Editorials

Coast Coliseum is right to keep out guns with new metal detectors

The Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center
The Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center Sun Herald file photo

Guns are everywhere. Well, almost.

You can’t carry a gun in courtrooms. They aren’t welcome in many businesses. Public school students aren’t allowed to bring them to school.

And as of Wednesday, you can’t take a gun into the Mississippi Coast Coliseum.

We wish we lived in a world where people would not attempt to carry a firearm into an entertainment venue. But we don’t.

So the Coliseum staff, we believe, has made a sound decision. But it’s one that will work only if all guns are kept out of the building. That’s why the staff will require all Coliseum visitors to go through a metal detector.

Common sense tells us that guns, alcohol and the sometimes raucous entertainment hosted by the Coliseum would be a volatile, and potentially dangerous mix. And most entertainment venues don’t allow guns. This is nothing out of the ordinary.

The Coliseum has more than adequate security. No one should feel they have to carry a gun there to be safe.

We know there are those who disagree. And just to be clear, we are fine with gun ownership. If we weren’t, we’d probably choose to live somewhere other than Mississippi. We know Mississippians love their guns. We have many hunters. We have many people who legally carry for personal protection.

But, too many criminals, who have lost their right to carry a gun, are armed. And it would be tough for the Coliseum security detail to tell who can legally carry and who can’t.

And so we support the Coliseum staff in its effort to keep the emphasis on giving South Mississippi a safe place to go out and have a good time. We ask that our friends and neighbors on the Coast cooperate with the people tasked with checking for weapons. That will help everyone get in before the fun begins.

Paul Hampton: 228-284-7296, @JPaulHampton

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