Arkansas state representative Charlie Collins wants to make it legal for college staff to carry concealed weapons. He thinks that public opinion is in the process of changing and will soon be with him. At least that’s what I think he meant when he said,
“The tide is churning. It will soon be one of the changes we make to our concealed carry laws.”
I think he meant to say that the tide is turning.
The expression “the tide is turning” to mean “some change from a previous course of events,” has been around at least from the 16th century.
In the days of sail, ships had to wait until the tide turned in order to depart.
Shakespeare seems to have thought of the turning of the tide in metaphorical terms to describe any significant moment.
In Julius Caesar (1599), Brutus urges Cassius to meet the forces of Octavius at Philippi with these words:
There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.
In Henry V (1598), the hostess describes the death of Falstaff in these words:
[he] parted even just between twelve and one, even at the turning o’ the tide …
Water may be observed to “churn” as the tide turns, but it is the turning of the tide that signifies change.