Wednesday’s shooting at a South Florida high school emphasizes the need for sensible action to prevent such senseless tragedies from happening again.
“It just makes me sick to see these incidents occurring time after time and nothing is ever done,” Bennie Swans, chairman of the Horry County Democratic Party (HCDP) declared yesterday. “It’s past time that our representatives in the state legislature and Congress take meaningful action. This is just tragic.”
At least 17 people have been killed, and 14 have been injured, including many students who were shot, according to the latest developments in the Parkland school shooting. The incident occurred at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high School in Parkland, a city northwest of Fort Lauderdale. The conditions of all victims are not clear at this point.
The HCDP has called for passage of state legislation to close a background check loophole that allows people with criminal records and mental illness to purchase a handgun even when their background check has not been completed.
Swans pointed out that on an average day, 93 Americans are killed with guns and another 200 are injured, including an average 23 children shot each day and nearly 1,500 killed each year.
“This has got to stop,” said Swans. “The Democratic Party in Horry County stands strong in support of closing this loophole, which is what enabled the Charleston AME Church shooter to purchase his gun that he used to murder nine parishioners. We call on Republicans, Independents and all Democrats – all people who are concerned – to join with us in this effort.”
Swans also stressed HCDP’s “grave concerns” regarding a bill in the SC State Senate, S. 449, that would amend the South Carolina Constitutional Carry Act of 2017 to allow legal carrying of a firearm without the need for a concealed weapons permit. Under the bill, a permit would still be available to an individual wishing to take advantage of reciprocity agreements with other states.
“This legislation would make it even easier for a shooter to commit a crime,” said Swans. “It makes no sense, whatsoever.”
On Feb. 25 beginning at 3 p.m., members of HCDP’s Gun Sense Committee will hold a vigil and demonstration outside the Horry County Gun Show at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.
“This shooting makes our demonstration and our effort more important than ever before,” said Swans, who invited the public to participate.