Welcome to Historic Kennesaw:
Kennesaw is a city in Cobb County, Georgia, United States. The population was 21,675 at the 2000 census. Census Estimates of 2005 indicate a population of 30,522. The original name for the town was Big Shanty, and it is now considered a suburb of Atlanta.
During the American Civil War, Kennesaw was the site of major fighting in the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, part of the larger Battle of Atlanta. Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park now contains many of these historic areas, though much of this land has been developed, and some buried artifacts taken by people with metal detectors. Kennesaw Mountain (as well as conjoined Little Kennesaw Mountain) is included in the park, and its summit is the highest point in the Atlanta metro area, at an elevation of 1808 feet (551 meters) above sea level.Weather Channel personalities Sharon Resultan and Mike Bettes reside there.
Kennesaw State University is located just east of the city limits, and uses the silhouette of the two mountains as its logo. The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History is located downtown, next to the railroad tracks on Cherokee Street, just off of Main Street (Old U.S. 41). The museum is the current preservation and display location for The General, the locomotive that played the key role in the Great Locomotive Chase. The area around Kennesaw is also a major retail hub with a major regional mall, Town Center Mall, numerous restaurants and most major chain stores located along Barrett Parkway southeast of the city.
Kennesaw has the nickname of "Gun Town, USA" due to a city ordinance passed in 1982 [Sec 34-1a] that requires every head of household to maintain a firearm with ammunition. It was passed partly in response to a 1981 handgun ban in Morton Grove, Illinois. Kennesaw's law was amended in 1983 to exempt those who conscientiously object to owning a firearm, convicted felons, those who cannot afford a firearm, and those with a mental or physical disability that would prevent them from owning a firearm. It mentions no penalty for its violation. According to the Kennesaw Historical Society, no one has ever been charged under the law.
Criminologist and gun-control critic Gary Kleck attributes a drop of 89% in the residential burglary rate to the law (Kleck, 1991), and Kennesaw is often cited by advocates of gun ownership as evidence that gun ownership deters crime (see, for instance, this 2004 sheet of talking points from the Gun Owners Foundation). Other criminologists dispute the 89% figure, using the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting data, and find instead a small, statistically insignificant increase in burglaries after the law was passed (McDowall, Wiersema and Loftin, 1989; McDowall, Lizotte and Wiersema, 1991).