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 Post subject: Tasers and stun guns
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:45 pm
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Location: Bear
The state does not seem to forbid tasers/stun guns. Unfortunately, New Castle County and several other locations, in their infinite wisdom, saw fit to pass ordinances against them. Unless I'm missing something, it seems ridiculous to permit weapon carry but not taser guns.

Secondly, there are some people (including my wife and several neighbors) who own guns for home protection and/or target shooting, yet would prefer to carry something "less-than-lethal" if they had the opportunity. Personally, I choose to carry, but I also understand the thought process of those who would prefer the less-than-lethal option.

Anyone have thoughts or opinions on either point? Please no ridicule or sarcasm. Its a fair question for those who may be "on the fence" about carrying weapons.


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 Post subject: Re: Tasers and stun guns
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:20 am 
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I don't trust pepper spray. I was in a bad situation where pepper spray was deployed on a violent attacker indoors and I barely escaped with my life. The person who got pepper sprayed then got even more violent and destroyed everything in the house. It also left me somewhat defenceless while I ran full sprint for my life because I inadvertently breathed some of it in and some got in my eyes. In that situation using a stun gun probably would have gotten me killed as well and I don't think using one of those fancy one shot tasers would have done any better.

Staying physically fit enough to run for your life and carrying a reliable pistol that you practice often with seems to be the way to go in my opinion.

Having a rifle would be better than a pistol but if you carry a rifle 24/7 people are going to think your the bad guy and/or something is wrong with you. And carrying a rifle can get heavy/unwieldy making it harder to run or just do everyday stuff. Same goes for wearing armor, carrying an ridiculous amount of ammo, carrying a bug out/survival bag on you 24/7 or just having a lot of stuff on your belt and/or in your pockets.

I sometimes don't change into my workout/running clothes when I go running just to test my ability to be able to run full sprint and play trying to get to cover or dropping to the ground. If you can't run your at a serious disadvantage in a life or death situation.

But back to less-than-lethal stuff. I don't trust 'em. Heck, the ability to run and having decent situational awareness will probably be able to keep you alive better than most things but having things like a knife, cellphone, firearm with spare mag, a vehicle with a few supplies in it, or even just good shoes/boots can really help. So if you have the ability to comfortably carry something less-than-lethal along with a pistol, at least one spare mag that's not buried deep in your pocket or purse/backpack, a reliable knife that's also easy to get to, along with all your other pocket stuff like your keys, wallet, cellphone, and whatever else and still be able to run go for it.


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 Post subject: Re: Tasers and stun guns
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:30 pm
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Location: Newark, DE
I have thought about it in the past and all I could come up with was potential for abuse. Lethal force is permanent, so it's possible they have worried that stun guns etc would be used maliciously because they are not meant to be lethal force. /shrug

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 Post subject: Re: Tasers and stun guns
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:48 pm 
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I heard that the original reason Wilmington and NCC banned tasers was because criminals were walking up to people, zappin them and robbing them as they flop on the ground.


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 Post subject: Re: Tasers and stun guns
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:38 pm 
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Posts: 1028
Location: New Castle, DE
Deast wrote:
I heard that the original reason Wilmington and NCC banned tasers was because criminals were walking up to people, zappin them and robbing them as they flop on the ground.


If only there were some law against assault, or maybe another one against robbery...

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 Post subject: Re: Tasers and stun guns
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:54 pm
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Location: Newark, Delaware
I have personally used pepper spray some odd years ago when I was attacked on a college campus. To make a long story short....while it ended up being effective in warding off the attack, a few things to note. 1) I didn't realize it was effective at that moment because the cloud of pepper spray also got me which leads to 2) even the slightest breeze will send the spray back into your eyes. Personally, I'm not in favor of using it because unless you have the ability to empty the canister at close range into the attackers eyes (which I was able to do), then you both are slightly disabled and that leaves you still at a disadvantage. However, I must say that it was a bit funny after the fact when the cop who was in my dorm room accidently sprayed in my room causing everyone to cough hysterically. I guess anything that will help stop or slow down an attack is useful, BUT you have to know anything that will impact the tool you're using. In this case...slight breeze made it difficult BUT I also had the element of surprise since it was dark and my attacker did not see me pull the pepper spray from my pocket.

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 Post subject: Re: Tasers and stun guns
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:45 pm 
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Also when I first bough a stun gun a few years ago I decided to try it on myself to see how effective it was. It kinda felt like the same amount of pain as being punched in the area that it touched my skin then it made my muscles go all tense but I was able to recover pretty much instantly after but it did hurt pretty bad.

Before I did it I was worried that when I zapped myself that I would fall to the ground and hit my head or that my hand holding the stun gun would lock up causing me to involuntary hold down the zap button longer than I wanted to. Neither happened but I could have hit my head if I was off balance before it all happened.

I also tried it through a few different pieces of clothing. It didn't work through a leather jacket, a sweater, or a few layers of shirt. It did work through a single layer of T-shirt or jeans but not as well as directly against the skin.

My conclusion about it was that if you are close enough to use it in when attacked you are close enough for your attacker to easily seriously injure or kill you.


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 Post subject: Re: Tasers and stun guns
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 6:53 pm 
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I believe that part of the logic, rightly or wrongly, is that these items are not covered by 2a, and therefore not protected from restriction of any sort.

i am not a lawyer, but i've heard this logic several times in the context of bans of such things in the past, and the folks saying it sounded knowledgeable.

as noted, the abuse factor, could be considered an issue, but how is then different then any weapon. gun, knife, baseball bat, car, whatever.

if someone is going to do something criminal, and intent on do it, it's going to happen. maybe something or someone will intervene, but it still could occur.

while it may, or not, be what i would choose, the ability to use a less lethal form of defense, as opposed to a firearm, would seem to make it an ideal choice for the anti-gun folk. and yet...


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 Post subject: Re: Tasers and stun guns
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:29 am 
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Location: Newark, DE
They *should* be covered by the 2nd Amendment. Unfortunately, I haven't seen many cases regarding their Constitutional protection status, and they seem to be split. Without large organizations pushing the issue it could be a while before weapons other than guns are reviewed for protection at a high Federal level, and considering that even guns haven't really been "settled" yet ("keeping" them has to some extent, but "bearing" still needs strong precedent) I'm not holding my breath. I raised this issue once with my County Council representative (Elisa Diller) back in 2012 but never received a response.

One decision that I think made a good review of the subject was an appellate review in the case People of MI v. Yanna. The case's docket can be seen here:
http://courts.mi.gov/opinions_orders/case_search/pages/default.aspx?SearchType=1&CaseNumber=304293&CourtType_CaseNumber=2

Here's a direct link to the decision:
http://publicdocs.courts.mi.gov:81/opinions/final/coa/20120626_c304293(52)_rptr_85o-304293-final.pdf

This was a good amicus brief filed in the case:
http://www.volokh.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/yannaamicus.pdf

The decision hinged on whether stun devices qualified as "arms" within the meaning of relevant constitutional protections. The judge decided that these types of devices do qualify for protection because they meet tests outlined in the Heller decision: they can be used either to strike at an opponent or to shield oneself in self-defense, are neither abnormally dangerous nor unusual as compared to other protected devices such as knives and firearms that are significantly more lethal, and are in common usage as evidenced by the great number sold. Because they qualify for Constitutional protection, complete prohibition of this class of weapon was ruled unconstitutional.

Unfortunately that appellate court decision isn't binding here, and other courts haven't been so favorable. The Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts (their highest State court) ruled just this year that a stun gun wasn't protected because it wasn't in common use at the time the 2nd was written. Article on that case:
http://www.universalhub.com/2015/court-rules-state-can-ban-possession-stun-guns

I would think this case is ripe for appeal since the justices' logic flies in the face of the very Heller decision they cited:

Quote:
Some have made the argument, bordering on the frivolous, that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment. We do not interpret constitutional rights that way. Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications, e.g., Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U. S. 844, 849 (1997), and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern forms of search, e.g., Kyllo v. United States, 533 U. S. 27, 35–36 (2001), the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.


So, they *should* be protected, but getting a court to agree could take quite a bit of time and $$$. I'm not sure how responsive the County Council would be to removing the ordinance now, and I guess the only way to know is to start asking representatives.

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