The debate in the S.C. Legislature that led to lowering the Confederate battle flag was moving, the voices that carried the day decisive. We heard legislators put morality before politics, their sense of what was right over their desire for votes. I was proud to see that it can be done.
A greater challenge will be whether, in January, they will be able to maintain that determination and fearlessness to address the issue of gun violence. As long as they refuse to pass sensible gun regulations, background checks, limits as to capacity and where guns can safely be carried, they will convey to the people of South Carolina that we are not safe. This is the vicious cycle that puts more guns on the street because people do not feel safe, which in turn makes the streets more dangerous.
When appropriate uses and rules for guns are established for hunting and for sport, and guns are clearly not accepted on the streets and in buildings where the public gathers, our police will be less likely to react defensively, because there will be less risk of shooting.
There will always be outlaws who find weapons, but they will be far fewer when our laws are clear to manufacturers, dealers and the public.
I hope that the coming election year, and the 2016 legislative session, find our lawmakers willing to lead with courage seeking solutions to gun violence as they have just done in the matter of the lowering of the Confederate flag.
Agnes F. Pomata