9/26/2010

The Financial Times writes a very positive article about Kennesaw, Georgia's gun law

This article is wrong about Kennesaw being unique, there are other cities in the US (Love, UT; Greenleaf, Idaho; Geuda Springs, Kansas; Virgin, Utah; and Cherry Tree, Pennsylvania), which have similar laws. Still it is an interesting article.

Kennesaw, Georgia, is Everytown, USA: a mixture of old wooden bungalows and cookie-cutter subdivisions, of seventh- generation locals and Mexican immigrants. Its quaint, cobbled historic centre is lush, with low-hanging trees and chirping cicadas. The civil war museum tells the history of the local Confederate fight against the Yankees. At the suburban malls on a humid Saturday afternoon locals vie to park their SUVs as close as possible to the Target and Best Buy outlets, and queue for tables at Chuck E. Cheese’s and Applebee’s.

But this city, half an hour’s drive north of Atlanta, is unique: it is the only place in America where it is compulsory to own a gun. In 1982, Kennesaw City Council unanimously passed an ordinance requiring households to own at least one firearm with ammunition. The law states that its purpose is to “protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants”. Kennesaw’s ordinance was a heartfelt assertion of second amendment gun rights, a principled and legislative rebuttal to a law passed earlier that year in Morton Grove, Illinois, banning guns within the city limits.

“It was official, but we were protesting as much as anything,” recalls Fred Bentley, a lawyer, who was already 56 when he wrote the ordinance. Looking every part the southern charmer in a grey suit and spotless white shirt topped with a gingham bow tie, Bentley keeps a loaded .38 revolver by his bed and two double-barrel shotguns from his hunting days. Otherwise his guns are decorative – a Brown Bess ­revolutionary-era musket stands by the door of his office.

Kennesaw residents were outraged not only by Morton Grove’s assault on the second amendment of the Constitution – which gives all Americans the right to bear arms – but also by “the slobbering way that the press portrayed the law as taking a stand against ‘evil’ handguns,” says Robert Jones, the president of the Kennesaw Historical Society and the owner of a .357 Magnum handgun. The American Civil Liberties Union challenged Kennesaw’s law as unconstitutional, but the federal court let it stand, although the city did add a clause exempting conscientious objectors, criminals, the mentally disabled and people who could not afford a gun. . . .

Though it will give liberals heartburn, Kennesaw’s gun policy works. . . .

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1 Comments:

Blogger David said...

John Lott, I like your books immensely, so much so that I bought the 3rd Edition of "More Guns, Less Crime".
Kennesaw GA is to be commended. Must be working well for them.
What I would like to see is SCOTUS making a statement about the right to BEAR arms, which I think they sidestepped in both Heller and McDonald. So all Americans can have equal 2nd Amendment rights.

9/26/2010 3:11 PM  

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