2nd Amendment and "Ray" guns


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leadcounsel
June 25, 2010, 10:54 PM
So when humans ultimately develop practical energy weapons such as lasers, plastma rifles, compressed air weapons, etc. will the 2nd Amendment cover only conventional firearms, or do you think it would extend to energy weapons?

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Justin
June 25, 2010, 10:56 PM
The day such arms come online, I would hope that there would be an Alan Gura type willing to step up to the plate and defend the ownership of such items.

Mags
June 25, 2010, 10:59 PM
I think it would be the same as the past. When the 2nd Amendment was written we had flint lock muzzle loaders. I see the same jump in technology from a flint lock to an automatic as an automatic to an energy weapon.

I s that you LeadCounsel or has someone hacked your account? Maybe a few too many Friday night drinks? It is unusual of you to type such a far fetched post.

Echo9
June 25, 2010, 11:00 PM
I think historically the Second Amendment has extended to protect the more and more advanced weapons that are invented over time.

Compare a musket to an ar-15.

Dnaltrop
June 25, 2010, 11:00 PM
It's just a different method of transferring energy.

And it's probably environmentally friendly, charges by USB, and accesses the Internet to register every shot you make, GPS location, and a HD video of the 5 seconds before and after you took the shot.

I'd still take one.

FourteenMiles
June 25, 2010, 11:02 PM
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

I don't see any specification or limitation of or to Firearms.

Zack
June 25, 2010, 11:27 PM
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

They had cannon's so I see no problem with .50cals :D :evil:

Carter
June 25, 2010, 11:30 PM
Well...if you want to get technical...they have them, they just take up an entire warehouse. I think a magnetic accelerated cannon would be more likely to come first, as far as practical use. Either way, I'm sure it will get listed as a destructive device or something else equally prohibited to the masses.

But who knows...maybe one day you can own a "noisy cricket" hehe.

GEM
June 25, 2010, 11:41 PM
Somebody should search - I think there are state laws that mention energy weapons.

Here's a fly in the ointment for you phaser fans. Hand held blinding lasers have been developed and then banned by international agreements.

Thus, if you argue for militia utility, the ban could be used to say that such weapons aren't used by the military.

However, practical laser weapons for ships and planes are coming in real time, so the guys who argue that we can have cannons might stew about this.

Another fly - if reliable stun phasers weapons are developed, would that negate the need for lethal weapons for civilian self-defense? The defense against tyranny argument might be used but would that fly?

leadcounsel
June 25, 2010, 11:48 PM
@The Real Mags
I s that you LeadCounsel or has someone hacked your account? Maybe a few too many Friday night drinks? It is unusual of you to type such a far fetched post.

Ha - I think you know me better than most!

leadcounsel
June 25, 2010, 11:51 PM
For true scholars, I agree that it should include portable energy weapons. However, remember, in Heller the language permitted weapons in common use at the time. Remember the treatment of the M16/AR15. Because they had effectively been banned for a long time, they were not in common use. And because they weren't in common use, they weren't specifically included. If energy weapons are NEVER in common use, then they may be excluded. A real catch 22.

armoredman
June 25, 2010, 11:54 PM
Wasn't there just a demonstration of a practical directed energy weapon for naval use? I would also like to see more research into rail gun technology.

CPerdue
June 26, 2010, 12:37 AM
The 2ndA only uses the term 'arms'. The knife-rights folks rightly point out this includes them.

I wonder about software. We see nations engaged in cyberwarfare (Russia vs. Georgia), so the software (and probably hardware too) must be 'arms' right?

Snowdog
June 26, 2010, 12:50 AM
There's always the possibility they will be classified as a destructive device and though ordinary citizens might still be able to obtain and possess such a device, the government might apply such a taxation to make it costly to own. However, I also imagine a portable plasma cannon will be expensive to begin with, so those few who can afford them might have no issues with any such tax.

Sunray
June 26, 2010, 01:03 AM
Your Second Amendment is about your Constitutional right to bear arms. It really has nothing to do with firearms alone.

bigalexe
June 26, 2010, 01:07 AM
The OP's questions is valid as a hypothetical in the times we live in and presents an interesting quandary.

At this time there are probably 3 main ways to kill people; first is melee weapons from kitchen knives to 2x4's and also bayonets (Weapons that kill by bludgeoning or bleeding), secondly is firearms and projectile weapons of various sorts including bombs and missiles can be lumped here IMO (weapons that kill by bludgeoning or bleeding remotely), third we have chemical and biological weapons including radiation.

Right now the small arms race has plateaued at a point where we throw projectiles at each other and they are propelled by an explosive charge or rocket technology. However we are on the verge of new small arms race including energy weapons and non-firearm projectiles.

Non-Firearm Projectiles are guns that throw things without fire; Coil Guns and Gauss Rifles. These are real and right now are limited by power requirements but they have potential. Energy weapons are an entirely new class of horror we can inflict on each other. The energy weapon that I see us most likely using is the laser and this has more potential than the coil gun.

What is interesting is how will our government overlords (elected, self-appointed, or otherwise empowered) interpret these new weapons and as such how will they by interpreted by the legal system. It is interesting because right now most guns are noticeably guns before they are completed but these new weapons are not guns by their nature. Lasers have many uses and the same laser employed in surgery could also kill someone, alternately Gauss Rifles are a combination of electronics available in most old radios and even more so in 12vdc-->120vac inverters in cars.

These new weapons of war will not be recognizable as weapons until you are staring them down in combat. How will the laws deal with these new guns, and is the regulation of them even enforceable?

Cosmoline
June 26, 2010, 01:07 AM
I think it's a bunch of nonsense. I've been hearing about how we're going to have these things for ages now. Just like how we were going to have colonies on the Moon and flying cars all over. That future was nothing but the boyhood fantasy of men who are quite old now. It's not going to happen.

compressed air weapons

We've had these since the 18th century. Captain Lewis carried one on his expedition. For the most part they're not even regulated.

We've also got lasers--attached to our firearms. The DOD has been trying to turn them into working weapons for decades now with failure after failure.

And I've got a couple of particle guns that will throw one mother of a particle.

leadcounsel
June 26, 2010, 01:35 AM
Arms also include relatively benigh clubs and 4" knives, but these are illegal to carry in most places in the US. Arms would also arguably include fully automatic rifles, short barreled shotguns and rifles, and silencers; yet these are so heavily regulated as to nearly be illegal.

So it's certainly no 'given' that if a viable energy weapon were available that it would be lawful to own/possess by commonfolk...

Owen Sparks
June 26, 2010, 01:52 AM
Posession of modern firearms like our nations service rifle, the M16 are now criminalized (except for the government of course.) Using the same logic it's wonder that the First Amendmant still applies to radio, TV and the internet rather than just ink and paper.

19&41
June 26, 2010, 12:23 PM
While not deadly, there are handheld laser units being sold now that use the laser from Blu-ray players. And these cause permanent damage to ones' retina. Something to think about.

bigalexe
June 26, 2010, 12:30 PM
http://gizmodo.com/5560206/the-spyder-iii-pro-arctic-is-a-real-life-lightsaber

I give you: The weaponized laser. It of course isn't billed as one but it's perfectly capable of giving you a very bad day.

fastbolt
June 26, 2010, 06:54 PM
The Weapon Shops of Isher. ;)

The Lone Haranguer
June 26, 2010, 10:27 PM
The 2nd Amendment still applies to multi-shot, self-contained cartridge firearms, despite their not having been invented in the 18th century. Why would it not extend to ray guns in the 21st? The 1st Amendment is still valid despite the fact that we no longer use hand-cranked printing presses, quill pens and town criers. ;)

M-Cameron
June 26, 2010, 11:20 PM
im actually fairly confident that we will see "coil guns" that rival traditional small arms within the next 10-20 years....

hell, just last year i built a coil gun out of nothing more than a half dozen surplus camera circuit boards, some second hand swap meet capacitors, and a trip to radio shack that has enough power to drive a nail into plywood.....heck, ive seen some that can drive a rail road spike through a 1" piece of plywood....

its really just a matter of getting batteries small enough and powerful enough and getting those pesky capacitors down to a more reasonable size.

Dnaltrop
June 27, 2010, 12:55 AM
Already have a good start.

http://www.laserglow.com/GHE Hercules Green Handheld laser, enough to cut through duct tape or light fuses at a distance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlpbe-Nn6gY

Many more videos if you just search "hercules laser"

Manco
June 27, 2010, 01:34 AM
its really just a matter of getting batteries small enough and powerful enough and getting those pesky capacitors down to a more reasonable size.

Yeah, and this has always been a humongous challenge over the many decades since the Industrial Revolution, that's all. ;)

Toaster
June 28, 2010, 11:19 AM
WHAT? You mean that I can't go into any old Mom n Pop gun shop and get a Phase Plasma Rifle with a 40 watt range? Aw crap. What am I to do with all my birthday money now? ; )

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