An ordinance proposed in the town of Nelson, Georgia, would require that every head of household in every home in the town own a gun and ammunition.
This is not the first time such an ordinance has been proposed: officials in the small town of Spring City, Utah, came up with the same idea back in January, and Nelson’s law is modeled closely after a 1982 law passed in Kennesaw, Georgia.
The city of Nelson has created the ordinance because there is only one police officer on duty for eight hours a day, and there is concern that sheriff deputies cannot provide enough protection during the other sixteen hours.
The Nelson ordinance reads: “In order to provide for the emergency management of the city, and further in order to provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants, every head of household residing in city limits is required to maintain a firearm, together with ammunition.”
There are some exceptions: anyone with a “physical or mental disability,” felons, “paupers” and those “who conscientiously oppose maintaining firearms as a result of beliefs or religious doctrine” might not be required to own a gun.
Gun As Deterrent?
WSB-TV reports that Nelson City Councilman Duane Cronic, who drafted the new law, sees it as a deterrent, a way of telling a potential intruder to think twice. Other residents are angry that the government is trying to strip individual citizens of their freedom by telling them what they must have in their home.
But there’s a bigger issue.
Do the authorities in Nelson really believe that introducing more guns into their small town will get rid of gun violence?
More Guns Leads To More Gun Deaths
As numerous studies have shown, where there are more guns, there are more gun deaths. Furthermore, a gun in the home is more likely to be used in a homicide, suicide or unintentional shooting than to be used in self-defense.
From The Brady Campaign:
• An estimated 41% of gun-related homicides and 94% of gun-related suicides would not occur under the same circumstances had no guns been present.
• Higher household gun ownership correlates with higher rates of homicides, suicides, and unintentional shootings.
• Keeping a firearm in the home increases the risk of suicide by a factor of 3 to 5 and increases the risk of suicide with a firearm by a factor of 17.
• Keeping a firearm in the home increases the risk of homicide by a factor of 3.
Furthermore, the US has the highest gun ownership rate in the world: at 89 guns for every 100 Americans compared to 6 in Britain, 31 for Canada and Norway.
And guess what? The US also has the highest rate of gun-related deaths in the world. The 2012 figure for total number of firearm-related deaths including both suicides and homicides was 10.2 per 100,000 in the US; in France the comparative figure was 3.0; in Britain, 0.25.
Then there are so many tragic stories like this one, about a four-year-child in Kansas City accidentally shot in the head, which could not have happened if no gun were in the home.
Can somebody please pass this information along to officials in Nelson before April 1, when this mandatory gun ordinance could be approved?
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