Alleged burglar shooting sparks gun debate

May 28, 2010 4:51:04 AM PDT
A deadly home invasion on the city's West Side has many debating the right to bear arms.

The homeowner protected his family by killing the intruder but Mayor Richard Daley says guns need to remain off the streets and the city's gun ban should be enforced.

The 80-year-old Korean War veteran who shot and killed the home invader has not wanted to talk publicly about the incident. His purchase of a handgun that he used early Wednesday morning would technically put him in violation of the city's handgun ban, which the U.S. Supreme Court has signaled it quite likely will overturn.

Gun rights supporters say that what happened in the 600-block of North Sawyer is perhaps the best illustration yet of why they believe the Chicago handgun ban should go.

"I understand the situation and I understand. What I'm saying is all of us have to understand that guns is not the answer to problems we see in homes and on the streets of America. It's just has simple as that. Will he be charged? Can we get an explanation as to whether he'll be charged? Thank you," Mayor Daley told reporters during a news conference Thursday.

Neither the mayor nor police superintendent would comment on whether charges are even being considered. Police say they have custody of two guns taken from the scene, and that their investigation is ongoing.

"What should happen is he should get commended," said Otis McDonald, Chicago resident.

McDonald has strongly-held opinions on Wednesday's home invasion and shooting. McDonald is the lead plaintiff in the case before the Supreme Court challenging Chicago's 37-year-old handgun ban.

"This is something that's elementary. This is something that clearly justifies the right to have a handgun in your home," said McDonald.

Seven years ago, after a homeowner in north suburban Wilmette shot a home intruder where there was at the time a handgun ban. There followed some strong debate, and then some legislative action by the state.

In November 2004, the General Assembly passed legislation that would preclude criminal charges if a homeowner used a gun - ban or no - in self-defense, so long as that action occurred in the home, on their property, or in their place of business.


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