Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Concealed Carry and its Effect on Local Communities

We in Illinois are only a couple of weeks away from some form of concealed carry. The legislature, citing fears for our safety, will probably pass new laws which through careful wording will continue to restrict our rights and no one will be allowed to carry their gun in public, or Belleville’s leadership will do the same if home rule passes. So before this happens consider this. Thirty one years ago, in 1982 the town of Kennesaw Georgia passed the first of its kind law, requiring gun ownership by all households. Since then not one resident has been involved in a fatal shooting – as a victim, attacker or defender. The violent crime rate for Kennesaw is 85% lower than the Georgia state average and the property crime rate was 56% lower. Wouldn’t you want those statistics here in Belleville? Georgia is a “shall issue” state with about 600,000 people carrying their gun, Illinois is a no issue state with no one carrying a gun. The Illinois government says no guns are safer. Yet crime stats say Aggravated Assault, Forcible Rape, Murder, and Robbery are all lower in Georgia than in Illinois. Since 1999 Belleville’s crime rate has increased, Kennesaw’s crime rate has decreased.
Per City Data’s web site Belleville’s danger rating is 405, Kennesaw’s is 111. Despite a population growth from about 5000 to almost 30,000 in Kennesaw both violent crime and property crime are lower now than in 2000. High crime rates affect all areas in a community, Belleville’s population growth is effectively 0%, 1990 pop, 42,785, 2010 pop. 44,478, nobody wants to move here. While Kennesaw’s (the city with the guns) growth is 600%. Kennesaw is over twice the distance to Atlanta than we are to St. Louis but people are rapidly moving there because it is safer. Are people not moving to Belleville because it isn’t safer? Belleville average home value is $140,000, while Kennesaw’s is $160,000. Belleville’s average income is $43, 000 Kennesaw’s is $59,000. Since we live in the last state to restrict concealed carry you would think Belleville is a safe place to live. But our violent crime rate is 25 points higher than the national average, and our property crime rate is 173 points higher than the rest of the nation. Let us carry for our safety and maybe one day we will match Kennesaw’s stats.

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