Routine Activities TheoryThe Routine Activities Theory states that there are threeelements to a crime.• A motivated offender• Suitable target• Absence of a capable guardianThe following slides will portray two totally differenttowns in America with totally different perspectives onguns and how guns contribute to crime and crimecontrol.
Morton Grove, IllinoisThe story begins in 1980, when an applicant applied for a license toopen a gun store in the village of Morton Grove, Illinois. The matterwent before the Board of Trustees and in June 1981 the Board passedan ordinance banning gun sales within the village. The Board alsoapproved a measure outlawing the possession of handguns. Thisordinance meant that all owners of handguns had to turn in theirhandguns to the local police.This ordinance was the first that completely banned ownership of ahandgun and was in direct conflict with the Second Amendment to theConstitution of the United States. There was a lot of media attentiongiven to this story and the headlines went national. The law took effecton February 1, 1982.
Kennesaw, GeorgiaIn 1982, Kennesaw, Georgia passed a law thatrequired all heads-of-households to possess ahandgun and ammunition. In 1982, Kennesaw had“a rural population of Southern conservatives,strong Second Amendment advocates," cityspokeswoman Pam Davis states.The city enacted the ordinance in response to thelaw passed in Morton Grove, Illinois, thatcompletely outlawed gun sales and ownership.Davis says. "It was a symbolic gesture."
Crime Statistics, Morton Grove, ILPrior to 2010 crime information was not provided to the FBI.Year 2010 crime statisticsCity Pop. Violent Murder Rape Robbery Aggr. Prop Burglary Larcenycrime assault crime theftMortonGrove 22,177 11 0 3 3 5 396 75 306Year 2011 crime statisticsMortonGrove 23,340 25 0 2 4 19 375 69 293
Kennesaw, GeorgiaThe crime rate in 1982, which was not that high tobegin with, plummeted after the law was enacted -by 89%, compared with a 10% drop statewide,according to published accounts.Since the law was enacted in 1982 the populationof Kennesaw has increased to approximately 34,000residents today states city spokeswoman PamDavis. This is a six fold increase from the 1982count. Yet despite the enormous increase inpopulation the crime rates have continued to be“significantly lower” than similar-sized Georgiacities. Davis reports that there has never been areported violation of the law and believes the lawcontributes significantly to the lower crime rate.
Morton Grove, IllinoisMorton Grove had a population of approximately22,000 residents in 1982. The population hasincreased minimally to approximately 23,270according to the 2010 census. The crime rates inMorton Grove have remained consistentthroughout the entire 30 years since their law waspassed, according to published reports. The law wasruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in2008. Passing such an extreme law did absolutelynothing to deter or affect crime rates in their city.
ConclusionThe Routine Activities Theory States that anabsence of a capable guardian is one of theelements of crime. A capable guardian can also belaws that affect the outcome of crime, such as gunsand residents that have been trained in their use.Such a law was passed by the trustees of KennesawGeorgia. The knowledge that the homes inKennesaw are protected by guns has proven toaffect crime rates in that city and prove thatguardians are definitely an element of crime.