Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Crowd control and non lethal weapons

About 11 years ago the Pentagon had revealed a non lethal system of controlling hostile crowds. It sounds too good to be true, but the mobile unit is just a basic transporter with a oscillator capable of generating 95 gigahertz. This machine similar to a micro wave oven, in that it will heat the water molecules on your skin. But thankfully it will only just do that, claiming to heat up to a depth of 1/64th of an inch.
The system is non lethal and is said to heat up a surface skin, which feels like the sensation of opening a really hot oven door or in this case heats up to 44 degrees Celsius.
The Active denial system was shipped to the Afghanistan war, but was quickly withdrawn without seeing any combat. Mainly in fear of propaganda relating that a death ray has been unleashed onto the public.
In 2010 Los Angeles sheriffs department stated they will be using this system on the prison population Pitchess Detention centre in Los Angeles.
Though short term effect are minor heat sensation a few seconds with no effect to contact lens or other eye wear. Research into long term effects of exposure to 95 gigahertz have no conclusive proof to any damage at all.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin promised to put research into Active Denial technology as a deterrent for civilian protesters. The Russian design is said to be a smaller version to the US military, firing at a distance of 300 yards. Russia has taken a tough line for civilian crowd control, then the US. They have less qualms about civilian rights, since 1993 protesters took up occupancy at the Russian White house. President Yeltsin at the time order tanks to fire at the upper stories. Te result cleared the protesters bat at cost of many deaths.
In 2002 Chechen terrorists took 800 people hostage at the Dubrovka Theatre in Moscow. Russian security forces, used a aerosol anaesthetic to end the protest. The gas did knock out everyone in the theatre, though it killed 100 protesters in the process.
The United states seem cautious about using the new technology, Russia will have no doubts about using this technology to achieve their political or strategic goals.

The company Raytheon, who developed the original technology have further made a smaller unit for boats. This smaller heat ray assembly is for commercial use as a deterrent for pirates, or as a fixed installation for buildings. The unit weighs about 1100 pounds and can fire at a distance of 50 meters. The current portable model needs a cooling system, but plans are currently under away for a smaller unit.

Another system of subduing a person is a Taser system, which refers to an electric shock by high voltage along two probes. The device functions as way to subdue the person, by way of causing neuromuscular incapacitation. The hand held model was later improved by system of firing two probes at the intended target. Most Tasers used by law enforcement officers have a drive stun capability. This allows the Taser to not only subdue the target but can used as a pain compliance tool.
A newer system of applying the same electro-shock to a target has now been outfitted to a shot gun shell. The Taser Xrep bullet, once fired will lodge itself on the victim and expel a high voltage current through its four probes. The maximum range is 100 feet for the bullet, and has the advantage distance to subdue the target. This was used in the capture of Raoul Moat, a killer on the run in Northhumbria. The killer used a sawn off shotgun to kill his ex girl friend, her lover and a police officer. In a Mexican stand off eventually shot himself. But trials for the Xrep Taser are still on going with the Northumbria police.

The use of non lethal weapons will still continue probably more aggressively in the east then in the west.
Meanwhile government research agencies with still continue to drive technology to have a portable handheld heat ray gun.
But my fears of the misuse of a Taser as a pain compliance tool would effect the new microwave gun. Its hard to think otherwise when I see you tube clips of police officers use Tasers as a torture device. On this road to dystopia I can imagine heat guns becoming becoming more lethal. Protesting will get a lot scarier and you mind will belong to the state. But until then I'll just live free and easy, until they bang down the door and collect me for processing...

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