Letters to the Editor

Editorials from across South Carolina: gun loophole, highway funding, farm aid

Dylann Roof wouldn’t have been able to purchase the gun he used to slaughter nine people at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church if the FBI had more than three days to complete his background check.
Dylann Roof wouldn’t have been able to purchase the gun he used to slaughter nine people at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church if the FBI had more than three days to complete his background check. AP

Close Charleston gun loophole

One reason for South Carolina’s law requiring a three-day waiting period before a gun sale can be made is to allow time for a background check on the would-be purchaser. So in the event that the background check takes longer than three days, why not wait a week or two — or even a month — to make sure that the weapon doesn’t get in the hands of someone with a criminal record? Or someone whose mental health would make him a risk to the public?

Even after Emanuel, legislators’ love affair with guns knows no bounds

In other words, why not honor the spirit of the law? …

In the aftermath of the most heinous crime in recent state history — one carried out with a gun — S.C. legislators are spending their time looking for ways to make gun laws more lax.

They have unabashedly ignored polls that show a large majority of state residents want tougher gun laws. The National Rifle Association must be pleased.

But for lawmakers to ignore a bill to correct a flawed law in light of the unthinkable devastation that occurred in Charleston less than a year ago simply defies common sense.

Indeed, it defies decency.

Post & Courier

Charleston

Approve highway funding

As state lawmakers enter the home stretch of this legislative session, they have a very clear mission to pass a comprehensive highway funding bill. Given the options that are on the table, they are likely to take a significant step forward but fall short of the needed long-term funding solution.

The price of DOT reform: $200 million a year

Even though the Legislature is on the cusp of taking a small step forward, it cannot afford to pass a bill that would be likely to face a veto from the governor, who is demanding restructuring of the Department of Transportation. Increased highway funding is now critical, and if the state’s roads continue to deteriorate without significant added revenue it could begin to affect economic development and job recruitment.

We have agreed with the governor that DOT reform is an important part of the highway funding equation. It would be unfortunate for the Legislature to completely punt this issue to next year over a disagreement over reforms that at worst would not make the DOT any more dysfunctional and in fact could be an improvement over the current system. …

(T)he Senate plan would pump about $3 billion to the state’s infrastructure. It’s a significant infusion of cash. However, it amounts to two to three years of work when you consider that the state’s transportation shortfall has been estimated to be at least $700 million per year, and perhaps as much as $1.2 billion per year.

Farm-aid veto a bad idea

Earlier this month, the General Assembly passed a bill to give $40 million to farmers for relief. The votes weren’t close. Near the end of April, a bill passed in the Senate by a vote of 33-3. The bill sailed through the House on May 4 by a vote of 85-2. That makes the chances of overriding a veto good, but (Gov. Nikki) Haley doesn’t care.

Dear Gov Haley: Farming is unlike any other industry

She said early this week that she would veto the bill because “it would be wrong to bail out the farmers when we can’t bail out small businesses, when we can’t bail out homeowners.”

But farmers aren’t your ordinary businessmen. Every year they risk most of what they have against natural forces that they can’t control. Sometimes they don’t get enough rain. Last year, they got too much. …

Failing to help sustain the state's agriculture industry could mean not only that many farmers could go out of business but also that many potential young farmers will be discouraged from undertaking the risks of farming in the first place.

Morning News

Florence

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