Some Love For John Courson

THIRTY YEARS AFTER THE FACT … || By FITSNEWS || This website hasn’t always had good things to say about S.C. Senator John Courson – who for years has defended the status quo institutions this website strives to expose, reform and/ or eliminate.  On the other hand, we’re been generally effusive in our…


|| By FITSNEWS || This website hasn’t always had good things to say about S.C. Senator John Courson – who for years has defended the status quo institutions this website strives to expose, reform and/ or eliminate.  On the other hand, we’re been generally effusive in our praise of Rick Manning – whose organization Americans for Limited Government has stood firm on behalf of citizens and taxpayers in Washington, D.C. at a time when most “conservative” groups are caving.

Look no further than Manning’s aggressive advocacy on the Obamatrade issue …

As it turns out, Courson and Manning’s paths crossed years ago during a during a debate over gun control laws in the Palmetto State.

How do we know this?  Because the City of Columbia, S.C. recently passed an emergency ordinance violating the law Courson and Manning worked so hard to pass.

Flashback to 1986: The Cold War was thawing.  The Chicago Bears were Super Bowl champions.  Halley’s Comet was all the rage.  And South Carolina – then firmly in Democratic control (the more things change) – was in the midst of a furious debate over the Second Amendment.

Courson “was one of only a couple of Republicans in the Senate at the time,” Manning recalled – and was leading a fight to keep the state in charge of firearm regulation (as opposed to permitting county or municipal subdivisions to impose their own often conflicting bans or limitations on firearm possession).

Courson was concerned about the potential erosion of Second Amendment rights – as well as the confusion which would result from South Carolina’s local governments passing a million and one conflicting gun laws.

Then-Senator Herb Fielding didn’t agree – and was blocking Courson’s bill.  Meanwhile Courson was blocking Fielding’s bill allowing postcard voter registration.  With the clock winding down on the legislative session, the two lawmakers agreed to release their objections.

Courson’s legislation was quickly attached to a bill providing state funding for the National Guard Armory – a measure which had already passed the S.C. House of Representatives.  On the last day of the session, though, then-S.C. House Speaker Pro Tempore Sterling Anderson objected to the measure and demanded Courson remove his bill from the Armory funding legislation.

His reasoning?  Apparently Jean Toal – the future S.C. Supreme Court chief justice – had decided to oppose the bill.

That’s when Manning sprung into action – convincing Anderson that the latter’s chief gun-related concern (the widespread availability of cheap, dangerous weapons known as “Saturday Night Specials”) had already been addressed in the Palmetto State.

After meeting with Manning, Anderson went back into the House chamber and informed Toal that Courson’s bill was going to pass – which it did.

“Senator Courson was the guy who put the whole thing in position to be able to be passed,” Manning recalled.

Courson remembers the fight well …

“I’m a strong supporter of the Second Amendment.  But I was also very concerned about the confusion and the lawsuits that would have come from municipalities passing their own ordinances,” Courson told us.

Such a situation would have been “an absolute disaster,” he added.

“Somebody going from one county to the next – or from one city to the next within a county – wouldn’t have known what the laws were,” Courson said.

The ban on local government firearm legislation has stood for nearly three decades …

Unfortunately, last week the City of Columbia, S.C. passed an ordinance banning firearms and other unspecified “dangerous weapons” within a 250 foot radius of the grounds of the S.C. State House (where the Confederate flag controversy had been raging).  The thirty-day ban – which is being challenged by lawmakers – aims to fine violators $500 and/ or put them in jail for up to thirty days.

Aside from running afoul of the Second Amendment, this city ordinance is in direct contravention of Courson’s law – a.k.a. S.C. Code of Laws § 23-31-510.

We will continue to oppose it … while giving Courson and Manning some belated praise for their advocacy.

Pic: Travis Bell Photography


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Squishy123 July 14, 2015 at 2:50 pm

John “Leatherneck” Courson, the self-publicized Marine… who during the Vietnam War never left the continental United States because his dad was able to pull strings to keep Jr. out of harms way. John likes to talk about how he’s a Marine, but fails to tell you that his combat experience ended at boot camp.

Semper Fidelis July 14, 2015 at 3:17 pm

Sorry, I do not share your praise of Courson. His main claim to fame was imitating Strom Thurmond and not too well either. He does love to brag of being a Marine and is referred to as a “Baby Blue Marine”.
Fred Carter was the same. once heard him brag of having a Rifle Company in Vietnam. I met a Marine Colonel (friend of Carter) who said, It was “not true”. Who knows? This was in the day when “Stolen Valor” was not so unacceptable.

luke July 14, 2015 at 3:35 pm

Semper, what is a “Baby Blue Marine”? Seriously, never heard of it?

luke July 14, 2015 at 3:33 pm

FITS, see if you can get THE HONORABLE, JOHN “MARINE”COURSON, to give you a run down on his “marine career” that he ‘wears on his sleeve’. My take is he’s had no more marine experience maybe than a trip to Paris Island for no more than to dodge the Vietnam War. Tell him to “MAN UP, be a “MARINE” and tell us all about his “service to his country.

jimlewisgowb July 14, 2015 at 3:51 pm

OK, have no immediate problem with willie or anyone else love stroking a Cockroach a couple of times

However, once you pull back your slime filled hand take your right foot and stomp the shit out of the little bastard

These Cockroaches spend 24/7 sticking it up the taxpayer’s ass

Did the Cockroaches do anything constructive to improve public education
Did the Cockroaches do anything constructive to improve roads
Did the Cockroaches do anything to improve quality of life

Oh, they took down a flag, damn I’ll sleep better tonight

Superfly July 14, 2015 at 3:59 pm

Courson is one of the three flag flappers responsible for the past few weeks of misery, forcing it to a flag pole beside the *existing* Civil War Monument, erected in 1889 and never having a flag until 2000. Not to mention Cockroach Courson and his nepotistic employ of family members and friends on Senate staff makes him a miserable, worthless scumbag whose 35 years of “service” has run its course. Time for him to be retired, if by a Shandonista Democrat, so be it, Courson is no different, other than flapping of his jaws about Reagan. The Caucus cannot depend on him anyway, so good riddance, hopefully sooner rather than later.

CorruptionInColumbia July 14, 2015 at 4:47 pm

He does deserve credit for preventing a huge clusterphuck, back in the day. Will is right, giving counties and municipalities the ability to pass their own gun laws would have been a nightmare for a good citizen.

I am curious though. What has John done for us lately? Did he sponsor any legislation for Constitutional Carry, removal of current Gun Free Zones, expanded reciprocity, or the like. Or has he flipped, like Jake did and Katrina seems to be trying to do? Just wondering.

Oh, I don’t want to hear about NRA life memberships or NRA-ILA endorsements. Those are meaningless anymore as the NRA will just about endorse anyone who “says” they are pro-gun and who may have ever voted favorably for a pro-2A bill, regardless of how many bad votes they have cast since.

nitrat July 14, 2015 at 5:16 pm

Why are you people so hysterical over a time limited ordinance that appears to have been passed to deal with what a bunch of Columbia City Council idiots thought was a threat produced by the issues surrounding the Confederate flag?

The 30 days are almost up, right?

But, not soon enough to prevent frivolous Republican lawsuits?

Squishy123 July 14, 2015 at 5:43 pm

Maybe because it’s an illegal ordinance???

Are you okay with the city passing ordinances that are illegal… time limited or not? Do you think the ordinance is going to keep the thugs of Columbia away? If anything it lets them know that the law abiding citizens that are there will be unarmed.

max July 14, 2015 at 7:31 pm

Because we like freedom, you big government prick.


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