Non-lethal weapons are what you get when the ideas of “not-killing” and “wanting to shoot people in the face” get into yet another screaming match and end up totally doing it on the kitchen counter. The following morning, no words are said and eye contact is avoided, but out of such a hateful union eventually comes the miracle of life, in the form of weaponry that harms and maims but stops very short of actually killing.
And, just like all children of parents who hate each other, so did non-lethal weapons grow up to be violent, unhinged and uncomfortable to be in the same room with. The top 10 examples include:
10. The SpeechJammer
On the one hand, freedom of speech is one of the most basic human rights imaginable. On the other hand, some people are unrepentant mouth-breathers whose voice should legally be classified as ear-rape, so it’s completely understandable that someone, somewhere, would eventually come up with a device that stops people from talking (other than a sharp knife, of course.)
And so, two Japanese researchers, Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada, have come up with a device that, when aimed at the target, makes it near-impossible for them to talk. The device, nicknamed the SpeechJammer, operates on the idea of delayed auditory feedback. Basically, what it does is record what you’re saying and then shoot it back at you with a slight (200 millisecond) delay, which for some reason is like kicking the speech center of your brain right in the nutsack. Even basicallier, the device uses your own words to stop you from talking which I believe is what we call “poetic justice.” Or possibly “an Orwellian horror waiting to happen.”
9. The Incapacitating Flashlight
Up until now, the only way to make someone puke with a flashlight was to hit them on the back of the head with it, inducing a paralyzing seizure (AKA The LA Greeting). But now the future Bond villains at the Intelligent Optical Systems, California, have come up with a flashlight that uses light pulses to disorient a target, and hopefully make it puke its guts out.
The Incapacitating Flashlight first uses a range finder to determine the distance between itself and the one remaining Occupy protester on Earth, and then sends out a series of LED pulses, which differ in color and duration. This colorful strobe light effect is said to have a nauseating effect on a typical human, causing him to lose balance and become sick…thus making the Incapacitating Flashlight a portable version of that one Pokémon episode.
8. The PHASR
The Personal Halting and Stimulation Response Rifle is three things:
1. One of the most awkward acronyms ever
2. Proof that an obsession with Star Trek
3. A U.S. Department of Defense non-lethal rifle that blinds people.
To get around such pesky things as international military conventions against blinding weaponry, the PHASR is being developed to use lasers that will only temporarily blind an enemy combatant…thus making it easier to shoot him through the nipples, I assume. Unfortunately, given the size of the current PHASR prototype and its uncanny resemblance to an X-Box peripheral, the safe bet is that, instead of actual combat the PHASR will see most action at drunken army base parties and future Jackass episodes.
7. The Active Denial System, AKA Pain Ray
Imagine you’re at a rally protesting the fascists’ fascist decision to fascist…ly remove French fries from your community college’s cafeteria (also, you have no idea what “fascist” actually means). You and everyone else are restless, tension is riding high, some guy (me, most likely) innocently suggests to perhaps consider torching the campus to the ground. That’s when an armored car rolls by, and everyone just falls to the ground in a fit of blinding pain for no apparent reason.
You have no idea what’s going on. Suddenly, your whole body has been turned into a giant radio receiver and the only station it gets is Pain FM. You start pleading with every God you can think of, promising to release those teenage runaways from your basement if only someone would free you from this pain. But it’s not God that’s doing this to you – it’s the Air Force’s Active Denial System.
The ADS is a military non-lethal weapon that’s basically a giant antenna that emits waves similar to those found in microwave ovens. When aimed at a person, the ADA waves cause him or her to reach their pain threshold in a matter of seconds, by making them feel as if they were burning alive. The weapon reportedly has no long-term ill effects on the human body, other than a crippling phobia of microwave ovens and your own government.
6. The XM1063
The XM1063 is a powerful, full-metal, heavy-duty, America, beer, other manly words, military projectile meant to be fired from a 155mm howitzer after which it breaks down into 152 small submunitions which parachute over a 1-hectar area, delivering the deadly payload inside. The payload here just happens to be weapons-grade farts.
The XM1063 is meant to be a non-lethal personal suppression system, which is a fancy way of saying “No! No killing! Bad bomb!” The US Army has thus considered various stuffing for their metal canon turkey like pepper sprays, or perhaps tear gas, to use against enemy forces scattered around a wide area. But so far, the most viable option seems to be malodorants, i.e. chemicals that smell REALLY bad. It’s still not entirely certain if that is even legal under the modern chemical weapons conventions but, if it ever gets green-lit, then wartime footage will become roughly a million times funnier.
5. The Gay Bomb
You know how gay people find every single person of the same gender attractive, no matter their age or personal appearance might be? Well, if you’re getting all of your information about homosexuality from hardcore gay porn, then you probably do. Also, you’re probably the US military in the 1970s.
More than 40 years ago, the army was actually toying with the idea of a pheromone-dispersing bomb which could be detonated over enemy territory, pumping enemy forces full of lady chemicals or whatever pheromones are, thus turning them gay. And, as we all know, gay people are horrible at combat, especially those who have romantic feelings for one another. What’s that? The Sacred Band of Thebes? What’s that? Let’s just fire up the ol’ Wikipedia and…oh. Ohhhhh…
Huh…well, now the gay bomb idea just sounds stupid.
4. The Thunder Generator
The Thunder Generator can be best summed up as a weapon that shoots explosions.
Originally devised by Israeli farmers to scare away birds, the Thunder Generator uses a mixture of gas and air to create loud explosions…which the Israeli government now wants to aim at people. With a little tweak here and there (possibly adding a human skull decal on the side) the TG has recently been re-appropriated as a crowd dispersion weapon, as it can send powerful shock waves that knock people down up to 100m away.
Unfortunately, the Thunder Generator is non-lethal only in the sense that a regular firearm is non-lethal, as long as you only shoot the guy in the ass. It’s actually been discovered that, at less than 10m, a blast from the Thunder Generator can kill a person but, damn, can you imagine the badass headstone they would leave behind? “Here lies some guy – killed by an Explosion Gun.”
3. The Chili Grenade
Not that long ago, the Indian Special Forces have apparently decided that regular pepper spray and tear gas are for wussies to sprinkle on their whole-wheat cereal with skim milk, and so they started developing an explosive which instead of chemicals would disperse aerosolized Bhut Jolokia – one of the hottest chili peppers on the planet. This might actually help India get around international bans on chemical weaponry, because the Bhut Jolokia is perfectly natural and technically even consumed by things which technically might be considered humans.
The only problem is that whenever the Chili Grenade hits an enemy army, there will inevitably be at least one a*****e there who will try to play it cool and boast that the chili grenade isn’t that hot. I hate that guy.
2. Sticky Foam
Quick, pin-point the inherent dangers and potential for disaster with the following idea: a super-expanding, quick-drying foam shot out of a gun to incapacitate people.
If you answered, “too big of a temptation to use on Jared after he falls asleep drunk on the coach,” then you are right. I also would have accepted “the possibility of accidentally suffocating a person” or “a new, terrifying genre of pornography.” And yet, the US military is all about the Sticky Foam gun, and the weapon is apparently already being used by the Marines, most notably in Somalia.
1. The Taser Shotgun
The problem with a shotgun is that it’s cool and all, but the courts tend to frown upon shooting people in the face with it. Tasers, on the other hand, go down a little easier with law enforcement since they are a non-lethal weapon, but they require you to go ALL THE WAY OVER THERE where that guy with the stupid hat is standing to electrocute his dumb ass. Man, can’t some smart people, with obvious mental and personality problems, step in to remedy this sad situation? They sure can! Say hello to the Taser Shotgun!
Already in use in the United States, and being considered by British police forces, The Extended Range Electronic Projectile weapon fires shell-like electro cartridges with barbs in front that, once fired, bore deep into the target’s skin and administer a 20-second shock of 500V. The weapon is apparently effective up to 100ft. I do worry though, that the taser shotgun might work too well and eventually replace traditional tasers. And then what will I bring on crowded subway trains?