The state of Hawaii isn't known for being gun friendly, but that's usually the realm of politicians and law enforcement there. The courts should, at least in theory, have some respect for the right to keep and bear arms.
But alas, they don't.
That was made painfully clear on Wednesday when the state supreme court issued its latest ruling.
The Aloha State’s highest court upheld a man’s gun-carry conviction on Wednesday after rejecting landmark decisions from the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).
Hawaii’s Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision that found charges leveled against Christopher Wilson for carrying a gun without a permit violated his rights. Instead, the court ruled its state constitution provides no gun-rights protections whatsoever. That’s despite it including a provision protecting the right of the people to keep and bear arms identical to the one in the federal Constitution.
“Article I, section 17 of the Hawaiʻi Constitution mirrors the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution,” the Hawaiian court wrote in Hawaii v. Wilson. “We read those words differently than the current United States Supreme Court. We hold that in Hawaiʻi there is no state constitutional right to carry a firearm in public.”
Now, it would be easy to say that the judges have no respect for history, but it seems that they're at least inclined to believe otherwise.
You see, not only did they figure that their own text from their own state constitution with language identical to the Second Amendment means something completely different but also that their state's history and culture completely override people's rights anyway.
Instead of American history, the Hawaii court looked at the island’s pre-American history for guidance on the protections provided by its state constitution.
“We reject Wilson’s constitutional challenges,” the court wrote. “Conventional interpretive modalities and Hawaiʻi’s historical tradition of firearm regulation rule out an individual right to keep and bear arms under the Hawaiʻi Constitution.”
“The spirit of Aloha clashes with a federally-mandated lifestyle that lets citizens walk around with deadly weapons during day-to-day activities,” the Hawaiian Supreme Court wrote. “The history of the Hawaiian Islands does not include a society where armed people move about the community to possibly combat the deadly aims of others.”
Apparently, this is, in fact, a serious ruling by the Hawaii state supreme court. More accurately, it's intended to be a serious ruling, because nothing about this feels serious to me. These "arguments" look like this draft was meant as an internal joke and got released by accident.
Only, that's not the case.
And honestly, that's not the only stupid in this decision.
At the end of the day, what we have here isn't a case of the supreme court there upholding the law. No, what we have is the court manipulating things so that it almost looks like they're upholding it.
There's a good chance that the Supreme Court of the United States may take up this case so as to smack down the state court. It wouldn't be the first time it's happened and it wouldn't be the last time.
Yet in the face of such idiotic "reasoning," I don't really see how the Court has any choice at all.
If that happens, expect to see this nonsense come to an abrupt and sudden end. In light of the Bruen decision, there's absolutely no chance that should they hear this case, they don't say the state supreme court got it oh-so-very-wrong.
And that will fix things.
That is, until Hawaii gets another wild hair up its posterior.