Georgia Town Ordering Gun Ownership Undaunted by MassacreBy Margaret Newkirk
Kennesaw, Georgia, is a quiet Atlanta suburb of newer subdivisions and strip malls around a huddle of older homes and storefronts. It is asking churches to ring their bells 26 times today for the victims of last week’s elementary school massacre in Connecticut.
And it has no plans to change a law requiring residents to own guns.
No town in the U.S. has been as public about its support for guns as Kennesaw, population about 30,000, where city leaders for 30 years have required that every household have at least one gun. The Dec. 14 killings of 20 children and six adults, the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history, has done little to change that, residents say in interviews.
Most called President Barack Obama’s push to tighten gun restrictions worrisome at best and a conspiracy at worst, exemplifying resistance to such controls in the South.
“They’re trying to confiscate our guns,” said Dent Myers, 81, who wore a pistol on his hip and a red beret at his Wildman’s Civil War Surplus and Herb Shop. The store, draped in Confederate flags, is the most prominent business in Kennesaw’s two-block downtown.
On a sidewalk nearby, Andy Crowe, 46, said he welcomed a national conversation on guns, as long as it’s nuanced and respects those who own and use guns responsibly.
“What I would have a problem with is enacting a law just for the sake of saying you’re doing something,” said Crowe, an author, deer hunter and father of three. He said some bans being talked about would forbid his own deer rifle.
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