Yesterday I posted a blog about an email I received regarding a law or rather an ordinance in Kennsaw, GA. and promised to update you on this. The following is that update. The email read, in case you didn't read it:
“The Town of Kennesaw's GA requires all citizens to have a gun in the home and yearly home invasion incidents dropped from 65 to 26 the year after the law went into effect and down to 11 two years after the law. (Makes sense. If you have the option between breaking into a house that most likely has a gun owner and breaking into a house that doesn't...uh...which house are you going to break into?) Also, the town's overall violent crime rate dropped by ~50%, and they still have a crime rate roughly the half the average of the rest of the country. “
Compare that to D.C....highest gun violence rate in the US alongside some of the strictest gun laws (ie, stringent background checks, firearm registration, no concealed carry, no open carry, no high capacity rounds, no assault weapons, no peaceable journey--meaning, if you own a gun in another state, you're not allowed to bring it through D.C. if you're visiting or even just using their roads while traveling.) Even with all of those laws on the law-abiding citizens, they have more gun violence per capita than any state in the Union. "
I have tried to establish the reputation of ALWAYS checking the facts of any news type story on my blogs and did so in this case. One must remember there are a lot of people that send out emails that contain only a passing knowledge of the facts and those they will exaggerate to their own purposes. I communicated with a very pleasant and knowledgeable young woman that is the Public Information Director for the town of Kennesaw, Ga. One Pam Davis. She was very forthcoming and never attempted to evade or obfuscate any of my queries and I wish to thank her as publicly as possible. I could only wish there were more like her out there.
Kennesaw does indeed have a law similar to the one alluded to in this email; however there are several caveats. Naturally, no felons and some other exemptions were made. Religious convictions, etcetera. The ordinance was enacted more as a political statement and response to some bedroom communities in the Chicago area that had passed restrictive gun laws in the early 1980’s. Kennesaw’s was passed in 1982. It has never been enforced. At the time Kennesaw was a town of about 5000 on the outskirts of Atlanta with the traditional Southern conservative values. It is now a bedroom community of approximately 30,000 with quite a different population mix. For one thing it is the home of one of the larger Georgia universities so the population age average is quite a bit younger than in 1982.
Ms. Davis has responded to a second call with amazing and gratifying alacrity. Her answers did indeed contradict that conclusion. It was her statement that the crime rate did indeed go down significantly after that law was passed and that the present crime rate is significantly lower than other cities with similar demographics around the country. She attributes this to the high visibility of the local police and infers the high quality of the officers employed. This police force is one of a far too few that have been ceritified by a national organization whose name I didn't want to take her time to write down correctly. Sorry about that. It turns out that this is simply a nice well run southern community with good people doing their best to govern in a sane manner. Which just may be the real story here.
The information on the laws and crime rates in D.C., while exaggerated, are essentially correct. D.C does not have the “highest gun violence rate in the US”. That honor rotates between such places as Chicago (always one of the most violent cities in the US) , NYNY, Los Angeles, and Miami,, depending on where and who you ask and the time of year the question is asked.