Effect of Kennesaw law on burglaries

Frank Crary said:

[Kennesaw] was a response to Morton Grove's gun ban. Guess which "worked"

If by "worked" you mean that crime rates were lower after the
relevant law than before, the answer is Morton Grove.

I'd like to see some data to back up this assertion: Specifically,
data concerning gun-related crimes in Morton Grove.

The only noticeable changes were a 45% reduction in with-gun
robberies in Morton Grove, and a 100% increase in with-gun assaults in
Kennesaw. The actual numbers were small, so this is not particularly

The raw data is presented as graphs showing burglaries in Morton Grove
and Kennesaw for the period 1976-86. The burglary rate in Kennesaw
appears stable, while the burglary rate in Morton Grove is noticeably
lower. The paper's authors did an interrupted time series analysis on
the data: the change associated with the Kennesaw ordinance was an
insignificant increase of 0.2 burglaries/month,

This is consistent with the claim that the Kennesaw law was "largely
symbolic" and almost anyone who didn't want to own a gun was exempt.

change associated with the Morton Grove ordinance was a
statistically significant decrease of 4.5 burglaries/month,

This, however, is irrelevant, since burglars rarely use firearms:
Access to weapons was not the factor in the reduction.

However, burglars often steal firearms, so it is not impossible that
the Morton Grove ban caused a reduction in burglaries.

Clearly the Kennesaw ordinance had no effect. It seems unlikely that
the Morton Grove ordinance caused the reduction (unless there a
significant number of burglars who burgle primarily to get guns). The
authors also considered the effect of the Evanston gun ban on
burglaries and found a not quite significant (p=.13) decrease.

Which contradicts your earlier assertion that the Morton Grove ban
was "effective."

No it does not. I asserted that there was an reduction in burglaries
associated with the ban.

The data does not support the theory that gun ownership deters

This assumes that gun ownership was common before the ban, otherwise
the change is from voluntary low ownership to mandatory low ownership.

In the US, a gun is used in defence in one out of every 220 burglaries
(NCS data), so gun ownership does not directly affect the burglary
rate. If it does deter burglary, it must because would-be burglars
are worried about being shot by residents. What is important is their
perception of the risk. Kleck claims that the publicity given to the
Kennesaw law made criminals more aware of their chances of being shot.
According to Kleck and Bordua, all the convicts in a poll conducted in an
Illinois prison agreed that the Morton Grove ban would make it easier
to victimize residents. Nonetheless, there was no decrease in
Kennesaw, and no increase in Morton Grove.

Even were ownership common before the ban, it shows, that gun ownership in
affluent suburbs with effective police forces and no major crime problem,
is not a major factor. This has no real relation to gun ownership in
high crime urban areas, or where the police do not respond quickly.

If you have evidence that criminals perceptions of risks are different
in these other places, or indeed any evidence for a deterrence effect
of gun ownership anywhere on the planet at any time in history, please
present it.


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