Hawaii State Legislature and Firearms Bills: In football terms we're in the second quarter with points on the scoreboard, thanks mostly to good defense. Some of the worst bills are out of the game, for now anyway. Now it's time to put our best offense into play:
NOW IS THE TIME TO GO PROACTIVE, (WHILE STILL MAINTAINING A GOOD DEFENSE OF OUR RIGHTS):
The Legislature goes into a mandatory 5-day recess Feb 21 through Feb 26. Neither the House or Senate convenes, although hearings may be scheduled. The offices and staffs stay open to catch up, but many of the Neighbor Island Legislators take time to fly home for a few days. If you are a registered voter on any Island, (they know), please make a phone call this week to your own Senator and Representative and ask for an appointment to meet with them during the recess, or whenever, to discuss gun control, your views and theirs. This is grass roots lobbying, and it's what we do best.
Be politely insistent that this is very important to you as a constituent. Your Legislator's staff will place your message before your Representative and Senator. If you do not hear back in 2-3 days (you probably won't), call back and say you haven't had a response yet. It is understood that every Legislator is expected to represent his or her constituency, and to do so they must open their offices and their schedules to hear you. Some Neighbor Island first-year Legislators may not have a district office yet, but your Legislators should be willing to meet you in their offices or a public place like a restaurant or coffee shop for a chat. Take a friend or relative along.
Not registered to vote? There is still time. Go to http://hawaii.gov/elections/forms/voter_pab_application_english.pdf or call 808 453-VOTE or for Neighbor Islands 800 442-VOTE (8683) and ask that a voter registration form be mailed to you.
Don't know who your Legislators are or how to call them? Go to the Legislature home page, http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/ and click on the "Find Your Legislator" box in the upper right corner. Then go back to the home page, click on "Senate" or "House," and then "Senators" or "Representatives" to find their web pages with all their contact information. Or call the Senate Clerk at 808 586-6720 or House Clerk, 808 586-6400 and get a phone or fax number for your Legislator.
Don't know quite what to say? Politely expressing your personal feelings is best. HRA will have talking points on the issues on the web site, http://www.hawaiirifleassociation.org/ or by request at 808 225-6944.
Dr. Maxwell Cooper,
HRA Legislative Liaison