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Thread: The ACLU On Lawful Possession of Tasers in Michigan

  1. #1
    Regular Member TheQ's Avatar
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    The ACLU On Lawful Possession of Tasers in Michigan


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    When I read the ACLU of Michigan had a problem with the bill that would allow lawful citizens in MI to possess Tasers, I wrote on behalf of Michigan Open Carry to inquire about their position. Here's my letter:

    http://www.freep.com/article/2011120...text|FRONTPAGE

    Some strongly oppose the legalization. "We feel a great number of questions need to be answered," said Mark Fancher, staff attorney for the Michigan Civil Liberties Union. "We are concerned about these devices, period."

    To Whom it May Concern:

    I am curious about the concerns your organization has "about these devices". Why would an organization that concerns itself with the civil liberties of Michiganders oppose a bill that would allow these same Michiganders to carry a tool for their self-defense? Surely the right to defend one-self from an attacker is a civil liberty?

    Personally, I support all civil liberties, you name it, I'll support it if it's in the name of individual liberty. I'm only curious why the Michigan ACLU won't support THIS civil liberty.

    Our organization and I look forward to your response and learning more about your concerns.

    --
    Phillip Hofmeister
    President
    Michigan Open Carry, Inc.
    PHofmeister@miopencarry.org
    Here's the response I received:

    From Brenda Bove bbove@aclumich.org
    to "PHofmeister@miopencarry.org" <PHofmeister@miopencarry.org>
    date Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 3:47 PM
    subject Reply from the ACLU of Michigan
    Important mainly because of the words in the message.

    hide details 3:47 PM (5 hours ago)




    Mr. Hofmeister,



    Your inquiry regarding the ACLU of Michigan and tasers was forwarded to me for reply. We believe that the constitutional right to bear arms is primarily a collective one, intended mainly to protect the right of the states to maintain militias in order to assure their own freedom and security against the central government. In today's world that purpose is somewhat anachronistic. The ACLU therefore believes that the Second Amendment does not confer an unlimited right upon individuals to own guns or other weapons nor does it prohibit reasonable regulation, such as licensing and registration. We also do not oppose other types of government regulation and licensing such as the licensing of cars. Even many opponents of gun control concede that the Second Amendment certainly does not guarantee an individual's right to own bazookas, missiles, or nuclear warheads. Yet these, like rifles, pistols and even submachine guns, are arms. The question then is not whether to restrict arms ownership, but how much to restrict it. In the case of tasers, many credible analysts have important questions about the effect of tasers on the human body, and we believe that in order for the legislature to protect the rights and safety of the citizens they represent and to make an informed decision about regulation and licensing, many of these questions about tasers must first be answered.





    Mark P. Fancher
    Staff Attorney /Racial Justice Project
    American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan
    2966 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
    (313) 578-6822 (office) (313) 578-6811 (fax)
    Response to ACLU's Response:
    Mr. Fancher,

    It is understood that each state chapter of the ACLU is free to form their own opinions on issues apart from the national organization. If this is true, why would the Michigan Chapter only look at their interpretation of the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution when the Michigan Constitution of 1963 (in Article I, Sec. 6) clearly makes bearing arms an individual right? Every person has a right to keep and bear arms for the defense of himself and the state. In Michigan Open Carry, we believe the Michigan Constitution guarantees the possession of arms as an individual right to help enable self-defense. We hope you can agree with our plain letter interpretation of the Michigan Constitution.

    It is also understood that the purpose of the ACLU is to protect Liberties (as it defines them). Assuming this is true, which liberty are you protecting by coming out against individual possession of tasers? We'd be able to understand a civil rights group staying neutral on this issue long before we could understand them coming out against it.

    Your previous response is appreciated, but seems inconsistent with your organization's mission and the Michigan Constitution.

    --
    Phillip Hofmeister
    President
    Michigan Open Carry, Inc.
    PHofmeister@miopencarry.org


    Now, I would encourage all of you to write Brenda and call their attorney, but I don't want to encourage you to waste the resources of the ACLU.



    Please. Post the exchange on other forums and reference it on your facebooks! Let's make it viral....
    Last edited by TheQ; 12-03-2011 at 05:25 PM.
    Call for a cop, call for an ambulance, and call for a pizza. See who shows up first.

    I am not a lawyer (merely an omnipotent member of a continuum). The contents of this post are not a substitute for sound legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.

    Comments and views stated in my post are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of Michigan Open Carry, Inc. unless stated otherwise in the post.

  2. #2
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    Need any more proof that the ACLU is a progressive and collectivist group, not the civil libertarian group they purport to be?

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    Regular Member TheQ's Avatar
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    Please. Post the exchange on other forums and reference it on your facebooks! Let's make it viral....
    Call for a cop, call for an ambulance, and call for a pizza. See who shows up first.

    I am not a lawyer (merely an omnipotent member of a continuum). The contents of this post are not a substitute for sound legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.

    Comments and views stated in my post are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of Michigan Open Carry, Inc. unless stated otherwise in the post.

  4. #4
    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    Article 1 section 6 of the MI state constitution says it is an individual right. The Supreme Court of the US says it is an individual right. What part of a "person" being an individual is it that Mr. Fancher, supposedly a trained lawyer, cannot understand?

    Also in question is that Mr. Fancher is the "Racial Justice Project" lawyer. Who were/are restricted the most by gun control regulations?

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Need any more proof that the ACLU is a progressive and collectivist group, not the civil libertarian group they purport to be?
    The email reply came from "aclumich.org".

    "The" ACLU, as a national organization, is little more than a clearinghouse, and is fairly weak. The various state CLUs are pretty autonomous, and they can come to radically different conclusions about the "collective nature" of rights.

    Pile on ACLUmich.org all you want; they're wrong for this stance. The CLU in other states take different positions, just as various *state Rifle Associations do, which might differ from the NRA.

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    When individual rights come into conflict with "social justice," the ACLUs (all of them) come down on the side of the latter. These organizations are populated by progressives and collectivists. Their thinking is innately to equate the two concepts, allowing them to mistakenly think that advocation for the latter permits them to claim being champions of the former.

    Yes, I have witnessed ACLUs defend individual rights, but only when no such conflict exists.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk.

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    Regular Member TheQ's Avatar
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    Original Post Modified to include MOC's latest response to the ACLU:

    Mr. Fancher,

    It is understood that each state chapter of the ACLU is free to form their own opinions on issues apart from the national organization. If this is true, why would the Michigan Chapter only look at their interpretation of the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution when the Michigan Constitution of 1963 (in Article I, Sec. 6) clearly makes bearing arms an individual right? Every person has a right to keep and bear arms for the defense of himself and the state. In Michigan Open Carry, we believe the Michigan Constitution guarantees the possession of arms as an individual right to help enable self-defense. We hope you can agree with our plain letter interpretation of the Michigan Constitution.

    It is also understood that the purpose of the ACLU is to protect Liberties (as it defines them). Assuming this is true, which liberty are you protecting by coming out against individual possession of tasers? We'd be able to understand a civil rights group staying neutral on this issue long before we could understand them coming out against it.

    Your previous response is appreciated, but seems inconsistent with your organization's mission and the Michigan Constitution.

    --
    Phillip Hofmeister
    President
    Michigan Open Carry, Inc.
    PHofmeister@miopencarry.org
    Call for a cop, call for an ambulance, and call for a pizza. See who shows up first.

    I am not a lawyer (merely an omnipotent member of a continuum). The contents of this post are not a substitute for sound legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.

    Comments and views stated in my post are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of Michigan Open Carry, Inc. unless stated otherwise in the post.

  8. #8
    Regular Member sraacke's Avatar
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    Darn shame the people of that state are restricted from carrying a useful self defense item. I regularly carry a Taser C2 and feel it is a good, less than lethal tool to have available.
    Another good thing is that Taser stands behind their products. When my C2 failed a spark test a month ago I mailed it back to Taser. A couple weeks later the Fedex truck pulled up in my driveway. I wasn't expecting anything so I was suprised when I got the package and opened to find a brand new C2 to replace the one I sent in. The Taser sales people had even activated it before shipping it. So I didn't have to call and go through the hoops of registering and activating it again.

    Thanks Taser.

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    Regular Member Jack House's Avatar
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    Activated it?

    Posted using my HTC Evo

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    What, is it USB?
    It takes a village to raise an idiot.

  11. #11
    Regular Member TheQ's Avatar
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    Activating it? WTF? Sounds gin controlish
    Call for a cop, call for an ambulance, and call for a pizza. See who shows up first.

    I am not a lawyer (merely an omnipotent member of a continuum). The contents of this post are not a substitute for sound legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.

    Comments and views stated in my post are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of Michigan Open Carry, Inc. unless stated otherwise in the post.

  12. #12
    Campaign Veteran ComradeV's Avatar
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    Gin control is a very important part of public safety policy.

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    ACLU's response: "We believe that the constitutional right to bear arms is primarily a collective one"

    Their response has been undermined for several years by the U.S. Supreme Court which has decided otherwise, as well as by more than a thousand letters from our Founding Fathers which undermined that position more than 200 years ago.

    The ACLU is "sticking by it's guns" on this matter. Translated, this means they're way too embarrassed to admit they were wrong.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ComradeV View Post
    Gin control is a very important part of public safety policy.
    When juniper berries are outlawed, only outlaws will have gin.

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