Myrtle Beach Wants to Limit Offensive Merchandise in Town
The Myrtle Beach, S.C. City Council is looking to limit some of the obscene merchandise that is up for sale on its Ocean Blvd.
We've all seen things like this in beach towns: Some T-shirts with wordplay that turns what might be a harmless phrase into a questionable message, others that just flat out glorify some ill-advised behavior.
WBTW reported that Myrtle Beach City Council members want to enact a new ordinance to limit "vulgar or offensive items" to cut down on crime. The town's mayor, John Rhodes, said that while crime is obviously a priority, the scaled-back vulgarity would make it a more appealing place for family vacations.
"There's some things that are sold on the boulevard that are obscene to children," Mayor Rhodes told WBTW. "Parents don't want their kid seeing this kind of stuff."
The ordinance would possibly ban business owners along certain parts of the street from selling merchandise with profanity, drug- or tobacco-related items, or any weapons.
"It used to be that you'd have people that would review everything that was being put in these stores," Rhodes added. "You had a committee to do that; it was store owners. And that sort of went away. We need to get back to that."
The owner of one popular Myrtle Beach gift shop told WBTW that this proposed ordinance wouldn't completely eradicate the issues Rhodes described. Instead, it would just kind of push them away from downtown.
"So it's not going to completely address the issue," she said. "You're just going to have another area that's going to deal with it."
Rhodes admitted that the merchandise likely isn't the cause of crime in Myrtle Beach, but it certainly doesn't boost family tourism numbers.
"Does this bring crime? I can't say that it does," he aid. "Does it help in tourism and a family atmosphere? No, it doesn't."