Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Myth of Kennesaw

Washington threw a silver dollar across the Delaware. John Henry beat a steam-powered hammer. Joe Huffman has a high IQ.

We all love myths.

Gunloons have lots of myths. This is one of 'em. It's called Kennesaw, GA.

Background: In 1982, in response to an ordinance in Morton Grove, IL which banned all handguns, the city council of Kennesaw, GA passed an ordinance requiring every head of household to own a gun.

The Myth: Predictably, gunloons have repeatedly claimed, as a result of the required gun ownership, that crime decreased dramatically in Kennesaw.

The Evidence: First, the ordinance passed in Kennesaw was purely symbolic; it's not as if police went door-to-door to ensure every head of household owned a gun. Second, when one actually performs a statistical analysis (see graph), one finds there was a slight, though statistically insignificant, increase in burglaries after the ordinance.


  1. why did they pick only specific crimes in each city? Would it not make more sense to study all crimes committed in the cities before and after the gun publicity?

  2. The main thing I notice is the lack of flaunting this case on the part of the pro-gun folks. If there were anything to it we'd be hearing it continuously.

    1. We were, back in the '80's, when it happened...

  3. The other point is that the graph you show does nothing to account for the growth in population. Crime statistics are usually reported in terms of per capita so while the number of burglaries has sort of floated around, the population has been growing steadily and therefore the crime rate has been dropping.

  4. Why were only specific crimes were looked at in the study? Why not overall crime rates? It wasn't even the same crime for each city that was reported on... seems fishy to me.

  5. The "study" doesn't account for major population growth since 1982.

    If they did that they'd see that the crime RATE dropped. That isn't the result the Joyce-funded researchers wanted.

  6. Kennesaw has always had a low crime rate, but the per capita rate is increasing not decreasing....