Windward Oahu residents use light up stars to honor Newtown victims

Published On: Dec 20 2012 08:07:42 PM HST

They come in all shapes and sizes but the stars all have the same meaning.

"It's a non-violent way to show your support for the families who lost children and adults in those killings." said Maunawili resident Barbara Locricchio.

A group of Windward Oahu residents are putting lit stars in front of their homes in honor of the Newtown shooting victims. They also say the stars represent their wish for tougher gun control laws. The group of women will leave the lit stars in front of their homes until Congress passes stricter regulations.

"I think with the gun control we want to get some place we haven't gotten to yet. If we use this symbol of the star, it will remind us it has guidance around us and we will persevere," said Betsy Conners.

These neighbors say they support President Obama's decision to launch a gun violence task force. The group led by vice president Joe Biden will look at mental health resources as well as reinstating a ban on semi-automatic weapons.

"I am not against guns totally, but I am against semi-automatics that aren't appropriate for home protection." said Locricchio.

However, gun activists say tougher gun legislation isn't the answer.

"I feel for these children, I have children of my own but what's being proposed in terms of restricting semi-automatic weapons or so-called assault weapons is not going to be effective." said Max Cooper a member of the Hawaii Rifle Association.

In fact Cooper, says the solution is less gun control. He believes putting trained personnel with guns in public places could help deter future mass shootings.

"By having individuals who were trained as private citizens, principals, security, teachers who were permitted to carry in school situations, these shooters would go else where." said Cooper. "They don't shoot up gun shops or gun shows or the stadium because every section there's a police man with a gun on his hip."

According to Cooper Hawaii has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation. In order to get a permit, gun owners must pass a criminal and mental health background check. Last year 15,375 firearm permits were processed, about 230 of them were rejected.


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