Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Kennesaw, 42 years of gun rule

By b0oua Apr 8, 2024
News

The town of Kennesaw, located in Georgia, is not a Wild West town. It is a tiny college town that is filled with flowering trees and parks that are very well grassed. Guns, on the other hand, have been the dominant force in this area for the past 42 years.

Once upon a time, if you were caught running a red light in this city that is situated on the outskirts of Atlanta, it was common for the police to ask you a peculiar question when they were handing you your ticket.

In the event that you responded in the negative, the troubles originated. Possession of a firearm is not a choice in Kennesaw; rather, it is a prerequisite for residents.

In 1982, the City Council enacted a law that mandated that every individual who was the head of home was required to possess a firearm as well as ammunition. This was done for “the protection, safety, and welfare of the City.” In contrast to the City of Morton Grove, Illinois, which had prohibited the possession of handguns inside its boundaries a year earlier, this was the first time that this had ever been done in the United States.

This town, which is located around forty kilometers northwest of Atlanta, has earned the status of a symbol in the poisonous dispute over weapons that has split the United States for decades. The Kennesaw settlement, which was accepted unanimously forty-two years ago, is still in force today.

In 1987, Mayor JO Stephenson summed up the situation by saying, “We are the village that proves that more guns do not mean more crime.” That was his statement.He had a pistol with a 38-caliber caliber in his belt.

Kennesaw, which has seen its population rise sixfold from 5,000 to more than 33,000 people since the law was established, is now considered to be one of the safest communities in Georgia and the nation. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Kennesaw has a high rate of violent crime that is 65% lower than the average violence rate in the country.

“We have one of the lowest rates of gun violence in the United States,” says Derek Easterling, who is currently serving as the mayor of the city. You are aware that every household in Kennesaw possesses a firearm if you are a convicted criminal and you visit the city. Are you going to put yourself in harm’s way? I’m willing to wager that you’ll give it some serious questioning.

At the time that Le Devoir was shown at the end of March, the town was still grappling with the aftermath of the gunshot death of a 21-year-old man that had occurred two weeks earlier. The local police department reported that it was the first homicide to occur in the city since the year 2019, and it was only the third homicide to take place in the past ten years.

These great figures are not based only on the law, according to the mayor, who is not an all-out advocate of the Second Amendment. According to the mayor, these data are based on the law. As evidence, the City does not conceal the fact that it is known for its noncompliance with the regulations that have made it renowned.

Mr. Easterling is quoted as saying, “We are not going to go around knocking on people’s doors and asking them if they have a gun.” In accordance with this regulation, no one has ever been required to pay a fine.

Due to the fact that the ordinance allows for a number of different loopholes, it is feasible to avoid the requirement that one must possess a rifle. Conscientious objectors and people who simply do not have the financial means to purchase a firearm are considered to be eligible for an exemption.

“I don’t have a gun for fun,” says Sharon Altomare, the proprietor of a family flower shop in Kennesaw that has been in business since 1988. “My husband has a gun for entertaining himself.” Also, she does not condemn her city and the ordinance that made it famous, despite the fact that she does not share the love of weaponry that a significant portion of the American population does.

The explanation that she gives is, “I am neither for nor against the regulation because it does not change anything.” There is no one who can coerce another person into possessing a firearm; doing so would violate our rights.

Kennesaw is not a western village, despite the fact that its culture opensly embraces the use of firearms. Its parks, which include sports fields, a skatepark, and the largest inclusive playground in Georgia, all of these things reflect the strong sense of community that animates the city. Its streets are neatly bordered with flowering cherry trees, its city center is comprised of glistening brick buildings, and its parks are home to the largest inclusive playground in Georgia.

Each and every transaction that takes place within the territory is subject to a tax of one cent, which makes it possible for this assortment of services to be provided. A significant amount of money will be available at the end of the year, according to the mayor. This drain was one of the contributing factors that led to the development of the leisure center and the open-air amphitheater that Kennesaw is getting ready to open in the downtown section of the city. For the two projects, the bill is eleven and six million dollars in United States dollars, which is a fortune for small community of thirty-three thousand inhabitants, which is, however, swimming in surpluses.

A former Navy submariner, Derek Easterling also has very little in common with the average saloon sheriff. He completed a 26-year career in the military, during which he attained the rank of lieutenant and hung several medals from his uniform. Alongside his efforts in politics, he is currently employed as a teacher in an elementary school located in Kennesaw. In addition, this mayor, who is sixty years old, has a passion for skating. His board, which is signed by the great Tony Hawk, is displayed in a corner of his office at city hall, and it is a sight to behold.

“This is not the Wild Wild West,” he adds right immediately. “It’s not the Wild Wild West.” People who arrive in Kennesaw quickly learn that the city is more than just “the town with the gun laws for firearms.” Instead, they perceive a community that is making strides toward its future goals and objectives.

As a result of the rise in the number of school shootings, the mayor of Kennesaw, who is also a teacher, is appalled by the position of gun fanatics who seek complete deregulation in the name of the Second Amendment. Kennesaw has long enjoyed its gun culture.

Derek Easterling expresses his regret: “These shootings are one of the saddest things that have happened in this country.” We are a community that is, first and foremost, conservative, and I am of the opinion that the procedure of getting a firearm ought to be straightforward and easily streamlined. On the other hand, I am of the opinion that it is necessary to conduct research on the individual who takes possession of a handgun. This group of individuals needs to be screened.

As Sharon Altomare, a florist, stands among her orchids and the beautiful smells that perfume her business, she explains, “Owners who have a permit and who respect the rules are not the ones who shoot their neighbors.” If I’m being completely honest with you, the regulations don’t worry me all that much; but, the aroma of my flowers is surely more appealing to me than the smell of explosives.

Before it approved a gun law in 1982 that compelled all heads of households to own a handgun and ammunition, the municipality that is located north of Atlanta had a relatively low level of notoriety.

In reaction to Morton Grove, Illinois, which had earlier that year approved a gun prohibition as a step to reduce crime, Kennesaw has enacted a rule that prohibits the possession of firearms.

However, it was also a confirmation of what proponents of firearms argue is a provision in the United States Constitution, namely the Second Amendment, that grants Americans the right to keep and bear arms. Opponents of such a right argue that the language in the Constitution is open to interpretation and contest the constitutionality of the right.

The Kennesaw law has been upheld despite the fact that the population of the town has increased from 5,000 in 1982 to over 30,000 now.

“When the law was passed in 1982 there was a substantial drop in crime … and we have maintained a really low crime rate since then,” according to Lieutenant Craig Graydon of the police department. We are confident that it is one of the municipalities in the metropolitan area with the lowest crime rate.

Residents have expressed that they are content with the image that the gun law portrays on the city as a stronghold of personal liberty regarding firearms.

“No action has been taken to repeal the law,” the speaker said. Why on earth would you do that? The Kennesaw Historical Society’s president, Robert Jones, made the following statement. There is a lot of interest in the law among tourists. The town that has the gun law is this one.

“The people of Europe have the perception that they require protection from the government. Jones, the owner of a Magnum with a caliber of.357, stated that people in the United States have the perception that they require protection from the government.

A significant number of people in the United States consider the right to own a firearm to be a fundamental freedom on par with the right to speak one’s mind. This viewpoint is especially prevalent in rural areas in the South, where sport hunting is frequently a family heritage.

It was proposed in the Georgia state senate that individuals who do not have a criminal record or a history of mental illness should be permitted to conceal a weapon in their vehicle. This was done in an effort to broaden the scope of available firearms.

After the shooting rampage that occurred in Virginia, the state Senate decided to postpone the debate on the measure on Tuesday because they were concerned that it would send the wrong message.

Dent “Wildman” Myers, who is 76 years old, considers himself to be a keeper of the flame when it comes to Kennesaw’s rule about firearms. A cornucopia of items, including historic uniforms and dozens of banners of the Confederacy, which battled the Union in part in defense of slavery during the Civil War, can be found in his shop in the downtown area. A Ku Klux Klan suit with a hood and a noose may be found at the rear of the garment.

There is also a sign that reads, “No Dogs Allowed, No Negroes, No Mexicans.” In addition, there are banners that praise those who defend the white race, as well as CDs bearing the White Power slogan. “Dogs Allowed” was written on the sign after the initial portion of the sign had been crossed out by someone.

Everything that was historically significant was obliterated, and in its place, they installed politically correct (PC) items. Myers said this while his hands were lightly resting on two.45-caliber weapons that were at his hips. “It’s become a cookie cutter town,” he pointed out. Specifically, he stated that he regarded his firearms as tools, comparable to a rake or a shovel.

Since the murders at Virginia Tech, some conservative talk radio hosts in the United States have rejected attempts to relate the massacre to the availability of firearms. They argue that if students had been permitted to carry weapons on campus, someone might have been able to shoot the person responsible for the tragedy.

In the absence of firearms, the students at Virginia Tech were described as “26,000 sitting ducks,” as said by Chris Krok of WSB radio in Atlanta. This viewpoint was shared by a significant number of Kennesaw citizens.

Graydon estimated that approximately seventy percent of homes in the town had a firearm at the time that the town’s gun law was enacted. However, since then, commuters from Atlanta have contributed to the growth of the town’s population, and the percentage of people who own guns has increased to almost fifty percent.

Those who have been convicted of a felony, those who are conscientious objectors, and those who are unable to buy a gun are all eligible for exceptions to the law on gun ownership. According to Graydon, individuals have never been prosecuted for the crime of not possessing a firearm.It is possible that the law serves as a deterrent for offenders; nonetheless, he stated that proactive policing and extensive police cooperation with community and business organizations were the primary reasons why crime has remained low.

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