The Most Pro-Gun Low-Crime City in the United States

The anti-Second Amendment crowd is on the warpath again. PBS’ Bill Moyers, who served as White House Press Secretary in the Lyndon Johnson administration from 1965 to 1967, called the NRA “the enabler of death.” It seems to me that James Holmes is the Enabler of Death. 65 million other gun owners in the United States didn’t kill anybody last Thursday evening.

I live just a few miles from the most pro-gun city in the United States – Kennesaw Georgia – where gun ownership is mandatory. It’s not the “Wild West” like some people predicted when it passed a mandatory gun ownership law. “The city of Kennesaw was selected by Family Circle magazine as one of the nation’s ‘10 best towns for families.’ The award was aimed at identifying the best communities nationally that combine big-city opportunities with suburban charm, a blend of affordable housing, good jobs, top-rated public schools, wide-open spaces, and less stress.”1

In 1982 the city passed the following ordinance [Sec 34-21] which was in response to a handgun ban in Morton Grove, Ill.

(a) In order to provide for the emergency management of the city, and further in order to provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants, every head of household residing in the city limits is required to maintain a firearm, together with ammunition therefore.

(b) Exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who suffer a physical or mental disability which would prohibit them from using such a firearm. Further exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who are paupers or who conscientiously oppose maintaining firearms as a result of beliefs or religious doctrine, or persons convicted of a felony.

The city’s website states that Kennesaw “has the lowest crime rate in Cobb County,” one of the most populous counties in Georgia. In fact, from 1982 through 2009, Kennesaw had been nearly murder free with one murder occurring in 2007.

There were three murders in 2010 committed by the same man in what is described as a “school safety zone,” an area extending 1,000 feet from any school, including adult colleges and technical schools. This means that even though Kennesaw has the most liberal gun laws in the United States, employees at the facility where the murders were committed could not have a gun on the premises.

Of course, criminals don’t care about laws; that’s why they’re criminals. Ed Stone of Atlanta Gun Rights Examiner makes these important points:

“Unfortunately experience with actual ‘school safety zones’ in Georgia has proven that the ‘school safety zone’ law approach does not stop violent armed crime, as it disarms only the potential victims of an attack.  Criminals seeking to rob, rape, and murder ignore the ‘school safety zone’ as merely one more law they are breaking.”

Now we come to New York City. In September 2011 Ryan Jerome, a former Marine Corps gunner, walked up to a security officer at the Empire State Building and asked where he could check his gun.

He had a valid concealed carry permit from his home state of Indiana. He also had the rights given to him under the Second Amendment. No matter, the security officer called police and Jerome spent the next two days in jail. “The 28-year-old with no criminal history now faces a mandatory minimum sentence of three and a half years in prison. If convicted, his sentence could be as high as fifteen years.”

He brought the gun for protection since he was traveling with $15,000 worth of jewelry that he planned to sell. Certainly a rational decision, given the crime rate in New York City and stories like the U.S. Marine veteran who was shot three times when a Craigslist transaction went bad.

In December of 2011, Tennessee nurse Meredith Graves noticed a “no guns” sign at the World Trade Center site in New York City and asked where she could leave her weapon. Like Jerome, she was arrested and faces similar charges. Mayor Bloomberg claims that she was in possession of cocaine. It seems that what the police found was BC Powder, an over-the-counter pain reliever that is sold exclusively in the South.

In a 25-year period, New York City has had more than 15,000 murders – 2245 in 1990 alone – while Kennesaw, Georgia, had 1.

  1. Family Circle, August 2007. []



Gary is a graduate of Western Michigan University (1973) and earned his M.Div. at Reformed Theological Seminary in 1979. He is the author of countless essays, news articles, and more than 27 book titles.

Posted in Gun Control, Politics
  • John Comeau

    good article, but comparing statistics of a city of 30000 with a city of 8.2 million isn’t helping your case much.

  • Gun Control in the US!


  • Justin

    glad to see such articles as this just got to wonder why since this information is so newsworthy why main stream media ignores it so much Guess because it goes against their biased anti-gun view

  • Gary Williams

    What isn’t mentioned in this piece is the fact that Kennesaw has a total population of only about 30,000 people. That it has only had 4 murders since this ordinance was passed hardly reflects a bastion of crime-free bliss, as this article trues to portray.

    As well, the statistics it relies on were compiled by a gun rights activist (David Kopel) whose research, upon checking it’s veracity more recently, has been shown to rest on nothing but his own wishful thinking and confirmation biases of the local chamber of commerce.

  • Cogito

    According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report in 1990 there were 23,438 homicides and in 2010 the number had been reduced to 12,996. That is a reduction of 44.53%. Much of the reduction is due to the states beginning to legislate concealed carry primits in 1993. We have reached a point where 37 states now allowfor concealed carry.

    The 2011 homicide statistics, while not finalized show that there were 12,662 homicides of which 323, or 2.56% were committed with a rifle. By comparison 1,689, or 13.38% were committed using knives or other cutting tools. Also, 728, or 5.77% were committed using fists and feet.

    So much for banning “assault rifles.”

    In 1990, Congress passed S.3226 sponsored by then Senator Joe Biden, The Crime Control Act of 1990. Included in the legislation was the establishment of schools as “gun-free zones. Since passing the legislation there have been 8 school massacres in whicn 97 students and adults were killed and 75 wounded. Mabey consideration should be given to renaming that portion of the bill as “murder-free zone,” as it has established a killing field for every nut job and all wishing to make a political or religious statement.

    This is just more political charade. As Rahm Emanuel says, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

    Of course our caring politicians will wish to ban military style weapons in order to save us from ourselves.

    H.L. Mencken said, “The urge to save humanity is almost always the false-face for the urge to rule it.”

    There can be no doubt the elitists in Washington seek absolute power by disarming the citizenry.

  • Frank A McCafferty

    Critical thinking and a clear vision of known facts will never be a strong attribute of the
    goody 2 shoe, touchy feely crowd.

  • wayne palmer

    Couple of messages here:

    !) Places where there are lots of legal guns are places where safety and courtesy rules.

    2) Places like New York City are no longer really a part of the United States and real Americans are no longer welcome there (especially Southerners). We should stay away and spend our tourism dollars elsewhere.

  • Top39

    I totally agree..that a ARMED STATE is a safe and FREE State..Obongo wants this Country to be run like Russia and NAZI Germany.. Coming from a man who can not even prove where he was born, mystifies me… We all know he was born in KENYA ..!??

    More States need to tell him to buzz off..and protect our CONSTITUTION.. This man has done more damage to this country in his term than any person in the history of the world has done to their Country.. He should be IMPEACHED – but no one has the guts to start it ??

    Afraid of WHAT ?? Ask his grandmother why she is dead..after saying she “held him in her arms in KENYA” when he was born.. Think about it…

  • Dan Hunter

    Check your numbers again on the crime rates in Kennesaw.
    The truth is the Mayor lied and misreported them.

    Burglaries in Kennesaw did not change significantly, while Morton
    Grove’s burglary rate fell by 4.5 burglaries per month. (See McDowall et al Criminology v29 p541-560 (1991).

    Here are the actual numbers (from Sociology & Social Research v74:1 p51)
    Kennesaw Burglaries 1976-1986
    76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 48 85 86
    41 21 22 35 35 54 35 35 29 32 70
    The Kennesaw law was passed on March 15, 1982 and pretty clearly had
    no effect on the burglary rates

    There was also a 100% increase in with-gun assaults in Kennesaw after the ownership law was passed, and that was deliberately ignored by the gun ownership promoters too.

  • baldone46 .

    If “Ryan Jerome, a former Marine Corps gunner, had the rights given to him under the Second Amendment”, he couldn’t have gotten in trouble in NYC which would have been subject to obey those “2nd Amendment Rights”. But we have to get off the crutch of the 2nd Amendment is giving me my rights so all you states have to obey it. GUN RIGHTS DO NOT COME FROM THE 2ND AMENDMENT. tHE CONSTITUTION DOES NOT GIE US THAT RIGHT. aLL YOUR GUN RIGHTS COME FROM TE STAE YOU LIVE IN. tHE cONSTITUTION IS SAYING IT WON;T INTERFERE WITH THE RIGHTS YOU HAVE FROM YOUR STATE. nO STATE RIGHTS????? yOU’RE SCREWED, BUDDY AND THE 2ND AMENDMENT CAN’T HELP YOU. AGAIBN LOO TO THE STATE FOR YOUR RIGHTS. So, read our own state’s constitution!

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