Amazing: Two Bills Pass That Make Sense

Rick Hamada
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Wednesday - May 19, 2010
State Sen. Sam Slom

I commented last week on Gov. Linda Lingle’s assessment that this past legislative session was the worst ever.

I still don’t disagree with her statement. There were money grabs of Biblical proportion: raiding of special funds, abruptly halting Act 221 tax credits, making those who claim more income pay more taxes, the stunning increase in the Unemployment Insurance Tax and the list goes on and on.

(I won’t even get into the shameful and shabby treatment of retiring Republican Sen. Fred Hemmings. That’s for a later date.)

Despite the morass of poor legislation and heaps of the same old status quo we have come to expect from our friends on the left, there were a couple of bright spots.


As they say, “Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in awhile.”

The governor recently signed into law two Senate bills relating to firearms and self-defense - topics usually relegated to the vertical file early on in the session.

SB358, now Act 96, ensures the government shall not seize privately held legal firearms from citizens in time of emergency or disaster.

This proposal comes in light of New Orleans, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, seizing firearms from private citizens with the intent of promoting safety. The opposite occurred when criminals, obviously with no respect for the law, preyed upon defenseless people using illegal weapons.

Introduced by Sen. Sam Slom, R-Hawaii Kai-Diamond Head, this signals a fleeting moment of clarity and common sense in the chambers of our state Legislature. As critical as some, including myself, can be of our elected officials, it bears reporting when a good deed is done.

The second bill, SB532, now Act 97, restores a sense of sanity in an increasingly insane world.

Previous to the governor signing this bill into law, if a felonious intruder broke into your home, the law stipulated that you must retreat from your premises.

What’s more outrageous is if you did engage the interloper, there would be grounds for the perpetrator to sue you for any injury or loss of life in the course of your actions.

I told you it was insane. Introduced by Slom and championed by Sen. Brian Taniguchi, D-Manoa, SB532, Act 97 now stipulates that a homeowner or other agent of the property cannot be held liable for injuries or loss of life against an intruder in the commission of a felony.

So as the king of your castle you can legally do what is necessary to stop that criminal from violating your rights, your property and your safety.

Your curmudgeonly warm and fuzzy scribe would like to acknowledge the good work of Sens. Slom and Taniguchi, those who supported these initiatives in the Legislature, and Gov. Lingle for defending and codifying the rights of Hawaii citizens.

Now, about that Barrel Bill ...


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