But the conservative Hawaii Republican Assembly apparently sees a different picture.
In an email to supporters on Saturday -- entitled Code Blue: RAMPANT CRIME in the Disarmed and Defenseless Aloha State -- the conservatives assert that Hawaii's restrictive gun laws failed to prevent several violent crimes, including a murder, carjacking and rape.
Yes, Hawaii’s anti-gun laws did not stop either the armed or the unarmed criminals from committing felonies. But Hawaii’s gun control laws do play an enormous role in restricting citizens from engaging in self-defense. In addition, these same restrictive gun laws also prevent passers-by from being able to do their part in helping to make law-abiding people safer from dangerous criminals. Good Samaritans must walk around just as vulnerable and unarmed as crime victims.
Try to imagine living in a community in which criminals had to worry long and hard about whom might be prepared for self-defense. Instead, Hawaii politicians force us to live in a world in which criminals know that defenseless people have no hope of police showing up before they have committed their crimes and are long gone.
HIRA's breathless warnings were not in response to any new data on violent crime, gun registration, or the effectiveness of the state's gun laws.
The HIRA email is a sales pitch to advertise a Nov. 8 appearance in Hawaii by the president of the National Rifle Association.