Rep. Colleen Hanabusa is the U.S. Representative for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District. In her HuffPo pro gun control polemic Hawaii Has Shown That Gun Control Works, Hanabusa paints a picture of a gun control island paradise, where “common sense limits on gun ownership” have helped Hawaii achieve and preserve “our low level of gun-related violence.” Oh really? Let’s take a closer look at those limits and take a peek at Hawaii’s crime stats . . .
“Hawaii’s gun laws are strict, but hardly draconian,” Hanabusa asserts. Wrong. Hawaii is a “may issue” state. Local (not state) law enforcement authorities decide whether or not residents get to exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to bear arms—according to criteria of four county police chiefs’ choosing. Oh, and just like Rhode Island, Hawaii doesn’t honor a concealed carry permit from any other state.
Bottom line: denial and disarmament is the default option. As civil.liberty.about.com puts it “Hawaii is perhaps the nation’s strictest state for concealed carry; very few permits are issued. In order to receive a permit, residents must show exceptional reason for fear for themselves or their property.” Here’s how that translates into the real world [via handgunlaw.us] . . .
In the last 15 years [up to 2006], no law abiding citizen applying for a permit to carry a concealed firearm in Honolulu has been granted one — not one domestic violence victim, not one person whose life was in danger, not one person working where they may be robbed at gunpoint.
Violent crime in Honolulu is below the national average and trending downwards. However, there is violent crime (as you’d expect from a city of nearly 400k). According to cityrating.com, the Honolulu police department recorded 5,760 burglaries, 1,420 aggravated assaults, 218 forcible rapes and 19 murders in 2010. I’d like to hear Ms. Hanabusa tell a rape victim that Hawaii’s unconstitutional restrictions on concealed carry are “simple common sense.”
Of course, it’s important to remember that the right to keep and bear arms does not depend on crime stats—any more than Ms. Hanabusa’s right to promote an anti-gun agenda depends on her oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. So here’s the rundown on the rest of the America’s 50th state’s [allegedly] non-draconian gun laws, from Ms. Hanabusa’s article:
All handgun transfers, whether from a dealer or a private seller, require a permit, and sellers must report transfers to the issuing authority. The buyer of a rifle or shotgun can obtain a permit that covers all purchases for one year, although all transfers must still be reported. Permits call for background checks and a mandatory 14-day waiting period. Permit applicants also agree to allow the issuing authorities access to any records that have a bearing on the applicant’s mental health; doctors are given immunity from civil liability for providing that information in connection with a permit application.
Hanabusa forgot to mention the mandatory safety course required for permit applicants. Or the fingerprinting. Or the separate fees and applications for each handgun purchase. (Which apply to any firearm transfer, including guns given to family members.) Also unspoken: all firearms must be registered with the Hawaii police department. All of them. Every. Single. One.
Hanabusa seems to forget that some of her constituents—perhaps residents whose ancestors who were disarmed and interned by the U.S. during World War II—view a firearms registry as in inherent threat to their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
That’s without delving into the issue of mental health records privacy. What if an Anafranil-addled psycho shoots up a Big Island gun-free zone and the State (in its infinite wisdom) revokes the firearms permits for anyone on antidepressants? The Chiefs will know who’s on what, what guns they own and where they live. Bye-bye guns.
I am certain that there are extremists on both sides of the gun control debate in Hawaii, as in the rest of the nation. However, it has been our willingness and ability to develop mutually respectful and effective gun control laws that have kept our community safe. Our experience has shown that common sense solutions save lives. I hope our nation will follow our example.
See what she’s done there? Hanabusa’s positioned Hawaii’s draconian unconstitutional anti-gun laws as “the middle way” to make it seem like anyone who supports gun rights is an extremist. And then she calls those laws “mutually respectful and effective” and requests ever-so-politely that the People of the Gun abandon their rights to “save lives.”
Meanwhile, Ms. Hanabusa’s pals in the Pacific tried to pass an assault weapons ban, require firearms owners to attend state-approved training every two years and disallow ammo sales to people without proof of a firearms permit. Despite the [fake] unanimity the Rep tries to sell through the HuffPo, all those measures failed. As Hawaiian gun permits rose by 70 percent.
If Hawaii tells us one thing, it’s that Americans will jump through any hoop to exercise their right to keep and bear arms. As history tells us, the less hoops, the more legally armed Americans, the better. Even in paradise.