The City of Charleston gave first reading to an ordinance that changes the qualifications for becoming a licensed tour guide. The further “dumbing down” of America.

I understand they are trying to placate a few folks, who believe that requiring a license to conduct tours somehow infringes on their First Amendment rights. In other words, folks who couldn’t pass the test.

I have been a licensed tour guide since 1988 and have not only taken the test (every three years), but have helped countless others pass the test. I take pride that I am licensed by the city, and that not any Johnny-come-lately can do the same.

I understand that it is one’s right to say what he wants and where. I served in the U.S. Navy to defend that right.

I cannot practice medicine or law or run electrical wires, plumb your house or practice dentistry without a license. Conducting tours for hire should be the same.

Shawn D. Matticks

Fieldstone Circle

Charleston