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Columns

  • Column: The fallacy of the ‘Charleston loophole’

    There has been extensive discussion of the so-called “Charleston loophole” by which Dylann Roof was allegedly permitted to purchase the handgun used in the nine murders at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Zion Church on June 17, 2015.
    At a Chicago rally last Feb. 17, Hillary Clinton said the following: “All we want is common sense. We want comprehensive background checks that close the gun-show loophole and online loophole. We want to close what is called the Charleston loophole.

  • Column: S.C. should try Oregon’s Vote By Mail

    Oregon’s Vote By Mail system offers a model that for South Carolina would save millions of dollars to buy new voting machines, avoid long lines for voting, and ensure the security of election results.
    It is used for all elections: federal, state and local, whether primary, general or special, and has been in operation for roughly 25 years. One result is increased voter participation by working parents and senior citizens. The system makes voter fraud virtually impossible, and research has shown that the system favors neither party.

  • Column: Democrats, get some new blood, leave the walking dead at home

    Mandy Powers Norrell was reelected to the S.C. House in November. I think she and her husband, Mitch, are the best lawyers in Lancaster.
    And she’s a Democrat! I’m a Republican – yay Trump!
    We need to unite, America. But for that to happen, the Democratic Party needs new blood. People like Mandy can bring smarts to the party.

  • Column: America flirts with its own destruction

    How does a great and powerful civilization die?
    What happened to the Roman Empire or Spanish Empire? They were not beaten by enemies outside their borders.
    In 1969 I was in the Navy when America landed men on the moon. We were very excited for America and its great  accomplishment. What would be our next step? Colonies on the moon and travel to Mars?

  • Column: Keep S.C. schools safe; Guns for all

    The coming year could go down as historic in South Carolina – the year we finally get serious about having a safe state, protecting our citizens and ensuring our liberties.
    And if we do, much of the credit will go to Rep. Steven Long, R- Boiling Springs, and Rep. Russell Fry, R-Myrtle Beach. They have introduced legislation to allow anyone with a concealed weapons permit to carry their gun in K-12 schools and on college campuses. These men are true patriots.

  • Column: The Hope of Christmas

    Chapter 2 of Luke records many details surrounding Jesus’ birth. It shows that Joseph took Mary on a journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem to obey a decree of the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus. When they arrived, they found the inn so full that their only accommodation was in an area reserved for the travelers’ animals. 

  • Column: I hope to be a better neighbor in 2017

    Native Africans who speak the Bantu language have the right idea. One of their most popular proverbs is “A good deed makes for a good neighbor.”
    So does a good pie.
    On Dec. 22, while at home nursing a just-removed ingrown toenail, I combined those two notions by baking four sweet potato pies as Christmas gifts for our closest neighbors. The gesture indeed resulted in multiple smiles.

  • Column: Lawmakers’ busy agenda squeezes in license tags

    If you left someone off your Christmas list and then they showed up with a gift for you and now you’re trying to find the “misplaced” gift that you had bought for them, here’s an idea.
    How about a “Beach Music” South Carolina license plate?
    What if they don’t like Beach Music? Well, what about NASCAR, or coon hunting, or pets, or sports?
    There are endless possibilities, because our state legislature loves to create new license plates.

  • Column: Another example of how legislature hangs onto power

    It’s the week before Christmas and the last thing on anyone’s mind is a state board whose acronym sounds like something an over-the-counter pill wouldn’t fix. But the STIB, which met a few days ago, should have made headlines.
    The State Transportation Infrastructure Bank’s mission is “to focus greater attention on larger transportation projects, and thereby allow (the state Department of Transportation) to devote resources to other important transportation projects.”

  • Column: Merrill indictment spotlights systemic problems

    A year or so ago, I was driving around Charleston with a member of the S.C. General Assembly, talking about various people, problems and politics in the State House. My friend is a long-time legislator and one of the most decent and honorable public servants I know.
    As we topped the Ravenel Bridge, I asked him, “Is Jim Merrill a crook?” After a long pause, he said, “That is a question of law that must be determined by the courts…. But he is extremely bold.”