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Gun Control in Kennesaw, Georgia

The New American magazine reminds us that March 25th marked the 16th anniversary of Kennesaw, Georgia's ordinance
requiring heads of households (with certain exceptions) to keep at least one firearm in their homes.

The city's population grew from around 5,000 in 1980 to 13,000 by 1996 (latest available estimate). Yet there have been only
three murders: two with knives (1984 and 1987) and one with a firearm (1997).

"After the law went into effect in 1982, crime against persons plummeted 74 percent compared to 1981, and fell another 45
percent in 1983 compared to 1982. And it has stayed impressively low. In addition to nearly non-existent homicide (murders
have averaged a mere 0.19 per year), the annual number of armed robberies, residential burglaries, commercial burglaries, and
rapes have averaged, respectively, 1.69, 31.63, 19.75, and 2.00 through 1998."

With all the attention that has been heaped upon the lawful possession of firearms lately, you would think that a city that
requires gun ownership would be the center of a media feeding frenzy. It isn't. The fact is I can't remember a major media outlet
even mentioning Kennesaw. Can you? The reason is obvious. Kennesaw proves that the presence of firearms actually improves
safety and security. This is not the message that the media want us to hear. They want us to believe that guns are evil and are
the cause of violence. The facts tell a different story.

What is even more interesting about Kennesaw is that the city's crime rate decreased with the simple knowledge that the entire
community was armed.

The bad guys didn't force the residents to prove it. Just knowing that residents were armed prompted them to move on to
easier targets. Most criminals don't have a death wish. There have been two occasions in my own family when the presence of
a handgun averted potential disaster. In both instances the gun was never aimed at a person and no shot was fired. Yet, in both
cases the thugs bent on criminal mischief decided to take their ambitions elsewhere and my family remained safe. Only God
knows what would have happened if a firearm had not been handy.

Yes, there are times when gun accidents occur. There are many more accidents involving automobiles, airplanes, bathroom
shower stalls and backyard swimming pools, however. And let's not forget that freedom is risky business. Freedom allows
people to make mistakes recognizing that the alternative is worse.

A local newspaper columnist recently said that other nations are free without possessing firearms. He fails to see the obvious
fact that people who are not free to own firearms are not free. Many people live their entire lives and never know a day of real
freedom. And, while I'm sure that there are those who would choose to live without freedom, there are some of us who would
rather die free than live enslaved.