By Bob Gatty
The Horry County Democratic Party is urging citizens to demonstrate their support for common sense gun regulations by wearing orange during the June 4-6 weekend and by attending a “Display Orange” rally on Sunday, June 6 in opposition to gun violence. National Gun Violence Awareness Day is June 4.
The rally will take place from 3-5 p.m. in Galivants Ferry on Highway 501 and comes as the South Carolina House of Representatives has sent to Gov. Henry McMaster legislation [PAYWALL] allowing gun owners with concealed weapons permits to openly carry their weapons. The law will take effect 60 days after it is signed by McMaster, who has pledged to do so.
I would encourage everyone who can to participate in the “Wear Orange” weekend, June 4-6,” said HCDP Chair Alester Linton-Pryor. “We must fight as hard as we can to bring common sense gun laws to our state and that requires being a registered voter and electing representatives who will act in our best interest. The more guns there are, the more danger and threats of gun violence there is to our families, our children, our law enforcement, and those who visit Horry County and South Carolina as a ‘family friendly tourist destination.
Henry Garbelman, chair of the HCDP Gun Sense Committee, said the new open carry law will have a serious negative impact on the region’s economy, making it even more difficult for the area to recover from the economic disaster caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The law is in direct opposition to the “Family Friendly” environment that we all want to create in our area, which is so heavily reliant on tourism as its life blood,” Garbelman said. “As designed, it will drive away tourism and business from the Grand Strand area.”
“How does encouraging people to openly display a gun contribute to a “Family Friendly” environment?” he asked. “How do you explain to children or family members that some people feel it’s necessary to carry and display a gun, even though your area is safe? What dangers exist on the Grand Strand that require an average person to carry a weapon (concealed or open)? What message does it send to all of us that live in the area, much less tourists?”
The matter becomes even worse, Garbelman contended, because the new law allows individuals from 25 other states with similar laws to openly display their gun when visiting South Carolina.
In an average year, 908 people die and 1,780 are wounded by guns in South Carolina. South Carolina has the 13th-highest rate of gun violence in the US. »Read More
“How do the police know that someone openly carrying a gun has a valid permit, and do they have the manpower to check?” he asked. “Are we going to stop everyone and require them to show their permit? How do you do this with the massive influx of visitors that turn over every week?”
In addition, Garbelman cautioned that gun advocates will soon push for universal carry with no training or background checks required, a change that also was offered this year, but was defeated. “Expect it to be pushed next year, and forever until it’s achieved,” Garbelman predicted.
Meanwhile, Alester-Pryor said HCDP strongly supports the Wear Orange weekend initiative, which was launched because orange is the color that Hadiya Pendleton’s friends wore in her honor after she was shot and killed in Chicago at the age of 15 — just one week after performing at President Obama’s 2nd inaugural parade in 2013.
After her death, they asked us to stand up, speak out, and Wear Orange to raise awareness about gun violence. Since then, orange has been the defining color of the gun violence prevention movement as it honors the more than 100 lives cut short and the hundreds more wounded by gun violence every day.
Let’s paint Horry County, South Carolina, and the whole U.S. ORANGE!!! Here are some things you can do:
• Wear orange during the weekend of June 4 to June 6.
• Buy the Official Orange HCDP “End Gun Violence” t-shirt here.
• Display orange materials during this weekend by:
• Orange ribbon around your mailbox
• Orange balloons at the roadside of your property
• Orange lights on your house
• Orange items on your property
• Get involved with the Gun Sense Action Committee.
• Register to vote to help us reduce gun violence.