Tasers? Only criminals have right to arms
A READER in the travel industry writes, "Charles, Crikey! We have visitors almost monthly and one of the spots I always take them is the lookout off Round Top Drive. Am I now obliged to carry a weapon to protect them since these idiots have allowed this kook to walk out of prison?"
This note needs a bit translation. First of all, "Crikey!" is a British exclamation that means "Holy moly!" "Jeepers creepers!" or Aunt Bea's favorite charm alarm, "My heavens!"
"This kook" refers to the guy, accused of murdering three people at a Tantalus lookout, who has been sent to the state mental hospital instead of prison because he is too bonkers (see: nutty, crazy, cracked, haywire, loony, insane) to go to trial.
"These idiots" refers to the overall criminal justice system in Hawaii that treats vicious, insane killers as if they have a slight medical problem (instead of a slight killing problem) that can be handled at a low-security mental hospital instead of a place with thick walls and armed guys in towers to make sure they can't get out and kill again.
The kook in question wasn't allowed to "walk out of prison," but instead was chauffeured ("Driving Mr. Crazy"?) from the prison to the state hospital in Kaneohe, where we can all rest easy knowing that standing between this violent, mentally unstable man and freedom is a sturdy chain-link fence of the kind you can only procure at your favorite home-improvement outlet.
Now, to answer the reader's question: Is he obliged to carry a weapon to protect his visitors and himself? The answer is no. Not only is he not obliged, he is not allowed.
To be able to protect yourself in Hawaii is a violation of the specific roles of criminals and victims. Criminals are to commit crimes, and victims are to be victims of crimes. Period. To somehow arm yourself and protect yourself from an assailant undermines the entire criminal/victim dynamic.
As if to emphasize this point, a bill in the state Legislature to allow people to carry nonlethal electric Tasers for protection has, well, been killed. There are two reasons people should not have Tasers: 1) Tasers will just end up in the hands of criminals, and 2) Just because. The last thing we want is for criminals to have Tasers. Think how badly those three people at Tantalus could have been injured if their assailant had attacked them with a Taser instead of killing them outright.
Members of the Victims Should Remain Victims League worry excessively about criminals arming themselves with Tasers, pepper spray and cocktail forks and feel the best way to keep them from getting these scary weapons is to keep everyone else from getting them, too. Why, if you allow people Tasers to protect themselves, the next thing they'll want is actual guns, and that just won't be fair to the criminals who are just trying to play their roles properly. Allowing potential crime victims to protect themselves? My heavens! Holy moly! and Crikey! Are you insane?
Buy Charles Memminger's hilarious new book, "Hey, Waiter, There's An Umbrella In My Drink!" at island book stores or online
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