Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Monday, May 16, 2016

Victory for the Right of Self-Defense

A remarkably unanimous decision by the U.S. Supreme Court stands up for the Second Amendment against an attempt by the Massachusetts supreme court to reduce our gun rights. With the vacancy left by the late Justice Scalia, the U.S. Supreme Court is now divided 4 to 4 on the issue of a constitutional right to keep and bear arms, but all eight Justices agreed that the supreme court of liberal Massachusetts went too far in its ruling against a woman for possessing a stun gun. This High Court ruling in Caetano v. Massachusetts is a stunning victory for the Second Amendment.

In colonial America, stun guns did not exist, but are useful today to many women for self-defense. In this case, the woman was carrying this type of gun as protection against a much bigger ex-boyfriend, who was continuing to bother her despite multiple restraining orders. Evidence in this case demonstrated that on at least one occasion her possession of the stun gun was successful in causing her ex-boyfriend to back off. But Massachusetts has criminalized the mere possession of a stun gun, and the woman was convicted simply for having one. The state supreme court then affirmed her conviction on the theory that because stun guns did not exist when the Second Amendment was enacted, stun guns are not protected by the Second Amendment.

All eight U.S. Supreme Court Justices emphatically rejected that erroneous logic, and pointed out that the decision of D.C. v. Heller had expressly dismissed such fallacious reasoning. In addition, the High Court unanimously ruled that even though stun guns are not used in warfare, they are still fully protected by the Second Amendment. Justices Alito and Thomas sharply criticized the Massachusetts supreme court, saying that its argument “poses a grave threat to the fundamental right of self-defense.”

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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