04 June 2007

The Goodbye Gun


As a general rule of thumb, I think war is a bad idea. I hate it when people kill each other, and so I'm in favor of things like democracy, diplomacy, trade, direct talks, love, and trust. Maybe that makes me sound like a hippy, but I think it's consistent with being a conservative-ish military technologist. Go figure.

At any rate, I really like non-lethal weapons, like the AF's new Active Denial System (ADS), which fires a non-damaging beam of pain. Not just because they're cool (they are!), but because they are at least an attempt at resolving hot situations without bloodshed. Here's what Wired news says about the ADS:

The beam produces what experimenters call the "Goodbye effect," or "prompt and highly motivated escape behavior." In human tests, most subjects reached their pain threshold within 3 seconds, and none of the subjects could endure more than 5 seconds.

And if the initial tests are accurate, the worst damage is a blister or two. Of course, I know some people will object that it is cruel and unusual. Some will question how we dare to inflict a blister on an innocent person, but considering the lethal or chemical options, it doesn't sound bad to me. I'd rather see the ADS used to disperse a rowdy crowd than tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets, whether the crowd is in Iraq or the US.

I know we have to fight and kill sometimes, but we could probably do it a lot less than we actually do (and I'm not just talking about Iraq), and the more non-lethal options we have, the better...

1 comment:

Gabe Mounce said...

Amen to that brother