Editors Note: On March 6th, 1994 a full page ad was run in the Honolulu Advertiser in response to proposed draconian gun laws . The ad was announced in the HHAA newsletter before it was published. First, we present the Newsletter announcement and then the ad. It is well worth reading again. It is amazing, 21 years later, how little has changed in the battle for our civil rights.
First the announcement from the March 1994 Newsletter
HHAA AND ORGANIZATIONS STATEWIDE SPONSOR FULL PAGE NEWS AD
As HHAA’s contribution to the fight for our firearms, a FULL-PAGE AD will be in THE SUNDAY HONOLULU ADVERTISER, MARCH 6TH. The ad promises to leave “no stone unturned” and is a “tell it like it is”, “give ‘um hell” piece of information. The ad should help people to formulate their ideas for letters, calls, and testimony, as well as put State Legislators on notice that WE TIiE PEOPLE” are awakening. The ad will be co-sponsored by THIRTY-FOUR other organizations from throughout the State of Hawaii.
YOU ARE LOSING YOUR FREEDOMS,
and public officials are misleading you so that you wonʼt object.
“The true danger is, when liberty is nibbled away, for expedients, and by parts. The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.” – Edmund Burke – 1784
EVEN IF YOU DON’T OWN A GUN, THEIR TACTICS SHOULD BOTHER YOU. Two years ago, while earnest citizens testified overwhelmingly at a Senate Judiciary committee hearing that further restrictions on so-called “assault weapons” werenʼt necessary, the committee had already leaked to the press that they would gut the bill and substitute a bill to ban so-called “assault pistols” and “high capacity” magazines. The first lie, one that they defined legally, was an incorrect definition of an “assault weapon”, as being a semi-automatic firearm with a “military appearance”. Assault weapons do exist; they are fully automatic (machine guns), and are already illegal in Hawaii.
THIS YEAR, they heard hours of public testimony against further restrictions and IGNORED IT! The public is an impediment, testimony merely an annoyance. They know what’s best for you, regardless of what you say. BUT, your phone calls, faxes and letters DID make a difference! The final Senate vote was postponed two times in three days and only after TWO closed door sessions of the Majority Caucus were they able to coerce enough votes for passage. Public policy discussion should be open and above board. IS THIS DEMOCRACY IN ACTION? BE AWARE that in Conference Committee, with no opposition or public input permitted, the Committee can “gut” a bill and substitute anything they wish. CALL, WRITE OR FAX YOUR OFFICIALS TO KEEP THEM HONEST!
More misinformation is that Hawaii has a problem with these so-called “assault weapons”, “high capacity” magazines and handguns. In fact, Hawaii never did and doesnʼt have a problem with them, or the magazines that fit them which hold more than ten cartridges, normal for modern firearms. The murder rate has decreased in Hawaii these last two years, and nationwide, even though gun ownership rates have gone up in the past decade, accidents account for decreasing numbers of injuries and deaths. The Law Enforcement Coalition say that there are 400,000 guns in Hawaii, but only 10 of them were used in murders in 1993, one third of all Oahu murders. The studies they cite to make you think Hawaii has a problem have been discredited as being inaccurate. We have no gun problem in Hawaii except in the Law Enforcement Coalitionʼs imagination!
“Our motto must be to lie in order to conquer.” Benito Mussolini, Fascist Dictator,” 1928-1945
This past summer, Hawaii Historic Arms Association sent copies of The Samurai, The Mountie and the Cowboy, by David Kopel, an excellent presentation of the issues involved in gun control, including proven proposed crime reduction solutions for Federal, State and local governments, to the members of Hawaiiʼs Congressional Delegation, the Governor, the Lt. Governor, the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, Chief of Police, Chief Prosecutor, Senate President, Vice President, Judiciary, Education and Public Safety Chairs, House Speaker, Judiciary Chair and Vice Chair, Education Chair, Board of Education Chair, City and County Council Chairs for Budget and Finance, and Parks, Health and Public Safety. The Hawaii Historic Arms Association (HHAA), along with other responsible and civic minded firearms owners and organizations, provided this information to our responsible public officials in the hope that they would enact effective measures against criminals, promote safety for the public and our children, and refrain from enacting further ineffective legislation restricting honest citizensʼ Constitutional rights.
Instead, what is proposed? HB2324 – A $1000 PUNITIVE TAX on those of you who would buy a handgun, whether it be for sport, self-protection or just to exercise your constitutional rights. SB2347 SD1 – A BAN ON HANDGUN OWNERSHIP IN HAWAII (except for the police and military, of course.) REGISTRATION OF ALL GUNS – SB2346 SD1 , meaning, of course, all honest citizensʼ guns, criminals will be exempt, since they canʼt, with a criminal record, legally own a firearm. Registration doesnʼt stop crime since criminals donʼt use registered guns. But officials have suggested that registration will provide a list for future confiscation, and may provide means for other abuses. REGISTRATION FEES, which is taxing a right exactly like free speech, voting, or religious practice. MANDATORY FIREARMS TRAINING – no training, no constitutional rights, just like an illegal voter test. What was NOT proposed were measures aimed at criminal control, even though criminals, not honest citizens, cause crime. Anti-gun legislation ignores recreational shooters, competitive shooters, collectors, and the rights of ordinary citizens. LAW ENFORCEMENT COALITION OFFICIALS TESTIFIED IN THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE HEARING THAT THESE REPRESSIVE MEASURES WON’T REDUCE CRIME!
Ironically, criminals like gun bans. Any prohibition law creates a black market full of profitable criminal opportunities. And remember, nothing makes a criminal happier than knowing that his victims will be unarmed and defenseless, so that he can rob, rape and murder at will. Criminals are more afraid of armed victims than they are of the police. Another irony is that you are paying officials with taxes to take away your rights and oppress you! History tells us that prohibition never works.
You were ignored. We were ignored. Our proposals; which we know will work:
- Firearms safety education, both in the public schools and, on a voluntary basis, made available to the general public through the community college system and community groups. We need to enable people, youngsters and adults, to be safe and accident free around firearms. The “Eddie Eagle” program can make our kids safe.
- Tough sentencing of individuals who use a firearm in the commission of a crime so that they will go to jail. No pleas, no whining, no right to own a firearms subsequently, no parole. Lock them up. Certain lawmakers want to release criminals early!
- Improving the records system to allow an instant computerized check for firearms purchasers. Improve statistical records on crimes committed, by whom, with what weapons, etc., to track criminal trends.
- Liberalizing the permit to carry provisions to allow citizens who wish to take training in correct and lawful firearms use to carry a concealed firearm, increasing the likelihood that criminals will find Hawaii an unproductive and unpleasant place for them to work and prey. This works in other parts of the country where more concealed weapons permits has lowered the crime rates. The police can’t be everywhere; the courts affirm that they are not required to protect you as an individual, only the public in general.
- More public firearms ranges to permit better firearms education and safe commercial operations to allow foreign tourists to experience shooting sports unavailable in their homelands, providing another profitable segment for our economy. Tourists come here to shoot because they have no gun rights at home. According to HVB figures, 16% of the Japanese tourists come here to shoot, more than those who golf or visit Iolani Palace.
- Decriminalization of large capacity handgun magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds. The magazine limit does nothing to promote public safety and was a punitive measure directed toward honest handgun owners.
- An affirmation of the individual right to keep and bear arms for security, to use firearms in defense of self, family or home, and to provide for the enforcement of such right. It’s a basic right, and you have it unless you throw it away. Keep it and be free, lose it and be enslaved. This is the 2nd Amendment and Article 17 of the U. S. and Hawaii Constitutions.
All of these measures work, and work well in other cities and states across the nation. What doesnʼt work are gun bans and punitive measures directed against honest gun owners. Ask the residents of New York city and Washington D.C. if gun bans work. Theyʼll tell you that bans donʼt work, that criminals steal guns for crime, and if they canʼt get a gun, theyʼll use what ever they can get to intimidate, hurt and kill. We believe that the citizens of Hawaii can do better than passing more laws that donʼt work. BUT IT IS UP TO YOU because legislators need to hear your objections and demands for laws against criminals, not laws directed against honest citizens and their families.
Then, ask yourself why officials are so eager to have you disarmed. What do they have in mind once we are all disarmed and “safe”? Ask your friends who have lived in or visited oppressive countries, they’ll know why, and so should you.
“To disarm the people is the best way to enslave them.” George Mason – 1788
CALL, WRITE OR FAX your legislators and officials, Federal, State and local, and tell them you want to see anti-crime measures, not anti-citizen laws that donʼt control crime. If they donʼt listen to you, vote them out. If we can make them listen and respond, perhaps WE, THE PEOPLE, wonʼt have to remind them of the real reason for the inclusion of the 2nd amendment to the constitution:
“A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” – 2nd Amend. of the U.S. Constitution – 1789
“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in Government.” – Thomas Jefferson, President of the United States, author of the Declaration of ndependence, co-author of the Constitution of the United States – 1787
It should bother you that both CRIMINALS and LEGISLATORS want gun bans. Criminals know that fewer guns in the hands of their victims means easy pickings for them because people won’t be able to resist their aggression. Crime will increase, Hawaii will cease to be a desirable destination for tourists, our unemployment will increase, and we’ll start to look like Washington D. C., with DRUGS, a strong BLACK MARKET, more GANG ACTIVITY, plenty of crime and gun control. Do you want to be forced to cower in your home, disarmed and waiting for an armed criminal to break in? Make no mistake, these laws are only the FIRST step to outlaw all private citizens’ firearms. The government can’t protect you as an individual, only you can do that, and you have the right to do that unless you let the legislature strip you of that right.
None of these officials has any idea of the COST of implementing these laws. Adequate registration facilities don’t exist for the thousands of firearms (which haven’t caused any problems heretofore) which will have to be registered, not to mention lost days of work, uncollected taxes, and tourist revenues as crime starts to increase. It would be a different story if these laws fought crime, but they don’t, they will encourage crime.
A ban is a violation of inherent rights, denying your heirs the ownership of heirlooms and other valued firearms. You will be forced to sell them out of state or surrender them to the Chief of Police, without compensation. In addition, this will violate probate law.
Citizens and voters, whether or not you own a firearm, the passage of these firearms bills do not involve criminal control and public safety. It involves a POLITICAL AGENDA and the ignoring and eroding of your rights. WHAT WILL BE NEXT – free speech, right to assemble, religious freedom? A ban will deny military personnel the right to bring their personal firearms to Hawaii during their tour of duty. We trust them with government arms, why not their own?
Hawaiiʼs responsible gun owners urge you to let your Federal, State and local officials know that you donʼt want your rights infringed, that you do want effective anti- crime measures enacted. Remind them that the incumbent pro gun control Governors of New Jersey and Virginia were defeated in the last election, even with the support of the President and Attorney General Reno. Over 1/3 of Hawaiiʼs citizens own guns. THE TIME TO SIT AROUND AND COMPLAIN IS OVER! If you want to keep your rights, GET INVOLVED! Call, write or fax your displeasure with anti-gun owner legislation and your desire to see anti-crime legislation to your Senators and Representatives. Call the Lt. Governor’s office @586-0255 to find the name and number of your Senator and Representative. Call, write or fax your national Senators and Representatives, also, because anti-gun owner laws are being proposed at the national level and pushed by the President. The State and National governments are telling you that they don’t trust you to exercise your constitutional rights. They would rather pass laws that WILL MAKE YOU A CRIMINAL than laws that fight crime. Do you trust them? Congress has a higher conviction rate than the general population. Look for petitions against proposed anti-gun owner laws and sign them. If you need more information about pending and past legislation or how to testify, contact the HRA HOTLINE @261-2754. Call Senator Tom @586-6490 for the HEARING DATE & TIME (ask for a Saturday hearing.) A Pro-firearms Ownership Demonstration is planned on the Capitol grounds before the House hearing. CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES NOW, THE FOCUS IS ON THEM!
This educational information and call to action is brought to you by the following organizations representative of the more than 200,000 legal gun owners throughout the State of Hawaii:
Honolulu Gun Club
Big Island Gun Club
Big Island Trap Shooters
Chinese Gun Club
Filipino-American Sportsmenʼs Club
Garden Island Shooting Club
Hawaii Historic Arms Assn
Maui Trap & Gun Club
Hawaii Skeet Shooting Assn.
Hawaii Metallic Silhouette Shooters
Hawaii Precision Airgun Club
Hawaii Rifle Association
Honolulu Gun Club
K-Bay Rod & Gun Club
Kahuku Practical Pistol Club (Cpt. Cook)”
Kauai Hunting Association
North Kohola Gun Club
Koko Head Skeet Club
Maui Clay Target Assn.
2nd Amendment Foundation
Media Shooting Club
Mid Pacific Pistol League
Pig Hunters Assn. of O’ahu
Koko Head Gun Club
National Wild Turkey Federation (HI)
Puuloa Rifle & Pistol Club
Hawaii State Trap Assn. (Hilo)
Safari Club International
Schofield Rod & Gun Club
Single Action Shootists Hawaii
Valley Isle Sport Shooters
Waikoloa Trap Club
West Hawaii Shooting Club
Wheeler Rod & Gun Club
Ladies Involved in Firearms Education
Honolulu Police Pistol Club, Inc.