To the Editor:

We have serious thoughts and prayers about the insanity that propelled the S.C. House of Representatives to pass legislation authorizing open carry of firearms. Can the legislators and the governor hold straight faces if they say that South Carolinians will be more secure or otherwise better off when everyone can walk down Calhoun Street brandishing handguns, rifles, shotguns and AK-47s?

To Rep. Weston Newton’s recent statement in his column that the proposal safeguards the Second Amendment, we respond that we see the open carry law as an abuse of the Second Amendment.

We have no objection to appropriately stored handguns in the home for protection, and we do not object to rifles and shotguns if they are properly stored and used only for hunting or sport. However, this nation’s love affair with firearms grows increasingly dangerous.

According to the internationally recognized Small Arms Survey, the U.S. civilian population, only 4% of the world’s total population, now owns 40% of the civilian world’s guns.

Think about this: Numerous studies show that it’s far more likely that a gun in the home will be used for suicide or homicide than for self-defense.

What could be the reason for any law-abiding, emotionally stable person to show off his or her firearms in a public place – a city sidewalk, a parking lot, a grocery store, a park – where unarmed people are simply walking around, tending to business? And what about the risks to all of us from the openly armed angry, emotionally wrecked person (who can easily get any kind of gun he wants under current law)?

Bill and Fran Bollin