Saying Hawaii is gun unfriendly is like saying I miss searching for Israeli models for extraneous linkage. The Aloha State is “may issue.” According to wikipedia.com, the chief of police may grant a concealed carry permit “in an exceptional case, when an applicant shows reason to fear injury to the applicant’s person or property.” In other words, “may” means “no RKBA for you, bra.” So anyone out and about shooting trees with herbicide with a paintball gun could be in for a rather rude awakening, SWAT-wise. Someone needs to tell that to the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management at the University of Hawaii . . .
Researchers call it “Herbicide Ballistic Technology,” or HBT. It looks a lot like a paintball game, but it’s not a game, and the gun isn’t shooting paintballs. It’s shooting little balls containing herbicide.
The technology was developed in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management at the University of Hawaii. “The process and manufacturing of these herbicide capsules is identical to the processing of the paintballs used in recreation,” said Dr. James Leary, an assistant specialist for Invasive Plant Species Management in the department. “But instead of targeting people in recreation, we’re targeting incipient weeds in these natural areas.”
The weed in question is miconia, a plant that has infested much of the Big Island and has been trying to gain a foothold on Oahu, Maui and Kauai. Miconia’s large leaves can block out sunlight for smaller plants, and its shallow root systems can increase erosion. A single miconia plant can produce eight million seeds a year.
“Miconia is the number one weed problem in the state of Hawaii that most people don’t know about because it’s impacting areas that people don’t have access to,” Leary told Hawaii News Now in an interview from the UH Maui Agricultural Center in Kula [reported by hawaiinewsnow.com].
It’s also the reason why HBT was developed, according to Leary. Scientists with the guns are taken up in helicopters, allowing them to accurately and surgically target specific miconia plants in hard to access places while using a minimal amount of herbicide.
Helicopters? Oops. No islander would phone the po-po about a guy leaning out of a helicopter shooting into vegetation ’cause it’s bound to be the police shooting at grass growers and they don’t take kindly to people interrupting/questioning their work. So . . . a good time is had by all.
While it is utilized for a serious purpose, the paintball gun technology still looks like fun. “I get asked that all the time,” said Leary. “The fun factor is an obvious one. It’s helicopters and paintball guns. How can it not be fun?”
I smell a big ass boondoggle—and a commercial opportunity. How much would you pay?