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Letters 1-25-2013

Senate Bill 219

Way off target

Does Senate Bill 219 turn your daddy’s duck gun into an assault weapon?

Hawaii Senate Bill 219, an “assault weapons ban,” is a misnomer and will do nothing to reduce crime or improve public safety. It has everything to do, however, as one more incremental step in the planned prohibition and eventual confiscation of all citizen-owned firearms.

The term “assault weapon” is usually equated with the term “assault rifle.” An assault rifle is a military rifle that is capable of full-automatic fire, where multiple rounds are fired continuously when the trigger is pulled one time — that is, a machine gun. Fully automatic firearms are heavily restricted, and regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934.

No hunter or target shooter currently uses an “assault weapon.” The term is a political and media invention, intended to cause confusion among the public by intentionally misleading them to believe that “assault weapons” (as defined in legislation) are fully automatic firearms — when they are not.

The firearms erroneously called “assault weapons” and targeted for prohibition in SB 219 are semi-automatic in operation; that is, they have the ability to fire but one round per press of a trigger.

Semi-automatic firearms are the most common types of firearms used by hunters and target shooters. Included in the SB 219 prohibition list is the most popular hunting and shooting rifle in America today.

Addressing the real causes of gun violence, such as mental instability and moral collapse, is difficult. Blaming firearms that have the cosmetic appearance but lack the functional identity of military weapons is easy. Senate Bill 219 misses the target. Its only accomplishment is to deprive law-abiding citizen’s access to the firearms they most prefer.

A popular shotgun used for waterfowl and spring turkey hunting is camouflaged, as is the hunter, so game birds will not notice it.

The same firearm may be configured with a pistol grip positioned behind the trigger. There is no difference in these shotguns other than how they look. They are functionally identical.

So it is with the proposed banned firearms listed in SB 219, which are functionally identical to many firearms not listed in the bill. The only difference is they have some cosmetic features common to military firearms and have therefore arbitrarily been deemed “bad” by ill-informed bill proponents and the even less-informed popular media.

Crazy and evil people kill and maim others, not law-abiding gun owners, hunters and shooters. Banning guns legitimately used by the latter does not make society any safer. Focus on the root cause of mayhem will.

Tom Lodge

Hawaii Hunting Association



Throwing a tantrum

So, some county employees got caught misbehaving. They got fired, just like any person would get canned, and now they want to drag other county citizens into a legal morass.

This kind of behavior, equivalent to a 3-year-old throwing a tantrum, should not be tolerated.

We cave in too easily to these miscreants, who even when shown mercy, weasel out on doing their jobs by taking a leave of absence — right when their skills are most urgently needed.

What a bunch of humbug.

Richard Swann

Ocean View