HICKS COLUMN: Nobody wants your guns, Dorchester County
Some people actually have the nerve to say that Larry Hargett and David Chinnis are anti-gun.
Actually, between them the Dorchester County Councilmen own nearly two dozen firearms.
So they're not anti-Second Amendment — they're just pro-common sense.
Which is more than you can say for some folks.
Hargett, council chairman, and Chinnis were the lone supporters of an ordinance to outlaw gunfire in residential-zoned subdivisions. Now, no one said a word about this until the National Rifle Association got involved — and the assault began.
The NRA sent out an email claiming the ordinance didn't exempt people who were defending themselves (wrong, the Castle Doctrine still applies here), that you wouldn't be able to shoot within 500 feet of a road (no, only in high-density neighborhoods) and that it didn't exempt lawfully licensed hunters.
Look, if you're hunting in Kings Grant, you have bigger problems than this law.
The funny thing is that council passed this unanimously on earlier readings. Then the propaganda started, and council flip-flopped faster than John Kerry.
But Chinnis bravely stood his ground. He pulled out his empty holsters and ammo boxes and talked about personal responsibility, allegedly a conservative tenet.
“I'm not going to take my .45 and go shoot it from my front porch just because I can,” he said Tuesday.
This was much ado about nothing. Chinnis said none of the people who showed up to protest would probably ever run afoul of this law.
And this was no secret. Chinnis called the NRA for input, but got crickets. Maybe they'll ask questions later. Even some folks at the meeting conceded the proposal wasn't as totalitarian as they were led to believe. “A half-truth is a half-lie,” Chinnis said.
This ordinance was a response to concerns of law enforcement, who get a lot of calls about knuckleheads shooting guns in subdivisions.
A few years back some guy shot a gun into the air, and the bullet came down and hit a baby, police told council.
As Chinnis said, this would not affect responsible gun owners — just people acting irresponsibly. Like firing a rifle in the middle of 100 houses. What if you miss?
Your right to shoot ends when your bullet hits someone else. And there are a lot of folks around nowadays. “We don't live in the country anymore,” Hargett said. “It hurts everyone when people abuse their privilege.”
The truth is, nobody is out to get your guns — that's a scare tactic to build membership for pro-gun groups. Even President Barack Obama has expanded gun rights, so there's little chance conservative Dorchester County Council will take them away.
So a lot of people went down and raised Cain on council Monday, based on information that was just plain wrong. If these people are as bad at shooting off their guns as they are their mouths, it's a wonder Dorchester County doesn't have more friendly fire casualties.
Reach Brian Hicks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
or follow him on Twitter at @BriHicks_PandC.