Kennesaw, where everyone is armed by law

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.

Armed by law! Now there is an ordinance I could get behind.


  1. Sorry. I am not leaving any time soon. I just like the idea of an ordinance that increases our liberty instead of the many that put limits on it.

  2. I don’t understand how this ordinance “increases our liberty”–seems like it just requires something the government isn’t intended to demand. Isn’t it inconsistent with the spirit of libertarianism to support something like this just because it’s pro-gun-ownership? I thought the point was small government giving citizens the freedom to choose, but maybe I’m missing something.

  3. You are right Kirstin this ordinance doesn’t increase liberty one bit. Its origin was based in a protest and it was never meant to be enforced as a real law.

    Snipped from the article…

    “In 1982 this was a rural community of about 5,000 people. The whole town was very conservative and about 95 per cent of people owned guns anyway, so it was a very symbolic law.” Indeed, the law contains no penalty for violation and no one has ever been prosecuted for not owning a gun. Local police estimate that only 50 per cent of households have a gun.

    In the overall scheme of things I agree with all of your points though and would not support a law or ordinance that did require gun ownership. For one thing it is not really needed because we have a Federal and State Constitution that already enumerates the right to lawfully own a gun and second of all the government doesn’t have any place in telling a person that they have to own anything.

    Having said that if you gave me a list of all the ordinances on the books now I would tell you that I wouldn’t support them either so when I said this was an ordinance I could get behind it was meant tongue in cheek within the context that I am on the record for being against most ordinances and laws that put any limit on an individual’s liberty.

  4. My liberty is at stake when I wonder if the guy behind me in line will shoot me because I have 11 items instead of 10. I think that radical pro gun people look for any reason to use their weapons and then claim “self-defense.” Shoot now, ask questions later.

  5. Judy,

    Think about what you are saying. Your liberty is not affected one bit by me standing behind you in line at the grocery store (armed or not). Liberty is not defined by how you feel or what you are wondering. Liberty is:

    a. The condition of being free from restriction or control.
    b. The right and power to act, believe, or express oneself in a manner of one’s own choosing.
    c. The condition of being physically and legally free from confinement, servitude, or forced labor.

    Essentially it is a synonym with freedom and the fact that I carry does not limit your freedom in any way. On the other hand if you try to limit my right to carry you would be putting a limit on my freedom. And that would not be a feeling and I wouldn’t have to wonder. It would just be a fact.

    I am not sure what a radical pro gun person is but most of the people I know who own guns are much less radical in their beliefs then those that can be found in the writings of the founding fathers. Do you consider them radical pro gun people?

    And your example is really rather silly. Where is something like that happening? I have not been able to find the numbers for Saint Joseph County (annual numbers only) but in 2009 alone Michigan approved 66,446 permits and that is in addition to the approvals from previous years (minus the renewals). If you scenario was a realistic one the number of shootings in Michigan should have increased after the law was enacted in 2002. However according to the Michigan State Police Crime numbers we have been on a steady decrease in our violent crime numbers since Michigan became a Shall Issue state, which is even more astounding you can consider that the economy has been terrible and that is supposed to least to increased crime.

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