by Jon Guze
Senior Fellow, Legal Studies, John Locke Foundation
In a post last week, I noted that Charlotte had posted its highest murder rate in more than a decade, but the news from Winston-Salem is even worse. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that, “2019 … saw 31 homicides, the most in 25 years.”
In response to the news, Police Chief Catrina Thompson directed some tough talk at the perpetrators–“We will not tolerate violent crime in Winston-Salem or Forsyth County, period. We’re going to use every one of the resources we have available to go after you.”–but she also made a point of shifting some of the blame onto legal gun owners:
When asked about where the illegal guns are coming from, Thompson pointed to an increased demand for firearms in the face of political rhetoric surrounding the Second Amendment.
“The fear that we’ve had in the past years is that our guns are going to be taken and because of that everybody went out to get guns and secure guns that they had,” she said.
“At the end of the day, we’re seeing those guns play out.… We have people who are in lawful possession of guns leaving them in locked vehicles unsecured, and somebody comes in, breaks into the vehicle and now we have a gun on the street that’s being used to offend our citizens,” Thompson said.
I’d be very curious to know whether she has any hard data to support that claim. Someone should ask her!