Every time we try to remove some of the unwarranted restrictions on where and when we may carry firearms, we are warned that “blood will run in the streets.” It’s Dodge City all over again in every newspaper. Yet what happened here in North Carolina? The last official released number of active CHPs in the State was June 30, 2010, at 195,553 active Concealed Handgun Permits. The last time I got to look at the current number of permits that number had grown to over 224,000. So we should see some serious blood running in the streets, right?
The overall crime rate dropped 5.6 percent in 2010, while violent crime was down 10.2 percent compared to the previous year, Cooper said. It’s the lowest statewide crime rate since 1977 and includes the lowest murder rate since North Carolina began tracking crime statewide in 1973.
Umm. Wait. Aren’t more guns supposed to lead to more crime? Aren’t more concealed carriers supposed to lead to more shootouts over parking spots?
The state Department of Justice compiles crime statistics from data provided by local law enforcement agencies. Crime rates dropped in each of the six Triangle counties last year, led by a 7.4 percent decline in Johnston County.
Last year was the third consecutive year that crime rates had declined statewide, extending a long-term trend. Murders fell 7.3 percent, while rapes dropped 14.3 percent, and robberies were down 19.4 percent.
“I think that’s the best news because that’s what people worry about most,” Susan Katzenelson, executive director of the N.C. Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission, said of the dramatic drop in violent crime.
All categories of property crime also fell, led by motor vehicle thefts, which were down 12.5 percent.
I don’t think that criminals are turning away from crime solely because people like me carry a gun. There are probably many more factors here than the simple cause and effect. Whatever the criminals are doing, there is one certain thing about this increase in Concealed Handgun Permits. More guns haven’t led to more crime, either violent or otherwise.