Over the weekend in Myrtle Beach, a “rash” of gun violence has prompted Governor McMaster to gather community leaders in an effort to put an end to it.
On its face, this sounds like a great idea. And I’m not suggesting it isn’t good. By all means, go to Myrtle Beach and have a meaningful discussion that can result in decisive action regarding gun control and our state, Henry.
But can you stop by North Charleston on your way?
This “rash” of gun violence was a disorderly brawl that resulted in a carjacking in which the perp was caught and no one died. Here’s the truth, right from Pulitzer-Prize winning Post and Courier: “In all, seven people suffered injuries that were not life-threatening, but it remained uncertain who was responsible for their wounds.”
I’m not diminishing those wounded. That’s terrible. But meanwhile, North Charleston’s violent crime incidence is 1.6 times that of Myrtle Beach. (the crime rate is technically higher in Myrtle, but consider that their population is just under 30,000, while NoCHS is just over 100,000). Last year, North Charleston had the third-highest murder rate in the country and Myrtle Beach was deemed the seventh most dangerous city in the country. Obviously, we both have problems, but only one of us is getting Gubernatorial attention.
Myrtle Beach is a tourist destination and the Governor and Mayor want to ensure it stays that way. I get it. I don’t want their economy hurt because of gun violence any more than I want my economy hurt by gun violence. But if this past weekend was all that Myrtle Beach needs to get the Governor’s attention, our community deserves at least the same if not more.
North Charleston should demand an audience with the Governor and, more importantly, funding and an independent audit from the Governor. While we may not be a tourist destination, we do attract millions of dollars in industrial investment and home to the airport, through which thousands of tourists come each year to visit our beautiful Lowcountry.
The sad truth of the matter is that his visit to Myrtle Beach will probably do nothing for their problem. After all, he supported a bill that allowed permitless carry of a firearm (helpful tip, Henry, maybe start with the gun laws to help stem gun violence).