I would also like to add my thanks to all those that helped get these bills where they are now. I think they have a good chance of becoming law, but we'll have to wait and see. If one were inclined, they could still call the Gov's office and ask her to sign the bills. I would also encourage every one to call those legislators you spoke or wrote to, and all those that were instrumental in getting the bills passed, and thank them. Politics is a game of getting to know your opponents and your "friends." And, despite the fact the legislature is only in session for part of the year, the process required to participate successfully goes on year round. So, talk to your legislators. Some are up for election, so talk to those in your district and let them know how you feel and what you want from them in return for your support and vote for them in the next election.
We also need to start thinking about what you want to do next year. Bills need to be introduced at the start of the legislative session, that means that you need to be talking to your legislators far in advance as it takes time to draft the language.
Let me say that I am a strong supporter of concealed carry, and I would very much like to see Hawaii get a shall issue law passed. And, if I thought that there was a chance we could get it passed, I would be all over it. But, that being said, I do not think it will be possible anytime soon. The only way I see concealed carry having even a remote chance of passing is if we, all of us, figure out a way to get a lot, and I mean a hell of a lot more, folks actively involved in the process. I do not want this to come across as criticism, but 20 pieces of submitted testimony will not get us concealed carry, and it will require much more than just submitted testimony. It would require large numbers of folks showing up at the legislator's offices and at the hearings. It would require donations to legislators, such as thru the HRA-PAC, which means all of us opening up our wallets a little more in these pressing fiancial times. It would mean organizing public rallys to inform the public, who in Hawaii, if not outright anti-gun, are because of ignorance, afraid of the average citizen carrying a gun. And, even if we do get this type participation and support, we'll likely need to sustain it over several years. I mean it took two years to get two less controversial bills passed this year.
I say this because I firmly believe in not sugar coating the legislative process or the difficult and time consuming work it takes to get a bill passed into law. It is long and arduous, and requires dedication, persistence, and patience. If we don't tell folks what they're (we) are getting into, they quickly become disillusioned when they don't see things changing fast enough. So, I ask you, can we do that? Can we muster not only enough dedicated and persistent gun owners, but keep them involved over the long haul that will be necessary to get concealed carry? I don't know...I saw a glimmering of that with the participation of everyone for these two bills, but I don't see enough that I think we can effectively mount a campaign next year. I would of course LOVE to be proven wrong.......
Once again, good job on getting these two bills to the GOv's desk!