This Georgia Town Actually Requires All Citizens to Own a Gun ... And There Have Been Interesting Results

In the small town of Kennesaw, Georgia, gun control has a whole other meaning: The town's unusual firearms regulations legally demand that residents own guns.  

A lawyer named Fred Bentley drafted this bill in 1982 that requires at least one member of a household in the Atlanta suburb to pack a firearm with ammunition. He exemplifies the town motto of "shoot now, ask questions later" when he claims, “I got my 30-06 rifle, my double-barrelled shotgun, my six-shot revolver. We haven’t been robbed one single time, and we've been here 50 years.”

Since this mandate has been instated, there has been a decrease in crime over the course of 31 years by 29%. This decrease is significant, as the population has increased by over six times that in the 1980s: The residents in Kennesaw have grown from 5,000 to 33,000.

Mayor Mark Matthews notes that the decrease in crime is reflective on the community.  “People are more aware we have this law on the books, and you might think twice before coming here to do something criminal.”

Many law-abiding Kennesaw citizens do not carry firearms publicly. The regulation has sparked four additional communities, three of which are outside of Georgia, to create their own mandatory gun law after the results of Kennesaw. Georgia’s second community that has this mandate is the city of Nelson, and the 1,300 citizens living there dubbed their mandate the “Family Protection Ordinance.” Bill McNiff of Nelson, who is also the regional Tea Party chairman, wants the city to enact this ordinance “so the criminal element knows if you kick my door down, you better know what’s on the other side.”

It is intriguing that this small-town is able to incorporate an enforced purchasing law into their foundation and have it be successful, especially when the federal government approved of Obamacare in the past year. While the two are inherently different — Kennesaw is promoting the Second Amendment while Obamacare is requiring all citizens to have government regulated health care — it is interesting to note the perceived success the town has had with this law. Over the course of the 30 years its been enacted, they tribute the success of the town’s low-crime rate specifically to the law.

Of course, the federal and local governments are inherently different. However, this mandate comes at a point in the in the history of the United States where the Second Amendment faces outcries to be ... amended. This requirement might be seen as pushing the Second Amendment abolitionists too far, but maybe the success and acceptance of the town could reflect upon the eventual adjustment of the citizens of the United States to Obamacare.

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Melissa Sullivan

I am a student at Georgetown University, whose free time is spent interning on Capitol Hill and watching college basketball. I am a Government and Spanish double major with a Theology minor, and I just spent 5 months abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I'm an avid sports fan (Giants, Yankees, and Knicks), and when I'm home in Connecticut I love to hang out with my dogs.

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