The exit polls in the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary showed those who favored reducing gun violence over gun rights chose her by a 50 point margin, with 81% of those polled siding with Mrs. Clinton on gun control. Only 16% said protecting gun owner’s rights was more important, despite 41% of voters identifying themselves as gun owners.
Among the most curious of these gun-owners was a young man who jumped Sanders’ sideline to put his wind into Hillary’s sails. And his unbelievable story was a stark contradiction of every good southern country boy I’ve ever met.
Twenty-something Graham Holson pulls up to vote in Edgefield, S.C., in a jacked-up white pickup truck with a goofy pit bull riding shotgun. He claims he has “tons of guns – handguns, rifles, you name it.” A self-described white “country boy,” he also has a concealed carry permit, which means, “You won’t know when I’m carrying, which is how it should be.”
Yet Mr. Holson, a Sanders supporter, joined other primary voters, most of them African-American, in welcoming Clinton’s foray into the gun culture wars, suggesting, in his view, that America’s gun violence might be softening some hard-line views on gun ownership.
He said he’s open to stricter background checks to weed out “potential nut cases” and even reviving the Bill-Clinton-era assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004 after 10 years.
“As a country we’re becoming a cultural no-man’s-land where every house is a militia, and that’s not good,” says Holson. “Also, I don’t understand these banana clips that are this long – I have no need to kill 20 people in 20 seconds.”
I read that and thought, “Is Mr. Holson real?” Do gun owners (like he claims to be) really think stricter background checks will weed out criminals or identify a person who may potentially become unstable? I hear stories all the time of people who go to their doctor’s for an issue and even after seeking a second opinion and months of tests, poking and prodding, they still don’t have an answer or cure for what ails them. These people are actively open to scrutiny, begging for more evaluations from anyone who will see them, but answers elude them.
The fact is, there isn’t an ‘evil gene’ that can identify potential murders and an obscene amount of guns used in crimes aren’t obtained using background checks. Michael Salley’s guns were taken before he was released from jail, but what did he do when he was released? He abducted his estranged wife and used a shotgun he took from his cousin to kill Gwen Cox Salley, then turned it on himself.
We don’t have a gun problem, America: we have an ethics problem. The woman who won the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary and the hearts of southern gun control advocates is the female representative of a party whose own members consider her a ‘liar’, ‘two-faced’ and a ‘criminal’.
Precisely the kind of person voters think shouldn’t have guns.