Stephen Gilchrist, a Greenwoodian who now lives and works in Columbia, deserves a thumbs up for his story and the example he sets for others. Gilchrist had what might be labeled an uncertain start in life. Like many others, he had no real sense of direction before heading off to college. In fact, he had no intentions of entering college. But circumstances led him not only to go to college at South Carolina State University, but also back home to Greenwood, plus a stint in the political arena thanks to longtime state Sen. John Drummond.
In essence, Gilchrist’s experiences combined well with a drive and determination that ultimately led to his being a successful entrepreneur who is a distributor as owner of a direct store delivery company. In fact, Gilchrist’s drive, determination, ambition and vision pay off for others he comes in contact with, even remotely. If you missed it, Gilchrist was featured on Sunday’s front page. A simple encounter with a favorite snack -- pork rinds -- led him to pursue a way to get that snack on the shelves of megastore Wal-Mart. His is a tale of inspiration, especially for the young people.
 


Thumbs down to those who fight every sensible measure dealing with guns, gun ownership and gun rights. Good Lord, we’re proponents of the 2nd Amendment but to oppose a sensible database that will help ensure weapons don’t get in the hands of the mentally ill is sad. Time and time again, stories hit the news that a person with a history of mental illness opened fire in a school, a theater, a mall or somewhere and dropped so many lives dead in their tracks.
Even the National Rifle Association backed this database. If you’re one who believes guns don’t kill people, people kill people, then logically you should be one who supports such efforts. The database might not stop every mentally ill person from getting hold of a weapon and gunning down multiple people, but it’s a logical step. Sure, we’ve heard those who voice concerns this will be the first of many steps to take weapons away from every legit gun owner but, sorry, we don’t believe that to be the case. Evidence is greater that the mentally ill are potentially inclined toward being a danger to the community than that the government will simply use a mental illness label to take guns away from mentally competent and legal owners.
 
We’ll be interested to see where the YMCA goes with its plans to do some significant upgrades to its facility. There’s been widespread interest in a water park, some even suggesting that be what County Council embark upon in finding a new use for the old civic center property.
Apparently, YMCAs elsewhere in the state successfully expanded their offerings well beyond the traditional fare of workout rooms, pools, gymnastics and basketball courts and such. Some came up with rather elaborate plans that include a water park and more for family fun. There is plenty of property to make such a long-range project feasible, so who knows? The Y could be onto something that most assuredly would be a membership builder. We’d be happy to see such a facility come to fruition, so thumbs up to the Y on this one.