Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • What if the city you lived in passed a new law requiring you to own a gun?

  • Would you be glad that the neighbor on either side of you was now fully armed?

  • Would you go out and buy one legally and get a permit for it?

  • Or, if you're against gun ownership, would you pack your bags and move to some place where guns are illegal?

  • Well, in the city of Kennesaw, Georgia, a local law requires every head of household residing in the city limits to maintain a firearm.

  • What is Kennesaw like?

  • Is it the Wild West, or is it a polite society with no crime?

  • Let's take a look.

  • The everyone-must-own-a-gun law

  • dates back to 1982 in Kennesaw, which is a quiet suburban town outside of Atlanta.

  • There are no big chain stores or strip malls.

  • Instead, it's a Southern town with a main street lined with locally owned shops and businesses.

  • Just like in any town, there's a mix of people with different beliefs and backgrounds.

  • Some argue passionately for the law that requires everyone to own a gun and others not so much.

  • So, what's it like in Kennesaw?

  • It's quiet.

  • Their crime rate is in line with the surrounding towns, and people wear their guns more visibly than most people from other states are used to seeing.

  • However, everyone who owns a gun must have an open carry permit and have purchased it legally.

  • These rules are not optional.

  • Kennesaw is less like the Wild West and more like any small American town with a slight quirk.

  • The law requiring every head of household to own a gun was created over 30 years ago and claimed to be a crime deterrent.

  • Lieutenant Craig Graydon is always happy to explain the law and is honest in how it has or has not affected the town.

  • In interviews, Graydon discusses that back when the law was first made, crime was not running rampant in Kennesaw.

  • Instead, the law was more of a political response to the city of Morton Grove, Illinois, who passed an ordinance banning handguns within the city limits.

  • The 1982 law required every head of household within the Kennesaw City limits to own a firearm.

  • The law was a rebuke toward Morton Grove.

  • At the time the law in Kennesaw was made,

  • most of the people in the rural community already owned their own guns, Lieutenant Graydon, and also explains how the law was always going to be unenforceable.

  • So it was more symbolic ordinance than anything else.

  • It is interesting that although the law requires that everyone in Kennesaw own a gun, this law is not and has never been enforced.

  • There are also exemptions from the law.

  • For example, if a citizen of Kennesaw is morally opposed to guns, they're exempt from having to own one.

  • There's no ordinance in place to force someone to buy a gun or to check to make sure everyone owns one.

  • Really, the law is in place more as a statement than a way to deter crime.

  • You may be wondering what the crime rate is in Kennesaw, Georgia.

  • Is it high? Low?

  • Or maybe there's absolutely no crime at all?

  • In theory, the law was put in place to maintain order and prevent crime.

  • The thought was that a criminal would think twice about committing a felony in a town where everyone had a gun.

  • Even today, some of the residents of Kennesaw feel that owning a firearm allows them to protect themselves in a way they would not be able to otherwise.

  • But is this true?

  • Is everyone really safer because of a law that requires the citizens of Kennesaw to carry a gun?

  • According to Lieutenant Graydon, the law does not have much to do with the crime rate in the town.

  • In fact, since the law is put into place, Kennesaw had nine homicides, and there are still minor crimes committed.

  • However, this is in line with the crime statistics in the surrounding area.

  • So, it seems that the law requiring everyone to have a gun did not drastically reduce crime in Kennesaw. Graydon actually argues that since almost everyone already owned a gun and the law is not enforced, it's because of good police work in community outreach that crime rates have stayed low.

  • It would seem that the law had no effect on crime at all.

  • Instead, allowing business to go on as usual and not enforcing the law has made Kennesaw just as safe in law abiding as the surrounding areas.

  • It may surprise you how the residents of Kennesaw feel about the gun law.

  • There are definitely opposing views.

  • Some take the law to the extreme, while others are ambivalent or don't even know the law exists at all.

  • One of the more extreme resident is Dent Myers, who is the 81-year-old owner of Wildman's Civil War Surplus and Herb Shop in Kennesaw.

  • His store is draped in Confederate flags and one of the largest businesses in Kennesaw downtown area.

  • Surprisingly, Myers is adamant that the government outside of the town is against him.

  • He will tell anyone who will listen that they're trying to confiscate our guns, referring to the federal government.

  • It may not be surprising that in Myers' shop

  • you can find shirts honoring the Ku Klux Klan and bumper stickers with racist connotations on them.

  • This is clearly not what everyone in Kennesaw believes in, but the fact that Myers store is one of the largest businesses in town does say something.

  • The gun law also led Myers to provide charity in a unique way. He used to sell honorary Kennesaw citizenship certificates to people visiting the town.

  • The proceeds from those certificates would go on to buy poor Kennesaw citizens ammunition for their guns.

  • In some places, charity is used to feed and house people in need.

  • But for Myers, who fully embraces the law requiring everyone to own a gun in Kennesaw, ammunition is more important than those other things.

  • It's unfair to judge the town on just one man's actions, however.

  • Some may agree with Myers and the gun law, while others feel differently.

  • The United States has experienced mass shootings in schools, movie theaters and concerts in recent years.

  • When the conversation of gun control was brought up to Kennesaw citizens, you can probably guess where Myers stood.

  • However, other citizens of the town, like Andy Crowe, welcomes the national conversation.

  • He's wary and doesn't want to lose his hunting rifles,

  • but he also feels that things are getting out of hand.

  • Regardless, Mr. Crowe says the gun law and Kennesaw is now ingrained in its citizens.

  • He feels a sense of responsibility that he wants to pass on to his kids.

  • This brings us to an interesting statistic in the town, where everyone is required to own a gun. Lieutenant Graydon estimates that only around 50% of Kennesaw residents own guns.

  • The other 50% either choose not to or just don't know the law even exists.

  • In reality, the town legally requires every citizen to own a firearm but does not really hold anyone accountable to the law.

  • Many citizens do feel it's good for the town to have the legislation, though.

  • Shannon Smith, a business owner in Kennesaw, says she carries a gun because she owns a business, not necessarily because it's the law.

  • Many residents are adamant that the real problem with gun violence is mental illness and not guns.

  • Getting people with mental illness the help they need and keeping guns out of their hands is something that almost all United States citizens agree on.

  • Many of the citizens of Kennesaw admit that the country has a problem with gun violence.

  • Not even the town with a law requiring guns by every household is immune to the atrocities that occur because of the very weapons they're legally required to own.

  • Now you might be wondering what types of guns the citizens of Kennesaw have that varies between the owners, most law abiding citizens wear a pistol in a holster on their hip.

  • But there are other members of the community who take the law a little more seriously and have gone with a more militant option.

  • Some households have an arsenal of AR-15 style rifles, shotguns and a plethora of handguns.

  • Again, this is not everyone in the town, but some citizens do enjoy their firearms.

  • The people of Kennesaw, for the most part, are proud of their guns, they're vocal about keeping their weapons and the law that allows them to do so.

  • With more mass shootings occurring in the United States, more pressure has been put on gun laws and lobbyists.

  • That's why not only politicians within the United States contact Kennesaw about their gun law, but also people from around the world as well.

  • Officials from Kennesaw received calls from as far away as Norway, enquiring about their mandatory gun law.

  • The town of Kennesaw has reached somewhat of a balance.

  • Yeah, a lot of citizens own guns, but most of them are willing to have discussions about gun rights and ways to make sure that they're only kept by responsible owners.

  • That being said, the fact that crime rates in Kennesaw are similar to the surrounding areas and lack of enforcement of the gun law and the number of citizens who don't even know the law exists, suggests that the law requiring everyone to own a gun serves no actual purpose.

  • The law is more of a political statement than anything else.

  • Now go check out:

  • Could the US Citizens Fight Off the US Military or watch Common Stereotypes about Americans.

What if the city you lived in passed a new law requiring you to own a gun?

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 gun town crime myers firearm requires

This US City Requires Everyone To Own A Gun

  • 3826 121
    林宜悉 posted on 2021/05/04
Video vocabulary