Non-Lethal Weapons seem like a great idea, and their proper development should probably be encouraged, in order to prevent unnecessary deaths from firearm use by law enforcement agencies. But they are often abused, misused, or overused. The concern escalates when corporate and institutional corruption are involved – where the stock price of the non-lethal weapon manufacturer is of higher importance than the suitability of the weapon or the safety of the individuals upon whom their non-lethality is unleashed.
And that is the Shit that’s Gotta Stop. Weasels in suits engaging in some mutually-beneficial back-scratching behind closed doors, or under oak desks, so that laws are changed in order for their company to be issued a supply contract to furnish a police force with slightly-less-than-lethal (on most occasions) equipment.
What we end up with is a long list of terrifying events, involving unnecessary and unwarranted death and injury – the gut-wrenching video footage of Brazilian student Laudisio Curti, writhing in agony and screaming for help as he is electro-stunned multiple times after being physically restrained; the numerous deaths and permanent disabilities resulting from the deployment of rubber bullets and bean bag rounds; the impact injuries, instant deaths, and exposure of innocent parties inflicted as a result of tear gas deployment…
Here’s a short list of some of the horrific results of ‘non-lethal’ weapons:
- The 2012 death of Roberto Laudisio Curti, after being pepper-sprayed and Tasered repeatedly, while handcuffed and physically restrained, until he died. (Also, see partial transcript of NSW coroner’s recommendations here.)
- The Robert Dziekański Taser incident in Vancouver, Canada.
- For even more horrifying reading – more Taser-related incidents, listed here.
- 17 unnecessary deaths caused by improper deployment of rubber or plastic bullets during The Troubles in Northern Ireland.
- A journalist killed after being shot in the head at close range with a tear gas canister.
- A police officer killed during training with the Round Irritant Personnel (R.I.P.) cartridge.
- 130 innocent hostages killed by the mystery gas used by Russian special forces to end the 2002 Nord-Ost siege.
There are many, many more incidents. A casual perusal of the inter-webs, especially YouTube, will draw you into the rabbit-hole, and keep you awake for a few nights…
And some potentially even scarier stuff is on the way, or already in use by military agencies – ‘directed energy’ weapons, such as the Active Denial System used by the U.S. military, which shoots an Extremely High Frequency beam at the target area and heats the skin of the victim/s, so that they feel as if they are on fire (yes, really…). And already deployed by numerous agencies and private companies (including cruise ship liners…) is the LRAD – noise torture.
The corporate world, military goons, and law-enforcement junkies are all going bat-shit crazy, looking for novel and profitable ways of inflicting pain, torment, and possible death upon the rest of us.
If it came to the crunch, I think I’d rather be shot than tased – if you want to take me down in a non-lethal fashion, shoot me in the leg, or shoot me in the shoulder, please.