by William Moultrie
Columbia – South Carolina’s legislature is moving forward with a concealed gun measure that would effectively redefine the term “law-abiding” in the state.
The “The South Carolina Law-Abiding Citizens Protection Act” as passed out of committee would remove the permitting requirements for carrying a concealed weapon in the state. Essentially, anyone who is legally able to own a gun would be able to conceal and carry it wherever they go.
“Regardless of how you feel about the our fellow citizens packing heat,” said Furman political science professor Ben Tillman, “the really interesting issue here is the term ‘law-abiding’ contained in the title of the legislation. It’s not generally a term that’s applied to very many of the leaders in this state, particularly the ruling Republicans.”
Thad Viers (R-Myrtle Beach) says he introduced the bill to “allow South Carolina citizens to have a right to defend themselves” against criminals who “get guns illegally.”
Viers himself found himself on the wrong side of the law in 2007 when he pleaded “no contest” to charges he physically threatened his wife’s boyfriend while the two were in the process of divorcing. According to reports at the time, he also described sex acts he would engage in with the boyfriend’s family.
“That was a long time ago,” said Viers, explaining the situation, “and some fringe people might consider that to not be entirely ‘law-abiding.’ But I think most people would agree that just because someone — in a fit of passion — tells someone that they want to hurt them, that doesn’t mean that person shouldn’t be able to carry a concealed gun.”
“So I will be introducing an amendment to my legislation that makes an exception for cases where an otherwise law-abiding citizens physically threatens other people,” said Viers. “Of course, once I decided to add that, I had a shower of requests from my colleagues in the Republican party, so I will be introducing an amendment that will exclude a number of “technically not law-abiding” actions, thereby allowing people who commit these offenses to still be classified as law-abiding citizens.”
The amendment would allow the following exceptions:
- Failure to pay taxes on time
- Spending campaign funds on non-campaign expenses
- Stalking your ex-girlfriend in defiance of restraining orders
- Excessive Speeding
- Trafficking cocaine
- Sex with hookers in cemeteries
- Threatening to beat up your ex-wife’s boyfriend