Gun control needed
First, let me say I am not an “anti-gun liberal.” I believe people who want to own weapons should be allowed to. However, there should be limits to who and what type of weapons.
I am not against someone owning a handgun to be kept at home for protection. However, I am against people being allowed to carry weapons out on the street and in public places, concealed or in plain sight. I am not against someone owning a shotgun for hunting fowl, or a rifle for hunting game. But I am against people being able to legally purchase assault rifles, automatic weapons and weapons that are meant for military attacks.
I am also against someone being able to go online and purchasing 6,000 rounds with one click of a mouse without raising any flags. I am also against people being able to purchase extended magazines that carry large amounts of bullets. If someone breaks into your house, pointing the gun should be enough of a deterrent; if not, a single shot to the ceiling should do the trick. If that still doesn’t do it, shooting the perpetrator once (OK, maybe even twice) will be plenty. There is no need to carry 30 bullets in a handgun for “protection.”
Owning a weapon carries a big responsibility. If someone wants to drive a car, that person has to go through driving school and then take a written and driving test. If someone wants to own an assault rifle, all you do is go to a shop and buy one.
People who want to be gun owners should go through a background (criminal and mental) check, should have to go through a course that trains them how to safely use and store a weapon, and should be a registered and licensed gun owner. There should be limits as to how many weapons or rounds one person can purchase at one time or over a certain period of time.
A 100 percent ban on firearms is not realistic. And even the regulations and restrictions I mention above will not eliminate gun violence and gun crimes, but it will help reduce them. If assault weapons and automatic weapons are banned and made illegal, manufacturers will not be able to sell them out to the masses (gun shops, etc.). Sure, there will still be a black market out there, but it will make it harder for people to get their hands on a weapon.
There has to be a logical approach to this problem that does not split the population into two radical fractions — the “Weapons are evil, they ALL should be banned” and the “It’s our constitutional right, EVERYBODY should be carrying a weapon of their choice ALL the time.”
That’s my opinion.
The pakalolo blues
Hats off to (staff writer) Peter Sur for researching the Tribune-Herald archives, for “This day in history.” Interestingly, Peter recently excerpted four articles written during June 1987 with respect to marijuana eradication in Puna.
One article, published June 30, 1987, reported a total of a half-million plants had been “wiped out in the massive 10 day operation” in the Puna District. At the time, Capt. Richard Carter said, “Our goal is to destroy all the marijuana in Puna.”
Since 1987, have they been successful with this endeavor. How can we keep repeating the same mistakes and expect different results?
The big question is, however: Was there a real problem with pakalolo in the past?
I’ve spoken to many Puna folk who remember the ’70s and ’80s. They tell me crime was low. People left their keys in the ignition, never locked the front door, and there was practically no violence. Back then, many had cannabis growing along with the other veggies in their gardens. Tutu, auntie and uncle smoked pakalolo, and children were told it was an adult activity. Life was happy and peaceful, and everyone had a little spending money. There must be something to say about, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”
But fix it they tried. Police began raiding pot gardens. Arrests, crime, incarceration, unemployment and poverty skyrocketed. Then methamphetamines (“ice”) became readily available, and crime got worse. Sen. Bob Herkes, in a recent television interview on PBS Hawaii, said, “When we started Green Harvest all we did was put people onto ice.”
If we don’t remember history, we will make the same mistakes. Mahalo to Mr. Sur for bringing history back so we can remember — and correct past mistakes.
Hopefully, this will happen at the ballot box and on absentee ballots during the August primary and November election.