Women deserve safety of concealed-carry law
WOMEN in Hawaii are endangered. Every day, there is a reported rape, assault or robbery of a woman here in Hawaii. Yes, men are assaulted and robbed, too, but they are not victims of rape as often as women are.
Thirty-eight states issue permits to carry a concealed weapon (CCW). These states "shall Issue" a permit to any person (man or woman) who qualifies under their rules. Usually, a written test and a practical test are required before fees are accepted and the permit issued.
Contrary to what our local chiefs of police say, there has not been blood running in the streets, road rage turning into gunbattles and so forth, in states that have concealed carry of firearms. The opposite is true: Crime against people has dropped. Those states that have CCW are much safer to live in than their neighbors who do not have CCW. Even the anti-gun crowd was shocked and surprised that their predictions have not proved true, and they admit it. Those police chiefs who were against CCW are happy that those with CCW permits are safer than the average population.
Florida, one of the first "shall issue" states, has kept statistics since day one of its concealed-carry law. The state of Florida has more problems with police officers and their guns than they do with CCW permit holders. Unlike Hawaii, many mainland police agencies actively teach free classes for those wanting to learn how to shoot and get a CCW permit.
STAR-BULLETIN / 2001
David Fanning explains the history behind several muzzleloader firearms he had displayed at a gun show at the Blaisdell.
Women in 38 states are safer, their children are safer and their families are safer, and their communities are better for it. Women are able to better fend off sexual predators who prowl the parking lots of shopping malls day and night. Women with temporary restraining orders are better able to protect themselves and their children from their ex-husbands and boyfriends. Women can go shopping at night with less fear of robbery, assault or being carjacked.
A good question to ask the police is, Where were they when five women were raped and murdered and their brutalized bodies dumped in Keehi Lagoon? Lisa Au was taken from her car in Kailua; her body was found on Tantalus Drive. The women murdered on Kauai -- their rapist/murderer is still free. How about the elderly women terrorized and raped in a Maui community for the elderly? What about the many other victims whose attackers have never been caught?
Might not all of these women be alive and well if they had a concealed firearm and were trained in its use?
Contrary to what the police would have you believe, a gun is a safe tool that saves lives when used properly. Just as a knife or a car -- both have been used to kill people here in Hawaii. A woman can learn how to shoot in a few hours. In a week of training, her skill level might even exceed that of some police officers.
On Oahu about 20 percent of the people who take firearms classes are women. These are women who have made a decision that they will not be easy victims of crime. Women who choose not to be victims have a right to adequate self-defense. A CCW permit empowers women to defend themselves when the police cannot.
Hawaii needs an updated concealed-carry law NOW.
Vernon Okamura lives in Honolulu.