In fairness, it should be noted that this bill was introduced â€œby request,â€ meaning that it was at the request of a constituent, not a piece of legislation developed by the Senator. Many such bills, often of questionable value and support, are introduced every year in legislatures throughout the U.S. as a means to gain points and votes, often with little or no thought given by the legislator and knowing that they probably will not go very far. I contacted Sen. Iharaâ€™s office and was told that the bill was introduced just as a courtesy for his constituent and that Sen. Ihara did not support the bill, nor do they expect it to reach the floor for a vote. I have emailed the Senator to get a personal statement of his position, but as of this evening had not yet received a response.
However, the Senator is under no obligation to submit radical legislation such as this and in my opinion it should never have seen the light of day. It is imperative that Senator Ihara understand that knife owners do not take such things lightly. The knife industry and knife owners are up in arms over this bill. Many of you have already emailed or called after notices were posted on various online forums. While this is not an organized grassroots response, itâ€™s a beginning. You can find a mailing address and phone number at: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/site1/senate/members/Sen9.asp
While it may feel good to launch into an invective-filled tirade, those donâ€™t accomplish much. If youâ€™re going to write, make a reasoned argument. We want him to know that the next time a constituent tries this; he should just say â€œno,â€ because thatâ€™s the right thing to do.
Itâ€™s not likely that such a radical bill as this would actually make it through the legislative process at the current time. However, we also cannot overlook the possibility that some future tragedy might occur that helps this bill or another one in a similar vein to garner popular support and traction in the media. A less radical proposal could be another story, especially given changing attitudes and political climate. How much of your rights would others not mind trampling upon?
Perhaps this bill will serve as a wake-up call for those who maintain it could never happen here. We must maintain our guard and gird ourselves for a continuing fight. It isnâ€™t a question of â€œif,â€ itâ€™s only a matter of when and where.