Re: Non-lethal protective technologies?

den Otter (
Tue, 1 Jun 1999 22:38:45 +0200

> From: Michael S. Lorrey <>

> The difficulty with non-lethal protective technologies, like stun guns, is the
> dosage. The voltage/amperage that it takes to immobilize the biggest person has
> a high risk of killing outright the smallest person. Defaulting your settings
> for the smallest person will merely piss off the big person who is likely to
> hurt you most.

Consequently, you'll fit the gun with various settings (and perhaps a "kill" setting too), just like a real phaser. A sliding knob with a comprehensive power indicator next to it would do just fine (might be an idea for regular stun guns too).

> A good non-lethal tech would have to be a smart dart that uses body capacitance
> to measure the mass of the offender it has been injected in, to dispense the
> correct dosage of whatever it is using to immobilize that individual.

Doesn't sound very practical, and isn't really necessary. One look at a person wil tell you how far up the knob should go (and besides, how often is one attacked by little old ladies, eh? -- not to mention that anyone who attacks you out of the blue deserves whatever shock he's getting).

> Promoting such technolgies, IMHO, once they get into the hands of criminals (as
> they will, since they are non-lethal technologies, it should be easier for a
> person to get ahold of them), will cause the rates of robberies and rapes to
> skyrocket, since criminals will love these technologies.

That may be, but it is better to be zapped than to be stabbed/beaten/ shot, which is often the alternative. And of course anyone with half a brain will carry his/her own piece (and the threshold for using the gun for self-defense will be lower too). In any case, if this weapon can be made cheap and reliable enough, it will be the wave of the future. Trying to surf that wave would be wise indeed.