MI court strikes law forbidding stun guns
Decision here. It's a trial court decision, and the prosecution has said it will appeal. The court notes that the law entirely forbids their possession, like the handguns bans at issue in Heller and McDonald, and raises in a fn the significance of Heller's reference to protecting guns "in common use" in light of the fact that a new technology may not go into common use simply because it's outlawed before it achieves that status.
Via the Volokh Conspiracy, where Prof. Volokh links to his Stanford L. Rev. article on the very subject.
another strike against demagogues
Posted by: Anonymous at April 24, 2011 01:56 PM
Personally, I think stun guns should illegal. They're about a good as pepper spray for defense, they're lethal, and they've already been used to kidnap people. Just the other day a woman used a stun gun to subdue a pregnant woman, kill her, and cut her baby out of her.
Stun guns are definitely a weapon where the potential for abuse far outweighs any benefit. Just look at how cops abuse people with stun guns!
Posted by: Graystar at April 25, 2011 06:59 AM
That's satire right?
Cause, unlike the idiot in Pittsburgh, if it is, you're doing it right.
If it's not, I disagree. =)
Posted by: Matthew Carberry at April 25, 2011 12:57 PM
One might just as easily argue that handguns shouldn't be protected, since they too are lethal, have a potential for misuse and require a person intent on using one for defense to get much closer than would be necessary with a properly scoped rifle.
Posted by: Ken at April 25, 2011 01:29 PM
Matthew Carberry wrote:
“That's satire right?”
No it’s not. I’m against stun guns completely.
“One might just as easily argue that handguns shouldn't be protected, since they too are lethal, have a potential for misuse and require a person intent on using one for defense to get much closer than would be necessary with a properly scoped rifle.”
The difference, though, is that everyone knows handguns are lethal...it’s why we’re carrying them. The problem with stun guns is that everyone thinks they’re safe. They’re not. Also, I wasn’t just referring to the mere potential for abuse, but weighed it against the benefit provided. Stun guns are very limited as defense weapons. You have to practically be in contact with the perp to use it, it’s virtually impossible to use against two or more aggressors, and then there’s the fact that you’re relying on a battery operated electronic device to save your life.
I’m certainly against any law that tries to ban small concealable handguns on the basis that they’re preferred by criminals...simply because such guns are still effective tools for self-defense. But laws exist that ban firearms that are not effective for self-defense, such as certain disguised firearms.
The underlying fundamental right behind the Second Amendment is defense of life...not just having guns. That’s what the Supreme Court found in Heller. And if a particular weapon is poorly suited to that task, then I think it’s fair game for a ban. And I think stun guns are definitely poor weapons for defense.
Posted by: Graystar at April 25, 2011 06:14 PM
Graystar: You assert correctly that the 2A is about defense, but you would allow some subjective test on whether a particular weapon is suited to that task? Who gets to make that decision?
A firearm might not be the right weapon for someone with physical or philosophical limitations, but you would support denying their right to using a alternative defensive device because someone determines that it's unsuitable?
I'm against any law which limits someone's options for self-defense, whether that be firearms, stun guns, pepper spray or a knife.
Posted by: sgtlmj at April 25, 2011 10:00 PM
From the PDF it looks like MI law groups stun guns and tasers together into one group of defensive electronic thingies, but that doesn't mean we have to.
I must point out the large difference between them. A stun gun consists of two terminals that must come in contact with your rival (direct contact like a 9V battery on your tongue), while a taser shoots electrode needles at your rival from a distance of 15 feet (Taser C2 civilian version).
A Taser is a VERY viable self-defense weapon. I suspect many criminals don't think you'll actually shoot your firearm at them unless pushed to the very limit of life and death, but I know for a fact that you pull a taser and yell "TASER TASER TASER" and they clam up and shut up and become very compliant instantly. I would say it's even better than a firearm at dissuading a rival to change his mind - If he's been a criminal for long then he knows you might actually pull the trigger of the taser, and he knows that he doesn't want to feel it again.
Posted by: Sank at May 14, 2011 01:51 AM