Posted by Glenn E. Meyer:
There are standards for lasers as they can produce significant eye damage. The ones we use on sights are tightly controlled. If you used a powerful one, beyond the standards, a reflection could easily blind a bystander.
Not a good idea and laser blinding weapons are banned. There are big flashing lasers to disorient folks but you couldn't carry them in real life.
I've been looking at State prohibitions; Haven't found it, here, with the exception of misdemeanor/felony for interfering with operation of aircraft. I'll make a guess that it'd be covered under mayhem (causing permanent disfigurement to/rendering 'inoperable' specific parts of a victim's body - even that of a theretofore-assaulting-BG), and assault (temporary damage). I am unaware of federal regulation of possession or criminal use of laser-emitting devices, but if there's a reference to a title 18 crime, I'd appreciate it.
I'm sure there'll be some measure of difficulty in presenting a justifiable self-defense where one is charged with mayhem or a maiming-type crime. It's unclear to me whether SD, generally, could be asserted against charges of this type, which may fall along the same cautionary lines of threads regarding 'shooting specific body parts merely to wound'. Obviously, if a State regulates possession/carry, then that's another point against any practicable and lawful viability as a tool.
FWIW, I've been 'lasered', twice. Once at a stoplight (just past dusk), by some idiot kids from the backseat of their parent's (driver's) car; Another, at a local restaurant. It was 'glancing' (I may have caught something in my periphery and instinctually moved my head), but I believed my vision to be severely impaired for what may have been 3-5 seconds in both. Scary. In the first, I regained clear vision before the light turned green. In the second,
Posted by Glenn E. Meyer:
As far as blinding the shooter - that's going to depend on distance. If you were farther back in the theatre - you will just be a target. I opine that the theatre distances were far enough that the standard handheld flashlight wouldn't be that terrible unless you were close.
My experience with flashlights in anything less than full dark adaptation and relatively close is that you are a target. Also, you have to aim it at the BG to get a direct beam, that might be hard in the uproar and again you are a target.
Close up and a surprise - worth a chance.
I agree that the context (distance being one ingredient) would be important, and that a light's best use may be for basic ID. Local metro officers pulse their lights to ID, and having had a light flashed at 40 yards does affect your vision for a second or two. Up close, it depends on the lumens and good aim.
I'm not sure if maybe the logistics of one's concealed carry, e.g., size of the firearm and primary location, would effect whether one would see more, or less, benefit from looking to access the light and having the ability for it to be contemporaneous with a draw from pocket-concealment. This is what I believe Phillips is referring to. I found it interesting to mull the concept over in light of 9ballbilly's draw-timer thread (in which kraigwy and pawpaw contributed some good observations).
Of course, I don't presume to know what I, or others, would or could do in the kind of situation alluded to, as far as presenting one's self as a target, among the range of available responses to an active-shooter who is, in those moments, pulling the trigger once a second in a crowded theater. Given the prevailing 'certainties' of moments like that .... we've been reminded of each of them the past few days.
Also, the light has the quick-pull-focus, maybe the size of a basketball at 10 yards, but doesn't stay set in the pocket. I'll wrap some electrical tape to hold it in place.