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For-Profit DemocracyWhy the Government Is Losing the Trust of Rural America$
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Loka Ashwood

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780300215359

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300215359.001.0001

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Freedom under the Gun

Freedom under the Gun

Chapter:
(p.186) Seven Freedom under the Gun
Source:
For-Profit Democracy
Author(s):

Loka Ashwood

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300215359.003.0007

This chapter considers the implications of crime and gun ownership in Burke County, Georgia. Burke County's aggravated assault rate in 2011 was more than three times the national average: about 8 for every 1,000 people, versus 2.41 per 1,000 nationally. In 2010, its violent crime rate was more than twice the national average. These are not typical numbers for rural counties in America. For a county of 23,316, with only 28 people per square mile, the crime and violence in Burke County contradict widespread idyllic notions of the countryside and places identified as rural. Gun ownership is also high. One reason is because of white residents' proximity to black residents. There is a long tradition in the South of perpetrating violence against black people simply because white people perceived them as a threat, even when they were innocent. These prejudices are dramatized by crimes that may have no confirmed evidence of black-on-white assault, but still agitate prejudicial fears.

Keywords:   Burke County, crime rates, violence, gun ownership, whites, blacks, prejudice

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