The government of the City of Oak Park, Illinois, a year or so after losing in McDonald et al. v. Chicago et al. (they were one of the al. on the Chicago side), is finally sitting down to revisit their gun laws. In view of the possibility of more litigation, the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA, one of the al. on the McDonald side) urged its members to attend the meeting. And the village staff knew just how to handle them. . .
Members of the Illinois State Rifle Association arrived in gold hats, t-shirts and other identifying clothing and were directed by village staff to sit in the back.
That’s right; back of the bus with you -um- folks (merely adding further weight to John Aquilino’s pithy observation). I will admit that this approach did provide some refreshing openness to the meeting. Normally government officials try a little harder to hide their antipathy for certain constituents. But there was plenty of distaste to be found among the villagers as well. For instance, Oak Park resident Jim Kelly’s had this comment regarding the opening of a new gun shop in town:
“We should create a zoning code to position firearm sales away from parks, schools, playgrounds and daycare centers,” Kelly said. “That’s a safety measure that must be in place.”
Safety measure? Really? What the devil is unsafe about a retail store? Is Kelly worried that the guns will run out of the store on their own and start shooting people? Is there some sort of formless evil associated with firearms? Well, okay, the answer to that question would be a resounding YES. You’ll find pretty much the same miasma of ignorance and prejudice around a gun store that you find at KKK meetings or Neo-Nazi rallies. The main difference being that the hoplophobes reserve their hatred for inanimate objects instead of people.