The Disturbingly Hot Tourist Activity in Hawaii, Vegas: Shooting Guns

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From bungee jumping to surfing lessons to hours at the craps table, tourists have been known to spend good money on a wide range of thrilling, only-on-vacation activities. Target practice with an assault weapon can now be added to the list.

In the aftermath of the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., there have been plenty of arguments made that guns are necessary for protection, or that perhaps we need much stricter gun control. In some popular tourist destinations, another argument is being promoted: Guns are supposedly good clean fun.

Within a couple months of the Newtown massacre, the Associated Press highlighted a number of over-the-top Las Vegas shooting range promotions aimed at tourists, including real-life “shotgun wedding” ceremonies and “romantic” packages allowing couples to renew their vows and shoot guns, all for one price. Sin City has been living up to its nickname and was “embracing tourists’ newfound interest in big guns the only way it knows how: by going all in,” the story noted.

“Customers just want to have fun,” one employee at a Vegas shooting range explained. “It’s like a bucket list item.”

(MORE: Tempting the Young: New Efforts to Get Younger Consumers Hooked on Guns, Soda & More)

Naturally, gun-control advocates have a different take:

“These gun stores and shooting ranges offer bad puns in poor taste in their efforts to put a happy face on firearms, yet each day more than 86 Americans die from gun violence,” said Newtown native Josh Sugarmann, who is executive director of the Washington D.C-based Violence Policy Center.

USA Today recently reported that the guns-n-tourists trend isn’t limited to Vegas. “Ground zero for gun tourism,” in fact, is reportedly not the Las Vegas Strip but beautiful Waikiki, Hawaii. Normally thought of as a paradise for beaches, surf, and relaxation, Waikiki is also a magnet for foreigners—Japanese, in particular—who want to try their hands at something they’d never be able to do at home:

Tourists from countries with the strictest gun laws, such as Japan, are the most attracted to Hawaii’s gun clubs. Jeff Tarumi, an NRA certified instructor at the Royal Hawaiian Shooting Club, estimates that over 90% of his customers are Japanese tourists.

The club mentioned above offers shooting packages ranging from $60 to $300, including one designed for children under the age of 15. Before being allowed to fire a weapon, tourists must show ID, pay up, and watch a 15-minute gun safety video. They can select from among dozens of guns to shoot, including assault rifles and high-powered .44 Magnums.

(MORE: List Price = Joke Price: 4 Examples of How Original Prices Are Meaningless)

Curiously, even as some tourists are eager to take advantage of the availability of guns in the U.S., they are also fearful of Americans’ wide-open access to guns. “I wouldn’t feel comfortable traveling to the mainland U.S. because of the gun laws,” one Japanese tourist is quoted saying. “Hawaii is OK.”

295 comments
JeffTarumi
JeffTarumi

The Royal Hawaiian Shooting Club DOES NOT show instructional videos to customers. We have instructors giving instructions, person-to-person. We also have a zero-tolerance to alcohol, so anyone who's had a drink is not allowed into the range. Because of our strict policies, we are the only gun club in Waikiki that has not experienced an accident for over 20 years.  

As for everyone's opinion on guns, it's nothing but a chunk of metal. In the wrong hands, they do bad things. In the right hands, they will either do nothing, or save innocent lives.  Statistics on gun-related deaths are totally flawed, in that criminals who get shot in the commission of a crime are included. No body keeps tabs on how many lives were saved by the gun.

cuznbart
cuznbart like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

I host many visitors to SW Florida who greatly enjoy a trip to the gun club. I have introduced folks from UK, Canada, Italy, Ohio, Illinois and New york to shooting sports and they loved it! Shooting is not "disturbing"; it is not bizzare; it is a great deal of fun. I find the article "disturbing" due to its false assumptions and biased associations.

bevo1981
bevo1981 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

by labeling it as "disturbing" in your title, you label yourself as a close-minded left wing moron.

redhawk1172
redhawk1172 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 4 Like

Ok, Mr. Tuttle, please explain in detail why this is disturbing? Just because a few nutcases go off the deep end, we are all criminals? I find it interesting that people like you feel so self-righteously enlightened but yet you don't bother to understand why some people like to shoot guns and you generally label everyone that does as disturbing. Kind of like locking up all the Japanese because of Pearl Harbor.

I am fine with universal background checks and even proficiency and safety requirements, but the bottom line is that people who don't shoot don't understand and don't even care to understand others' point of view. I've found that small-minded people hate what they don't understand.

So, how enlightened are you really, Mr. Tuttle?

JeffTarumi
JeffTarumi

@redhawk1172 Mr. Tuttle's journalism skills are not up to par, it seems. I never was interviewed by Mr. Tuttle, yet I'm referenced in the story. Had Mr. Tuttle actually spoken to me, he would have known that we don't incorporate the use of videos to teach our customers how to shoot. What is truly "disturbing" is that an establishment like Time doesn't take the time (no pun intended) to come out and actually interview people.  USA Today, on the other hand, spent a couple of days with me to get the story that Mr. Tuttle is referring to.

pinpon65
pinpon65

Ha. Finally getting under skin. What is a troll? I normally do not hang out here much. I am getting barraged by emails. Funny. BTW, I am a registered libertarian. 

redhawk1172
redhawk1172 like.author.displayName 1 Like

@pinpon65 Then you're not a very good one since you don't really seem to understand the ideals...

JohnHunkler
JohnHunkler like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 4 Like

The UK banned guns.  Guess what...knife related homicides sky rocketed.  The general homicide rate increased also.  So, they banned knives.  Guess what! the homicide rate increased again...the weapon of choice, box cutters.  Now, you will soon need a license to own a box cutter in the UK.   Guess what is about to happen...the homicide rate will jump again.

flybd5
flybd5

@JohnHunkler That's a lie. The homicide rate in the UK has dropped by nearly 50%. Household crimes have cratered by more than 2/3ths. Personal crime by more than half. Stop watching Fixed News.

SteveEAdams
SteveEAdams like.author.displayName 1 Like

@flybd5 @JohnHunkler Check the link I just posted. The murder rate rose almost 40% in the next 10 years AFTER the UK made it illegal to own most firearms in 1994.

redhawk1172
redhawk1172

@flybd5

Please cite your source on US gun homicides. Your numbers are not supported by the US census bureau and Dept of Commerce which shows gun- related homicides to be between 8000-10,000 per year since 2000. Look it up yourself on their website. Search for 2012 Statistical Abstract.

Also, comparing gun related homicides to a country which disallows gun ownership is like comparing automobile deaths to a country where most people don't own cars.

JohnHunkler
JohnHunkler like.author.displayName 1 Like

@flybd5 @SteveEAdams @JohnHunkler Well, as said before, skewing the numbers to gun-related homicides is irrelevant.  Also, the "number of homicides is irrelevant when dealing with a nation of 320 million vs. a nation of 62 million.   Also, isn't Ireland part of limey land?

SteveEAdams
SteveEAdams like.author.displayName 1 Like

@flybd5 @SteveEAdams @JohnHunkler  

man you are dumb. Those numbers were LOWER the 10 years before the ban than they were the 10 years (and years you listed) after the ban. As your own number show, it increased to a record high in 2006. The UK numbers have ALWAYS been significantly lower than the US - even when they were allowed to own the same types of firearms the US was allowed.

Also, you listed numbers that include suicides for the US - since when are suicides homicides? I feel like I'm dealing with a child here. Are you incapable of even using your own data correctly?

flybd5
flybd5

@SteveEAdams@flybd5@JohnHunklerHilarious, numbnutz. Here's the number of homicides in firearms in the UK. In the United Kingdom, annual firearm homicides totals... 

2010: 27
2009: 18
2008: 32
2007: 22
2006: 51
2005: 41
2004: 52
2003: 41
2002: 31
2001: 41
1999: 45
1998: 33

Compare that to the numbers in US.

2011: 32,163
2010: 31,672
2009: 31,347
2008: 31,593
2007: 31,224
2006: 30,896
2005: 30,694
2004: 29,569
2003: 30,136
2002: 30,242
2001: 29,573
2000: 28,663
1999: 28,874

Grow a brain, willya?

JohnHunkler
JohnHunkler

@flybd5 @JohnHunkler Oh please Piers, go read your own crime statistics.  BTW, in the UK, you can't even carry a knife these days.

SteveEAdams
SteveEAdams like.author.displayName 1 Like

@flybd5 @JohnHunkler Hey idiot, flybd, the gun ban didn't go into effect in 2002. That's when crimes PEAKED 8 years after the gun ban went into effect. It is, in no way, related to banning guns. 

SteveEAdams
SteveEAdams like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

@JohnHunkler Very true, the UK actually had LESS homicides than they do now when they were allowed to own firearms. So when people like Piers Morgan throw around the stat that the UK has less murders than the US by a lot, they had even less when they were allowed to own firearms. And while both numbers are significantly less than the US, it disproves the idea that their low homicide rate has anything to do with firearms being banned.

AZRichard
AZRichard

@SteveEAdams @JohnHunkler Where do you guys get your stats from re: UK crime rates? I would be very interested in researching that.

JohnHunkler
JohnHunkler

@AZRichard @SteveEAdams @JohnHunkler just google "crime report united kingdom"  but be careful as the limeys also cut out their high crime areas in an effort to make their policies look effective.  you must look at all parts of the UK, not just England and Wales.

JohnHunkler
JohnHunkler like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

When anyone uses the term "gun related homicides"  they are covertly skewing the statistics in their favor.   Before cars were invented, we had a very low car-related death rate.  Piers only looks at gun-related crimes...and yes, gun-related crime may very well drop in a society with no guns...but the general crime rate with necessarily go up.  The reason is that criminals do not like victims who carry an equalizer. 

gardencrows
gardencrows like.author.displayName 1 Like

Guys, guys.....You're letting this pinpon65 fellow get under your skin?  If you like guns, you have a small penis....for real?  This person is either a troll or his fixation with male genitalia has driven him mad.  He is attacking people for not backing up their assertions and then turning around and doing the same thing.  This fellow is doing what all Liberals do, being reduced to name calling; and you're encouraging him.  "mistress", indeed!  Michelle Obama, is that you?

pinpon65
pinpon65 like.author.displayName 1 Like

I never said that I am an open minded person. I just said that rednecks with little penises are out today. And no, they do not understand the scientific method. I also never said that gun owners are stupid. I just said that they have little penises

gcavener
gcavener like.author.displayName 1 Like

So, pinpon, should we assume that you see a lot of penises and have "measured" lots of them too?

JohnHunkler
JohnHunkler like.author.displayName 1 Like

@pinpon65 I don't know about the little penises thing...but you are probably the expert on that...

RyanHartmann
RyanHartmann like.author.displayName 1 Like

@pinpon65 I'll take this to mean you are defeated.  It was only a matter of time.

JohnHunkler
JohnHunkler like.author.displayName 1 Like

@pinpon65 It sounds like the term "scientific method" is something you learned in 6th grade today.  Awesome!  Now, stop telling everyone that you are the only one that understands it.  The statistics do not lie unless you skew them in your favor.  High gun regulation leads to high crime rates...PERIOD. 

jonesmichigan52
jonesmichigan52 like.author.displayName 1 Like

We do not understand the basics of the scientific method? i know plenty of avid gun owners and shooters who are doctors, engineers, psychologists,etc. and im sure they are a whole lot smarter than you. How about your garbage rebuttals that include penis size, and your invalid assumption that gun owners are stupid. how about you come up with some real arguments. pinion

jonesmichigan52
jonesmichigan52 like.author.displayName 1 Like

Not everyone who likes guns is a Fox News Zombie, but with more horses**t articles like this i certainly will be finding a new source for my daily "news"

pinpon65
pinpon65

again, just garbage, no true rebuttal, what does car driving have to do with what we are talking about? noting. But since you brought it up: We are asking car drivers to be licenses and insured. We do control that activity along with many others that may cause harm. You guys are living a a paranoid universe that fox idiots has been feeding you. There is no use arguing with you because you do not understand the basics of scientific method. You want guns and that is all there is to it. For gods sake get a passport and travel little. Open your minds, just little.  

JohnHunkler
JohnHunkler

@pinpon65 The scientific method observes that gun control doesn't reduce crime.  The scientific method observes that insurance and automobile licensing has done little to reduce automobile related deaths.

pinpon65
pinpon65

Once again. Scientific method is something else. However you do not get it. Check out the stats, controlling for variables  

pinpon65
pinpon65

What is not true? The only assertion that I made was that there are lot of men with little Penises are compensating with guns. I did not claim anything else. That is a tough one to test. 


I am actually not advocating for gun control here at all I am just making fun of simple people. With this many guns in hands of this many crazies, there is simply nothing that can be done.Nothing at all. That is all. This is our lot.
I was just encouraging people to run the analyses of variance for fun. Run it for 3 groupings (lots of available guns, medium and many). Again, available guns that population has access to. Simple, very basic statistical tool. And then ask questions, why? The formulate theories and test. Learn something new. I run a research group in a high tech company and had a slow days so i am just having fun here.
We reached a sad state. We subcontracted subcontracted our industrial economy to China and hence caused massive loss of living standard for many a good men who now have nothing else but guns to cling to; I do feel pity for these men, I am nor surprised that they eat the gun culture up as there really is not much else that is going for them. No money, fat wife, no prospects This will get much much worse for many as resources are moving away.
I do appreciate a nicely made Swiss or Czech gun as a piece of engineering. Now, the fact that a mentally deranged men can get one is just crazy. BTW, had lunch today with the IDF instructor. She told me, Biden was right. Shotgun is probably a best one to have as a self defense in the middle of the night.    
I myself love swiss watches more than guns. They are more elegant and if I get mad, I will just throw it against the wall, no school shooting.
Here are some to consider in case you want to pick up another hobby:
1, if you are poor: Omega speedmaster professional manual wind, great entry level watch (and it went to the moon)2, Little more money: Jagger La Couture: Master Control or IWC Portugese3, More money yet: Patek Calatrava or Audemarus Royal Oak4, Big money: Langematic Perpetual A Lange & Sohne
 I have the first five, last one, too expensive for me, but I love it.
So Au revoir gun lovers 

JohnHunkler
JohnHunkler

That simply isn't true, as civilian gun density in a nation drops below 20%, the homicide rate increases dramatically.  However, the only correlation is that gun ownership below 20% is not optimal...i.e. no direct correlation.  Along with that, nations with high gun ownership have relatively low homicide rates.  As gun density grows, the homicide rates remain fairly constant...therefor no direct correlation.  BUT, there is a definite division at 20% civilian gun density.  Therefore, it is a viable to eliminate countries with a gun density below 20%.  Once that is done, there is no correlation to gun density and homicide rates in the remaining countries.  Therefore, gun density is only a minor factor in homicide rates and in fact the relationship, though not a direct correlation, is in fact somewhat inversely related to homicide rates.  But, the relationship is neither direct of indirect.  For that reason, the gun density can only be used to "viable" segment the data above and below the 20% boundary and no other correct conclusions can be made about the relationship between gun density and homicide rates.

pinpon65
pinpon65

yes, they are indeed normalized. To start, enter murder rates (for the simple people, enter in excel),by country, see the bars, the investigate. Formulate Theory. Test. By all means, test the following: more guns, fewer homocides.

JohnHunkler
JohnHunkler

Also, the crime rate, homicide rate etc are already normalized by population.  To do it again is called a derivative statistic.  It is accurate, but it does not mean anything close to what you think it means.

JohnHunkler
JohnHunkler

@pinpon65 That is just the point.  You cannot "normalize" unless you have correlation.  Statistics is a science for grown ups.  What you are doing is finding "causation without correlation,"  the cardinal sin of statistics.

pinpon65
pinpon65

Actually, I was not even talking about correlations at all. better yet, just run normalized murder rates, and just see the bars. We can then indeed start formulating theories why the differences. Actually, run the whole world if you wish. I thin a reasonable question would be something like this: "If our homicide rate is 10X of UK, what is the reason? formulate the theory and test it. You need a theory. One of course could be: availability of guns (all other variables being equal) seems to indicate higher murder rate. Now of course you can test the following: availabilty of guns as compared with UK) results in fewer homocides. now this is of course nonsense because it not factual. but you can Test it.

JohnHunkler
JohnHunkler

@pinpon65 So, what you mean is you find a way to eliminate all countries that do not agree with your statistics.  In statistics, you must correlate your data.  You cannot eliminate Mexico simply because you "feel" it doesn't count.  You must first PROVE GDP is related to gun deaths.  THEN and only then can you normalize based on GDP.  Otherwise, you are just twisting data in your favor.

A direct correlation means you can calculate the impact of GDP on gun related crime and therefore you can abstract the impact of the GDP on the outcome of the numbers through normalization.  You have failed the first test.

Also, you must perform the same correlation test on population.  Good luck here, because smaller countries have a much higher crime rate than larger countries.

pinpon65
pinpon65

what this means for example running analyses of variance (if you know what is). look at normalized crime rates among 16 countries with comparable GDPs as ours). That means countries with similar histories, economies, income distributions, etc) Controlling means, do not include mexico (that has a drug was) or Brazil (massive underclass), run it. then ask yourselves why 5X to 10X rate gun related murder rate in. US. There is one difference among them - guns in hands of mumbnuts  

JohnHunkler
JohnHunkler

@pinpon65 That's just it.  the FACTS are there and point to NO gun control.  What exactly do you mean "controlling for variables"  do you mean "toss out everything counter to the liberal viewpoint?"

RyanHartmann
RyanHartmann

@pinpon65 Awfully presumptive for such an open-minded person......

Most people are simply pointing out the hypocrisy involved for people such as yourself that are up in arms (pun intended) on the topic of gun control, when there are much more dangerous aspects of everyday life (such as driving a car) that you are ok with accepting as a part of life.

jonesmichigan52
jonesmichigan52

"she is one of very few who can use them if things get heavy" you act like shooting a gun is some mythical art that is reserved for those with super powers. My 14 year old cousin can shoot a balloon at hundred yards with a rifle, and  has only been shooting occasionally for a few years, so explain to me why shooting an intruder in your home to protect yourself is something that is outside the realm of the average person

pinpon65
pinpon65

Since you seem to have some understanding of what you are alluding to, I will respond to you even though I am just sick of the crazy ignorant stuff here. What I mean by "she can handle herself when things get heavy" is that she was a firearm instructor at IDF and has indeed been in situations where she had to use the gun to help things. She would Your cousin will likely meth down when someone aims a gun at his face. All data shows that is what almost often happens. Even she would tell you that. That is simply what data shows. A bad guy who makes a living with gun is likely going to be better using it that a man shooting baloons. This is how statistics works. This is how scientific inferences work. Actually I do not care. Shoot you guns. I will collect my watches and hang out as far from you as I can (with her ballons) . Goodbye       

RyanHartmann
RyanHartmann

@pinpon65 Please provide "all data".  Just because you would cry like a girl and pee down your leg doesn't mean the rest of the country shouldn't have the right to self defense.  I personally know a young woman that avoided becoming the 5th rape victim in her neighborhood by waving a semi-automatic weapon in the face of the perpetrator as he was coming through her sliding glass window.  I do not know anyone that has been killed by an assault weapon.  I know 6 people that have been killed in car accidents.  Find something else to preach about.