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Author Topic: The "Goodbye Weapon"
RBCal
Deck the Malls


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quote:
The crowd is getting ugly. Soldiers roll up in a Hummer. Suddenly, the whole right half of your body is screaming in agony. You feel like you've been dipped in molten lava. You almost faint from shock and pain, but instead you stumble backwards -- and then start running. To your surprise, everyone else is running too. In a few seconds, the street is completely empty.

You've just been hit with a new nonlethal weapon that has been certified for use in Iraq -- even though critics argue there may be unforeseen effects.

Goodbye Weapon

Apparently it is like a microwave. They zap you with electromagnetic waves that heats your skin.

To me it seems that 1984 has arrived 22 years late. I guess it might be better than tear gas though.

--------------------
"The women who embraced in the wagon were Adam and Eve crossing a dark cathedral stage—no, Eve and Eve, loving one another as they would not be able to once they ate of the fruit and knew themselves as they truly were." - Lynn Cheney, Sisters.

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Mr. Billion
The First USA Noel


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*Dons 'Obvious Man' cape*

This has enormous potential for misuse.

--------------------
"For the U.S. to get involved militarily in determining the outcome of the struggle over who's going to govern Iraq strikes me as a classic definition of a quagmire." ~Dick Cheney.

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Buckleupp
Away in a Manager


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I wonder what effect this might have on people who are not mobile or not medically "normal." In a war zone, it's highly likely that there will be people with injuries who can't run away - I can't imagine there will be "no lasting effects" on them, when no test subject could endure more than 5 seconds...

--------------------
HA! That's so funny I forgot to laugh...excluding that first Ha. -Stewie Griffin

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Grand Illusion
Jingle Bell Hock


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The "goodbye effect" of this device only works if the victim knows what the device is, where the device is mounted, and that the desired response is to run away from the device. If someone doesn't know these things and where the blast is coming from, he could end up running toward the device, or dropping to the ground and remaining still, as if he thinks he's been tasered. At least tear gas is visible.

The potential for abuse is not in itself a show stopper, as most everything can be seriously abused. What I do see is this (wrongly) turning into a torture device. Tie someone up and use it on them repeatedly. If what the milirary says is true, it might not leave any marks.

--------------------
There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary and those who do not.

"Are you pondering what I'm pondering?" - The Brain

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RainyDaze
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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While I share your concerns about this new weapon I think it should be judged against the alternatives. Compare this against bullets. Being in extreme pain for several seconds is better then being permanently disabled or dead (and bullets are not pain free).

I would welcome the "perfect" crowd control weapon that did no harm, either physical or emotional. Better crowd control weapons will likely come along but the perfect one? I just don't see it.

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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What about people with pacemakers and other electrical equipment in the body, such as epileptic inhibitors?

quote:
I would welcome the "perfect" crowd control weapon that did no harm, either physical or emotional. Better crowd control weapons will likely come along but the perfect one? I just don't see it.
I don't believe in crowd control. If there is enough people to call it a crowd, they are representative enough for the people to be left alone. If not, ordinary police methods should be able handle it.

A demonstration is an expression of the will of the people, and as such should not be interfered with. Even if it turns ugly and even if it happens in another country.

--------------------
/Troberg

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pinqy
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Grand Illusion:
The "goodbye effect" of this device only works if the victim knows what the device is,

Why would they need to know what it is? If I suddenly feel pain hitting me, I don't need to know what's causing it for the flight response to kick in.
quote:
where the device is mounted,
It's directional, so it would be opposite where you're feeling the pain.
quote:
and that the desired response is to run away from the device.
That's an automatic reflex.
quote:
If someone doesn't know these things and where the blast is coming from, he could end up running toward the device,
Doubtful...the instinct is to run away from pain, not towards it.
quote:
or dropping to the ground and remaining still, as if he thinks he's been tasered.
Possible, but that might well put you out of the effect.

For all those objections, I think you're forgetting that it has been tested on humans. I would think that those problems would have shown up.

quote:
What I do see is this (wrongly) turning into a torture device. Tie someone up and use it on them repeatedly. If what the milirary says is true, it might not leave any marks.
Possible, but difficult. IIRC the device is rather large and vehicle mounted. That would be difficult to use in secret or indoors.

pinqy

--------------------
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Methuselah
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
I don't believe in crowd control. If there is enough people to call it a crowd, they are representative enough for the people to be left alone. If not, ordinary police methods should be able handle it.

A demonstration is an expression of the will of the people, and as such should not be interfered with. Even if it turns ugly and even if it happens in another country.

A crowd should not be controlled in the event that it becomes violent and destructive? So, if a mob on Halloween in Detroit gathers and begins setting fire to buildings, causing violence, and killing innocent citizens...we should just let nature take it's course?

And what do you mean by "ordinary police methods"? Ordinary police methods would include using crowd control measures...including things like rubber bullets, tear gas, hoses, batons, and firearms.

--------------------
"The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." - G.K. Chesterton

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Donovan
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
What about people with pacemakers and other electrical equipment in the body, such as epileptic inhibitors?

quote:
I would welcome the "perfect" crowd control weapon that did no harm, either physical or emotional. Better crowd control weapons will likely come along but the perfect one? I just don't see it.
I don't believe in crowd control. If there is enough people to call it a crowd, they are representative enough for the people to be left alone. If not, ordinary police methods should be able handle it.

A demonstration is an expression of the will of the people, and as such should not be interfered with. Even if it turns ugly and even if it happens in another country.

Okay, what if you are manning a post in Iraq or such and are dealing with a mob of protestors when one of them starts throwing rocks and such. Unfortunatley, in a mob like that, one thrower results in many more following suit, even if the peak number is but a small minority. What you have then is a threat to your personel and equipment. These devices are designed to deal with mobs, not demonstrations. If they are used right, their presence should be blatently obvious. Yes, there is a risk to some of the 'victems,' but it is still better than bullets (lead or rubber), fire hoses, or other such means of dealing with a hostile mob.

Now, if this device was used in a covert manner, or used against those who cannot avoid it's effects, then there is a serious wrong being done. If this were to happen, I would be calling for charges against all involved.

I support the deployement of devices such as this. But I also support making damn sure that they are not abused. Will abuse happen? Unfortunately yes. Such abuse needs to be ground down as soon as it happens so that a possibly usefull resourse does not get taken away.

--------------------
Illius me paenitet, dux (Latin for fun and business)

"It's like trying to hawk pork chops at a kosher PETA banquet." - Esprise Me

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Donovan
Deck the Malls


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Wikipedia article detailing the basics of the system

--------------------
Illius me paenitet, dux (Latin for fun and business)

"It's like trying to hawk pork chops at a kosher PETA banquet." - Esprise Me

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Dreams of Thinking Machines
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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I feel like there may be some sort of psychological disconnect with this weapon that doesn't exist with bullets, clubs, and firehoses. On the news, when I see a person peacefully protesting and riot officer smacks him in the face, hoses him into a street lamp, or even, in the worst case, kills him --it has a very dramatic emotional effect on me --it infuriates me. Now, if people are watching the news and protestors just start writhing in agnony but no long term damage is done, it just doesn't seem to have the same impact. Let's imagine that this techonology was used against Gandhi and his followers. Would their cause have caught the attention of people world wide if instead of being the victim of massacres and beatings if they had simply been microwaved? Perhaps, but I'm not that confident it would. In the past a government has had to make a morally and politically difficult decision to use extremely damaging force on protestors, this technology might reduce those moral and political reprecussions.

--------------------
Obi Wan: "Only a Sith deals in absolutes!"
Anakin: "Um, isn't your last statement an absolute?"

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GenYus
Away in a Manager's Special


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What is the penetration of this frequency of EM energy in matter like wood or brick? Because a device like this that could penetrate brick or wood would also be useful for helping to clear what should be unoccupied structures.

--------------------
IIRC, it wasn't the shoe bomber's loud prayers that sparked the takedown by the other passengers; it was that he was trying to light his shoe on fire. Very, very different. Canuckistan

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Dreams of Thinking Machines
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by GenYus:
What is the penetration of this frequency of EM energy in matter like wood or brick? Because a device like this that could penetrate brick or wood would also be useful for helping to clear what should be unoccupied structures.

Well, the wiki article says:
"penetrates the skin to a depth of less than 1/64 of an inch."
EM energy of this wavelength would work poorly against wood or brick. Perhaps a sonic wave would work though.

--------------------
Obi Wan: "Only a Sith deals in absolutes!"
Anakin: "Um, isn't your last statement an absolute?"

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Buckleupp
Away in a Manager


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quote:
Originally posted by dreams of thinking machines:
I feel like there may be some sort of psychological disconnect with this weapon that doesn't exist with bullets, clubs, and firehoses.

I agree - there is a psychological disconnect, not only for those watching it happen on the news, but for those unleashing this weapon on a crowd...it's too easy for them to say it just happened, it was a scientific anomaly, or a freak of nature, even if that statement is only said subtly, in one's own mind. I'm not saying it's necessary preferable for the officer to hit people with a club, but we should not be thinking of this as more humane or more acceptable. And think of the psychological long-term damage this would have on someone who couldn't flee the area, a CHILD, for example.

--------------------
HA! That's so funny I forgot to laugh...excluding that first Ha. -Stewie Griffin

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GenYus
Away in a Manager's Special


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quote:
Originally posted by dreams of thinking machines:
Well, the wiki article says:
"penetrates the skin to a depth of less than 1/64 of an inch."
EM energy of this wavelength would work poorly against wood or brick. Perhaps a sonic wave would work though.

I know, but penetration of organic living matter and penetration of non-organic or dead matter is not always the same. The wiki article says that the EM radiation heats the water in the skin. So the lack of water in the dried wood or brick walls could mean that the EM radiation penetrates the wood with little or no heating.

ETA: Quote and:

Do you know that these waves won't penetrate wood or brick or are you basing that on the wiki article about how far they penetrate into skin?

--------------------
IIRC, it wasn't the shoe bomber's loud prayers that sparked the takedown by the other passengers; it was that he was trying to light his shoe on fire. Very, very different. Canuckistan

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Dreams of Thinking Machines
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by GenYus:
quote:
Originally posted by dreams of thinking machines:
Well, the wiki article says:
"penetrates the skin to a depth of less than 1/64 of an inch."
EM energy of this wavelength would work poorly against wood or brick. Perhaps a sonic wave would work though.

I know, but penetration of organic living matter and penetration of non-organic or dead matter is not always the same. The wiki article says that the EM radiation heats the water in the skin. So the lack of water in the dried wood or brick walls could mean that the EM radiation penetrates the wood with little or no heating.

ETA: Quote and:

Do you know that these waves won't penetrate wood or brick or are you basing that on the wiki article about how far they penetrate into skin?

Yes, the fact that only the water molecules at close to skin level were being heated/vibrated and that the device does not seem to effect water molecules at the core of the human body indicates to me that the waves could not pass through wood or brick. Wood isn't just carbon, all wood has some water that is imparted by humidity or other factors, it's very good at leaching and storing water. Brick actually has a fair amount of water in it as well, for instance a brick put into a kiln that is simmering at around 2000 degrees will explode because of the water molecules inside of it. You have to raise the temperature of it slowly so the water evaporates out. So, even if the dense elements that make up brick, or the elements that make up wood are not actually blocking the EM, the water in them probably will. So, maybe if they really raised the energy and concentrated it very highly they could overcome brick and wood, but that would be really inefficent.

{Edited to say that I am basing this on the wiki article, specifically the pdf that came with it http://www.de.afrl.af.mil/Factsheets/ActiveDenial.pdf}

--------------------
Obi Wan: "Only a Sith deals in absolutes!"
Anakin: "Um, isn't your last statement an absolute?"

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Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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quote:
Originally posted by dreams of thinking machines:
I feel like there may be some sort of psychological disconnect with this weapon that doesn't exist with bullets, clubs, and firehoses. . . .In the past a government has had to make a morally and politically difficult decision to use extremely damaging force on protestors, this technology might reduce those moral and political reprecussions.

To a certain degree, this is self-correcting. If the system has fewer negative consequences, then, yes, governments will be more likely to use it... But as they use it more, then more and more of us (us!) will have been exposed to it, and will thus have a psychological "re-connect" with it.

In democracies, we'll tend to vote against governments that use it too broadly.

In other systems...well, street violence might simply become more lethal...

I would prefer a Star-Trek type "stun" weapon, but, until that comes along... At least this is (marginally) better than getting shot.

Silas ("Never argue with a man who buys pepper-spray by the barrel.")

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Buckleupp
Away in a Manager


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quote:
Originally posted by RainyDaze:
I would welcome the "perfect" crowd control weapon that did no harm, either physical or emotional. Better crowd control weapons will likely come along but the perfect one? I just don't see it.

A while back there was talk of a non-lethal gas being developed with a smell so disgustingly pungent that it would clear an area very quickly with no pain, no lasting damage, and almost universal effectiveness. This seems like a better alternative. Does anyone know if this alternative is still being researched or developed?

--------------------
HA! That's so funny I forgot to laugh...excluding that first Ha. -Stewie Griffin

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Nick Theodorakis
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Buckleupp:
quote:
Originally posted by RainyDaze:
I would welcome the "perfect" crowd control weapon that did no harm, either physical or emotional. Better crowd control weapons will likely come along but the perfect one? I just don't see it.

A while back there was talk of a non-lethal gas being developed with a smell so disgustingly pungent that it would clear an area very quickly with no pain, no lasting damage, and almost universal effectiveness. This seems like a better alternative. Does anyone know if this alternative is still being researched or developed?
Stench Warfare.

quote:

. . . .
The search for the perfect stink bomb is part of the Pentagon's Nonlethal Weapons Program. The US Army wants a stink to drive away enemy troops or hostile crowds and to enforce no-go zones around sensitive military installations. It could also help peacekeeping forces keep warring factions apart by creating stench-filled exclusion zones.
. . . .
One is a truly repugnant mixture called US Government Standard Bathroom Malodor, a stink concocted to test the efficiency of deodorant cleaning products. "It's very pungent," says Dalton. "More precisely, it smells like shit, but much, much stronger. It fills your head. It gets to you in ways that are unimaginable. It's not something you are likely to come across in the real world."

The smell is so awful that some volunteers began to scream and curse after just a few seconds' exposure. Even though the smell is quite harmless, almost everyone thought it would damage their health.
. . . .

Nick

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Grand Illusion
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by pinqy:
quote:
Originally posted by Grand Illusion:
The "goodbye effect" of this device only works if the victim knows what the device is,

Why would they need to know what it is? If I suddenly feel pain hitting me, I don't need to know what's causing it for the flight response to kick in.
quote:
where the device is mounted,
It's directional, so it would be opposite where you're feeling the pain.
quote:
and that the desired response is to run away from the device.
That's an automatic reflex.
quote:
If someone doesn't know these things and where the blast is coming from, he could end up running toward the device,
Doubtful...the instinct is to run away from pain, not towards it.
quote:
or dropping to the ground and remaining still, as if he thinks he's been tasered.
Possible, but that might well put you out of the effect.

For all those objections, I think you're forgetting that it has been tested on humans. I would think that those problems would have shown up.


With all due respect, I believe you're assuming that a riot is more orderly than it is. In a crowd riot, a person is likely to be in motion, turning in many different directions to dodge other people. It might not be evident which way the blast came from. In the crowd noise, he may not even know or notice that the device is being used, and he might be distracted with other things when the blast hits. It may be 15 or 20 seconds, maybe more, before he realizes what's going on and which way he should run to escape.


quote:
What I do see is this (wrongly) turning into a torture device. Tie someone up and use it on them repeatedly. If what the milirary says is true, it might not leave any marks.
Possible, but difficult. IIRC the device is rather large and vehicle mounted. That would be difficult to use in secret or indoors.

pinqy
[/QUOTE]

The article said that the device was developed in many sizes. It is feasible for the device to be developed in handheld models, if not sooner, then eventually. Even if it's greatly diminished in power due to its deduced size, the kind of pain the article describes must be horrible to endure for several minutes at a time.

--------------------
There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary and those who do not.

"Are you pondering what I'm pondering?" - The Brain

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Wolf333
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
What about people with pacemakers and other electrical equipment in the body, such as epileptic inhibitors?

quote:
I would welcome the "perfect" crowd control weapon that did no harm, either physical or emotional. Better crowd control weapons will likely come along but the perfect one? I just don't see it.
I don't believe in crowd control. If there is enough people to call it a crowd, they are representative enough for the people to be left alone. If not, ordinary police methods should be able handle it.

A demonstration is an expression of the will of the people, and as such should not be interfered with. Even if it turns ugly and even if it happens in another country.

How ugly is ugly? Should I allow the burning of homes and businesses? Bricks thrown through windows? People beaten or killed?

There is a distinction between a demonstration (which is a crowd) and a riot (which is also a crowd).

--------------------
"We take evil really seriously"

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
And what do you mean by "ordinary police methods"? Ordinary police methods would include using crowd control measures...including things like rubber bullets, tear gas, hoses, batons, and firearms.
Most countries don't use rubber bullets, tear gas, hoses and firearms against protesters.

I would suggest making arrests in a civil and ordered manner, and if that can't be done, just gather evidence and pick them up later.

quote:
Okay, what if you are manning a post in Iraq or such and are dealing with a mob of protestors when one of them starts throwing rocks and such. Unfortunatley, in a mob like that, one thrower results in many more following suit, even if the peak number is but a small minority. What you have then is a threat to your personel and equipment.
Even if the mob only represents part of the population, they have the right to express themselves. If I was manning a post and it becomes a threat to me and my men, I would pull out. It's not my job to interfere with the democratic process.

quote:
Let's imagine that this techonology was used against Gandhi and his followers. Would their cause have caught the attention of people world wide if instead of being the victim of massacres and beatings if they had simply been microwaved? Perhaps, but I'm not that confident it would. In the past a government has had to make a morally and politically difficult decision to use extremely damaging force on protestors, this technology might reduce those moral and political reprecussions.
Excellent example!

quote:
How ugly is ugly? Should I allow the burning of homes and businesses? Bricks thrown through windows? People beaten or killed?
Well, since a democracy can go to war, and individuals have the right to wage war in the event of an occupation, I think the line should be drawn just beyond war.

quote:
There is a distinction between a demonstration (which is a crowd) and a riot (which is also a crowd).
There are differences, but they are both expressions of the will of the people, like it or not.

--------------------
/Troberg

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Jonny T
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
[QB]
quote:
And what do you mean by "ordinary police methods"? Ordinary police methods would include using crowd control measures...including things like rubber bullets, tear gas, hoses, batons, and firearms.
Most countries don't use rubber bullets, tear gas, hoses and firearms against protesters.
Yes they do. generally those protestors who don't do it the "right" way, but still.....

incidentally, is this the same weapon (I'm trying to find a previous article backing this up) that an American military blokey said should be tested on rioters domestically before deploying it in warfare?

--------------------
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Methuselah
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
quote:
And what do you mean by "ordinary police methods"? Ordinary police methods would include using crowd control measures...including things like rubber bullets, tear gas, hoses, batons, and firearms.
Most countries don't use rubber bullets, tear gas, hoses and firearms against protesters.

I would suggest making arrests in a civil and ordered manner, and if that can't be done, just gather evidence and pick them up later.

Ah...I see. We shouldn't protect the citizens affected by riots. If they get hurt or killed, we'll just put the people from the riot in jail for a while. That'll solve everything.

Look, I understand that in the far reaches of Northern Europe with cradle to grave welfare you don't experience a lot of mob mentality protests. But they are extremely dangerous. Sociological studies suggest that a mob becomes a de facto living organism that changes the mentalities of those within it. People that are otherwise smart and reasonable take to violence and destruction quickly.

Madison, Wisconsin has had severe problems over the last 5 years or so during Halloween. For decades, the city had a fantastic Halloween celebration...then, one year it turned violent. Stores were broken into and looted. Revelers attacked police officers. People were injured, some severely. The following year, extreme police protection was set up...they increased the number of officers and closely monitored all behavior to stop problems before they started. But the efforts were in vain. The crowd again became a mob and destroyed many shops on State Street, and attacked and injured police officers and each other.

Without dispersing a mob like that, injuries turn into deaths. Using non-lethal methods to disperse such a crowd is in the best interest of everybody. It is naive and dangerous to think that all people are good at all times and all you have to do is be nice and the crowd will go back to being peaceful.

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"The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." - G.K. Chesterton

Posts: 1514 | From: Wisconsin | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
MaxKaladin
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
quote:
How ugly is ugly? Should I allow the burning of homes and businesses? Bricks thrown through windows? People beaten or killed?
Well, since a democracy can go to war, and individuals have the right to wage war in the event of an occupation, I think the line should be drawn just beyond war.
So you think it's fine to let people riot, hurt or kill people and steal or destroy property because it's some kind of "democratic process"? What about the people who get hurt or killed as a result of the riot? Do you think they all deserve it somehow? Do you think no innocent people ever get caught up in riots?
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Elkhound
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:


quote:
Okay, what if you are manning a post in Iraq or such and are dealing with a mob of protestors when one of them starts throwing rocks and such. Unfortunatley, in a mob like that, one thrower results in many more following suit, even if the peak number is but a small minority. What you have then is a threat to your personel and equipment.
Even if the mob only represents part of the population, they have the right to express themselves. If I was manning a post and it becomes a threat to me and my men, I would pull out. It's not my job to interfere with the democratic process. [/QB]
Especially if I had no business being there in the first place.

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"The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."--Iris Murdoch

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Grand Illusion
Jingle Bell Hock


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For our beloved friend Troberg, and others living outside the U.S.A.:

In the United States, only Congress has the power to declare war. The most an individual or a group of citizens can do is use self defense if attacked.

All citizens have the right to demonstrate and protest, but the same laws that apply the rest of the time apply during protests. Just like I can't throw a brick through somebody's window for the fun of it, a protestor can't throw a brick through a window during a protest.

Also, it has been a longstanding judicial ruling that freedom of speech does not extend to acts of speech that willfully cause harm (the example usually given is to yell "Fire" in a crowded building just to see everyone trample each other.)

However, various controversial laws and policies have come into effect that limit freedom of speech, some of which are more just than others. We cannot joke about blowing up a plane if we're on a plane. If we are protesting a place of business, we have to stay a certain distance away from the property. We cannot campaign or attempt to influence voters on the premesis where voting is taking place. If we speak things that could tie us to terrorist organizations, our communications may be monitored and we may be searched, arrested and detained without all the rights normally granted to suspetcts, most notably Habeas Corpus.

Despite unfairnness, though, we still believe that freedom of speech must be tempered with all other freedoms and rights. Whenever an American hears somebody say that protestors can do whatever they want in the name of free speech, we think of the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, where hordes of crazed rioters vandalized, looted and burned entire neighborhoods of innocent people and turned L.A. into an anarchy for a week. Without just limits on demonstrations, that would be more commonplace.

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There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary and those who do not.

"Are you pondering what I'm pondering?" - The Brain

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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Troberg, do you honestly see no difference between the democratic process and mob rule? A government should acquiese to whom ever can pull together a couple dozen angry people, the angrier the better?

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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Jack Dragon, On Being a Dragon
Confessions of a Dragon's scribe
Diary of my Heart Surgery

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ertceps
I Saw Three Shipments


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I was a part of a mob a long time ago and let me tell you it's VERY frightening even for someone supposedly in the mob itself...I can't even to begin to imagine how scared the police were that night

It starts out fun...lots of people running around and yelling and then someone throws a few stones through windows...fights break out all over...the noise and confusion is incredible...I was twenty feet away from a group of people who came upon an empty police car and they flipped it on it's roof and pushed it down a hill with sparks flying and most who saw it laughing

You know you see this kind of thing happen on TV and you kind of believe that many of these people in the mob or riot are people who probably aren't all that law abiding to begin with but virtually all those kids I saw go nuts that night were ordinary college students who if you asked them to explain why they did what they had done that night would have no idea how to answer you

I have no doubt that the next day those who remembered what they had done the previous night were profoundly ashamed of themselves and most likely became law abiding citizens for the rest of their lives

I also have to say although thank God the police didn't panic and go overboard in their attempts to control the situation...I can't say I would of blamed them too much if they had...it was a nightmare

BTW The cause of the whole mob? Like Methuselah already brought up...Halloween in my town was much like in the capital(Madison) back then...after that day they brought in police from around the state to keep order so that was the last time it got so bad

What gets me is I cannot even come up with the slightest excuse for our behavior that night...the cops didn't provoke anyone...we had no high minded agenda we felt needed addressing...we were just a bunch of drunk college aged kids who somehow became a mob and acted poorly

I will say this...even with all the people nowadays who have camera phones who can prove you were breaking the law I don't think it matters considering while as part of a mob you are not thinking rationally...consequences are not on your mind...when they say a mob has a mind of it's own it's really true

I also think that you're probably more likely to be hurt of someone in the mob than some authority figure so if they can stop it quickly with this device than by all means they have my blessing

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Damian
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Apparently it is my democratic right to riot. I am just expressing my freedom of speech by smashing the window of the elctronic shop and making off with a TV.


A weapon such as this would be more likely to be misused because of its' non-lethality. Not many cops will shoot someone with real bullets just for fun, but I can imagine them cooking someone for a second. Just for laughs.

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"I always tell the truth. Even when I lie." - Tony Montana

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pinqy
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Damian:
A weapon such as this would be more likely to be misused because of its' non-lethality. Not many cops will shoot someone with real bullets just for fun, but I can imagine them cooking someone for a second. Just for laughs.

Do they do that with beanbag rounds? Rubber bullets? Firehoses? I mean certainly there have been cases of police misusing non-lethal weapons, but it's not common. Why do people think this is more likely to be abused than those methods already used?

pinqy

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Don't Forget!
Winter Solstice Hanukkah Christmas Kwanzaa & Gurnenthar's Ascendance Are Coming!

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Damian
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by pinqy:
Why do people think this is more likely to be abused than those methods already used?

What, you don't think it would be fun to zap some unsuspecting person at the other end of the street, just to see his reaction?

Could start a whole new hidden camera show.

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"I always tell the truth. Even when I lie." - Tony Montana

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Salamander
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by pinqy:
quote:
Originally posted by Damian:
A weapon such as this would be more likely to be misused because of its' non-lethality. Not many cops will shoot someone with real bullets just for fun, but I can imagine them cooking someone for a second. Just for laughs.

Do they do that with beanbag rounds? Rubber bullets? Firehoses? I mean certainly there have been cases of police misusing non-lethal weapons, but it's not common. Why do people think this is more likely to be abused than those methods already used?

pinqy

Beanbag rounds & rubber bullets leave obvious marks on those hit by them. Also, neither of these can be deployed "discreetly"... it's pretty obvious that someone has pointed a gun and fired the round. Firehoses are also pretty obvious when used. ETA: I have no idea about the beanbags but you can't exactly retrieve a rubber bullet and make it look like you never used it. The fact that you had obviously fired the rounds would lead to accountability for what happened to them.

The catch with this device is that if, as it claims, there are no signs of its use then if an officer did decide to use it for shits 'n' giggles then it comes down to word of mouth in a court of law (if it ever got that far). Of course, that cuts both ways too... since it leaves no traces on the victim you could end up with a bunch of people claiming they were wrongfully zapped when the device was not even in use.

Perhaps if there was an untamperable logging system that records the date, time & GPS co-ords of when it is used, that might be a good idea. It would protect both civilians and officers.

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"victory thru self-deception"

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Ah...I see. We shouldn't protect the citizens affected by riots. If they get hurt or killed, we'll just put the people from the riot in jail for a while. That'll solve everything.
No, not really. Partly, I wanted to see how far people were willing to defend violence against demonstrations/riots, partly I was just creating some drama and setting the stage for pointing out that we must be very careful in when and how we intervene with demonstrations, as demonstrations are an essential part of the democratic process. Before we interfere with force, we must be very certain of at least the following:

1. There is a clear danger to lives and property of other civilians. Danger to property should also be severe enough to not being handled by non-violent mechanisms, such as insurance.
2. There is no other way to stop this.
3. The violence is not justified.
4. Any force we apply should do the minimum damage possible to achive the goal.

It is definately not a decision to be made lightly, and it should not be made at street level. Such a decision needs to be moved up to a political level, and those who make it should be held accountable for the results.

quote:
Look, I understand that in the far reaches of Northern Europe with cradle to grave welfare you don't experience a lot of mob mentality protests.
Actually, we have them every second year or so. The worst in recent years was the incident in Gothenburg five years or so ago, when Bush visited Sweden, where the police preemptively attacked the preparations for a peaceful demonstration and generally behaved unappropriately, humiliating people by forcing them to lie down on the ground for no reason, beating people and so on. Hardly surprising, in the following days, this brought resentment that escalated into rock throwing, that ended with three kids gunned down by the police. One of the kids was not even part of the violence, he was just taking photos (which mysteriously disappeared in the investigation of the shooting). The charges against the police was dropped, and no one was held accountable. Not even recordings and video where police actually told demonstrators to throw rocks (I think the exact words were, in Swedish, "Come on c*nts, throw those rocks!") and issuing a formal challenge to battle by banging their batons on their shields was enough to make the charges against the police stick.

In other words, we see some of the bad sides of this as well. The main difference here is that the rioters usually stick to their political issues, looting is practically non-existant.

quote:
Sociological studies suggest that a mob becomes a de facto living organism that changes the mentalities of those within it. People that are otherwise smart and reasonable take to violence and destruction quickly.
Actually, that puts an entirely new moral aspect on this. If this is true, are the individuals that are targeted with violence in order to stop the riot actually personally responsible? If the mob as an entity has a mind, how can individuals be punished?

quote:
Without dispersing a mob like that, injuries turn into deaths. Using non-lethal methods to disperse such a crowd is in the best interest of everybody. It is naive and dangerous to think that all people are good at all times and all you have to do is be nice and the crowd will go back to being peaceful.
Of course, but there is also another side to it. If you have a potentially violent demonstration that has not yet turned violent, and then put lines of police in full riot gear in front of it, you may actually provide it with the igniting spark. Remember, even police are human, and when gearing up in that gear, you put your mind in "battle mode". On the other side, we have a crowd that's already angry, who suddenly get a focus point for their anger. That's how things start to escalate out of control.

If a crowd that has not yet turned violent is instead approached by a single cop, who tells them "OK guys, calm down a bit. You are blocking the traffic, go down to the town square instead.", the situation is defused. The cop just needs to appear reasonable and provide some non-destructive alternative. Such tactics has been tried with at least moderate success here.

quote:
In the United States, only Congress has the power to declare war. The most an individual or a group of citizens can do is use self defense if attacked.
This weapon is being proposed for Iraq, not USA.

I'm not so sure if the actions in Iraq should be classified as riots either, they may just as well be classified as resistance movement attacks.

quote:
All citizens have the right to demonstrate and protest, but the same laws that apply the rest of the time apply during protests. Just like I can't throw a brick through somebody's window for the fun of it, a protestor can't throw a brick through a window during a protest.
Of course, but that doesn't mean that the gloves are off and every countermeasure is legal and suitable, especially not countermeasures that affect the crowd as a whole and not just the brick thrower.

quote:
Whenever an American hears somebody say that protestors can do whatever they want in the name of free speech, we think of the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, where hordes of crazed rioters vandalized, looted and burned entire neighborhoods of innocent people and turned L.A. into an anarchy for a week.
I don't defend looting and violence, but I also think that without a big ruckus, the issue of the Rodney King beating would not have recieved the attention it deserved. People should have gone out in the streets and made a huge effing peaceful demonstration, but something was needed.

quote:
A weapon such as this would be more likely to be misused because of its' non-lethality. Not many cops will shoot someone with real bullets just for fun, but I can imagine them cooking someone for a second. Just for laughs.
Definately. "Harmless" weapons are much easier to misuse.

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/Troberg

Posts: 4360 | From: Borlänge, Sweden | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Dark Blue
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Perhaps if there was an untamperable logging system that records the date, time & GPS co-ords of when it is used, that might be a good idea.
Just to throw it out there, TASERS have a logging system. Only our supervisor's can access them on each taser and it logs date and time a TASER is used, and for how long a cycle.

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I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf. -- On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs by LTC. Dave Grossman, USA (Ret)

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