By Mark Walters
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- It’s funny, this social media thing. Which stories will get legs and which ones won’t? You just never know.
See, I’m always researching and mining for interesting content to talk about on the air and also to post on the AAR Facebook pages, etc. After reading the Breitbart News piece written by my good friend and on-air, 2A political analyst, Dr. AWR Hawkins about country artist Jamey Johnson’s canceled show at the Myrtle Beach House of Blues this past Friday, July 23rd 2017, I posted it.
Just how much response it would get, I had no idea. Hours after placing the story on the AAR Facebook page, it's been shared hundreds and hundreds of times has reached nearly a quarter million folks and continues growing. Naturally, this story has appealed to those of us concerned about our CCW rights and emphasizes just how much we care about the issue when denied our right to carry by a private establishment.
You may or may not have heard about the incident so if not, here’s the “crib-note” version. It appears that HOB placed a metal detector between the band’s bus and the artist entrance to the venue. Jamey refused to be disarmed and was denied entry into the club without going through the detector. As a result, concert promoter Live Nation and HOB announced the cancellation of the show after each party “stuck to their guns.” Drummer, TC Coleman, made the following statement regarding the incident:
“As a member of Jamey’s band, House of Blues management ‘Live Nation’ was wrong for how they treated the situation. Jamey was ready to give an amazing performance as he has done every night since the year and 3 months I’ve been in his band. I stand with him on this. House of Blues didn’t need to treat us like we were terrorist. They put a medal(sic) detector between Jamey’s busses and the stage entrance and the only people coming in and out of his buses was us. His band and crew and we all have laminated stage identification.”
“We did not come to House of Blues to be treated like we are going to kill the fans. If someone came backstage to harm anybody you better pray there is a Jamey Johnson type individual around.”
While much is being made of the incident, it’s quite simple and boils down to one thing. Jamey Johnson, a USMC veteran, refused to enter a “gun-free” establishment, the venue wouldn’t compromise its “safety rules,” (which they could have under SC law), and as a result, there would be no show (not at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach anyway). That’s the way it’s supposed to work: Try to enter a venue, find out it’s a posted “gun-free” zone, leave and take with you the revenue stream you would have provided the anti-rights, bigots. In South Carolina, the CCW law regarding places being “off-limits” to permit holders includes:
10. Place clearly marked with a sign prohibiting the carrying of a concealable weapon on the premises pursuant to Sections 23-31-220 and 23-31-235. Except that a property owner or an agent acting on his behalf, by express written consent, may allow individuals of his choosing to enter onto property regardless of any posted sign to the contrary. A person who violates a provision of this item, whether the violation is willful or not, may only be charged with a violation of Section 16-11-620 and must not be charged with or penalized for a violation of this subsection. Except as provided for in item (10), a person who willfully violates a provision of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or both, at the discretion of the court and have his permit revoked for five years.
From the above section of SC code, the HOB management could have easily provided Jamey permission to carry while performing. They apparently chose not to do so, and the result was no concert played by Jamey Johnson and his band.
So, that begs the following question. If I’m a paying customer, who deserves my anger for not being able to get what I paid for with my hard-earned money? Johnson? HOB? The state of SC? That’s easy. It wasn’t Johnson who refused to play, it was the HOB and concert promoters that didn't want him on the stage, and concert goers need look no further than Myrtle Beach’s House of Blues and their policy when seeking to vent their anger.
I could go on about this all day but here’s the bottom line:
Jamey is an American with a constitutional right to bear arms. The private establishment also has the right to refuse entry (read: discriminate) to anyone carrying a gun. They can make exceptions under SC law and apparently chose not to do so. We, on the other hand, have the right to tell HOB to go pound salt, or whatever other colorful phrases you might like to insert. Have fun with that one!
About Mark Walters
Mark Walters is the host of two nationally syndicated radio broadcasts, Armed American Radio and Armed American Radio's Daily Defense with Mark Walters. He is the Second Amendment Foundations 2015 Gun Rights Defender of the Year award recipient and co-author of two books, Lessons from Armed America with Kathy Jackson (Whitefeather Press) and Lessons from UnArmed America with Rob Pincus (Whitefeather Press)