The Kennesaw, Georgia Gun Violence Reduction Myth
Gun lobbyists and their supporters are once again parading a deeply misleading myth that claims greatly improved public safety in the rural community of Kennesaw, Georgia after in 1982 the City Council passed a law requiring every head of a household to own a gun, while the community of Morton Grove, Illinois passed a handgun ban in their community earlier in 1982.
Gun supporters misleadingly claim that Kennesaw is now much safer than Morton Grove by the use of some select use of statistical percentages of claimed crime reductions. However an honest comparison of the actual crime figures of the two communities certainly fail to prove the case of the gun advocates that more guns in a comunity improve the public safety compared to less guns. In general, guns do correlate with 33,000 national incidents that result in death each year including teen and adult suicide, accidents, domestic violence and murders.
Morton Grove, Illinois is a suburb of the huge city of Chicago, where no doubt, some Chicago residents will travel by car for the purpose of armed robbery and other crimes. Kennesaw is a far more rural community, much farther from a larger community, where most crime will be by local residents.
FBI crime statistics for 2003 provide the most recent equal models for comparison of the two cities which are roughly comparable in population. Morton Grove has 22, 966 and Kennesaw 25, 183 for the purposes of this 2003 actual crime figures comparison.
In 2003, Morton Grove had 2 murders and Kennesaw just 1. But both figures are subject to yearly fluctuations, where some years neither community will have an incident classified as a murder.
In 2003, Morton Grove had 4 robberies compared to 7 in Kennesaw. The Kennesaw figures are much higher than Morton Grove's for that year, and guns are often the weapon of choice in a robbery.
In 2003, Morton Grove had 12 aggravated assaults compared to the higher number of 15 in Kennesaw.
In 2003, Morton Grove had 70 burglaries compared to the much higher number of 89 in Kennesaw. Many burglars may carry a gun in case of being surprised by security or a property owner.
In 2003, Morton Grove had 390 incidents of larcency and theft compared 455 examples in Kennesaw.
No good statistics on suicide in the two communities can be easily found, but in general more guns do correlate with higher suicide rates just the same as more automobiles will correlate with higher accident figures. But with higher actual crime figures in Kennesaw compared to Morton Grove, that may include the use of guns, why gun supporters use Kennesaw as any shining example to support their claims yhay more guns improve community safety is simply absurd. No good evidence is to be found in the actual number of crimes which are higher in Kennesaw than Morton Grove that the law requiring gun ownership has made the community are more safe or crime free at all.
Also has the average person had their own life impacted by gun? My grandmother's brother was killed in a hunting gun accident. Careless hunters nearly hit the farm house I was raised in as a child when they illegally hunted pheasants on our farm property. My own mother was held up at gunpoint at her workplace. I lived in a community where gangs of young men with rifles and pistols were stalking pedestrians in automobiles with the windows blacked out and the license plates removed during a 1968 race riot. In this same community gun incidents still are somewhat common at two local high schools and at two area shopping malls. A Korean man was recently shot in the neck and paralyzed from the neck down during an armed robbery for a carton of cigarettes and cash while he only watched the store for a short time so the owner could attend a church service. A very nice man I know was shot during a robbery at his business and left him to spend the rest of his life as a disabled worker at the local St. Vincent De Paul. I ran a bookstore on Foster street, and another shopowner only a few doors down was shot and killed during a robbery. More guns failed to improve any of these incidents. Guns only correlated with all of these problems. And these are only the examples from my own life that I have personal knowledge of, many persons know of even worse personal examples.
Some gun advocates are now also claiming that students, teachers and security at Virginia Tech should all be allowed to bring guns to school to somehow enhance "security". Yet during the early college years of 18-25 higher problems with suicide, mental illness, alcohol, drug abuse or depression are the most likely to manifest itself according to all good scientific evidence, and putting guns in the hands of young people whose brains are not yet fully developed would only likely invite many incidents of gun violence or tragedy and is a highly irresponsible and reckless proposal.
Gun advocates may use misleading statistics to support their wholly absurd claims that more guns in a community improve the public safety. But no good statistics have ever proven this absurd premise. More guns always correlate with a higher number of unfortunate incidents of some type.