GUNS! Coming to a City Near You


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U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Jun. 23 struck down any restrictions on carrying concealed firearms.

Archer Liang, Design Editor / Illustration Head

Demand is growing in Hawaii for gun owners to have the option to carry their firearms in public. This is a response to the United State Supreme Court’s decision on Jun. 23 that struck down any restrictions on carrying concealed firearms.

As of November, Honolulu county is still struggling with finalizing the gun law.

Mayor Rick Blangiardi asked the City Council to draft an ordinance to define sensitive places where gun carrying is illegal. This includes many public places.

As of Nov. 29, 196 people opposed the bill, and 60 people supported the sensitive places law, according to the written testimony on bill 57(22).

Blangiardi said in the statement on Sep. 29, “Our state has restricted public carrying of firearms for nearly 170 years and as a result, has one of the lowest gun-violence rates in the country and we want it to stay that way.”

According to Hawaii News Now, the Honolulu Police Department started processing permits for civilians to carry concealed firearms on Nov. 21.

Joe Dumapit, the director of compliance and risk management at Mid-Pacific, said the school always makes changes to our safety policies and regulations to keep the campus safe.

“The school’s always going to be actually sticking to the requirements for safety for guns or anything else that’s occurring now, so when these regulations do become actual law in Hawaii, the school will continue to follow our policies that no guns or weapons are allowed in school,” he said.

People who agree or oppose the law both agree that safety is a concern. Here at Mid-Pacific, there is a safety committee that watches the law change.

Some teachers and students share their opinions on the new gun regulations in Hawaii.

Science teacher Hélène Drazen, who has a hunting gun at home, said she doesn’t see the need to carry guns openly in Hawaii.

“There are other ways to feel safe and guns are never a solution,” Drazen said.

Film/Digital media teacher Meeka Fontaine said she doesn’t like guns.

“Even though it is a constitutional right for people to carry a weapon, I wish to have less guns,” Fontaine said. “It’s strange that people can get a gun [more easily] than getting an abortion.”

Senior Joaquin Mejia said he doesn’t feel safe about the new regulation because everybody is “strapped [slang term referring to be equipped with, particularly, firearms].”

“The government’s efforts to lower gun violence are futile because of how many illegal firearms [non registered firearms] there are every year,” Mejia said. “You cannot legislate to decrease rates of gun violence in the United state.”

Social studies teacher Henry Hail, who has a Ph.D. in sociology, said he doesn’t feel unsafe about new gun regulations in Hawaii.

“I believe that our community leader will find ways to work with laws to keep people safe,” he said.

Hail believes even if the rate of gun violence increases, the risk of getting in danger in Hawaii is “still low compared to other behaviors like driving.”

Another Social Studies teacher Noilani De Costa, who grew up with guns around because her father was a policeman, said she has seen and has been taught, what guns can do.

De Costa said guns can be used as protection, but in reality, they are scary.

“When more guns are allowed, more of them will be used against people,” De Costa said.

She gave an example of a possible scenario in a highway accident.

“People can use their guns when they feel threatened. But what if they pull out their guns because they think that me yelling is a threat to them,” she said.

De Costa believes how gun owners use their firearms outweighs their benefits

“Guns empower people who have it, and for those who don’t, they fear,” DeCosta said.

In response to the second amendment, DeCosta said society has changed. She doesn’t think civilians need to carry guns as protection.

“The amendment was to create protections in militias, and they are civilians,” she said. “The militias nowadays are not citizens. They are the military, the police, and sheriffs.”

Hail said the second amendment leaves room for interpretation given how social and historical differences at the time.

“I think the founding father was purposely being ambiguous in the wording of the amendment,” Hail said.

Senior Alika Onekea said the right to carry a gun is patriotic but dangerous.

“It is foolishly American,” Onekea said.