Last week, a record 70,000+ people packed the Charlotte Convention Center for the NRA’s 2010 annual meeting. Despite having that many extra visitors in town, crime that week was 45% lower than for that time during the previous year:
Estimates from Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are that 80,000 visitors were in the uptown area Friday and 85,000 Saturday. What’s more, crime was much lower than usual. Officials said most of the crowd was in Charlotte for the NRA convention, which was based at the Charlotte Convention Center but also had major events at Time Warner Cable Arena. . . City officials had predicted the NRA convention would bring 70,000 visitors, and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority thinks that estimate panned out. . . It also was very safe. Captain Jeff Estes, commander of CMPD’s Central Division, said crime for the week was 45 percent lower than the same week a year ago. Overall this year, crime in the Central Division, which includes center city, is down 19 percent from the first 4 1/2 months of 2009, police say.
While anti gun individuals like to suggest that having a large number of gun owners in the area – many of whom are armed – is the recipe for shootouts over trivial disagreements, that fear simply hasn’t come to pass. Instead, over 2 decades of empirical data demonstrates that concealed carry permit holders are a benefit, rather than risk, to public safety. Surely, if armed NRA members were the danger to society that some like to suggest, then crime shouldn’t have precipitously fallen the week that 70,000 of them were in town, in a state that has rather broad “shall issue” concealed carry rights and reciprocity with other states?