Tasers now legal in Hawaii for regular folks

(AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

No one is about to confuse Hawaii with being a pro-gun state. Anyone who has paid attention knows that the islands are full of gun control fans and that’s not about to change.

However, in addition to making it difficult for people to defend themselves with firearms, the state also forbid them from using many less lethal means of self-defense such as stun guns.

Luckily, that part has changed.

Jan. 1 is the first day Hawaii residents 21 years old and older can legally purchase and carry a stun gun or Taser for self-defense.

The new law is strict compared to most states.

Vendors would have to complete a background check on potential buyers and provide proper training.

It’s a big day for former Honolulu police officer Raymond Craig, who just started up Smart Training Hawaii, a business that focuses on training and stun gun education.

“There has been a lot of questions on what people want from the device,” Craig said. “And they want it for the right reasons.”

Anthony Smith visited the Smart Training Hawaii’s facility on Kalihi to learn more about the devices — after he waited years for them to become legal in Hawaii.

“I wanted to kind of feel them, get to know them,” Smith said. “I think we’re a little overdue for getting something like this. It gives the people on Oahu a chance of defending themselves.”

Now, tasers and stun guns are awesome, but they’re not as good as a gun. There are times when they’re perfect, but others when they’re not.

Still, it’s nice to know that folks in Hawaii can carry something to defend themselves with a little more punch than pepper spray.

What this doesn’t do, though, is negate the need for serious reform of Hawaii’s gun laws. People should be free to use whatever weapons they deem necessary to protect themselves or others. The fact that they’re just now getting access to tasers should illustrate the absolute stupidity that passes itself of as self-defense laws there.

Firearms, tasers, pepper spray; they all have a role to play in people’s self-defense needs. If a state cannot guarantee the safety of every law-abiding citizen–and they can’t, no matter what they might choose to say–then it’s imperative that they allow those law-abiding citizens to have what they feel are the best tools for them.

For many, that will be a firearm. For others, it’ll be a taser or something else.

I get that the police can’t protect individual people. That makes sense, particularly when you look at the ratio of police to non-police in any community on Earth. They just can’t do it.

But to then hamstring those same average citizens from being able to protect themselves? It’s insane.

At least Hawaii is correcting a small part of that issue. The right to keep and bear arms includes all weapons, even the less-lethal variety. This correction at least gives some people options.

Now, what we need to see out of the state is a correction on the rest of the colossal screw-up they call gun control.