Lasers - a case for self defense against them?

Lasers - a case for self defense against them?

This is a discussion on Lasers - a case for self defense against them? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; What say ye? Is there a case for self-defense against someone shining a laser at you? **I'm not talking about the laser pointer to the ...

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Thread: Lasers - a case for self defense against them?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Lasers - a case for self defense against them?

    What say ye?

    Is there a case for self-defense against someone shining a laser at you?

    **I'm not talking about the laser pointer to the chest... I'm talking about someone attempting to blind you by shining it in your face.**

    I read the article below and it reminded me of an instance where I was backing up a fellow store investigator and some kids were shining bright laser pointers at us as we wrestled with a guy on the ground. My partner was temporarily blinded - now this was over ten years ago. Modern day laser pointers are far, far brighter and more dangerous.

    So the article I'm linking is about a laser show where the beams were so powerful, that even when refracted by rain droplets they caused permanent eye damage including up to 80% blindness in at least one case.

    http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/arti...USSIA-RAVE.XML
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matiki View Post
    Is there a case for self-defense against someone shining a laser at you? ... attempting to blind you by shining it in your face.
    Can't imagine it would be.

    The blind aren't continually attacked by folks, hence I wouldn't think that temporary blindness can be held as a legitimate claim for defensive action, in and of itself. As part of an attack, though, it could certainly be seen as a tactic to gain advantage, sure.

    You and I use flashlights at night to identify folks, as do police during night stops of folks. Those aren't aggressive/assaulting actions. They're hardly criminal, by themselves.

    I know that mere shining of a laser into the cockpits of airplanes is taken extremely seriously by law enforcement. But then, a manually-controlled plane all of a sudden bereft of its pilot is, in and of itself, a materially violent act, in a way that mere temporary blindness while walking on the ground would not be. At least, that's the way my non-attorney mind sees it.

    Uncertain of case precedent involving such "blinding" tactics. My guess is that, at best, it's merely recognized as a factor for the underlying crime itself: the robbery, rape or murder in question.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
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  3. #3
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Can't imagine it would be.

    The blind aren't continually attacked by folks, hence I wouldn't think that temporary blindness can be held as a legitimate claim for defensive action, in and of itself. As part of an attack, though, it could certainly be seen as a tactic to gain advantage, sure.

    You and I use flashlights at night to identify folks, as do police during night stops of folks. Those aren't aggressive/assaulting actions. They're hardly criminal, by themselves.

    I know that mere shining of a laser into the cockpits of airplanes is taken extremely seriously by law enforcement. But then, a manually-controlled plane all of a sudden bereft of its pilot is, in and of itself, a materially violent act, in a way that mere temporary blindness while walking on the ground would not be. At least, that's the way my non-attorney mind sees it.

    Uncertain of case precedent involving such "blinding" tactics. My guess is that, at best, it's merely recognized as a factor for the underlying crime itself: the robbery, rape or murder in question.
    Let me rephrase my question:

    Now that we know that lasers can cause permanent blindness, does that change how you treat someone who refuses to stop shining a laser in your face?

    I'm not talking about shooting someone... I'm talking about ordinary escalation or flight (fleeing).
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Well, the "Jeopardy" element of A.O.J. suggests the standard is one of threat of death or crippling injury.
    Deliberate causing of permanent blindness seems to qualify, particularly if someone intends to do so, persists to ensure it's successfully done, and certainly if that person follows up with further physical action. Though, the other elements (A. and O.) still pertain in such a situation.

    Would depend on the situation for me. If aggressive and directed right at my eyes purposefully, I would be a bit piqued, given the crime being doled out. That person's dishing out a lifetime sentence, or attempting to. The manifest intent is crippling injury. That meets the minimum Oregon requirements for defending yourself to the degree required to stop the assault. It certainly meets the basic level of aggressiveness and likely impact to qualify as a criminal act anywhere, I'd think.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Well, the "Jeopardy" element of A.O.J. suggests the standard is one of threat of death or crippling injury.
    Deliberate causing of permanent blindness seems to qualify, particularly if someone intends to do so, persists to ensure it's successfully done, and certainly if that person follows up with further physical action. Though, the other elements (A. and O.) still pertain in such a situation.

    Would depend on the situation for me. If aggressive and directed right at my eyes purposefully, I would be a bit piqued, given the crime being doled out. That person's dishing out a lifetime sentence, or attempting to. The manifest intent is crippling injury. That meets the minimum Oregon requirements for defending yourself to the degree required to stop the assault. It certainly meets the basic level of aggressiveness and likely impact to qualify as a criminal act anywhere, I'd think.
    It seems like it would have to be sold to a jury. I think your initial response is what would be predominant when the case is initially presented. You'd need to refer to other injuries, get a doctor on the stand etc. It seems like an expensive proposition, I think I'd just leave and call the Police.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matiki View Post
    It seems like it would have to be sold to a jury.
    If the tactic was a prelude to violent assault, as I suggested, it sould at that point become little different than any other assault.

    Agreed, though, that mere temporary blindness (which is what it would be, given what's known at the time) wouldn't wash with many Grand Juries, I'd think, on its own.

    Like you, I would attempt withdrawal. Though, if blinded, that's not a practical option, really, at least not until it passes.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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    Senior Member Array Cthulhu's Avatar
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    Unless you're using some laser that's considerably more powerful than a laser pointer, you've gotta have that laser on the person's eye for quite some time before doing permanent damage. Their normal blink reflex and head movement will likely be enough to protect them.

    If you're jumping folks and sitting on their chest while holding their eyelids open and shining tha laser in, you've got issues.

    -JT

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cthulhu View Post
    Unless you're using some laser that's considerably more powerful than a laser pointer, you've gotta have that laser on the person's eye for quite some time before doing permanent damage. Their normal blink reflex and head movement will likely be enough to protect them.

    If you're jumping folks and sitting on their chest while holding their eyelids open and shining tha laser in, you've got issues.

    -JT
    I agree with that in principle but repeated hits with the laser may have a cumulative effect, like this case where the kid was being harassed by another student:

    Top News - Student suffers permanent eye damage from laser pointer: Only seconds of exposure can cause retinal burn damage

    Also, the eye is more sensitive to yellow/green and the new green lasers are right at the threshold 5mw... it wouldn't take too long to do some real damage, especially with a cheap chinese knock-off that may actually be more powerful than it's labeled.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I don't think just getting a laser pointed in your eye will be grounds for deadly force,but I would call the cops and file a complaint for disorderly conduct or something within the law,you point a laser at a person driving a car and it becomes a whole different scenario
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