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Thread: Bill would allow public to have Tasers

  1. #1
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    After standing in long lines outside stores for pre-Christmas sales, a handful of shoppers brought their concerns to state Rep. Arlan Meekhof: Is there a way to protect themselves under such circumstances without carrying a gun?

    The answer: Tasers.

    The concerns of shoppers led Meekhof, R-West Olive, to co-author bills that would make it legal for people with concealed weapons permits to pack Tasers, which use high voltage to incapacitate attackers. They introduced the bills on Thursday.

    Tasers are illegal for the public in Michigan, though they are used by police. While considered non-lethal, their use by police officers has raised questions.

    Amnesty International has called for a study, saying that more than 290 people in the U.S. and Canada have died after being struck by police Tasers.

    However, Tasers made for the public are not as powerful, and they're legal in 43 states, Meekhof said.

    "A number of people approached me after Christmas and during," Meekhof said. "Most of the people were concerned about standing in that line. Were they safe? Store security can't cover everybody. They thought that (Tasers) would be a better option rather than being armed with a deadly weapon.

    Meekhof and his staff started discussing the possibility in Lansing, then learned that state Rep. Goeff Hansen, R-Hart, already was working on a package of bills. Rep. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, former Eaton County Sheriff, will join them in introducing the bills.

    They found 45 co-sponsors, including eight or nine Democrats, Hansen said.

    However, the Fraternal Order of Police, which represents police officers, has voiced concerns about safety, he said.

    "We're allowing people to have a concealed weapon already," Hansen said. "This gives them an option of a less-than-lethal force."

    The crisis counseling program at the YWCA in Grand Rapids, which works with victims of rape and domestic violence, opposes the legislation. Counselors fear the weapons could fall into the hands of children, could be turned against the victim and could lead to a sense of false security.

    "What troubles me is that the focus goes in the wrong direction -- that we're arming victims and protecting victims with physical force instead of the community facing the question: Why do men become assailants?" said Tom Cottrell, vice president of counseling services.

    At the YWCA, self-defense lessons don't include weapons. Instead, "we talk about thinking smart, acting smart and avoiding conflict," Cottrell said.

    So far, Meekhof has heard mostly positive feedback from constituents, he said. The few negative remarks came from people opposed to carrying weapons at all, he said.

    "They were concerned somebody may use it mistakenly, but again, the results are not deadly," Meekhof said.

    The bills would require Taser owners to register them, just like handguns, and receive the same kind of training required to get a concealed weapons permit, Meekhof said.

    Taser International says its weapons "incapacitate dangerous, combative or high-rise subjects who pose a risk to law enforcement officers, innocent citizens or themselves in a manner that is generally recognized as a safer alternative to other uses of force."

    The stun guns use low amperage to immobilize attackers, making it difficult for them to move. The attacker is disoriented and loses balance, leaving him passive and confused for several minutes.

    The small weapons, easily carried in a purse, are as colorful as designer cell phones, some with leopard spots.

    Amnesty International said it believes police are too quick to use the weapons. It says medical examiners usually attribute deaths associated with the weapon to other factors, such as drug intoxication.

    In Montreal, some community activists groups recently called for a ban on the weapon across Canada after several people died in recent months after being "tasered" by officers during arrests.

    Hansen said the personal Tasers are different. They can shoot only once, then need re-charging, which could keep an assailant from turning it on his victim, he said.

    "The training will show them to shoot, drop the weapon and run," Hansen said.


    http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/...rs_for_cc.html



    and the anti 2a comments:
    Stupid idea. There are plenty of ways to protect oneself without carrying a gun.
    I think anyone other than law enforcement officers carrying a taser is a huge mistake.

    They are not something to play around with. Once you use it you better have a back up plan and help with you and handcuffs to keep the subject under control.

    What is this world coming to?
    Yea and these people supporting this bill actually got elected?? Can't wait to see the reverse happen when the tasers get stolen and the crooks us them on individuals to rob them. Frickin morons to even consider this

  2. #2
    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    First good pepper spray now this? I guess that's good. I think they are too much of a one shot deal, and should be backed by lead, but I suppose it's a step in the right direction.

    2 years ago that might have made me very happy. Right now I'm more worried about Obama's desire to make carrying firearms illegal after he bans the ownership of semi autos, and the democrat run senate that might let it happen.:X
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    Regular Member WARCHILD's Avatar
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    I would have to agree with Michigander on this one. It's definately a step in the right direction. Lansing seems to finally be getting the message that people are tired of being victims. My first concern would be the training--"The training will show them to shoot, drop the weapon and run," Hansen said. That would definately be self defeating if you dont want the taser to fall into the wrong hands. Drop it and run!--- Hello-- who do they think is going to recover it! Probably not the cop you come back with an hour or two later to investigate. Anotherconcern would be the lower voltage provided in the unit.Would it be strong enough to do the job? Have they tested to see what the minimunamount of voltage would be needed to stop an attacker, say 6ft 4, 300lbs? Or too strong for a person with a pacemaker and kill him?I'm all for a persons right to defend themselves, but this onewould take some thinking.

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    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    I'm no taser expert, but I know a few things.

    As far as I know, the tasers voltage remains the same with all the new models, it's just that they have shorter cords attached to the probes. I guess it makes it more effective for defense rather than shooting someone in the back as they run.

    Even if they did make lower voltage models, don't doubt the ability of a voltage over 100,000+ volts. A 120 line can make you lose control of your body. Not that anybody should try, a 120 line does carry deadly amperage.:what:

    Anyway, I for one hope they legalize switch blades next. Not that it makes a difference for me, I'm headed to AZ where they are already legal.:celebrate
    Answer every question about open carry in Michigan you ever had with one convenient and free book- http://libertyisforeveryone.com/open-carry-resources/

    The complete and utter truth can be challenged from every direction and it will always hold up. Accordingly there are few greater displays of illegitimacy than to attempt to impede free thought and communication.

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