Not surprising: Gun stores outnumber museums and libraries in much of North Georgia

Surprising: But not closer to the city

Conventional wisdom—and decades of TV cops shows—may lead you to believe that the city is dangerous and undereducated while the suburbs are havens for all things intellectual. In some places those stereotypes may well hold true.

But not in North Georgia.

Washington Post writer Christopher Ingraham dove into the deep end of big data to compare the ratio of three American institutions—museums and libraries to gun stores—in each county in the U.S., and the paper compiled the info into a color-coded, interactive map. He found that while New Englanders and people along the mid-Atlantic seaboard support books and exhibitions, Midwesterners and those of us in the upper South are a little more trigger-happy. Missouri has the most gun-slinging counties, while Massachusetts is the most bookish.

As a state, Georgia is in the middle of the pack, generally favoring the sword to the pen. The Atlanta region presents an interesting snapshot: In Fulton County, museums and libraries outnumber gun shops by more than two-to-one (136-62). The same is true in Dekalb (58-25). But move further out into the burbs and exurbs and the numbers flip:

Cherokee: 16 museums/libraries to 34 gun stores
Clayton: 12 to 19
Cobb: 60 to 86
Douglas: 8 to 17
Forsyth: 6 to 28
Gwinnett: 32 to 76
Henry: 11 to 25
Paulding: 12 to 26

Of course, gun proponents might say the increased availability of firearms for personal protection actually makes these counties safer. And who’s to say that the two are mutually exclusive? Perhaps it just gives suburban libraries a more effective way to enforce charges on overdue books.