns.
Polite and to the point. Here's the response from the only board member who deigned to reply:
Dear Dr. X,
Thanks for your perspective from 8 miles to the southwest.
As you must know, Oak Park and other communities with handgun bans are on the NRA's list of targeted communities. If we don't defend our right as a community to disallow handgun possession, then what's to stop the NRA from returning to the trough to press for permission to carry concealed weapons? Or to allow possession of assault weapons? Or composite weapons that evade metal detection? Their litigation represents the proverbial camel's nose under the tent.
You can live as you like in your town. We'll live as we choose.
Trustee, Village of Oak Park
So damn the Supreme Court or the Constitution, we'll do what we want even if the only thing we know about guns is from 20 year old VPC press releases. I mean come on Greg. The whole "evading metal detectors" nonsense went out with balloon pants. Can you even tell me what an "assault weapon" is? Howabout why Illinois is one of only two states which doesn't have CCW?
Note he doesn't comment on the "gangbanger" comment. He must feel that it's OK to trumpt the rights of the individual for an alleged community benefit. Kelo v New London is his kind of case.
Greg's really gonna crap when the 2A is fully incorporated.