- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Recent editorials from South Carolina newspapers:

Feb. 16

The Island Packet, Hilton Head Island, S.C., on guns in bars and restaurants:

Imagine walking into a bar and seeing a man choking a woman. As a concealed-weapons permit holder, you pull out your gun and yell for the man to stop.

He does not. And you honestly begin to fear for the woman’s life, her eyes rolling back into her head.

You shoot the perpetrator, believing you’re saving the life of a fellow citizen in desperate need.

But what you don’t know is a lot. Moments before your entrance, the woman had stabbed the man with a knife. His actions were in self-defense, an effort to subdue her rage. And the knife that would have clued you into the situation lays hidden in the dim light of the bar.

Your good deed has resulted in someone’s death - and a great deal of legal trouble for you.

Many attorneys, police officers and even those who have taken the state-required class to get a concealed-weapons permit, say that in the vast majority of cases, pulling out your gun in a public place is a bad idea.

Too much information is unknown.

Too much is at risk.

Too much can be lost by a good person trying to do the right thing.

In a similar vein, we believe our state’s concealed-weapons permit holders are good, law-abiding people who have rightfully submitted to and passed background checks and passed the required safety course to obtain their permits. They are our neighbors, our friends and our family who want to protect themselves and others from harm.

But a recently-passed state law, allowing those with concealed-weapons permits to carry their guns into bars and restaurants makes them - as well as the unarmed - less safe and introduces endless scenarios where bad situations can turn deadly.

The law, sponsored by Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, is supposedly meant to increase convenience. Permit holders can carry their weapons into restaurants and bars that serve alcohol rather than leaving them in their vehicles where they are easy targets for thieves. The practice is allowed as long as the carrier of the weapon doesn’t drink while in the establishment and as long as no sign is posted, prohibiting guns.

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