I just spent a great weekend with my son and grandchildren over the Memorial Day holiday. What fun we had! But while we were having our version of fun, up in Myrtle Beach that wasn’t the case … at least for an element of it. I’m sure there were many people up there having fun with no problems.
I wrote recently about Bike Week here and the invasion of Harley Davidson owners and enthusiasts.I’m sure there were probably some fights that the police had to deal with and a few arrests, as well. But no one died.
This was not the case with Black Bike Weekend over the Memorial Day holiday. I first became aware that there was an issue when I received an email asking, “What the heck is going on down there? What will this mean to Myrtle Beach tourism?” Then I received a few more along those lines. And I began to think about the people who were there to have a good time, but got caught up in the violence that occurred. Why do a few always seem to ruin it for the many? For the uninformed, three people were shot and killed.
For any of you reading this, I’ll give you a little geography here. Black Bike Week is sponsored by Atlantic Beach, a black community with 334 residents according to the 2010 census. It’s area is .2 square miles. And it sits right between Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach. So all the visitors coming for this bike event stay at hotels in Myrtle Beach or N. Myrtle Beach. And all of those communities benefit financially from this event. Or so it may seem. They haven’t released the economic information yet. Quite often, the costs associated with all the police etc., that need to be on duty, outweigh the profits. We shall see.
I’ve read some of the comments on the local news sites and everyone seems to have an opinion on what should be done. I, myself, don’t know what needs to be done other than I think Atlantic Beach needs to end their Bike Week. Or change when they have it. I’m sure there are many participants who enjoy the camaraderie and should be able to continue. But, it shouldn’t be Atlantic Beach holding it. Heck, they can’t even control their own city officials.
Some others commented that this is why everyone needs to carry a gun. Really? When I watched the video of what was going on when this occurred, the streets were filled with people. I’m sure the bad guys all had their guns, but mixing in the good guys would have given us a “Gunfight at the OK Corral”. How many more people would have been killed in the crossfire? Do we really want to go back to the Wild West days? I know a few gun proponents who are just waiting for their opportunity to be the next Wyatt Earp. Where exactly are we headed? And do we really want to go in that direction? I don’t know. I know I don’t.
This takes me back to my original thought … why can a few thugs ruin it for everyone? Why can’t we get serious abut dealing with this problem instead of turning it into, yet another, political argument?
Myrtle Beach will survive because it’s a great place for a family vacation. Violence like this can happen anywhere, even in your own community and Santa Barbara.