A Gun In Every Home?

Some folks in Kansas are up in arms these days.

In the town of Geuda Springs, the town council recently passed an ordinance requiring every resident to own a firearm. And that had some people making the direst predictions.

Gun accidents will increase, they claimed. Murders will be up.

We’ve heard it all before. We hear the same cries from the Chicken Littles of the world every time a city or state encourages more gun ownership. Anti-gun fanatics come out of the woodwork, predicting that more guns in people’s hands will result in rivers of blood flowing in the streets.

But it never happens.

It’s just a good thing that a lot of politicos don’t make their living making forecasts. The weathermen get it right more often.

Kennesaw, Georgia enacted a similar law in 1982 requiring every household to own a firearm, exempting those with criminal records or religious objections. Opponents argued the law would result in serious accidents and that angry residents would settle their differences with gunfire. Happily, those predictions never materialized.

The residential burglary rate in Kennesaw fell immediately — almost 90 percent in the months directly following the law’s enactment. That drop far outpaced the more modest 10.4 percent drop in the entire state of Georgia during the same period.

In the ensuing years, Kennesaw’s crime rate has remained at basement levels. In 2001, there was not one murder in the town. No one was gunned down, even though the entire town is armed! The law has continued to work well for 20 years.

And their burglary rate? Well, it seems that thieves are still scared to enter the premises of the average Kennesaw home. Burglaries are still down more than 80 percent.

Kennesaw’s results should not be surprising. Guns are a deterrent to bad guys, and Geuda Springs would have started to enjoy similar results soon.

But not yet. You see, the Chicken Littles were able to prevail upon the Mayor of Geuda Springs, who recently vetoed the ordinance.

Opponents argued that more guns in people’s homes would lead to more shootings, more killings and more carnage. It would mean increased liability for the town.

Of course, this ignores the contrary record that has been evidenced in Kennesaw.

The liability argument seems spurious at best. And it is inconsistent. If one can hold a town like Kennesaw or Geuda Springs liable when a gun accident occurs, then why can’t one use the liability argument in cities that have taken the opposite approach?

Why isn’t the anti-gun city of Washington, D.C. liable for every unarmed victim who is murdered within its jurisdiction? That city has basically said, “Don’t protect yourself. That job belongs to us.”

But they can’t. And they haven’t.

Washington, D.C. used to have a relatively low crime rate in the 1960s. It never used to be the nation’s Murder Capital.

But that all changed after the city passed its draconian gun ban in 1976. In the following 25 years, the city’s murder rate has increased 51 percent, even while the national rate has decreased 36 percent.

You see, taking guns away from good people never makes them safer. It should be obvious by now.

Thankfully, most people in this country are still allowed to own firearms for their protection. Nearly 7,000 people use a gun to defend their lives every day.

Passing a law that says everyone in a town must own a gun would be a good thing. It would be like putting a sign on every door saying, “This home is protected by Smith & Wesson.”

Criminals don’t like such signs.

Geuda Springs will be revisiting this issue at its February meeting. Let’s hope that come March, every home will have a brand new message on its front door.

Erich Pratt is the Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America.