Some of you have probably seen this story on the Wednesday Journal's web site: http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/10-13-2011/Gun_store,_just_rif...
In short, the Village is considering a business license application for a rifle and shotgun shop on Roosevelt and Ridgeland (just around the corner from Pete's).
Aside from the whole Second Amendment debate, which is currently raging on the WJ site, I just don't want a gun shop in my neighborhood. The whole plan for the remodeling of Roosevelt was supposed to include businesses that will drive retail traffic--restaurants, boutiques, and similar types of businesses (that seem to be popping up every other week on the Berwyn side of the street). A gun shop does not fit in with this vision.
I feel like this business will create a certain impression of our neighborhood, especially among people who are already concerned about the proximity of OP and Berwyn to the west side of Chicago. Basically, the presence of a gun shop will imply that there is a demand for guns in our neighborhood--not great for property values, I'm sure.
So I'm wondering if OP residents have any say in the businesses that move into our neighborhoods. Does anyone know if there are forums for license applications? Can we submit petitions? Write letters? Any other ideas?
Well you can't argue with that about property values. OTB would do the same you are right.
And the travelling with firearms would be tricky.
Windy City Firearm Safety Training Center? That doesn't sound any better though...Might actually sit a bit worse in public opinion if you did a market survey.
On the surface, I don't really have an issue. Gun stores are legal businesses. I'd like to know that the village is properly vetting the owners and their business practices/plan though to ensure it is one that plans to take the high road in fire arm sales. There is a large gun store on Grand in Elmwood Park directly across the street from Caputo's that has a firing range, offers education, etc. I bet that doesn't stop Oak Parkers from going to Caputo's.
Criminals and thugs don't buy/obtain guns legally from gun stores so to think it will contribute to crime is just false. Further, if the purpose of the store is rifles & shotguns, it's customers are going to be hunters or other hobbyist. No different from that archery store on Madison.
Would I want one in Downtown Oak Park? Not particularly, but I can't see an issue with one located on a busier street like Roosevelt.
Personally, I think the liquor stores and convenience stores in our village do more to attract crime than anything else.
It appears there was more discussion and contraversy on the former Comcast building and affordable housing. Why do citizens get to "debate" these issues but not one related to a gun shop? Its time for a little "Occupy Oak Park" to protest and talk at Village meetings.
I think it is because most people probably realize a gun shop on Roosevelt is not going to have the same impact (negatively) as low income housing on Madision. Either one is not really what I want to see in Oak Park, but if I had a choice, I'd take the gun shop anyday on Roosevelt over the housing at the Comcast site.
The gun shop is selling long guns. This is significantly different than selling handguns. The odds of any law abiding citizen using a long gun/rifle to commit a crime is basically zilch. Further, criminals DO NOT buy guns at gun stores. They buy them from other thugs in back alleys. No amount of anti-gun laws, etc is going to stop that...
You'd be surprised at what people do in their spare time. Even though there aren't any hunting grounds nearby, it doesn't mean hunters don't live in the area and drive long distances to participate in their hobby/sport. Heck, there is a scuba diving shop/store on Chicago Avenue. Who goes scuba diving around here?
The archery store on Madison caters primarily to hunters and they seem to be doing brisk business too.