Hawaii and the spirit of Aloha

Did you know there is a heretofore unknown legal principle known as “the spirit of Aloha,” which for Hawaii--at last check a part of the United States—takes precedence over the Bill of Rights? Hawaii’s Supreme Court thinks so:

Hawaii's highest court ruled Wednesday that Second Amendment rights as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court do not extend to Hawaii citizens, citing the "spirit of Aloha."

In the ruling, which was penned by Hawaii Supreme Court Justice Todd Eddins, the court determined that states "retain the authority to require" individuals to hold proper permits before carrying firearms in public. The decision also concluded that the Hawaii Constitution broadly "does not afford a right to carry firearms in public places for self- defense," further pointing to the "spirit of Aloha" and even quoting HBO's TV drama "The Wire."

"Article I, section 17 of the Hawaii Constitution mirrors the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution," the Hawaii Supreme Court decision states. "We read those words differently than the current United States Supreme Court. We hold that in Hawaii there is no state constitutional right to carry a firearm in public."

So not only has the Hawaii Supreme Court declared Hawaii Constitution-free, they declared the God-given right to self-defense, the natural, unalienable right without which no other right really matters, null and void.

"The spirit of Aloha clashes with a federally-mandated lifestyle that lets citizens walk around with deadly weapons during day-to-day activities," it adds. "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."

No federal, or other, law requires anyone to carry arms. And what, pray tell, might “the spirit of Aloha” be? Everyone is entitled to a lei? Everyone is required to wear grass skirts and wiggle their hips? The Court is not forthcoming on this point of…law?

The court's opinion further says the state government's policies curbing certain gun-carry rights have "preserved peace and tranquility in Hawaii."

"A free-wheeling right to carry guns in public degrades other constitutional rights," it concludes. "The right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, encompasses a right to freely and safely move in peace and tranquility."

Graphic: Hawaiin Nights, Leon Lippert, Wikimedia Commons.org. Public Domain.

But of course! Following that sort of “logic,” wouldn’t “peace and tranquility” also require things like government paid iPhones, widescreen TVs, free marijuana and other drugs, free Hawaiian vacations and who knows what else? Of course, if one has no right to self-defense, that’s going to cut down on population, and government expenses.

In addition, the Hawaii Supreme Court notes a quote from HBO's "The Wire," that "the thing about the old days, they the old days." The court's opinion states that it "makes no sense" for contemporary society to pledge allegiance to "the founding era’s culture, realities, laws, and understanding of the Constitution."

Of course not. What did some of the most brilliant, politically astute men who ever lived know? Man, particularly Hawaiian man, has evolved beyond the need for individual liberty.

The case dates to December 2017, when Hawaii citizen Christopher Wilson was arrested and charged with improperly holding a firearm and ammunition in West Maui. The firearm Wilson was arrested carrying was unregistered in Hawaii, and he never obtained or applied for a permit to own the gun. He told police officers that the firearm was purchased in 2013 in Florida.

Wilson argued in court that the charges brought against him violated the Second Amendment. But, according to The Reload, the Hawaii high court explicitly rejected the U.S. Supreme Court's interpretation of the Second Amendment in 2008’s District of Columbia v. Heller and 2022’s New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, which both held that there is a constitutionally protected right to carry firearms.

Bruen also affirmed the right to carry firearms outside one’s home, which is likely what so offended the Hawaii Supreme Court. It might also be noted Bruen also struck down registration requirements unless such can be shown to be historically common, particularly around the founding era in America, which they were not.

We are left with a vexing question: is the Hawaii Supreme Court so devoid of knowledge of and respect for the law and Constitution they would dismiss and replace a fundamental, natural, unalienable right with a tourism slogan like “the spirit of Aloha?” Are they purposely thumbing their noses at the Constitution, or are they merely arrogantly, proudly, stupid? Is Bud Light their PR advisor?

Another possibility is this is Hawaii’s first move toward secession. I wonder how that will work when air and sea service to Hawaii is suspended? Maybe that’s what “the spirit of Aloha” is all about? In any case, I’m sure the Mummified Meat Puppet Administration’s Department of Justice will immediately defend the Second Amendment right of Hawaiians, or more likely, the spirit of Aloha.

Mike McDaniel is a USAF veteran, classically trained musician, Japanese and European fencer, life-long athlete, firearm instructor, retired police officer and high school and college English teacher. His home blog is Stately McDaniel Manor.  

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