Does anyone remember the 70’s? I do. Growing up in the South, I remember the first time I heard of someone in my town being shot and killed with a firearm. In the 70’s and 80’s gun violence frightened people. It was a problem that NYC had, but not us in this sleepy little city in Forsyth County. We were willing to consign this to other people and other places: not us. It was safe here.
But what the statistics showed was a complex and nuanced problem in our city. Gun violence was here to stay. Sure, we implemented gun buy back programs, and lots of awareness programs. As studies have shown these were in large part ineffective.
But those studies also pointed out that while gun buy back programs could manage to get a few hundred firearms off the street at a time, the program didn't have the resources to handle the thousands of guns out there. So they made a dent – but only a dent. And so, the rate of gun related violence from then until recently tracked closely with crime trends I the nation – falling because of increased policing and better policing methods. Generally speaking though, the percentage of gun violence with all crime remained roughly constant.
Again, one might read into the study cited above as suggesting that the massive production and access market of firearms simply overwhelmed the community’s efforts to deal with such a large influx of weapons. And so we are at a standstill – a balance of power so to speak in NC - until now. With the new NC assembly pointing out (helped along by the NRA) that we have all lost our freedoms, NC has set about to put a gun in everyones hands. A raft of ALEC-sponsored legislation to band gun buyback programs – or make them even more toothless is, in fact, the very least of our problems, since as stated above these made only a small dent in the overall gun-crime rate:
More disturbing is the changing carry laws wherein nearly every public place has become a new version of “Tomestone.” A small fraction of the population is responding to these new laws to open the flood gates of gun-supply locally. Don't believe me? Checkout the applications for concealed weapons permits alone over the past 10 years:
From 1995 to 2011
Forsyth County – 12,061 applications – 6,685new - 61rejected and 98revoked
Guilford County – 16252 – 8,516new – 182rejected - 83revoked
The difference between the totals is the number of new filings within 2011 that are in process at the time of the report! This year the number is greater. With 2011 and 2012 counted (the 2012 numbers are ready yet) this means a more than doubling of concealed weapons within our community. Of course these are handguns, the semiautomatics arent counted here.
Unfortunately for us Tarheels, there is a time lag between buying that shiny new AR-15 assault weapon and the time it takes you to lose it – and consequently its use in a crime. http://www.dailykos.com/...
So, if we are to believe the not so limited studies linking gun violence and gun-crime: http://myfox8.com/... then we in NC may indeed be looking at a return of those “good ol’ days” so often waxed poetically by the teapublicans. NC is indeed moving up – but not in education, manufacturing jobs, standard of living, wage earnings or healthcare – but in gun violence!
Great job McCrory. When he said there was a new Sheriff in town, we didn't know he meant Wyatt Earp!