Pot Kettle Black: Retired Hawaii Police Chief Claims 2A Supporters 'Inflexible' to Change

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

Darryl Perry retired as the police chief for Kauai County, Hawaii back in 2018, and since then has taken up advocating for the repeal of the Second Amendment as one of his hobbies. In his latest pathetic attempt to argue that the Second Amendment is outdated and needs to be written out of the Constitution, Perry manages to not only mangle U.S. history but completely misrepresents the forces of progress and regression, at least in his home state. 

As the Hawaii Supreme Court recently reminded us, restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms are longstanding in the islands, despite language in the state constitution specifically protecting we the people's freedom to do both. For decades, it was virtually impossible to get a concealed carry license in Hawaii, but once the state's "may issue" laws were invalidated by Bruen, thousands of residents immediately applied for their permits. Lawmakers reacted to that pent-up demand by passing new laws restricting where concealed carry licensees could bear arms, and though many of those newly established "gun-free zones" have been put on hold by the courts, the legislature (along with the state's highest court) continues to pretend that Hawaiians have no Second Amendment rights whatsoever. 

Yet according to Perry, it's Second Amendment advocates who are trying to take the state backward, even though it's anti-gunners like him who refuse to recognize the progress that gun owners have made in recent years. 

The Second Amendment, pro-gun advocates do not see things in gray tones but instead in precise terms of black and white, right or wrong, good or bad, true or false. They are incapable, or refuse to accept change in spite of proven remedies to reduce gun violence.

There are no in-betweens, even in light of deaths in mass shootings, domestic violence cases, accidental deaths, and other preventable related incidents.

Pro-gun advocates believe it’s their right to “bear arms” which shall not be infringed upon at all cost — therefore, there is no acceptable middle ground.

So, what do we do, and exactly what does the sanctity of life mean in a modern civilized society where nothing changes, and murderous deaths continue unabated?

Who exactly, is it that's refusing to accept change in Hawaii these days? The gun owners who've rejoiced at the ability to finally be able to bear arms in self-defense, or the anti-gunners like Perry who cannot accept that the Constitution doesn't come with an expiration date, and that the Fourteenth Amendment ensures that states can't violate our fundamental rights any more than the federal government can? 

Perry's supposed longing for an "acceptable middle ground" is also downright laughable, given that he's previously demanded that the "Second Amendment must be repealed today". He doesn't want any sort of in-between. He wants the Constitution wiped clean of any reference to keeping and bearing arms, even though he also contends that it's never protected an individual right to do either. Of course gun owners are "inflexible" when it comes to that change. It's an affront to our rights and a gigantic step towards tyranny, not to mention a worthless idea that would only embolden violent criminals. 

Now, we've heard this silly argument before, but Perry did manage to put a new spin on it by pointing to Prohibition and its repeal as a guide for anti-gunners to follow. 

Only once in the short history of the United States has an amendment been repealed, and that was on Dec. 5, 1933, which established prohibition of alcohol. The 18th Amendment was repealed by the 21st Amendment, which now allows you to buy your beer for the Super Bowl.

Why was it repealed? Because of ineffective enforcement, crimes related to illegal trafficking of liquor, but basically it was defiance and indifference of the law. People could have cared less about compliance.

The current situation relating to the Second Amendment is not much different. Our current laws are ineffective to regulate gun control, there are illegal gun traffickers including the makers of ghost guns, and there is an utter defiance of the laws in domestic violence cases, increasing mass shootings, and gun violence overall.

I don't know if Perry is really this stupid, but I'll assume he's making a good-faith argument here. The 18th Amendment was the alcoholic equivalent of repealing the Second Amendment; it took away a right and practice that had long been a part of the fabric of American life under the promise of increased safety and sobriety. Instead, when Americans could no longer enjoy a beer at the saloon or a cocktail in the privacy of their own home without fear of arrest, the country saw a dramatic increase in violence as organized crime replaced the lawful brewers and distillers. It also led to widespread defiance of the law as plenty of Americans continued to booze it up despite the legal risks. It even helped to transform our culture by replacing the saloon and corner bar that were overwhelmingly visited by men with speakeasies and gin joints that catered to men and women alike. 

What it did not do, however, was to rid the country of demon rum (or whiskey, bourbon, gin, or other spirits). It's estimated that overall alcohol consumption may have declined by as much as 70 percent during the early days of Prohibition, but drinking increased throughout the years that the 18th Amendment was in place, and by the time it was repealed alcohol consumption had only dropped by about 30 percent compared to pre-Prohibition levels. Prohibition's failure to eradicate the alcohol trade, coupled with the rise in organized crime and the need for new tax revenue in the early years of the Great Depression, made it possible for the American people to swiftly undo the mistake they'd made just a little more than a decade beforehand, and Prohibition came to an end in late 1933. 

Violent crime, meanwhile, declined by about 50 percent between its peak in 1991 and 2020, even as the number of privately-owned firearms in this country grew by millions each year. The spike in violence that took place in 2020 has now largely subsided, and there's a good chance that by the end of this year violent crime rates will once again be near historic lows across the country, while the number of legally-owned guns will be at an all-time high. 

What would happen if Perry got his wish and Americans ended up repealing the right to keep and bear arms? We'd still have illegal gun traffickers making "ghost guns", and there would still be plenty of violent offenders who would choose to defy the law. Like Prohibition, however, there would also be plenty of otherwise lawful citizens who would do the same; not to commit armed robberies or mass murders but in order to protect themselves and their families from criminals left even more emboldened by the decision to disarm the law-abiding.

It takes a special kind of delusion to believe that Prohibition and its repeal actually bolsters the case for prohibiting gun ownership, but Perry has managed to convince himself that heaven on earth awaits just as soon as we vote to get rid of the guns. His argument is far less persuasive for anyone who knows their U.S. history or anything at all about the tens of millions of lawful Americans who have no intention of sacrificing their right to keep and bear arms to appease regressive gun control cultists like himself. We're making undeniable progress in securing that right for citizens in all 50 states, including Hawaii, and no matter how much prohibitionists like Perry complain, we're not going to go backward and return to the bad old days when the government could deny us those rights just because they said so.