By: José Niño
Politics has often taught us that no political party can be relied upon to automatically defend our rights.
Even the Republican Party, which ostensibly positions itself as the party of limited government and a guardian of the Second Amendment, can pull off political betrayals that erode our liberties.
The Southern Group is currently representing an anti-gun group that is working to destroy the right to bear arms in South Carolina. For those who are unaware, the Southern Group is a lobbying outfit based in Columbia, South Carolina and is led by DeWitt Zemp, who advised three Republican presidents and a former Republican state representative.
The Southern Group has several corporate clients, including Duke Energy and Verizon. But that’s not all. According to information from the S.C. State Ethics Commission (SCSEC), the Southern Group listed renowned civilian disarmament group Everytown for Gun Safety in its book of business. Everytown is one of billionaire tycoon Michael Bloomberg’s primary vehicles for advancing gun control.
As FITSNews reported, Bloomberg is “the driving force behind attempts by politicians like liberal Columbia, S.C. mayor Steve Benjamin to impose unconstitutional firearm restrictions on residents of the Palmetto State capital.” Since many state legislatures are in nominally pro-gun hands, anti-Second Amendment organizations such as Everytown have shifted their focus to local governing bodies.
The path that mayor Benjamin is pursuing is unconstitutional in its aim to disarm lawful South Carolinians, and it also violates state law, which only authorizes the General Assembly as the entity that regulates firearms in the Palmetto State. Benjamin continues to flout South Carolina state law, and this abuse of power prompted South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson to sue Benjamin earlier in 2020.
Republicans in the Palmetto State did score several electoral victories in the 2020 election that helped expand their majorities. Such majorities, however, do not 100% guarantee that gun control will not pass. We should not forget that Florida, a state with solid Republican control of all three branches of its government, ended up passing red flag gun confiscation orders in 2018 after the Parkland massacre. In politics, though, anything is possible. With the right circumstances and pressure from the Left, pro-gun states can occasionally capitulate.
The Southern Group is already led by an establishment Republican and has close ties to Everytown, so on paper, gun controllers already have a potential launch pad. We should never forget that the Republican establishment has no loyalty to the Second Amendment and will sell out pro-gun constituents at the right price.
Gun owners in South Carolina and elsewhere should remain vigilant and always keep their legislatures in check, no matter who’s in power. Being complacent can result in a loss of our liberties and encourage freedom-destroying predators to ramp up their transgressions against our liberties.
José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at [email protected]. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.