As has become typical, the debate over the Second Amendment and gun control reached a fever pitch following the recent mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. Even as some liberals chastise gun owners and condescendingly declare, “Nobody wants to take away your guns,” other Democrats put forward legislation that would ban most common semi-automatic firearms and others even suggested Australia-style confiscation laws.
It should go without saying that the mainstream media is fully supportive of such proposals, chief among them CNN, as evidenced by its incessantly favorable coverage for the anti-gun side and staunch opposition to the point of denigration for those who advocate for the Second Amendment.
However, there is a small town in Georgia that went an entirely different route in regard to guns and gun ownership nearly four decades ago. Breitbart noted that even CNN had to admit that a law mandating gun ownership for those Georgia residents has had an effect on gun violence in the area.
That town would be Kennesaw, Georgia, and they passed a local ordinance into law in 1982 that required the head of every single household in their jurisdiction to keep a firearm in their home for the purpose of home defense. According to a piece from CNN, the town of about 33,000 people has suffered only one murder in the past six years, and has a crime rate of less than 2 percent. In other words, as economist John Lott has long noted, “More guns, less crime.”
The decidedly anti-gun media outlet made certain to mention that the law is generally unenforced by local police — meaning some households may not actually have the mandated firearm — and were also sure to point out that there could be other factors at play in regard to the exceptionally low crime rate aside from the mandatory gun ownership.
But even if the law isn’t strictly enforced, it undoubtedly has an effect, as Kennesaw Police Department Lt. Craig Graydon stated, “It was meant to be kind of a crime deterrent.”
Since the law has been around for so long, Kennesaw has received attention from all over the country — and even other nations around the world — in regard to the ordinance as various locales consider whether something similar might be right for their own communities.
“We get a lot of calls, conversation, and it seems to keep crime control, gun safety, things like that on the minds of many of the residents, because people are constantly talking about the gun law,” Lt. Graydon said. “So that’s been somewhat of a benefit to us.”
That appears to be how Mayor Derek Easterling views the law as well. “If you’re going to commit a crime in Kennesaw and you’re the criminal — are you going to take a chance that that homeowner is a law-abiding citizen” he said.
“The first thing that most people say when they meet us, you know as a community is ‘oh, it’s not what I expected,’” explained Easterling of the attention his town has received. “I don’t know what they expect of people who arm themselves with guns at home, or what they’re looking for, but really we’re not that.”
One resident of the town who has willingly obeyed the ordinance is Wayne Arnold. He told CNN that in addition to several handguns, he also keeps one of the incredibly common AR-15-style semi-automatic rifles chambered in .223 caliber handy, just in case.
“It gives me the ability to protect myself as opposed to being somewhere where you weren’t allowed to have a firearm or it was frowned upon,” Arnold said.
“People kind of get the image that it’s the Wild West, where everybody walks around with a firearm strapped to their side, and it’s not like that,” he added. “It’s strictly a home defense system type of deal. There’s no shootouts down the street.”