There are many cities in the United States and countries around the world who deem it necessary to restrict firearms ownership as much as possible to attempt a reduction in crime. Chicago, for instance, has banned the sale of pistols for decades. Japan bans all of its citizens from owning any firearm or sword. Britain has several restrictions on firearms, including requiring permits, banning pistols, and requiring that the weapons be locked in approved safes. The residents of Kennesaw, Georgia have taken quite a different approach to their mandates on gun laws, and their policy has had a much better effect on reducing crime in Kennesaw than any place with restrictions on what citizens can and cannot own.
Since 1982, all heads of Kennesaw households have been required to own a gun. Yes, this means that there will be a shotgun or rifle in every closet or a pistol in every nightstand there. The law does state that there are exceptions for the disabled, anyone too poor to own a gun, anyone who conscientiously objects to firearms, and convicted felons.
Now many uneducated people would simply assume that a town such as this that is filled with guns would lead to minor arguments turning into gunfights much in the same fashion as an early 19th Century duel or an old west gunfight. This could not be further from the truth however. In 2007, Family Circle Magazine named Kennesaw as one of the top 10 cities in America for families, hardly an indicator that empty cartridges and blood line Kennesaw's streets. In 2004 there were only 184 recorded violent crimes, with only one murder and the vast majority of these being simple assaults. One can easily determine from this that requiring gun ownership not only does not lead to violence, but also keeps people friendly.
Why is this? Well, if you know that your neighbor has a gun, and your neighbor knows that you also have a gun, it is very unlikely that you are going to get into a fight over grass clippings. And you sure wouldn't think about breaking into someone's home to try to get their new TV when you have a high probability of being met with a loaded 12 gauge. It is deterrence that makes this work. The act of keeping people from becoming violent or violating your rights by using the fear of what will occur seems to be very effective. In fact, it seems much more effective than cities who have tough gun laws such as Chicago, New York or Los Angeles and also have legendary police forces. This is of course because the laws against gun ownership and use keep people unarmed and reliant on police ensures that criminals can carry out crimes and know that they can flee the scene safely before police arrive.
Maybe we should all learn a lesson from the residents of Kennesaw. They all keep guns, they make it known that they keep guns, and their city is a very safe place to be.