Mississippi state Sen. Merle Flowers, R-Southaven, has sponsored the most anti-business bill to be introduce into the Legislature in 20 years.
Mississippi senators recently voted to join Tennessee in allowing handgun-permit holders to carry their guns in most Mississippi parks, as well as restaurants and other locations.
The National Rifle Association-backed legislation, sponsored by Flowers, originally covered only parks but was amended to let permit holders carry their guns in restaurants, bars and unsecured government buildings unless the owners of those facilities post notices barring guns.
Unfortunately, what the bill does is force restaurant, bar and other business owners to make a political choice in which they can only lose.
If business owners choose to post signs barring weapons from their premises, then are labeled as anti-American and anti-gun.
If business owners choose to do nothing, customers are left to assume anyone in the business with them could be carrying a concealed weapon, which to could lead to fewer people coming to the business.
Flowers and his friends in the Senate are preying on the fears of Americans, who believe their gun rights are being taken away from them.
In this situation, Flowers represents the latest iteration of an anti-intellectualism that permeates our society.
Guns are part of who we are as Americans, that much is true. In Mississippi, owning your first weapon can be a rite of passage into adulthood — going out and making that first kill of a buck or laying wait on an cold early morning for a flock of ducks to pass overhead.
There really is nothing quite like it.
Even to own a weapon in the safety of your own home as a means of self-defense cannot be argued.
But Sen. Flowers, please don’t force Mississippi’s business owners, who are already struggling with the recession, to make a political decision to satisfy your own personal beliefs.