Responsible gun ownership seems to be one of the main ingredients in Kennesaw, Ga.’s, recipe for success in terms of holding down the town’s homicide rate.
The city issued a mandate in 1982 that every head of household, other than those who would be legally barred from owning a gun, have a firearm. The result is that the town is ranked as the fourth-safest city in the state.
Kennesaw is an outlying suburb of Atlanta, and it has recorded just one murder in the past six years. Mayor Derek Easterling attributes that in part to the city’s gun ownership law. He noted the importance of strong law enforcement and community engagement as other factors.
“When citizens are engaged, when the community is engaged as a whole and people accept responsibility and are held accountable for their actions, I think that's what makes the biggest difference,” Easterling said.
Although the law isn’t tightly enforced, Easterling said the mere fact that the city encourages gun ownership is reason enough to give would-be criminals something to think about.
Overlooked is the fact that while the town struggles with non-violent property crime (such as theft of things from unlocked cars), the city’s citizens aren’t wantonly shooting the thieves. That illustrates that law-abiding gun owners have the sense to use their firearms only in life-threatening situations, not in retaliation for crimes involving things that can be replaced.