Re: Non-lethal protective technologies?

den Otter (
Sat, 29 May 1999 10:45:17 +0200

> From: Lee Daniel Crocker < (none)>

> > Wrong as well. A person without a gun is free in a society
> > where no one else has guns, nor the will to do harm to others.
> > We're looking for a Utopian Ideal here, right?
> Some of us prefer reality to Utopia. It is idle fantasy to
> imagine that (1) technology can move backwards, and guns will
> vanish, (2) violent predators won't exist with or without guns,
> or (3) that police are capable of protecting us. If you can
> show some reasonably possible way to achieve any of these
> ends, perhaps then private gun ownership won't be necessary.
> Actually there is a fourth option that might merit discussion
> on this list: non-lethal protective technologies. There are
> a few promising technologies on the horizon, but nothing very
> effective yet. Perhaps a bit more brainstorming would help.

The following was sent to the transhuman list a while back. BS or viable technology, any expert opinions (see below)? For the time being, I think that regular stun guns and pepper/CS/UV dye combo sprays are the best non-lethal choice for self-defense. On a more lethal note: a (cross)bow might be a reasonable compromize if you can't/don't want to own a gun. They're legal in most countries afaik (no registration, no hassles), and the heavier models pack an awesome punch; will nail an intruder right to the wall. Ok, it's a cumbersome weapon, but it's a lot better than nothing. Using the the above mentioned non-lethals and knives as backups, one could presumably put up a good fight. As an added bonus, a heavy (cross)bow is virtually kid-proof (because of the strength required to operate it).

From:"> Wednesday, May 12, 1999 Published at 18:11 GMT 19:11 UK


Set phasers on stun

It could immobilise its victim without doing permanent harm

            A ray gun that can stop people in their tracks without
            harming them may sound like science fiction, but some
            experts believe it could soon be reality. 

            The gun is designed to zap its victim with an electric
            current, using a laser to carry the charge along a beam
            of ultraviolet light. 

            The light particles, called photons, would create a path
            through the air that will be capable of conducting
            electricity up to a distance of about 100 metres (330

            When the current hits someone, it would interfere with
            the tiny electrical charges that control the victim's
            muscles, making movement impossible. 

            Vital organs protected 

            But vital organs like the heart and diaphram would not be
            affected because they are protected by a greater
            thickness of body tissue. 

                        Weapons that freeze muscles are
                        already on sale in the United States,
                        but in order to work they have to be
                        held against the victim's skin. They
                        also have to be recharged after each

            Apart from having a considerable range, the new 'freeze
            ray gun' could in theory be fired around corners if mirrors
            were used. It could also have a constant power source. 

            Talks in California 

            The gun is the brainchild of American inventor, Eric Herr,
            vice-president of HSV technologies. Scientists from the
            UK's Defence Evaluation Research Agency have already
            been to California to discuss it with him. 

            No details of the discussions have been disclosed, but a
            spokesman for the UK Ministry of Defence said the
            weapon's potential uses were being considered. 

            So far, Mr Herr's ray gun remains just an idea. He has
            taken out a patent on the device, but has yet to raise the
            $500,000 needed to build a full working prototype. 

            'Ideal weapon' 

            Initially, the 'freeze ray' could be the size of a small
            suitcase, but might eventually be reduced to something
            more like a flashlight. 

            Mr Herr believes it could be an ideal weapon for
            peace-keeping forces, or police facing violent criminals. 

            But already the project has its critics. They argue that
            such a laser would be impractical in many situations,
            and could easily damage the sight of innocent