The Carolinas seem to be national leaders these days in crazy.
Take Thursday’s Observer. While tens of thousands of Carolinians struggle to find work and put food on the family table and go without health care because they can’t afford it, our leaders are working other critical problems, such as defenseless barflies and bare-chested women. As humorist Dave Barry would say, I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP.
In North Carolina, Rep. Rayne Brown of Davidson told her colleagues that women have been going topless at women’s right rallies in Asheville. Apparently, some of her constituents had driven the two hours from her district to Asheville and were shocked, SHOCKED, at the public display of breasts. (My advice: Don’t go to Asheville.)
So, Rep. Brown has introduced a bill to have topless women in North Carolina imprisoned for up to six months. Many North Carolina communities have local ordinances against nudity but apparently those hippies in Asheville do not. If the bill passes, we will be a state with the word “areola” codified in our laws. How proud we can be.
In South Carolina, they’re full up on crazy, too. Take the problem of citizens trying to enjoy a quiet dinner out only to have it interrupted by invading gunmen. What’s a diner to do?
Under existing South Carolina law, you may not pack heat while frequenting a drinking or eating establishment. (So, if you are planning to shoot someone, wait til they go out to dinner.)
But the S.C. legislature is rushing to solve the growing problem of unprotected diners being gunned down at their favorite eatery. A bill is being examined by the best minds in the legislature to allow citizens with concealed weapon permits to take their handguns into bars and restaurants. I know. You’re probably thinking a saloon full of gun-totin’ yahoos may not be the best way of keeping the peace, but legislators are one step ahead of you.
The bill stipulates that if you want to drink alcohol – as some bar patrons occasionally do – that you must turnover your pistola to the non-drinking fellow on the next bar stool.
I think a compromise between the states is in order. Why don’t we let only topless women carry concealed weapons, although where they might stash their gats could be a problem.
So, look down the road a ways. In the Carolinas, you’re going to have shirtless women in prison in North Carolina and lots of shootouts in bars in South Carolina.
The other headlines I noticed in Thursday’s Observer were, “Homeless families on the rise” and “Bill could block health coverage, Legislation would leave N.C. uninsured with few options.”
To paraphrase that noted philosopher, Forest Gump’s momma: “Crazy is as crazy does.” God help the Carolinas.
Walker Lundy retired as editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2003 after 39 years in the newspaper business, including three years as metro editor of the Observer, 1973-76. He lives on Lake Norman. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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