Re: Should we be developing nonlethal means of self-defense?(wasre:violence)

den Otter (
Sat, 02 Oct 1999 12:39:05 +0100

> From:

> >--the "laser taser" that has been discussed earlier is a prime
> >candidate, assuming that it works. That would be a really nice
> >all-round weapon.
> What was the laser taser again? Would this be a taser with a laser
> sighting mechanism?

No (though those do in fact exist), it's a taser that uses two UV laser beams instead of metal wires to guide the current to and from the target. I don't think there's a working prototype yet, mainly due to a lack of funding ( wouldn't this be something for something like "idea futures", btw? -- I mean, this thing has *huge* market potential) The device has been mentioned at least twice before on this list, but I can't find the posts in the archives and I didn't have much luck with the web search either so far.

Here's the "regular" taser's home page, btw. Has lots of info.

[dart guns]
> This talk of only the needle makes me think of the old sci-fi needler
> concept. Actually, small high velocity needles in a shotgun pattern might
> provide a pretty good delivery device for our chosen incapacitation agent.

Yes, good idea. That should increase the chances of a successful toxin delivery quite a bit (assuming that every dart can knock out the attacker by itself, of course).

> You point out the Achilles heel when you say the problem is which agent to
> use. I'll need to look at some of my drug references more deeply to see if I
> can't come up with a good one.

I'm pretty sure there's something useful out there. Perhaps some animal toxin ( has quite a list). "Zombie powder" is made from some kind of fish poison, afaik. It would certainly take someone out, but perhaps there would be some, uh, brain damage (though it is also suggested that the brain damage is a result of oxigen deprivation in the coffin, and not the toxin itself).

I bet the CIA / KGB & friends have done some research in this field, btw. Anyone got the appropriate conspiracy links?

[lethal/nonlethal combo]
> This might be a compromise option. Try the nonlethal feature first, and
> if the attacker is still able to attack, switch over to deadly force. Not
> the most elegant solution, but even with a purely lethal weapon you don't
> always incapacitate with the first shot.

Though ideally you'd design a new weapon around this concept, it might be more realistic to make a "taser/needle gun pod" that's attached to a standard gun.

> >So, should we be developing nonlethal means of self-defense?
> >Yes, of course we should! It would be a great way to make an
> >extropic buck. I'd start a company right away if I had the
> >necessary funding/expertise.
> Ditto, although with the education I'll be getting in medicine and
> neurology, maybe some year soon I will have that expertise.

I'd certainly use it if I were you; there's quite a market for nonlethal weopons, especially ones that can incapacitate at distances. The "Taser Brothers" haven't done badly, for example.

> >I beg to differ; mace, stun guns and air tasers are also great
> >(potential) tools for rapists and kidnappers, yet in reality they're
> >seldom used for criminal purposes.
> I wonder if this might not be a psychological point. Do criminals
> really want to use a nonlethal weapon, or would they prefer to intimidate and
> harm their victims (most probably do, though there are criminals who will
> want no confrontation and might prefer the nonlethal option if it were widely
> known and available.

Yes, there's a significant "macho" and power trip element in many (street) crimes, and don't forget that many criminals are just plain stupid. Also, guns are often relatively easy to obtain on the black market, and are often cheaper (than tasers) as well. And knives are easier and cheaper still...

> It's not so much being attacked by kids and grandmothers as the
> possibility of accidental death. I don't like that kids end up getting
> killed by playing with guns, and would like a weapon that's a little more
> forgiving (I know, you can keep the weapon out of reach, teach the kids gun
> safety, put a lock on the gun, but that won't protect my future children from
> the neighbor's kid who found a new toy).

I think that Mike meant actual attacks by grandmothers etc., but anyway...Accidents will always happen, I guess, but I'd rather be "accidentally"zapped or shot with some nonlethal than a regular gun.

> As for varying dosage of shock by length of time applied; five seconds
> is an awefully long time in a fight.

I think the above applies to the weaker models; a 500,000 v stun gun should do the job a lot faster (and I suppose you could go even higher, maybe even to 1000,000 v).