July 22, 2022 7:00am

Panthers/Rock Hill Debacle, Charlotte Growth, Mass Shootings

Welcome Back To Power Poll, Your Chance To Weigh In

Photo of Ken Garfield
Charlotte, NC Correspondent

Welcome back to Power Poll, an opportunity for leaders in the Charlotte area to weigh in on the most compelling issues of the day. Each month, most survey questions and answers will focus on local issues. A smaller number will solicit opinions on urgent national issues. This second Power Poll for Charlotte, for example, asks you to weigh in on how best to deal with mass shootings.

Who is most to blame for the failed construction of the Carolina Panthers headquarters and practice facility in Rock Hill, S.C.?

It would take all day to recite the nuances of how construction stopped mid-hammer and nail on this development. Suffice it to say that both sides – team owner David Tepper and the governments of Rock Hill and York County, S.C. – are sniping at each other all the way to court.

No surprise, 46 percent of respondents blame the uber-rich team owner. Twenty-six percent blame the two governments for the financing snafus that killed the deal. Testament to the complexity of all this, 28 percent say they don’t know who to blame.

Is Charlotte growing too fast, becoming too big, too congested and less friendly?

Nostalgia wins out. Forty-six percent answered “Yes, I miss how it used to be.” Some of those folks may still eat at Open Kitchen (an iconic Italian joint here forever). And to think, those respondents surely didn’t know that Charlotte is the third fastest-growing major U.S. city, its population set to surge by 47 percent from 2010 to 2030, growing from 1.87 million to 2.7 million. Some are good with that – 32 percent answered “No, the bigger the better.” Evidence that this isn’t an easy issue – growth brings new prosperity but also traffic and congestion: Twenty-one percent said they didn’t know.

What should be done about mass shootings? Rank these in order of importance, 1 to 4.

Is there a more compelling question? So far in 2022, there have been 300-plus U.S. mass shootings (Uvalde, Buffalo, on and on). Ban assault-style weapons was a runaway No. 1, chosen first by 36 out of 47 respondents. No. 2 was improve and expand mental programs (nine chose that as a top priority). No. 3 was urge parents to keep a close eye on their kids, including social media posts. The least supported solution – No. 4 by a mile – was arm educators. Forty-two people chose that solution last. Only two chose it first.

Feel free to share reflections with your answers.

This from Michael Thompson on mass shootings: “Schools are attacked because they are soft targets. There needs to be limited entry points on campus and skilled security on campuses, retired police-military and school personnel proficient with a firearm. Assault weapons are appealing to kids because that’s what they see on the most violent video games. These video games desensitize our youth and generate desires for live rounds. Banning the violent video games and pushing the age to obtain an assault weapon to 25 would be a big step to safeguard our schools.”

Remember, Power Poll isn’t scientific. Instead, it offers a window into what Charlotteans are thinking. The more people who participate, the wider the window opens. See you in August.

About Power Poll: Power Poll asks questions of the most powerful, influential people in U.S. cities. It is not a scientific survey. But because the people responding to the surveys comprise the leadership structure of their cities, the results afford a fascinating glimpse into the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs of those in a position to make change. Power Poll is distinctly nonpartisan.

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