I am pleading with all concerned citizens in Hawaii to become more involved in the legislative process.

I admit that until recently, I have been less than active in the legal erosion of our Second Amendment rights.

Sure, I can sit around the picnic table on a Sunday afternoon, and make a good argument as to the need for vigilance against the anti-gunners, and raise heck against their attempt to strip us of our Constitutional rights. “After all, don’t they understand that ultimately, the 2nd Amendment preserves their rights to have their opinions protected by the 1st Amendment? Don’t they remember their history of Nazi Germany just prior to WWII, when a newly empowered Hitler initiated gun registration as a necessary prelude to gun confiscation, and later persecution of the Jews? Where a ‘gun free’ and defenseless England had to beg America for guns to defend themselves against the threat of the Third Reich? Where one of the major deterrents preventing Japan from a land invasion of the West Coast was their knowledge that too many Americans owned private firearms? After all, those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it, right?”

Well, my recent visits to the State Capitol to see our Legislature in action was a real eye opener.

Seeing our legal process in operation up close has shown me that although we have the best system in the world, it isn’t perfect.

Self serving interest groups initiate bills and create pressure, that if not countered with firm opposition, can easily become laws. These laws are sometimes subtly worded, and sometimes are disguised as good intentions, but are easily deceiving and threaten our liberties, freedoms, rights and choices.

How can we make a difference?

First of all, we need to be aware of proposed bills, and how they would affect our rights.

Secondly, we need to make our voices heard. When bills are read in committee, we need to make our opinions known. This is best achieved by being present and standing up to the onslaught. Unfortunately, these hearings are done during prime work time.

Well, if we can’t be there in body, we can be there in spirit. We can very easily submit written testimony. A simple fax will make sure that your vote is counted.

If the only ones who submit testimony are our opponents, then the Legislature thinks that their views are the only ones that need to be considered.

One voice may not be very loud. But when one voice is joined by another, and another, we can create a crescendo that cannot be ignored.

I implore you that you do your part to help make our voices heard. If you can attend hearings, do so. If you cannot, then submit written testimony. If many of us do just a little, then the sum of our actions can be tremendous.

”’Mark Plischke is the president of Lessons in Firearms Education. He can be reached via email at:”’ mailto:markofapn@hawaii.rr.com

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