I had assumed that Tasers and stun guns were protected under the Second Amendment right to bear arms. I also assumed spears were protected. And shuriken. I was pretty sure that this violent-ass amendment could be used as a justification to protect an implement that a man can project into another man to cause harm or death. The Founders wanted us to be able to handle our differences in a violent way in case pussy liberal talking didn’t work out.
But maybe I was wrong? The Massachusetts Supreme Court held that a woman, Jamie Caetano, did not have a Second Amendment right to hold a stun gun.
That’s kind of an amazing decision. It would be ridiculous to have a constitutional precept that protected your right to carry a concealed Fatebringer to the local pool, but you can’t bring a Taser to the supermarket. I know we are a barbaric people, but the law can’t want Caetano to trade in her stun gun for a freaking GLOC, right?
Caetano has appealed the decision to the Supreme Court. From the ABA Journal:
The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts rejected Caetano’s arguments that a stun gun is an “arm” protected by the Second Amendment and affirmed her conviction. That opinion, the cert petition argues, wrongly conceives of the Second Amendment “as a sort of fossilized relic trapped in amber.” The arms protected by the Second Amendment include weapons that later came into existence, the petition contends.
That’s the thing: gun safety advocates would LOVE a literal, originalist interpretation of the Second Amendment that would exclude the kind of futuristic armaments that would allow one Navy Seal team to take out George Washington’s entire Revolutionary army. Anything you can shoot more than once in under five minutes should be excluded from Second Amendment protection. And bazookas.
But that is most clearly not how the amendment has been interpreted. The Second Amendment is the only amendment conservatives believe has “evolved” with the times.
And under Heller, which articulated a new foundation for the Second Amendment for the purposes of self-defense (as opposed to, I don’t know, militias), a Taser would seem to obviously be eligible for protection.
Massachusetts might not like it, but if you can kill or injure somebody with it, your right to hold it is probably protected. The only weapon the Second Amendment doesn’t protect is your right to use your brain.