Niagara Gazette

February 19, 2013

CONFER: Legalize stun guns in New York

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Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Every 2 minutes a woman is sexually assaulted somewhere in the United States. In a typical year over 275,000 women have their bodies and souls pillaged and that is only the known cases. Due to fear of the assailant and the unfortunate feelings of lessened self-worth following the assault or rape, more than 60 percent of all incidents go unreported. Therefore, it is not a stretch to say that nearly three-quarters of a million women are victims of such attacks each and every year. It’s no wonder the numbers show that 1 out of every 6 women is sexually assaulted in her lifetime.

This happens because our government allows it to.

Even though the general assumption is that women always win in civil and criminal cases this is not the case. Only 6 percent of rapists ever spend a day in jail. The others are left to wander the streets to commit such indiscretions again, be it against their past victims or against new ones. Because of our laws, women are left powerless against those free-roaming offenders. They have to go through hurdles to get a handgun, they can’t own stun guns and they can possess only a limited amount of pepper spray. Lawmakers are oblivious to the fact that even with the most advanced self-defense techniques there is very little that a 120 pound woman can do against a 225 pound man, naturally more powerful than she and made even more so by his hunger for her flesh. Our officials have done everything in their power to give the predator the advantage by taking all means of protection from the prey – and matters are only getting worse.

Thus, it makes perfect sense that we turn the tables by arming the prey and allow women to keep rapists at bay. This won’t be accomplished through handguns, especially in post-Newtown New York state, where our natural rights and the Second Amendment are under attack. That leaves but one option, something of a middle ground for the pro-gun and anti-gun crowds: the legalization of stun guns.

New York is one of only nine states in which stun guns are strictly prohibited. Considering how safe yet effective these weapons are, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t legalize them. The biggest reason for increasingly-stricter handgun and ammunition laws in NY is that critics consider guns to be lethal. Stun guns are the antidote to that -- they have become an extremely popular law-enforcement tool because they are decidedly non-lethal. They are very effective tools for stopping criminals and, by using brief 100,000-volt surges, they spare aggressors from the physical injury or death associated with guns. When looking at how often stun guns and tasers are used by police, death is extremely rare and when it does occur, the “victim” (really the wrong word to use for a criminal) had a pre-existing health condition or was strung out on drugs. I’m sure a woman fighting for her life or health wouldn’t mind that very slim chance of taking the life of her attacker, a person who would like to ruin or take hers.

The safety of stun guns extends beyond that non-lethal status. The weapon’s electrical force is engaged only when the attacker comes into contact with the gun’s prongs. So, the other perceived consequences of handguns – stray bullets and innocent bystanders – never materialize because it’s a close-quarters weapon, one called into play when the situation has escalated to the point that the thug is in his victim’s personal space.

Overall, the stun gun is the perfect weapon for women – and lawmakers - uncomfortable with the thought of handguns. It’s portable, innocuous, and safe. Best of all, it works. A stun gun is a veritable pocket-sized health and life insurance policy for any and all women. It can give them – and their loved ones - the peace of mind they need when they’re running the bike paths or walking the streets at night. We need to empower women – not their predators - and legalizing stun guns may be the best way to do it.

Gasport resident Bob Confer also writes for the New American magazine at TheNewAmerican.com. Follow him on Twitter@bobconfer

Gasport resident Bob Confer also writes for the New American magazine at TheNewAmerican.com. Follow him on Twitter @bobconfer