I am relieved that the Supreme Court finally clarified that the Second Amendment permits individual gun ownership and not just for those individuals in a national militia. However, now that there are non-lethal alternatives readily available on the market, people using their guns in self-defense are going to be under more scrutiny than before.
The states impose carefully defined limitations (known as “proportionality requirements”) on the use of deadly force in self defense: a person may use only as much force as is necessary in that immediate situation. You can defend yourself with deadly force only to prevent death, rape, kidnapping, or bodily injury serious enough to cause long-term loss or impairment. That gives district attorneys some potential for leeway in filing criminal charges against individuals who have used deadly force to defend themselves.
Interestingly, a non-deadly weapon can be used to defend against any threat of unlawful force, which is why I’ve bought a Taser even though I’ve already taken classes and training in handgun use and safety. The Taser fires a dart that delivers a painful electrical shock, resulting in an instant and incapacitating muscular spasm that generally gives you about 30 seconds to get out of the situation. The Taser works anywhere on the attacker’s body; bullets have to hit vulnerable spots to stop a bad guy.
Advanced-model Tasers also allow you to respond from up to 35 feet away. Using a handgun on an attacker from 35 feet away, however, raises questions as to whether “deadly force” is necessary at such a distance.
My Taser is pink…..couldn’t resist.