Voters in the Oak Park Township of Illinois definitely have a strange way of initiating a conversation about gun control.
In a non-binding referendum introduced by Oak Park resident Piergiorgio “George” Uslenghi, voters were asked a question that read, “Shall the Constitution of the United States be amended as follows? The second article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is repealed. The United States Congress shall regulate the licensing and use of arms.”
Uslenghi, a professor at UIC, was able to add the question to Tuesday’s ballot after collecting the required 15 signatures of registered Oak Park voters. Born in Italy, Uslenghi moved to the United States in 1961 and became a United States citizen in 1982.
“I’m very satisfied, and I will take it to the next level,” Uslenghi said. “We have to keep fighting for this. The business of having a loaded gun in your pocket has to stop. Last weekend, we had 50 shootings in Chicago. Two weeks ago, we had 17 murders in Chicago. If we had lost 17 soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan, it would be national news. We lost 17 citizens, and nobody seems to care except their relatives.”
Perhaps the larger issue is that the overwhelming majority of people who are committing murders in the Chicago area are not law-abiding citizens, they are criminals who obtain their weapons illegally. Common sense should tell Professor Uslenghi that if these individuals are already willing disobey the law by committing murder, already an illegal act, one would assume they are not interested in nor willing to follow any additional laws imposed by well-meaning members of academia or power-hungry politicians.
But perhaps common sense has died in Illinois.
Earlier this year, Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, said Uslenghi’s quest to “make a radical change to the Constitution of the United States” would not be successful, adding his group opposed the referendum.
“Somehow, they think doing away with the Second Amendment will make everybody civil,” Pearson said. “But it would do quite the opposite.”
Uslenghi said the idea for the referendum was sparked by the alarming number of murders
“I became very concerned over the last few years at the rate of murders that have been going on because of handguns and firearms,” Uslenghi said. “The original intent of the Second Amendment was really to protect ourselves from tyranny. That was 200 years ago. No civilized nation allows citizens to carry loaded pistols in their pockets.”
Now that his non-binding referendum successful in Oak Park Township, Uslenghi intends to ask the question of all Cook County residents in a future election.
“I don’t know what the rules are at the county level, but I will do my best,” Uslenghi said. “I intend to pursue that if it is politically acceptable and possible.”
A total 28,306 people voted on the referendum with 64.13 percent in favor and 35.87 percent opposing the measure.
Time to wake up, Illinois. Gun control is a slippery slope, but this is an oil slick of epic proportions.