Honoring Drayton

In the New Year, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens will continue a celebration of the contributions the Rev. John Grimke Drayton made to the gardens and St. Andrew’s Parish Church.

Last year, we, along with the church, recognized the Rev. Drayton’s work to establish America’s oldest public garden at Magnolia in 1870, and his 40 years of service as rector of the church, longer than any other minister in the church’s 306-year history.

As the 12th rector of St. Andrew’s, the Rev. Drayton focused his efforts before the Civil War on ministering to the enslaved people at chapels on four plantations established by his predecessor, the Rev. Stuart Hanckel — Magnolia, Magwood, Nathaniel Russell Middleton’s Bolton-on-the-Stono and Williams Middleton’s Middleton Place.

Before the war, enslaved workers accounted for nearly nine of ten communicants and baptisms, a rate significantly higher than the Diocesan average.

Last year was the 160th anniversary of the start of Rev. Drayton’s ministry at the church. He died April 2, 1891. He is buried in Flat Rock, N.C. The recognition of his role at Magnolia will continue in 2013.

Lisa Randle, Magnolia’s director of research and education, will examine the Rev. Drayton’s influence in the wider Charleston community. She will also explore Rev. Drayton’s extended Grimke family. Research will be expanded to include his significant role in the community of Flat Rock, N.C., also known as Little Charleston in the Mountains.

Paul Porwoll, the church’s historian, has said there is no other relationship quite like the one between Magnolia and Old St. Andrew’s.

These two Charleston institutions, have been inextricably linked.

He noted that since the Rev. Drayton’s death, the Hastie family played a significant role in church affairs well into the twentieth century. Ancestors of the Hastie family settled Magnolia in 1676.

More than 500 people attended last year’s Easter sunrise service at Magnolia. The service will be held at Magnolia this year.

More than 1,000 people are expected for this special service that will become an annual event at Magnolia on the Ashley. By doing so, Magnolia and the church will not only continue its relationship but keep alive the Rev. Drayton’s legacy.

Tom Johnson

Executive Director

Magnolia Plantation

and Gardens

Highway 61

Charleston

More gun myths

The brutal massacre at Sandy Hook has brought forth a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing more than self-serving politico-babble that has issued forth from Washington and much of the press.

The usual suspects are demanding in their usual simplistic way that more gun control is the solution. Yet we have volumes of data that say otherwise.

John Lott, America’s premier gun/crime expert, in his text, “More Guns, Less Crime,” produces hard statistics from all 3,054 counties, 15,000 sheriffs and police chiefs, and FBI files over 18 years.

The conclusion: everywhere where there are better armed citizens, there are fewer crimes. Conversely, where there are stricter gun laws, there are higher crime rates.

Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association recommended an armed security guard in each of our schools. Cries of shock and dismay erupted from the Left, yet they were the ones who wailed the loudest over the shootings.

We use armed guards in our airports, in our banks, even in our sports arenas. Are we adults more important than our innocent children? The guards are effective deterrents. They intimidate thugs.

On the issue of banning “assault weapons”: The banning of anything only serves to produce more of that which we seek to eliminate. We’ve tried banning things — it only drives the production underground into the hands of thugs and criminals.

With Prohibition and the War on Drugs, we created two massive crime groups.

Does that really make sense? Does anyone really believe you can simply wave the magic “ban wand” and all will be well?

The research of Lott and others, together with over 54,000 statements by would-be victims who successfully defended themselves against murderous thugs are strong testimony to the value of the Second Amendment. It is a right — a sovereign right — not to be tampered with by small politicians looking for votes.

Let’s decide this at the local level and keep the feds in D.C.

Dick Whitfield

Salt Wind Way

Mount Pleasant

Two-party race

It is sad, and inexplicable, to me that it takes a celebrity connection to focus on a Democratic candidate for the 1st District congressional race. Reading The Post and Courier’s coverage to date you wouldn’t even know a Democrat was running (there are two others).

I’ve never understood why we are considered so “deep red” as by many measures South Carolina should be quite “blue,” especially the 1st District.

We have a natural Democratic constituency — those concerned about our gorgeous and fragile natural resources, about education, about race relations, about affordable health care, about sustainable growth and good jobs.

It is appalling how many uncontested races there are because it is assumed the GOP will win.

This disconnect needs to change for our state to move forward and I hope the candidacy of Elizabeth Colbert- Busch will take us down that road.

Regina Anderson

West Ashley Avenue

Folly Beach

Alcohol hazards

I was delighted to see the recent Post and Courier article on the study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control showing significant health problems related to heavy alcohol use in women.

This is an enormous health issue, as alcohol abuse affects over 18 million people in the United States, or one in four families.

Along the same lines, there is great opportunity for Lowcountry residents to benefit from the world-class research, education and treatment available at MUSC’s Center for Drug and Alcohol Programs (CDAP).

CDAP provides Charleston residents with access to the very best in alcohol and drug addiction research, alcohol and drug abuse treatment, substance abuse training, community outreach and substance abuse education.

Within CDAP is the Charleston Alcohol Research Center, one of only 15 national alcohol research centers in the United States funded by the National Institutes of Health, where highly trained addiction professionals are investigating new treatments and potential cures for those suffering from alcoholism.

Researchers are discovering new ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat addictions, and they are dedicated to sharing the latest research findings with the community so that people are better aware of treatment options if faced with addiction in themselves or loved ones.

Sylvia L. Rivers

Community Outreach

Coordinator

MUSC Center for Drug and Alcohol Programs

President Street

Charleston

Arm teachers

State Rep. Phil Lowe,, R-Florence, in his Jan. 15 column titled “Train and arm school staff,” struck a chord of common sense with me — so much so that I have urged my own representative to co-sponsor his bill, H.3160.

A few other states already have schools with armed teachers, and more are reported to be considering it.

Many people, parents, teachers, school boards, will object to such a proposal as, at best, draconian and ridiculous, and at worst, putting our children at additional unnecessary risk of harm.

Nonsense.

Having armed law enforcement officers present in numbers sufficient that a mass shooter would be discouraged is unaffordable to all but some politicians, and school boards and administrators that don’t always worry about spending taxpayer dollars wisely.

Having some teachers and staff trained and voluntarily carrying concealed firearms at every school, along with signs posted at entrances to school property stating this fact, might be enough to avert a mass shooter from inflicting his evil on innocent people.

Mike Schwartz

Divot Court

Mount Pleasant

Electoral reform

With the many critical decisions that our country faces, my hope is that congressional members will turn their attention to working on these collaboratively and hold off on starting the presidential elections of 2016.

I also feel a change is needed on how we elect our president:

Eliminate the Electoral College, go by popular vote, eliminate the national conventions, restrict campaigning to only three months before the elections, have one national primary for selection of the final candidates about two months before Election Day.

Our politicians should not be allowed to spend an inordinate amount of taxpayer-funded work time to campaign, and shortchange us, the citizens.

Denny Ciganovic

Carmel Bay Drive

Mount Pleasant