Social Question

SmashTheState's avatar

Are you looking forward to the development of non-lethal weapons?

Asked by SmashTheState (12783points) December 15th, 2011

Raytheon just filed a patent for a riot shield which will use low-frequency sound waves to disrupt breathing and cause all those filthy hippies endangering our brave peace officers to collapse unconscious from lack of oxygen. Other non-lethal weapons already being worked on include mass-effect tasers (which would electrify vast fields of ionized gas) and improvements to the sound cannons which are have been used with great success against the traitorous anarchists, unionists, and liberals who illegally disrupt the process of capitalism.

When the deployment of non-lethal weapons allows our brave men in blue to effectively clear the streets of unwashed, patchouli-reeking communists and traitors so business can be properly conducted without opposition, will you celebrate the return of decency to society?

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46 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

Looking forward to the development of non-lethal weapons? Aren’t there already quite a few of them out there, up and running, for our collective non-pleasure?

SavoirFaire's avatar

There are already plenty of non-lethal and less-lethal weapons, of course, such as sai, nunchaku, or bo. But no, I’m not a fan of making it easier for the police to suppress anyone’s civil rights. These weapons seem like exactly the kind of thing that will finally go to far and cause the protesters to (rightfully) fight back.

SmashTheState's avatar

@lillycoyote Clearly, since these senseless riots are still going on, the methods which have been developed are not effective enough. And for some reason, our bleeding-heart liberal judges have forbidden police to simply open fire on these jobless losers and eliminate the problem for good. These new advances mean far fewer peace officers will be able to disable far larger numbers of sign-waving moonbats, and maybe when they’ve been asphyxiated or electrocuted enough times, they’ll learn to jump when the important people say frog.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Looking more closely at the linked article, as well as some of the information to which it links, I have come to the conclusion that these riot shields could still be fatal if used against people who already have lung conditions or breathing problems. So despite the spin, it looks like the police could use these shields to kill (even if only accidentally “accidentally”).

CaptainHarley's avatar

No. At least if lethal force is used against you, your supporters can take revenge. How do you “take revenge” for weapons which only temporarily disable?

And what ever happened to the right to free speech and the right to petition for redress of grienvances? What sort of effect would this type of weapon have on that? Wouldn’t it be just easier ( and supposedly safer ) to use this weapon early on and be done with it?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I fight back with the most non lethal weapon of all… The Truth, in Love and Kindness.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Well….we’re pretty fucked, huh?

Pandora's avatar

Yeah, that doesn’t sound like a smart idea. As @SavoirFaire pointed out, it could cause some problems for people with breathing issues. I can see it now. Every unemployed suicidal asthmatic showing up at these rallies in hope of a quick payday for their families. Or people claiming to be simply passing by when they got caught in the middle and now they claim so harm from falling to the ground. I see the lawyers of this country all salivating at the idea.

Qingu's avatar

Yes, I am all for nonlethal (or to be more accurate, less lethal weapons).

I operate under the assumption that government forces will inevitably use force. I also operate under the assumption that sometimes government forces will use force unjustly.

I would rather have them using force, and even using it unjustly, with weapons that don’t tend to kill the people they’re using force on.

In particular I’d love to see military forces equipped with less lethal weapons, and military tech developed around the concept of nonlethality. It remains an atrocity the number of civilians who die in assymetrical wars, which is both morally wrong and tactically unsound.

ETpro's avatar

No. The availability of non-lethal weapons makes Big Brother control of the populace all the more popular among would-be oligarchs and dictators. Even the most ruthless dictator can’t kill all his people, because then there would be nobody around to grow his food, cook it for him, and clean out the plugged up sewers when his wastes overwhelm the system.

ragingloli's avatar

I would not classify devices that stop your breathing as non-lethal.

SmashTheState's avatar

@ragingloli That’s because you’re a namby-pamby, thug-hugging whiner with an entitlement complex who thinks just everyone should be allowed to use the oxygen that our brave fightin’ GIs fought and died for. Hippy.

poisonedantidote's avatar

Fine with me, research and develop them until all they carry is non-lethal weapons. It will make it funnier when some nut shows up with a good ol’ fashion uzi to use on the cops. Gasping for air and puking as he shoots in their general direction.

Qingu's avatar

@ETpro, do you have any evidence that “big brother” oppression has increased with availability and use of less lethal weapons? They’ve been around long enough that your hypothesis is testable.

Aethelflaed's avatar

I really love the snark in this question.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Qingu Perhaps The Patriot Act is the first of many evidences of “big brother” oppression @ETpro speaks of. Perhaps putting Due Process on the chopping block is another.

Berserker's avatar

I got this magazine that lists several ’‘non lethal’’ weapons that the police and those SWAT guys use against rioters and protesters and all. Some are very simple, such as powerful jets of water from a hose. Kind of like what firemen use, but of a lower caliber. Still, people hit by those end up with broken bones and other nasty injuries. Some die. I’m not sure where non lethal comes into play anymore lol. There were others that sounded less dangerous, but I can’t remember now. The hose thing stuck in my head a lot though. Hey, people picking on MacDick’s! Let’s fuck em up! ’‘splash’’
I guess non lethal means it can’t kill anyone, but I wonder where the injury level factor…er, factors. All those things you listed sound horrible to me. I guess I would be looking forward to it, if it really were non lethal. Something that just puts everyone to sleep, long enough to cuff em or whatever.
Still none of that is the answer. If people riot, it’s because there’s a major problem going on somewhere. Making non lethal weapons doesn’t change the methods wrought by the idea on how to deal with it, it’s just like, so I’ll hit you the hardest I can with the flat end of a sword instead of running you through with it. It isn’t a solution. I don’t think this world is built for people to find a common ground though, unless zombies invade. So actual non lethal weapons would be nice, or at least, preferable, to smashing some poor guy through the fuckin wall with water, or a storm of rubber bullets.

@SavoirFaire Hell yeah, GA. :)


Yes, I fully support that. Anything that will give our men in blue an advantage over those disgusting hippies.

Qingu's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies. Okay. Let’s compare. In the 1970’s the government deployed soldiers against Vietnam protestors and shot and killed a few of them. In the 1950’s you could be imprisoned for writing a play seen as sympathetic to communism.

Has the government become less reluctant to use force to curtail speech and dissent since then? Um, no.

Qingu's avatar

I feel like this question and some of the answers are approaching the subject from a pretty ridiculous angle.

You need to keep in mind that military and police forces already have and have always had overwhelming advantage over hippie protestors. They’re called guns, and they generally kill people when deployed.

ETpro's avatar

@Qingu Humm. Let’s see. We have a “Patriot” Act that allows Big Brother to designate anyone they wish as being involved in “terrorist activity” and then imprison them for life with no_ habeas corpus_, no need for a trial or any proof required. Of course, Big Brother loves you and would never use that power to imprison those whose politics don’t coincide with Big Brother’s ideology. No, that could never happen. We can look at Germany, The Soviet Union, China, Miramar, North Korea. Clearly Big Brother has nothing but your best interests at heart, so what’s the need fior protections that were in place since the signing of the Magna Carta back in 1215?

King_Pariah's avatar

Use it against me, expect the same, if not more, in return.

plethora's avatar

Yes…anything that will facilitate carting off the hippies and other obstacles to productive life.

ETpro's avatar

@plethora The OWS movement is having its impact. What if they win, and decide to cart you off? Whenever you give up liberty to impose your ideology on others, you risk their coming to power and using the selfsame rules to imprison you.

King_Pariah's avatar

@ETpro yeah some impact, stocks of a few of those banks rose what? 11%? about a week or two ago.

Qingu's avatar

@ETpro, I’m no fan of the Patriot Act, but even in the depths of the Bush years nothing like you suggested materialized.

The Patriot Act also has nothing to do with this discussion. If you want to argue that the Patriot Act is a sign of America turning into Big Brother and disappearing its own citizens, what on earth does that have to do with less lethal weapons? Couldn’t they do that with guns and night raids like our spec ops do every day in Afghanistan?

ETpro's avatar

@King_Pariah The national conversation moved to the massive rise over the past 30 years in wealth disparity. In inflation adjusted dollars, he bottom 20% lost ground. The nest 20% stayed absolutely flat. The top 5% gained 64% in their share of the nation’s wealth, and the top 1% shot up 265%. The middle class went from 65% of the population in 1980 to 46% today. We are on a path to become a banana republic. And the OWS movement finally got those facts into the discussion of the mainstream corporatist media. I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss their impact. They have dramatically changed the national conversation.

@Qingu Even in the depths of the Wiemar Republic, there were no gas chambers. But when you pass the enabling act, the first megalomaniac that seizes power will use the tools he’s been given by the cowardice of the nation. As Ben Franklin correctly stated, “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” And by the way, history is littered with proof they get neither.

ucme's avatar

How about a catapult that fires marshmallows?.......No?
Or a severe telling off with finger jabbing & everything.

Qingu's avatar

I think you just lost the argument,‘s_law @ETPro.

Seriously. I don’t play this card ever, but I’m going to play it now. My grandparents knew people, family members, who died in the Holocaust. I think they would take exception to your placing the Patriot Act on the same plane, even in the course of a slippery slope argument.

A less emotional and more pertinent argument to make against the Patriot Act abuses would be the Japanese internment camps during WW2. Oh wait. Those camps did not require the Patriot Act.

jrpowell's avatar

@Qingu :: “I would rather have them using force, and even using it unjustly, with weapons that don’t tend to kill the people they’re using force on.”

It sure as hell makes it easier to pull the trigger. Ask John Pike. Do you think he would have shot kids sitting on a sidewalk with a real gun?

Qingu's avatar

I see your John Pike and raise you a Kent State massacre.

You think those four kids would have died had the soldiers been using pepper spray and tasers?

ETpro's avatar

@Qingu The Patriot Act allows the President, Secretary of Defense and others to declare any person the wish, anywhere in the world, a terrorist. They need provide no proof, whether it’s a foreigner or a US Citizen. They can legally “disappear” that person and hold them till the “end of hostilities” without any trial, without any need to provide evidence, and with the vivctim having no recourse of any kind to due process. Since the “hostilities” are the tactic of terrorism, the likelihood that “hostilities will end it the next century is remote. Please explain to me how you can defend a single political leader having that sort of power to totally set aside the ruile of law.

Qingu's avatar

Like I said, I don’t support the Patriot Act.

Your argument in comparing the Patriot Act to the slippery slope to the Holocaust, however, is nonsensical. There is a tremendous difference between a political institution having the legal mechanism to do something horrendous, and actually doing something horrendous. To wit: the president, who is in charge of our nuclear weapons, currently has almost unilateral power to kill billions of people.

If an someone like Hitler were ever elected president, in a cultural climate similar to that of Nazi Germany—do you actually think the lack of a Patriot Act would stop him from imprisoning people without trial indefinitely?

Did it stop Bush?

Did it stop Reagan?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Who’s watching the Watchers?

Today, the trial of Bradley Manning begins. WikiLeaks is THE non lethal weapon of the common man. How may we abandon our Due Process and allow Patriot Act to spy us… but not demand the rigbt to hold Official Policy to the Truth? The hipocricy is vulgar.

Go ahead and spy on me… But don’t cry when I spy back on you.

In a perfect world, total transparency would rule the day. We wouldn’t allow gov to spy on its own citizens because we sbould be watching ourselves… and tbose who create public policy.

wonderingwhy's avatar

Nope, it just encourages their use.

Though I really couldn’t care less what new weapons we’ve cooked up. What matters to me is how we use them and the justifications/framework that allow their use. When it comes to use against civilian protesters, if a non-violent protestor is being non-violent, then the police should be bound to do the same. Using non-lethal methods to curtail free speech and the right to protest is obviously less heinous, but no less despotic, than using lethal methods. Protecting the rights of non-violent protestors/demonstrators should be near-paramount – allowing for the suspension of laws that could otherwise be used against them. Obviously there are limits, but those limits should be minimal, defined, and only enforced as a final measure.

That said, non-lethal weapons used in the military against legitimate military targets with a continued focus on decreasing civilian exposure could be strategically valuable. Early on or towards the end they may be particularly tactically acceptable depending on the climate, goals, and overall policy.

Interestingly, once you have this kind of capability commonly available, when you choose it over more lethal methods, or vice versa, and how you regulate its use can reveal a lot about the wielder.

Qingu's avatar

What does transparency have to do with less lethal weapons?

This question seems to have turned into a bunch of screeds against Big Brother. Can anyone actually defend the position that the use of less lethal weapons has somehow empowered Big Brother over and above the status quo?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Qingu “Can anyone actually defend the position…”

Maybe not to your satisfaction. We have different sensitivities. I appreciate yours, but I am bound by mine.

@Qingu “What does transparency have to do with less lethal weapons?”

To me, secrecy and double standards are non lethal weapons. They are much safer tools to employ upon the public eye. Since supposedly the public vote officials into office, then those officials that support lethal action against Vietnam Protestors get voted out of office. Likewise, imprisoning those who sympathize with communism is now viewed as a violation of free speech. Officials in todays climate must look to other methods to silence dissent.

So when legislation arises which prohibits photographing/recording a police officer, but they can photograph/record you… that is a subversive non lethal weapon that they can use without reprise. They justify this by allowing Police to detain photographers after making judgement of No Apparent Esthetic Value… Since when did Law Enforcement become Art Critics?

CWOTUS's avatar

@Qingu and I seldom agree on political matters, but he’s the only one making much sense in this thread.

Military forces already have overwhelming force. But that’s not why they haven’t been deployed against citizen protests in the US. If that changes, then I will fear for the Republic more than I do, non-lethal weapons or not.

One reason that police sometimes have to resort to lethal force is self-protection. In fact, that’s the argument that won the day for the National Guard at Kent State: the case against the eight indicted guardsmen who fired was dismissed before it even went to trial, on the basis that the prosecution essentially had too weak a case to present.

At most large-scale demonstrations and protest, and at all riots, the protesters, demonstrators and rioters outnumber the police, and I’d rather have the police relying (earlier) on “disabling” weapons than waiting as long as possible and “firing for effect”. I want the police to be safe, too.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Yes we must ensure the safety of the Police. Otherwise they wouldn’t be able to protect themselves against the peaceful protest of 84 year old Dorli Rainey who they pepper sprayed in the face at an OWS camp.

Qingu's avatar

I don’t think anyone here is arguing that such incidents aren’t abhorrent and an abuse of power, @RealEyesRealizeRealLies.

I am operating under the assumption that police will occasionally abuse power. And I would rather they abuse their power with less lethal weapons than with guns and nightsticks.

I also have yet to see evidence that the availability of less lethal weapons have made police more prone to abuse power.

CWOTUS's avatar

You’re conflating now, @RealEyesRealizeRealLies. Nobody says that the police don’t occasionally – maybe even “systematically” sometimes – overstep the law. That’s not what this thread is about, though.

Personally, if I were in danger of frequent arrest, I think I’d prefer that the police be armed with Tasers, pepper spray and other non-lethal weapons and control devices, even as opposed to simple nightsticks, which can also quite easily kill and maim for life.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] This is our Question of the Day!

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

It is “policy” which determines if law enforcement is armed with Tasers or Grenades @CWOTUS. It is “policy” which determines how and when each are to be used.

Policy is just a thought, and may be subversive or transparent. Either way, policy alone is non lethal in the sense we are discussing. Like having a nuclear arsenal that’s never used, the real use is fulfilled with the policy of deterrent it is founded upon. It’s the same old argument that recognizes guns don’t kill peoplepeople kill people.

It’s what Jesus meant when he claimed that thinking to murder or adultery is equal to the actual act itself.

The Policy which determines weaponry, lethal or non lethal, isn’t really designed to kill anyone physically.

Its real purpose is to kill thoughts of others who think differently than the policy makers.

They attempt murdering my thoughts with threats of violence against my body. But that just avoids the issue altogether. It attempts to change minds by hoisting a wall of fear between policy makers and free thinkers. That wall of fear is graffitied with the sole purpose of preventing subversive policy from becoming transparent policy.

There is no reason for someone like me to fear development of lethal or non lethal weaponry. Fear is a ghost. It vanishes the moment it is seen for what it is. And when it does vanish, I get closer to understanding the thoughts of others who would bring harm against me for thinking the way I do.

Regretfully, though I may be willing to understand their position, they may be unwilling to understand mine, or to find a resolve. They may be bent on keeping their apparent power over me, rather than sharing it in freedom with me. But if I Am my thoughts, then the important thing to protect is the thought of freedom and equality… not my physical body. And every Martyr from Martin Luther King to Obi-Wan Kenobi knows that striking down my physical body is nothing to fear at all… for doing so has the direct opposite affect intended. It may kill my body, but doing so empowers my thought exponentially beyond what my body alone could ever have manifest it.

lillycoyote's avatar

I imagine the first words out of the mouths of these people, after experiencing the use of “non-lethal” weapons were:

Well, thank God they didn’t try to kill me; they just shot me with a rubber bullet.


Thank goodness for non-lethal weapons!

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