Heller, The Next Generation

Dale Carpenter takes on a rather odd notion that technology will make Heller obsolete. I think it is correct to note that the second amendment isn’t limited merely to firearms technology, but to many things as well.  In fact, I think the door is open for a Second Amendment challenge to many state and local laws that regulate or prohibit the carrying or possession of less-than-lethal weapons.

I am also doubtful that less-than-lethal weapons will supplant firearms, rather than merely supplementing them, which is how they are used in modern police work.  Anything that’s effective at disrupting a person’s physiology or central nervous system enough to stop them in their tracks is probably going to be very likely to kill that person.  Most critters, including humans, are tough to stop quickly without bringing them very close to death.

7 Responses to “Heller, The Next Generation”

  1. Mike w. says:

    I disagree entirely with the contention that any “less-than-lethal” alternatives can incapacitate an attacker more reliably than a firearm. If that were true police would switch to such technology and off-load their guns.

  2. Robb Allen says:

    The threat of death is a powerful behavioral modification concept. Knowing you might die trying to rape / rob / beat someone probably has a bit more oomph than possibly getting a stinging sensation in your eyes or a shock.

    I want the criminal to have to weigh that in their mind.

  3. Skullz says:

    I disagree with most of the piece, but agree with you that less-than-lethal can be a supplement to firearms.

    I can see a single shot taser possibly being used to a subdue one attacker. However, if confronted by a group (recall some of the beatings in Philly by a group of teens), a weapon designed to subdue an individual won’t help much.

  4. Harry Schell says:

    I agree that technology may take firearms out of the equation, but not as proposed here.

    When or if firearms become “obsolete”, as on Star Trek, the animating concept behind 2A will be as valid then as now as it was when written. People will as an intrinsic, human right have the right and need to act in their self-defense or in defense of others against predators of some form, individually or en masse.

    Instead of firearms, the court would have said “phasers” or something else.

    Change the basic human emotional structure to eliminate evil of every sort, and you won’t need 2A anymore. That’s really all you have to do, but don’t talk about how 2A is obsolete or outdated until that happens.

  5. Mikee says:

    The 2nd Amendment says “Arms” not guns, flintlock or semiauto, or phasers. And I believe a phaser would be an “arm” under the 2nd.

    “Arms” covers a vast array of projectile and hand-held weapons suitable for offense or defense. The question of the constitutionality of banning a weapon class from civilian use was addressed in Miller, and if that reasoning continues to be used, semiautomatic pistols and rifles, at least, with normal sized magazines, will never be banned successfully again, nor will the ammunition for them. I note in passing that a recent Guns and Ammo magazine had an article on the revival of the combat tomahawk by forces in Iraq, making that a commonly used weapon again (if it ever really went out of favor, as the article noted that the last surge in tomahawk popularity with troops was during Vietnam.)

    Some “arms” are outlawed here in Texas precisely because they are considered to be primarily of use by lowlife scum in attacking good citizens. That is one approach to weapons bans that might pass constitutional muster before Heller but not after it. A Saturday Night Special is a commonly used self defense arm, despite attempts to ban such cheap handguns because the lowlifes use them as well for assaults.

    Other “arms” are considered obsolete, yet are legal, so why would handguns lose to better technology? I have a weed cutting tool that comes perilously close to being a halberd; should I use it against a human there is no doubt a jury would see it as a deadly weapon. I see no need to restrict my weed cutting to a gas powered edging tool despite the hand-held blade being obsolete (and a sweating beast to use), and if attacked by a rabid skunk while using it, the long handled blade would work as well or better than a string flinging Weed Whacker.

    And on another point, to avoid added penalties for carrying weapons during commission of crimes, burglars typically pick up a kitchen knife immediately after breaking into a home, and leave it behind when done. A burglar who broke into my home carried a pair of pruning shears from the basement entry point all the way to the 2nd floor bedroom – where he used it to pry open a Stack-On gun cabinet. Had I been home when he entered the bedroom I’d have faced a double-handled 16″ pair of sharp pointed blades with a nervous criminal holding them or throwing them at me. What nonlethal weapon should I have to trust to save my life in that situation?

    “Arms” covers more than handguns and long guns. Get creative.

  6. Mikee says:

    Mikee’s shorter version: Arms is arms.

  7. I’ve told my wife, many times, that if someone came up with a gun that could shoot a tangle web that would stop a person with one shot with a 95% reliability, I’d use that over a bullet, but it would have to look like a gun, and it would need to hold at least 6 rounds and be easily re-loadable. Polymer One Shots are great for hits, but crap for defense (which is why I won’t get a taser)


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