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[This is an unpolished diary that I kept meaning to get back to. But given today's shooting at the FedEx facility, I think I'd rather post it now than try to get it into shape -- which could take me a week.]

This Family Circle's "10 best towns for families" requires by law that every head-of-household owns a gun and ammunition. How's that working out?

Kennesaw, Georgia, has the most liberal gun laws in the United States, in a state with liberal gun laws.

Let's start with the actual ordinance that was passed by the city of Kennesaw in 1982:

(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.

An amendment to the gun ownership law grants exceptions to convicted felons, conscientious objectors and those who cannot afford a gun.


I'm not going to send you to Freeper, where Kennesaw is frequently hailed as proof that arming everyone is the way to go. Here's a couple salient discussion points:

"In the past 25 years there have been less murders than you can count on one hand"... "After the law went into effect in 1982, crime against persons plummeted 74 percent compared to 1981, and fell another 45 percent in 1983 compared to 1982." "The reason is obvious. Kennesaw proves that the presence of firearms actually improves safety and security. This is not the message that the media want us to hear. They want us to believe that guns are evil and are the cause of violence."  [emphasis mine]

The thing is these statistics are meaningless: the crime level in Kennesaw has always been low.

Gary DeMar, who lives near Kennesaw, writes about the virtually non-existent murder rate. 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 one 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.

When the town's gun law was passed, about 70 percent of households likely owned a gun, Graydon said. But Atlanta commuters have since swelled the town's population and gun ownership now is about 50 percent. The law may deter criminals, but "proactive policing and close police liaison with community and business groups were the main reasons why crime has stayed low," he said.

Some residents said they found the law objectionable or silly and simply ignored it. No one has ever been prosecuted for failure to own a firearm.

A comment in a snopes thread offers this explanation: "My sister lives in Kennesaw. The law is still on the books, but she believes that it's probably unenforceable. It was put in place when some protesters ticked off the city council"

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. A total of 4,000 Americans lost their lives in the battle.

It's pretty common knowledge that Georgia has gun lawsthat make the NRA proud.
The Brady Campaign  says, "Georgia is among the 31 states that together export crime guns at a rate nine times higher than states with strong gun laws. It scored 8 out of 100 on the Brady Scale."

State Permit to Purchase?     No     No    
Firearm registration?             No     No    
"Assault weapon" law?             No     No    
Owner license required?     No     No    
Carry permits issued?             Yes     Yes    
Concealed or open carry
  allowed with permit.           Yes    Yes
Open Carry?                     Yes     Yes         
State Preemption of local
  restrictions?                     Yes     Yes*   
NFA weapons restricted?     No     No    
Peaceable Journey laws?     No     No**   
Unlicensed open carry?             Yes     No

NOTE: On June 8, 2010, Senate Bill 308 was signed by Governor Sonny Perdue reforming and clarifying many of Georgia's Gun Laws.[1]

Georgia is a "shall issue" state, and issues firearms permits to residents through a county probate court. Georgia recognizes permits from any other state which recognizes Georgia's permit.

Any person who may legally own a firearm may carry a firearm in their home, place of business, and vehicle without a permit. Georgia does not differentiate between concealed and open carry except that long guns must be carried openly if they are loaded and you do not have a permit.

State preemption laws prohibit localities from regulating the ownership, transportation, and possession of firearms. Georgia also has a law preventing localities from enacting ordinances or lawsuits to classify gun ranges as nuisances.

*Despite state preemption, several localities continue to have local gun restrictions. Recent court rulings have resulted in many of these ordinances being withdrawn.
**No Federal rules observed

Firearm regulations are uniform throughout the state, and a firearms permit is valid throughout the state, in all areas other than in a few specially-defined areas. These specially-defined prohibited areas include:

    In a government building
    In a courthouse
    In a place of worship
    In a state mental health facility
    In a bar, unless the owner of the bar permits the carrying of weapons by
        license holders [emphasis mine]
    On the premises of a nuclear power facility
    Within 150 feet (46 m) of any polling place
    In any school building or on school grounds
   ...and now in airports and baseball fields, too

As exceptions to the above list, a person may keep their firearm in a locked compartment of their vehicle at any of the above places except nuclear power facilities. Georgia law allows private firearm sales between residents without requiring any processing through an FFL.


I object when large brushes are used on populations; living in Georgia, I'm particularly sensitive to comments about rednecks and those who think the Civil War never ended; even more so, I get angry about comments regarding mental health. This time I'm going to bite my tongue, but be ready for a question after the quote.

Dent "Wildman" Myers, 76, styles himself as a keeper of the flame when it comes to Kennesaw's gun ordinance. His downtown shop contains a cornucopia of artifacts, including old uniforms and dozens of flags of the Confederacy that fought the Union in part in defense of slavery in the Civil War. At the back is a Ku Klux Klan outfit with a noose and a hood.

There also are posters praising defenders of the white race, White Power CDs and a sign that reads: "No Dogs Allowed, No Negroes, No Mexicans." Someone had crossed out the first part of the sign and added "Dogs Allowed."

Myers said he wanted to protect the values that made the town and the South distinct from other parts of the United States.

"People in Europe feel they need to be protected by the government. People in the U.S. feel they need to be protected from the government," said Jones, the owner of a .357-caliber Magnum.

If you know me, or care to scan my diary history, it's clear I have mental illness. I've been hospitalized four times this year alone, but I take medication and undergo treatment, and for the most part, I'm a perfectly nice and stable person.

I don't know about you, but I'd feel a lot better if I ran the biggest gun store in town, even giving my psychiatric background. Would Myers be considered mentally ill, under all these propositions people are making?

Originally posted to sboucher on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 07:59 PM PDT.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA, Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), and Firearms Law and Policy.

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